History of Israel's Good News - Jan to Mar 2017


In the 12th Mar 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli shielding device protects surgeons from X-rays.
·         The Israeli Government is funding pre-paid credit cards for needy families.
·         SodaStream is promoting Israel and co-existence on its packaging.
·         An Israeli-built hi-speed network will stretch from London to Moscow.
·         Israeli-developed Facebook lite has 200 million users.
·         Jan/Feb tourist traffic to Israel is 25% higher than last year.
·         Israel won all its World Baseball Classic group stage games.
·         The Christian Friends of Israel interviewed your VeryGoodNewsIsrael editor.

·         Click here to see the 5th Mar newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Inclusiveness. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Karen) in Portuguese and (TY Jenka) in Hebrew. Please pass links onto relevant readers.

·         Click here to read my latest feature article “Israel is Finally Unmasked”.  Also on the Jerusalem Post, IsraelSeen and United With Israel.


Patient hypnotized to overcome fear of MRI. The MRI-focused ultrasound brain treatment from Israel’s Insightec is used at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center to cure patients of tremors. One of the patients was afraid of being enclosed in the MRI machine. He underwent hypnosis therapy, had the treatment and now he’s cured!

More good news for Parkinson’s treatment. Israel’s NeuroDerm has released positive preliminary results for the final Phase II trial of its ND0612H treatment on 38 patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease.  NeuroDerm will now proceed with Phase III trials on 240 patients prior to requesting CE (European) Certification.

Two awards for NovellusDx. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s NovellusDx (see Jun 2016) has received a $900,000 BIRD Foundation award to identify and design personalized cancer therapies for the Delaware-based Gene Editing Institute. NovellusDx also won 1st prize in the international Quality Innovation Award competition.

Protecting surgeons from radiation.  Israel’s RadiAction has developed an innovative shielding device to protect surgeons from radiation. Its technology will help increase in the number of image guided procedures performed annually. RadiAction has just raised $5.7 million of funding.

New treatment for ALS. Israel’s NeuroSense Therapeutics is developing a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It is based on a discovery by Weizmann Institute Professor Eran Hornstein of a micro-RNA molecule lacking in the muscles of ALS patients.

Israeli roots of leukemia treatment. I reported previously (Sep 26) that Israel’s Teva had launched a generic version of the cancer treatment Gleevec (imatinib mesylate). What I didn’t realize that Gleevec itself had Israeli origins, being based on work by Weizmann researcher Eli Canaani.  In 2003 Gleevec saved the life of Jewish hockey player and leukemia sufferer Sam Field.  http://www.jta.org/2017/03/08/arts-entertainment/miracle-drug-with-israeli-roots-saves-jewish-hockey-player-hit-with-cancer

Human airbags protect elderly from falls.  (TY Hazel) Every year nearly 3 million seniors suffer life-changing hip fractures from falls. Israel’s Hip-Hope is a smart waist-belt that senses an impending collision with a ground surface and deploys two large airbags instantly from each side of the belt to cushion the hips.


National initiative for food security.  (TY Russell) I reported previously (Apr 24) the Colel Chabad prepaid credit card for needy Israeli families to use to buy food with dignity. Now, the Israeli Government is adopting the scheme and awarding NIS 500 per month to 10,800 families via the prepaid card.

Israeli tech to tackle disability.  The video “Tackling disability” is by Medill School of Journalism student Iacopo Luzi and The Times of Israel. It features the founders of assistive technology startups, Sesame, Listenapp and UpNRide, showing how their products can potentially help thousands of people.

Helping special needs kids celebrate.  600 youth volunteers for Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service entertained 70 special needs children on Tu Bishvat – the Jewish New Year for trees. The program takes place annually in cooperation with the Jewish National Fund.

First Israeli-Arab trainee IAF pilot.  (TY IsraelSeen) In a first-ever for the Holy Land, an Israeli Christian Arab has become an Israeli Air Force (IAF) cadet. Israeli Arabs can volunteer for the IDF and the new trainee pilot has just passed the required rigorous medical, physical and mental abilities tests.

Arab leaders support National Service.  Israeli-Arab MKs have for the first time agreed to support a new civil national service program for Arab students leaving high school. The program is similar to that performed by many Jewish and Druze women who are able to work in hospitals or schools instead of serving in the IDF.

SodaStream’s inclusive packaging.  SodaStream is a proud Israeli company, and keeps its Israeli identity at a high profile. Its new packaging will include a picture of the Israeli flag, accompanied by the caption: "This product is made by Arabs and Jews working side by side in peace and harmony."

Canadian special needs trip to Israel.  A group of 10 Canadian adults with special needs went on a 10-day “Inclusion Journey to Israel” trip. It featured not just the usual tourist sites, but also Access Israel’s Motek Shel Teatron inclusion theater group, the Knesset Disability Rights Caucus and even an archaeological dig.

Israelis in Ghana.  A delegation of African American journalists saw how Israeli development aid is helping Ghana. In Winneba post-army Israelis teach children literacy and life skills; in Kumasi its early childhood learning by playing; in Accra they see the cutting-edge Israeli-built 675-bed Ghana University Medical Center.


