Israel's Good News Newsletter to 22nd Feb 2015


In the 22nd Feb 2015 week’s edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·        An award-winning Israeli website provides individually tailored medical advice.
·        The BBC praises an Israeli surgeon’s reconstruction of an injured Syrian’s face.
·        Israel is producing vast quantities of desalinated water at the lowest cost in the world.
·        10% of all Israeli high-school children attend a Sci-Tech school.
·        Israel’s economy experienced a huge boost in the final quarter of 2014.
·        An Israeli terror victim has married the hospital visitor who helped him recover.

·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary. Click here for “A Green and Pleasant Land" (fast-loading version, no adverts).  Also on Jerusalem Post, San Diego Jewish World and United With Israel.
 
·        Click here to see the newsletter on Jewish Business News, IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel.

Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.  My thanks to Michelle for the links to more than a dozen of the articles - highlighted by “(M)” below.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Winning medical advice.  (Israel21c)  Israeli startup Medivizor uses patent-pending technology to find the most essential information applicable for each individual’s medical situation.  Medivizor won 4 prestigious competitions in 2014, was highlighted by Forbes and is recommended by doctors to their patients.

A traffic-light pacemaker.  (M) A joint Israeli-UK project is testing whether a pacemaker emitting pulsating blue and yellow light can be used to regulate the beating of newly implanted heart tissue generated by stem cells.  Also interesting because the UK’s Independent newspaper rarely includes any positive Israeli news.

ReWalk makes miracles possible.  (M) Here’s a rare positive Israel article from CNN.  It describes the exoskeleton from Israel’s ReWalk that is changing the lives of paraplegics.  People previously confined to wheelchairs can now walk upright once again.  (Stop video after 2 minutes.)

Turning darkness into light.  (Israel21c) Ben-Gurion University is hosting “Light and Blindness” - a full-day exhibition of research-and-development activities in Israel designed to improve the quality of life for people with visual impairment.  It includes a startup contest and the opening of a trail for the blind.

Boost for ice treatment to destroy tumors.  Israeli biotech IceCure Medical has received $21 million of funds from Epoch Partner Investments to speed up the sales and distribution of its IceSense3 cryoablation system to treat breast cancer.  IceSense3 uses extreme cold to destroy targeted tumors in less than 15 mins, with no pain.

$9 million donation to fight cancer.  Philanthropists Laura and Isaac Perlmutter have pledged $3 million to finance six joint cancer research projects between NY University and Israel’s Technion, plus a further $6 million to establish a state-of-the-art research facility focusing on cancer metabolomics at the Technion.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Taking inclusion to a larger level.  (Thanks to Nevet – www.broaderview.org) A report about two IDF bases where “special” soldiers with disabilities perform important jobs.  IDF service helps integrate the disabled into society and the workforce.  It also educates and changes the attitudes of IDF personnel without disabilities.

Israeli-Arabs flourish at Technion.  (M) As the Bloomberg journalist admits, “Here’s a little-told success story:” Israeli Arabs, women in particular, have made huge strides over the past decade at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, better known as Israel’s answer to MIT.

BBC applauds Israeli op on Syrian’s face.  (Thanks to Eli) The BBC describes the amazing reconstruction work that Israeli surgeon Yoav Leiser of Haifa’s Rambam hospital performed on Mohammad – a Syrian farmer whose face was shattered in an attack by a Syrian warplane.  A rare positive Israel story from the BBC.  Also a report (thanks Michelle) on the $10 million plus spent by Israel in the last 18 months treating 1500 Syrians.

UN-Israeli workshop on renewable energy.  The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) organized a workshop to teach successful renewable energy practices and energy efficiency technologies to 23 experts and policymakers from across Eurasia.

Hong Kong students experience Startup Nation.  (M) 50 Hong Kong university and secondary students got the chance to see firsthand the secrets to Israeli entrepreneurial success, thanks to a six-day trip co-organized by the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) and Li Ka Shing Foundation.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The most efficient desalination plant in the world.  (M) Israel’s new Sorek desalination plant is now at full capacity, producing 627,000 cubic meters of drinking water daily. With the lowest rate of energy consumption in the world, its water is the cheapest of any large-scale desalination plant.

Washington to host US-Israeli cyber security conference.  The Israel Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) will hold its 5th annual Defensive Cyberspace Operations & Intelligence Conference and Exhibition in Washington, DC, April 27-28, 2015. This is the first INSS cyber conference to be held in the US.

Israel establishes Cyber Defense Authority.  Israel’s cabinet has approved the establishment of a national cyber defense authority which will have overall national responsibility for cyber defense.  It will also operate an a Cyber Event Readiness Team to strengthen the resilience of organizations and sectors in the economy.

The importance of technology and education.  (M) Graduates of Israel Technion have won 4 Nobel Prizes and have either founded or are managing two-thirds of the Israeli companies on NASDAQ.  Technion’s President Peretz Lavie describes why Israel’s foremost technical institute has been so successful. 

Israeli Sci-Tech schools.  100,000 Israeli kids - 10 percent of all Israeli high school students (Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze) - attend a Sci-Tech school.  The Sci-Tech network builds curricula based on the demand for professionals in various Israeli industries, and it currently has 18 industrial vocational schools.

Israeli cleantech in Germany.  Nine Israeli cleantech companies attended Leipzig’s Green Ventures Forum – Germany’s leading B2B platform in the cleantech arena.  Thanks to the Israeli Economic Office in Berlin and Israel NewTech, Israeli companies held over a hundred meetings with companies from over 30 countries.