Eilat is now a 4.5G city.  Israel’s Hot Mobile and Partner have completed deployment of their technology to make Eilat the first Israeli city to have a 4.5G LTE Advance cellular network. Customers can now obtain speeds around 100 Mbps.  http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-eilat-becomes-first-city-with-45g-coverage-1001179490

50% electricity from solar at Ramon Airbase. (TY Atid-EDI) The IDF is soon to inaugurate its largest solar project yet when it begins running a solar farm, built by Israel’s Enlight Renewable Energy, at its Ramon Airbase. The 16,000 solar panels will produce 5 MW - half of the base’s electricity. 

A network from London to Moscow.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s PacketLight Networks is partnering with Russia’s Avelacom to build out their high-speed network from London to Moscow with PacketLight’s optical transport solutions. The 1100 km long-haul network will provide speeds of 100G.

The next generation of cyber experts. Israel is teaching its children the basic building blocks of the web. Sagy Bar of the Rashi Foundation, a philanthropic group running Israel’s new cyber education center said “first grade they learn the letters, then how to read and how to write. We are building the next level of knowledge - how to code”. http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-teaching-kids-cyber-skills-is-a-national-mission/

Cybersecurity training for Japan.  Cyberbit - the cybersecurity subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit - is to launch a unique cybersecurity training and simulation center in Tokyo. The Israeli system will contribute to Japan’s cyber readiness for the 2020 Olympic Games and beyond. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/elbit-subsidiary-launches-cybersecurity-training-and-simulation-center-in-japan/2017/02/08/

On the salad trail. Uri Alon is the founder and owner of the Salad Trail - the educational food farm at Moshav Talmei Yosef.  He teaches about some of the amazing vegetables, fruit and herbs that Israel has developed. Purple carrots, flying strawberries, edible flowers and, of course, cherry tomatoes - all growing in the Israeli “desert”.  Please also listen to the interview.  http://thelandofisrael.com/purple-carrots-and-flying-strawberries/

Facebook Lite has 200 million active users.  Facebook says its Israeli-developed Facebook Lite app for low-end phones serves more than 200 million monthly active users globally – double that of last year.  The app supports 55 languages and is popular in countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Philippines.

The world’s thinnest charger. Israeli start-up Kado has raised $1.2 million to complete development of what it says is the world’s thinnest wall charger that fits in your wallet. Kado has two chargers: one for smartphones and tablets and one for laptops. The founders sold their previous disposable charger mobeego (reported here) for $6 million. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-kado-raises-1-2m-for-worlds-thinnest-charger/


Economy grew by 4% last year.  Israel's economy grew 4% in 2016, up from 2.5% in 2015. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics published revised figures, showing GDP growth in the fourth quarter was 6.5%.

Currency reserves continue to rise.  Israel’s foreign exchange reserves at the end of Feb stood at $102 billion - an increase of $420 million from their level at the end of Jan, and another all-time record.

Best-ever February for Incoming Tourism to Israel.  Latest statistics show this is the best ever start to the tourism year in Israel. Between January and February 2017, 467,000 tourist entries were recorded, representing a 25% increase on the same period in 2016.

Global Venture Capital slowdown – but not in Israel. (TY Nevet) Venture capital investments in Israel last year bucked the downward trend elsewhere because (a) realistic values of Israeli companies; (b) Israel’s focus on frontier technologies; (c) the growth in Israel of late stage funding rounds; (d) a new influx of Asian capital.

Investment treaty with Japan.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida signed a bilateral investment treaty, in another move to strengthen diplomatic and trade ties between the two nations. http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=40041

Eilat to double in size.  The Israeli city of Eilat is to expand massively with the construction of 7,000 hotel rooms, 18,000 new homes, industrial zones, an international sports center, municipal parks, and a waste facility.

Flights to New Delhi.  I reported previously (Nov 13) that Air India was commencing flights between Tel Aviv and Mumbai.  They have just announced a new service to New Delhi, commencing in May. Air travel between India and Israel increased by 22.8% in 2016 to 158,000 passengers.

Tel Aviv Uni is a startup start-up.  Accounting software giant Sage has ranked Tel Aviv University eighth in the world for training the founders of so-called unicorns - startup firms worth more than $1 billion. Tel Aviv alumni have founded seven such companies, including ForeScout, ironSource and Conduit.

Pension policy selection for Aviva customers.  Israeli startup Hibob is developing a computer system for UK insurance giant Aviva, whose market cap is $20 billion. The system allows small and medium-sized businesses to simplify the establishment of a pension plan for their employees.

Life’s too short for a boring office.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Mindspace provides beautiful and inspiring office space for startups in prime locations in Tel Aviv and Germany. Mindspace has just raised $15 million to fund the opening of five new locations and expand within Europe and to the US.

Gluten-free vegan chocolate.  Israel’s Carmit Candy Industries launched its new vegan “milk” chocolate snacks, coins and buttons at the Natural Product Expo West, Anaheim USA. The product line is fully dairy-free, gluten-free and has no artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives - addressing most allergy concerns.

Servotronix exits for $170 million. Chinese electronics giant Midea Group has acquired control of Israel’s Servotronix at a company value of $170 million. Servotronix develops automation solutions focused on motion control for robotics, printing, medical equipment, renewable energy etc. Development will continue in Israel.


Photos to make you want to visit Israel.  (TY Snapshots) Harper’s Bazaar has published 30 beautiful photos of Israel, taken by travel photographer Sharon Zobali.

A vegetarian from India enjoys Israel. (TY Snapshots) India’s food writer Pankaja Srinivasan gets a taste of many of the varieties of bread available in Israel – and the diverse cultures that make them.

Watch the starlings.  More beautiful evening displays (“murmurations“) in Southern Israel by thousands of starlings, as they enjoy spending their winter in the Holy Land.  http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Environment/Migrating-starlings-swoop-over-southern-Israel-482816

Gold for junior fencer.  Israeli fencer Vera Kanevski won a gold medal in the women’s epee competition at the European Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The 17-year-old overcame two opponents from fencing powerhouse Italy before defeating Ukraine’s Inna Brovko 15-13 in the final.

Team Israel wins World Baseball openers.  Underdogs Israel beat hosts Korea 2-1 in the tenth innings of the first match of the World Baseball Classic.  They then went on to beat Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) 15-7 in their next match and the Netherlands 4-2 to reach the quarterfinals, top of their group.  They then beat Cuba 4-1 in their first match of the second-round stage. https://www.youtube.com/embed/qTYr6a42DnY?rel=0


1900-year-old Roman road discovered.  Israeli archaeologists and student volunteers have unearthed a 2nd-century road near Beit Shemesh that connected the Roman settlement at Beit Natif with Jerusalem. Coins were also found including from the Great Jewish Revolt in 67 CE and others from 29 CE and 41 CE.

Fixing a mezuzah to a biotech.  Only in Israel - Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh fixed a new mezuzah at the new Jerusalem offices of Israeli biotech NovellusDx. He also spoke about how vital it was to heal the sick.

It’s Purim.  (TY Jacques) Whether it’s a gang of small girls dressed like superheroes or a crew of grown men dressed as fairies, it’s a clear sign that Purim is here, and the entire country is celebrating.

Proclaiming the Good News.  The Founder and Editor of this newsletter was interviewed by Kevin Howard of the Christian Friends of Israel.  The program was broadcast on 200 radio stations in the USA alone.  You can listen to it here – Click on the following link and then press [page down] to see the line “Proclaiming the Good News” and then click on the green arrow.  http://cfijerusalem.org/web/video/frontpage-jerusalem-radio

In the 5th Mar 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have found a new method to fight deadly MRSA infections.
·         Israeli heart surgeons saved the life of a second Afghan child.
·         Israel is making gluten-free food cheaper and more available.
·         An Israeli charity is providing solar electricity to refugees in Iraq.
·         An Israeli has designed a rotating hotel being built in Dubai.
·         Israelis are using Waze to lobby for new wildlife road safety schemes.
·         A new $150 million fund is investing in Israeli environmental technology.
·         Israel’s Mellanox was the key technology for 10 Oscar-nominated films.
·         $20,000 found on a Haifa bus has been returned to its owner.

·         Click here to see the 26th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Inclusiveness, Health and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) in German, (TY Karen) in Portuguese and (TY Jenka) in Hebrew. Please pass on these links to relevant readers.


New way to fight MRSA. Researchers at Israel’s Technion Institute have discovered unique amyloid fibrils used by the deadly antibiotic resistant MRSA bacteria to attack the immune system. It means treatments that inhibit the amyloid formation will neutralize MRSA.

Stopping nerve cell death in the brain. Tel Aviv University Professor Illana Gozes has made yet another discovery (see previous) about the gene fragment NAP and its potential to treat Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. NAP stops abnormal Tau proteins from tangling the microtubules that maintain the brain’s nerve cells. 

Bionic implant to restore sight. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Inomize has teamed up with Israel’s Nano-Retina to help build the tiny integrated circuits (ASICs) for Nano-Retina’s Bio-Retina. The implant is designed to restore sight to those suffering from retinal degenerative diseases such as AMD.

Telescope eye implant is FDA approved.  (TY Untold News) Non-cataract patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) who cannot wait for the Nano-Retina implant (above) can already be fitted with the Israel-developed Implantable Miniature Telescope from VisionCare.  Trials are also starting shortly for post-cataract patients.  http://www.visioncareinc.net/posts/category/news/press-release

Robotic needle is on the right path.  The CT-scan version of the robotic needle from Israel’s XACT (see Aug 2015) has completed successful trials. XACT has signed an agreement with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop further versions. It has also raised another $5 million of funds.

Never forget your meds. Israel’s Eximore is developing ophthalmic treatment delivery products. The company has begun development of a non-invasive punctal plug designed to release glaucoma treatments automatically via the tear ducts, controlled over a long period of time. No need to remember to apply eye drops.

Palestinian Arab cured of tremor.  Doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center used MRI-guided ultrasound from Israel’s Insightec to cure a 60-year-old Palestinian Arab from Bethlehem from severe essential tremor.  He is now able to return to work at his restaurant.  http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Health-and-Science/First-Palestinian-undergoes-unique-Israeli-treatment-for-severe-tremor-482634

Heart surgery saves another Afghan toddler.  (TY The Tower) I reported previously (twice) about Yehia – the first Afghan child to receive life-saving surgery from Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart.  Now a second toddler, Yakub, has been saved by SACH doctors after arriving from his remote Afghan village via Kabul and Istanbul.