Technion’s new hi-tech student lab.  Israel’s Technion and Microsoft have together built a development lab that resembles that of a startup company.  Students can develop innovative technologies that will add to the “Internet of Things” – Internet-enabled devices and applications to rival anything a hi-tech company can design.

Your TV interacts with your smartphone.  (M) Israel’s Applicaster lets you watch a program on your TV set whilst interacting with the program and its characters on your smartphone.  Applicaster has released more than 100 mobile apps for 36 broadcasters, including Fox International and Mediacorp.

Israeli technology with every diamond.  (M) If you’ve got a diamond on your finger, there’s an 80% chance it’s been touched by Israel’s Sarine.  (Stop the automatic video sequence at the end of the Sarine clip)


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

GDP up 7.2%; exports up 7.3%.  Israel's economy expanded at its fastest rate in almost eight years in the fourth quarter, with overall GDP growing an annualized 7.2 percent, following previous estimates of 3.3%.  The recovery was seen in all segments – exports, Government spending, investment and business GDP.

New car deliveries up 23%.  Israeli demand for new cars is a key indicator of economic optimism.  So the 23% rise in deliveries in Jan 2015 compared to Jan 2014 (itself a record month) was significant.  http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-highest-ever-monthly-car-deliveries-1001006986

An all-Israeli cyber takeover.  Israel’s strength in cyber security was evidenced when Israel’s SuperCom acquired Israel’s PreVision.  SuperCom’s NASDAQ share price has risen 1600% in two years.

Aiming to transform London’s banking.  (M) 15 Israeli financial technologies startups will showcase their innovation to UK finance leaders in London on March 2-5.  The 15 won their places in the 2015 TeXchange Fintech challenge, organized by the UK Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy in Israel.

The Rhode Island – Israel partnership.  (M) Rhode Island has followed the path set by its New England neighbor Massachusetts and developed strong business relationships with the Startup Nation.  Latest joint projects include R-I Hospital with Israel’s Timocco and Crawford HPC with Israel’s Softwheel.

Israeli business leaders open London Stock Exchange.  (M) Sorry - I missed this originally. On 17 Nov 2014 a delegation of CEOs/CFOs from Israeli companies formally opened the day’s trading on the London Stock Exchange.   https://twitter.com/ukinisrael/status/534344480158388224

Infosys to buy Israeli auto-tech company.  (M) India’s giant IT company Infosys is acquiring Israel’s Panaya Inc for $200 million in cash.  Panaya was among the top 100 global tech start-ups in 2009.  It provides automation technology for companies such as Mercedes Benz, Sony and Unilever.

Apple’s new Israeli offices.  (M) Take a look inside Apple’s new offices for its 800 employees in Herzliya.  Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to open the offices this week.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Seven species book wins international award.  Chana Bracha Siegelbaum’s book “The Seven Fruits of the Land of Israel” has just received two prestigious Gourmand Awards for 2015.  Chana delves into the mystical and medicinal properties of Israel’s seven Biblical food crops, while also offering pages of wholesome recipes.

Raining chocolates in Tel Aviv.  The 3-day Tel Aviv Chocolate Festival featured chocolate shwarmas and kebabs, to chocolate jewelry, sculptures, chocolate sushi-making and even a chocolate spa. 20,000 attended.

Israeli glass on display.  Tel Aviv’s Eretz Israel Museum is displaying the works of 62 Israeli glass artists.  They range from tiny and intimate objects to large sculptures, from wall hangings to floor and ceiling works, and from room-size installations to conceptual works.

Night-surfing in the Med.  (Thanks to SDM) About 40 Israeli surfers took part in a night-surfing competition in the Mediterranean Sea off Ashdod, southern Israel. Gil Beach is one of the best places to catch waves in Israel and Ashdod set up special lights there for night surfing several years ago.


THE JEWISH STATE

Bulgaria terror victim weds woman who helped him recover.  Daniel Fahima, was critically wounded in the Burgas, Bulgaria terror attack two years ago, which killed five other Israeli tourists. He has just married the woman who sat by his bedside while he was in the hospital, helping him get through a long period of recovery.

Borrow the book at the bus stop.  A reminder that Israel’s bus stop libraries are still operating and expanding - such as the new library at Emek Refayim in Jerusalem.  Borrowed books can be returned to any branch.

Adversity inspires entrepreneurship.  (Thanks to Israel21c) It was a chance in a million that Tel Aviv married couple Michael and Jessica would both develop Type 1 diabetes after the birth of their first child. They used their “misfortune”, however, to help them found the popular diabetes on-line magazine “ASweetLife”.

Above and Beyond.  “Above and Beyond”, screened at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival, is the story of Israel’s Air Force.  Produced by Nancy Spielberg (sister of Steven), it tells of the miraculous events involving volunteers who risked their lives in order to secure a Jewish homeland.  Highly recommended.

Leading lost Jews to the Promised Land.  A detailed profile of Michael Freund, founder of Shavei Israel - an organization dedicated to returning to Israel, people with a tradition that trace their ancestry to Jews exiled from the Jewish homeland.  http://tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/189072/becoming-moses

The land of blue and white.  The colors of the Israeli flag have been replicated in the recent weather of the Jewish State.  Blue skies earlier in the week turned into dense white clouds, precipitating rain into blue rivers and lakes.  And then white snow enveloped the country from the Golan, to Jerusalem and the Negev desert.