Hospital worker delivers daughter’s baby. Ofra Grady saw thousands of births, including 11 of her grandchildren, while cleaning the delivery rooms at Israel’s Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot. But she never expected to deliver another grandchild in the family car while her husband was driving them to the hospital.


Affordable new Tel Aviv apartments. Plans for Tel Aviv’s new Dov Neighborhood, to be constructed after Sde Dov airport is vacated, includes 2,100 affordable apartments. Half of those eligible for discounted housing will be local residents, who will benefit from a discount of at least 50% on the cost of the housing.

Gluten-free food to be more accessible.  (TY Janglo) Israel’s Health Ministry is making gluten-free food for celiac sufferers more available.  Grants will be given to Israeli producers of non-gluten food and a subsidy will be offered to a manufacturer of gluten-free flour. In addition, import regulations will be eased.

IDF launches women into hi-tech.  For the first time, most of the commanders of the IDF’s elite tech C4I communications corps are women.  30% of students on their C41 programmers’ training course are women. The IDF’s role of introducing women to hi-tech is crucial for Israel’s continued economic success.

Israeli Arabs – integration not deprivation.  Ambassador Yoram Ettinger gives nine facts to emphasize the wish of Israeli Arabs to be part of the Jewish State – and not to be linked with the Palestinian Arabs.

Israel hosts Forbes “under 30” Summit again.  Around 750 young entrepreneurs from 35 countries are to attend Forbes Under 30 Summit EMEA in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, from April 2nd to 6th. They will also attend a cybersecurity event, a venture capitalist meeting, plus visit archeological sites, the Dead Sea and Masada.

Green Tel Aviv University building commended.  World Architecture News (WAN) made special mention of Tel Aviv University Porter School of Environmental Studies’ Capsule Building in their annual awards for ecological architectural design. It was commended as one of the 17 greenest projects in the world.

Everyone wanted to visit Israel.  President Edgar Lungu of Zambia, who is on a five-day state visit to Israel, said his entire cabinet wanted to follow. But he only had room for his Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Commerce, Trade and Industry, Energy, Tourism, Water Development and Environment, Transportation and Health. https://www.lusakatimes.com/2017/03/01/entire-cabinet-wanted-come-israel-president-lungu/

Solar light to Yazidi refugees in Iraq. Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID is providing solar panels to a Yazidi refugee camp in northern Iraq to help 330 families access electricity.

The eighth great power of 2017.  (TY Zev) Tiny Israel has joined The American Interest magazine’s list of the world’s greatest powers for the first time - at number 8. It praises Israel’s schools, policies, thinkers, startups, entrepreneurs, technology, cybersecurity, irrigation, desalination, agri-tech and even its pivotal political status.


Israeli mobile tech at MWC 2017.  (TY The Tower) Mobile World Congress (MWC) Feb 27 - Mar 2 in Barcelona is the world's biggest mobile industry trade show. 65 Israeli companies are exhibiting at the Israeli pavilion, plus about a hundred more elsewhere at the show.

4 Global Cleantech companies.  (TY Nevet) Four Israeli companies were named in the 2017 Global Cleantech 100. Israel’s BreezoMeter, Kaiima, TaKaDu, and Netafim are among the top 100 companies picked (from a list of 9,900) by Cleantech Group as poised to make significant market impact within a five- to 10-year timeframe.

Stay underwater for much longer.  (TY Untold News) Israel’s Like-a-Fish has re-invented the underwater breathing apparatus. Instead of carrying heavy cylinders of compressed air, the innovative technology extracts the air from the water as you go. Like-a-Fish is developing the air supply system for INOVA’s ATLANTIS hydrofoil / submarine.  http://www.likeafish.biz/

Microsoft use Israelis to find security weaknesses.  Cyber professionals, hackers and other proud geeks convened in Tel Aviv at Microsoft’s first BlueHat cybersecurity conference in Israel to tackle cybercrime. In addition to presentations, there was a competition to break the security of a nuclear reactor plant.

Rotating Dubai hotel – designed by Israeli. (TY NoCamels) Israeli architect David Fisher has designed Dubai’s 80-story Dynamic Tower Hotel, due for completion in 2020. Hotel residents will be able to rotate their rooms through 360 degrees, to either follow the sun or shade or change the view endlessly or on demand.

What is moving the Universe?  Researchers, led by Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Professor Yehuda Hoffman, have used 3D mapping of the movement of galaxies, to find that our Milky Way galaxy is speeding away from a huge, previously unidentified low density void that they have named the Dipole Repeller.

Bringing flavor back to tomatoes. Scientists, including from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have identified the flavor components that contribute to the delicious taste of tomatoes. They will now breed those components back into the modern types of tomatoes.

A solution to parking problems? (TY Janglo) The Jerusalem Municipality has completed a pilot program to test the viability of automated parking systems. Each Ferris-wheel-like unit in the Mesilat Yesharim parking lot occupies two parking spots and provides 12-16 vertical spaces in exchange. 

Splitting water - more news.  I reported previously (Apr 10) on the breakthrough by Israeli Technion scientists regarding the efficient splitting of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Now Weizmann Institute scientists have made electrons spin in a way to avoid producing hydrogen peroxide, which corrodes electrodes.

Waze to protect wildlife.  Just in time for World Wildlife Day (Mar 3rd), Israeli drivers can now use the Israeli Waze navigation app to report a dead animal on the side of the road. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel will then consolidate and analyze the data to find solutions for providing safe passage for wildlife. 

A biological model to count cyber threats.  Israel’s Ben Gurion University has teamed up with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University to fight advanced cyberthreats like the human body’s immune system fights bacteria. The cyber-immune technology will utilize BGU’s software and NTL’s hardware research expertise.

2017 Japan Prize winner.  One of my cyber heroes, Professor Adi Shamir of Israel’s Weizmann Institute has won a 2017 Japan Prize for his pioneering work on cryptography. In 1977 Shamir, together with Ron Rivest and Leonard Adleman invented the RSA public-key algorithm standard for data encryption, valid even today.

The next generation of cyber experts. Israel is teaching its children the basic building blocks of the web. Sagy Bar of the Rashi Foundation, a philanthropic group running Israel’s new cyber education center said “first grade they learn the letters, then how to read and how to write. We are building the next level of knowledge - how to code”. http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-israel-teaching-kids-cyber-skills-is-a-national-mission/


Funds continue to flow into startups.  Israeli startups raised nearly $700 million in 2017 to date - the same level as in 2016.  They include Kaminario (Flash storage - $75 million),  Appsflyer (mobile ad analytics - $56 million), SentinelOne (Cyber security - $70 million) and Transmit Security (Cyber security - $40 million).

$150 million for environment tech.  Chinese investment fund Blueconomy Center has raised $150 million for investing in marine and environmental technologies in Israel. The fund aims to help Israeli companies expedite their entry into the Chinese market and is in advanced negotiations for investments in four Israeli companies.

Startup Live Festival.  Some 2000 delegates are expected at the Startup Festival and Startup Live Competition in Rishon LeZion on Mar 29. It features some 100 startups covering smart transportation, homeland security, financial, agriculture, food, fashion and wearable technology, drones, robotics, big data, Augmented/Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things (IoT). http://i-hls.com/2017/01/ihls-hosting-startup-festival/

Chinese car maker to open Israeli R&D center.  (TY Bennett) Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) will found a Research & Development center in Israel for advanced auto technologies. The center will focus on data networks, car sharing, and smart automated propulsion.

Ryanair’s new Tel Aviv to Europe routes.  I reported previously (Jan 29) that low cost airline Ryanair was to commence flights out of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.  The destinations have been confirmed as Italy (Milan), Germany (Baden-Baden) and Poland (Gdansk, Poznan, Wroclaw and Krakow) commencing Nov 2017.

More flights to Beijing.  I reported previously (May 15) that Hainan Airlines of China started a three flights a week service between Tel Aviv and Beijing.  The route is so popular that Hainan has now increased the frequency to five flights a week for May and June.

1.2 billion downloads.  I’ve reported previously (several times) on Israeli kids’ games publisher TabTable. In its six years, it has become one of the leading children's games companies in the Apple and Google apps stores with 1.2 billion downloads of its software.

Bet Shemesh engines gets $37 million boost.  Bet Shemesh Engines has won a $37 million extension to its 2016 $69 million deals with Spanish company Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP Group). ITP is owned by UK engine giant Rolls Royce and is participating in a General Electric engine upgrade project.

LightCyber exits for $130 million. I reported previously (3 times) on Israel’s LightCyber and its ability to detect cyber-attacks using behavioral analytics. It has just been acquired by Palo Alto Networks for $130 million, becoming the US company’s second Israeli acquisition after buying Cyvera in 2014 for $200 million.


Sounds of the Old City.  (TY Janglo) The fifth annual Sounds of the Old City festival, will be held from Mar 20 – 23 in the Old City of Jerusalem. Musical bands and ensembles will perform music unique to each of the four Old City quarters.  http://en.sounds-of-jerusalem.org.il/

New Rothschild-Allenby Market in Tel Aviv.  (TY Janglo) A new covered market has opened in Tel Aviv at the corner of Rothschild Boulevard and Allenby Street. It specializes in culinary stalls featuring Israeli beer, South African sandwiches, local catch of the day, and Japanese ramen dishes.

Israel just might have the world’s best restaurant scene.  (TY Nevet) Nice article praising Israeli restaurants. The writer went with food writers, star chefs and the organizers of Round Tables, a culinary festival that paired Israel’s top chefs with 13 international luminaries. (But spot the error about meat at kosher restaurants.)

Israeli tech powers 10 Oscar-nominated films.  Israel’s Mellanox Technologies provides the server and datacenter technology to the film companies responsible for 10 Oscar-nominated films such as La La Land and Moana.  Mellanox’s massive bandwidth is needed to stream the complex, high-density pixel data visual effects.

Israeli soccer player is a true star.  Israel’s Tomer Hemed plays soccer for the UK team Brighton and Hove Albion. From his hairstyle, you can tell that he wants everyone to know he is a proud Israeli.


Modest Fashion Day.  (TY Janglo) Jerusalem’s "Modest Fashion Day" was Israel's first major fashion show for Orthodox Jewish women who require conservative outfits. Israeli models hit the catwalk in front of hundreds of Orthodox women and fashionistas, wearing long sleeves and dresses down to their ankles.

Support Israel – wave the flag.  Harry Goldstein of North London Friends of Israel (NLFoI) says that the way to support the Jewish State is to be visible.  NLFoI members stand in busy shopping streets or local festivals, with leaflets, literature and Israeli flags. They make a strong statement - that they are ordinary, local people.

Bus driver returns lost $20,000 to owner.  (TY Janglo) Haifa Egged bus driver Ataf Tatur found a wallet containing $20,000 in a bag left on his bus.  Ataf and the Egged branch director called the owners who came to collect the bag.  An Egged spokesperson said "This is the accepted norm in Egged, and it is what we expect from those behind the wheel". http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/225739

In the 26th Feb 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli “wonder” treatment can cure patients of thyroid cancer.
·         An Israeli doctor has fixed the hearing of 16 deaf Palestinian Arab children.
·         New Israeli Supreme Court judges include a Christian Arab and a religious Jewess.
·         The first-ever visit of an Israeli Prime Minister to Australia.
·         A new Israeli flying camera can be controlled from your smartphone.
·         6,000 people attended Israel’s biggest investment event.
·         One Israeli company’s analytics software is on 98% of all smartphones.
·         The largest-ever Aliya fair is being held in New York City.

·         Click here to see the 19th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on The Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Karen) in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.


Positive results for “wonder” cancer treatment.  I reported previously (Dec 2013) that VB-111 from Israel’s Vascular Biogenics (VBL Therapeutics) had been fast-tracked by the US FDA for the treatment of GBM - aggressive brain cancer.  Meanwhile, VBL has announced that VB-111’s Phase 2 trial for thyroid cancer was successful.  http://seekingalpha.com/pr/16747478-vbl-therapeutics-reports-full-data-vbminus-111-monotherapy-phase-2-trial-recurrent-thyroid 

Co-operating to study cancer.  Researchers from Israeli and Palestinian Arab hospitals together found risk factors for B Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Studying 823 patients with the disease from both communities, plus a similar number of healthy controls, they found genetic, environmental, lifestyle and medical links.

Life-saving prize. Israel's national volunteer emergency medical services organization, United Hatzalah, received the Jerusalem Prize for excellence in lifesaving. It was awarded in honor of the 3,200 volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and doctors, who work with the organization.

Bacteria sleep to evade antibiotics.  Biophysicists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found that bacteria go dormant to prevent being killed by antibiotics.  This process also helps the bacteria develop faster resistance and suggests that resistance can be prevented by targeting dormant bacteria with separate treatments.

Teva’s “blockbuster” treatment pipeline.  Israel’s Teva expects FDA approval in 2017 for seven innovative treatments. They include for chronic migraine, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's Disease and tardive dyskinesia (movement disorder). http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-tevas-pipeline-shows-promise-1001177680

Detecting vertebral fractures.  (TY Atid-EDI) Yet another diagnostic algorithm from Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision.  This time its machine and deep learning Imaging Analytics engine will be able to detect compression fractures from uploaded scans and also identify people at risk of subsequent osteoporotic fractures.

Discovery can help diagnose dyslexics.  (TY Avivit) Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have discovered that dyslexics have a shorter implicit memory than non-dyslexics. On hearing a sound repeated sometime later, dyslexics failed to recognize it.  The findings pave the way to early diagnosis and intervention.

Brain surgery cures patient of rare tinnitus.  For the first time in Israel, doctors at Beersheba’s Soroka-University Medical Center performed a brain catheterization on a patient suffering from severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears).  The condition was due to an aneurysm of veins in the brain, causing blood flow to press on air cells in the ear. http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Health-and-Science/Brain-catheterization-treats-rare-tinnitus-482345

16 Palestinian Arab children can hear for the first time.  Dr. Michal Kaufmann of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital performed cochlear implant surgery on 16 Palestinian Arab deaf and mute children to allow them to hear for the first time in their lives.  She performed six of the operations in just one month.

European approval for pain monitor.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (May 2015) on the pain measurement device developed by Israel’s Medasense Biometrics.  The innovative PMD200 has now received CE approval, allowing physicians to assess and manage pain for patients who cannot communicate.


Transmitters for elderly patients.  The Yad Sarah organization will provide distress transmitters to all elderly hospital patients living in geriatric nursing institutions. The transmitters will notify Yad Sarah headquarters around the clock if the patient falls or is shaken by someone.

Inclusive Supreme Court judges.  The judges chosen to serve on Israel’s Supreme Court of Justice include George Kara, a Christian Arab who replaces Christian Arab Justice Salim Joubran who retires after serving since 2003. And Yael Vilner is the first orthodox Jewish woman to get a permanent seat on the Supreme Court.

The first Druze Arab female news presenter.  Ghadir Kamal Meriach from the Israeli-Druze-Arab village of Daliat al-Carmel made history as the first woman from Israel’s Druze community to present the news on Israeli TV. Since 2011, she presented the main news broadcast on Channel 1’s Arabic-language channel.

A day with Syrian children in an Israeli hospital.  Wounded Syrian children and their relatives were told Israel is as bad as Satan. But at Ziv Medical Center, Issa - an Arab Israeli - is their constant companion as the children are treated by Israeli physicians. "I was afraid of the Jews," a child says. "Now I'm not afraid at all."

Arab journalists praise Israel (sort of). Egyptian journalists writing for the al-Mizri, al-Yom, and al-Aharam newspapers said Israel's successes in invention and science were an embarrassment to the entire Arab world.

Israeli Jews and Arabs to teach Syrians in Greece.  Jewish Israeli youth movement Hashomer Hatzair and the Arab Israeli youth movement Ajyal are sending educators and counselors to the Greek island of Lesbos to teach Syrian refugee children. They join IsraAID and Israel’s Natan International Humanitarian Aid.

World Bank and Israel work together for Africa.  (TY The Tower) Israel and the World Bank are to expand cooperation in water, cybersecurity and agriculture in African countries.  Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen said that it “is an opportunity for us to showcase some of the capabilities and innovation that Israel can offer to developing countries.” http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-world-bank-to-increase-joint-work-in-africa/

Israel is back in all Africa.  Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey formally invited Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to Togo in October.  West Africa’s Togo is the venue for the Africa-Israel summit for hi-tech, communications, agriculture and security, which is to be attended by approximately 20-25 African leaders.

The US and Israel – “A new day”.  The Israeli PM and US President are to setup joint teams to upgrade relations between Israel and the US in all of the main areas: Security, intelligence, cyber, technology, economics and many others.

Next stop Singapore.  (TY Bennett) Gallery and video of the Israeli PM’s visit to Singapore and its Jewish community. Also, the transcript of his speech to Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

And finally, Australia.  The first-ever visit by a serving Israeli Prime Minister to Australia was notable for the warm welcome given by Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull and the Jewish community. Both PMs and 2000 guests attended Sydney’s Central Synagogue. Direct flights between the two countries are now being planned.


The largest-ever energy project in Israel. The partners of the Leviathan natural gas reservoir have announced that they will invest $3.75 billion in its development. The three-year project constitutes both the largest energy project and largest financial investment in Israel’s history and secures its energy future. 

Jerusalem’s Old City installs Wi-Fi.  Jerusalem is installing free wi-fi into all four quarters of the Old City to benefit millions of tourists, merchants and residents. The pilot near Jaffa Gate and the Christian Quarter will be rolled-out to the entire Old City, adding to existing free wi-fi in the German Colony and Ben Yehuda street.

The writing is on the … windscreen!  I reported previously (Aug 30) that Israel’s Liquid Crystal Glass (LCG) developer Gauzy had been selected for Mercedes-Benz’s AutoBahn Accelerator program. Gauzy presented its LCG message projection prototype to 1200 people at the Accelerator’s Expo Day in Stuttgart. Hundreds of Daimlers will now be fitted with the technology. 

Helping to simplify US passport procedures.  Israel-based startup Insights.US is using its crowd-consulting software to help reform US passport issuing process. The US Government engaged Insights to ask the public about how to simplify its on-line procedures and improve accessible. Nearly 1000 responses were received.

Improving African staple crops.  Thanks to a $6.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, one of the world’s largest independent plant science institutes, has selected Israel’s NRGene to advance the breeding of staple African crops such as grain sorghum.

Pocket-sized flying camera.  This is so cool - the ultimate in smartphone photo-capture. Israel’s SELFLY is a $100 pocket-sized remote camera for your phone that you send up into the air to capture amazing aerial photos. It reached its $125,000 crowdfunding goal in just 5 days and now is close to raising half a million dollars.

An Israeli camera in every smartphone?  (TY Atid-EDI) When I reported on Israel’s Corephotonics in May 2014 its innovative dual camera technology hadn’t attracted major smartphone manufacturers.  However, latest investors include Samsung Ventures and Foxconn (makers of Apple’s iPhone). I think we’re getting the picture!

Iron Dome is upgraded.  The latest version of Iron Dome passed a series of recent complex tests, improving the system’s capabilities. Its Tamir interceptor intercepted multiple targets fired simultaneously at different ranges. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4926270,00.html


6,000 attend OurCrowd Conference.  (TY Sharon) OurCrowd, the leading global equity crowdfunding platform, hosted Israel’s largest-ever investment event at Jerusalem’s International Conference Center. Over 6,000 attended, from 82 countries, including startups, investors and 200 multinational corporations.

Tech investment in Israel exceeds Europe.  (TY TPS) Per capita, the $4.8 billion invested in technology companies for Israel’s 8.5 million population last year was far higher than the $13.6 billion invested in the whole of Europe where 700 million live.  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/business-economy/tech-investment-in-israel-outstrips-all-of-europe/2017/02/21/

Honda and Volvo open joint Israeli innovation center.  (TY Bennett) Honda, Volvo, Hertz and Israeli telematics company Ituran are to launch a new Israeli transportation innovation center in Tel Aviv. Startups and entrepreneurs will also benefit from the innovation hub DRIVE and Honda’s Xcelerator program.

Competition for Negev startups.  The SilicoNegev startup competition aims to stimulate Negev development by offering the winning startup an investment of up to NIS 500,000. The organizers want to help “implement the excellent ideas created in the Negev, and bring advanced technological solutions to the entire world.”

5 Arab startups for Haifa accelerator. I reported previously (Oct 10) about the LEAP Haifa program for Arab entrepreneurs. LEAP’s first startups are AgRobic (wastewater treatment), HealthyMize (COPD monitor), Innosphere (ADHD wearable), MindoLife (IoT smart homes), and BambooBike (bamboo bikes).

New light rail from Haifa to Nazareth.  Israel has approved the building of a 43km light railway between Haifa and Nazareth.  The line includes 17 stations and will cost an estimated NIS 5.9 billion. It is scheduled to begin operating in 2023. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-haifa-nazareth-light-rail-line-approved-1001177887

Microsoft catches up with Illusive Networks.  I’ve reported previously (twice) about Israeli cybersecurity startup Illusive Networks that deceives hackers by laying traps of false data. Illusive has just received a strategic investment by Microsoft Ventures to help development, marketing and global expansion.

Enjoy your Jaffa Orri mandarins.  (TY Liat) Thanks to an early start to the season, exports of Israel’s Jaffa Orri Mandarins are on track to increase from 60,000 metric tonnes in 2016 to 100,000 this year.  Good Israeli harvests contrast with poor weather in Europe. The Israeli crop is expected to soar even further by 2020.

Gourmet sandwiches for 8 Shekels.  (TY Janglo) Israel’s only Michelin star chef Moshik Roth is opening his gourmet sandwich chain EIGHT all over Israel. Every item on the menu is just 8 shekels ($2.1) each.  Sandwich fillings include corned beef, duck and rib eye. Other menu items include entrecote steak and vegetable omelet.  http://yeahthatskosher.com/2017/02/full-8-shekel-menu-at-this-new-kosher-chef-sandwich-chain-in-israel-eight/  http://www.8eight.co.il/#branches

Strengthening English teaching.  (TY Janglo) In partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education, Masa Israel Journey is to bring 300 overseas graduates to Israel to teach English as a Second Language. It is part of Masa’s Teaching Fellows program. Participants are paid to teach, plus volunteer on programs to learn Israeli culture. 

UK Press Association invests in Wochit.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Wochit enables newsrooms, editorial teams and social media editors to capture and expand audience attention through the power of video. It has just received a strategic investment from PA Group - parent company of the Press Association for UK and Ireland.

Success in measuring success.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s AppsFlyer allows mobile advertisers to see how well (or badly) their latest campaign performed from any source (e.g. Facebook, email etc.)  The software has been installed on 98% of all smartphones – 2.1 billion devices. AppsFlyer has just raised $56 million of funds and its business is flying! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9rzspOIj28

Is this startup into money-laundering?  Israeli startup Kvishi’s on-demand laundry pickup and delivery app is expanding fast and was concerned about its lack of funds.  It then turned to its customers with whom it sharing dirty laundry with and the equity crowdfunding campaign has already raised about $150,000.


Baby mandrill saved.  At Ramat Gan safari, Israeli zookeepers nursed a weak newborn mandrill back to life and reunited him with Tinkerbell - his mother. The mandrill species is classified as vulnerable in the wild.

Win a holiday at a 5-star hotel in a lifeguard tower.  A lifeguard tower on Tel Aviv’s Frishman Beach is being converted into a luxurious 5-star hotel. The winner of a photo competition will be flown to Tel Aviv for a 4-night break, including one night at the hotel with a personal butler. Afterwards, the hotel reverts to a lifeguard station for the summer season.  http://nocamels.com/2017/02/tel-aviv-lifeguard-tower-hotel/

Rappel down the Ramon Crater.  Makhtesh Ramon is a geological feature of Israel's Negev desert. Watch award-winning journalist Dayvee Sutton rappel down the 25-mile, 1,600-feet deep phenomenon.

Israel soccer team blooms in the desert.  Although soccer team Hapoel Beer Sheva was eliminated at the final stages of the Europa League, it is still top of the Israeli National League. The club is owned by Alona Barkat - the only woman to own a professional soccer team in Israel, and known as “The Princess of the Desert”.


1800-year-old Hebrew carvings in Galilee village.  (TY IFCJ) Archaeologists discovered two 1,800-year-old Hebrew inscriptions carved into a limestone column capital in the Druze Galilee village of Peki’in, It reinforces Peki’in’s link to Beka - a Talmud-era center of Jewish scholarship where Shimon bar Yochai hid from the Romans. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/225397

The 400-year-old foundation of US-Israel ties.  Ambassador Yoram Ettinger describes how the unshakable social, cultural, legal and political bonds between the US and Israel are cemented on a long history of America’s recognition of Jewish religious leaders, texts and Judeo-Christian values.

The largest-ever Aliya fair. (TY Janglo) Nefesh B’Nefesh is holding its annual Israel Aliya Mega Event on Sun 26 Feb at John Jay College in Manhattan. Some 1,500 potential Olim are expected to attend, making it the biggest Aliya event of its kind. Additional Aliyah Fairs will be held in Toronto, Montreal and Los Angeles.

In the 19th Feb 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli doctor flew to London to try save an Iraqi man’s sight.
·         Israeli “virtual world” helps children learn about co-existence.
·         Months after the Italian earthquakes, Israelis are still helping the homeless.
·         Two Israeli research satellites have been successfully launched.
·         Israel is planning the cleanup of one of the most polluted rivers in India.
·         Haifa welcomes the largest ship ever to dock in an Israeli port.
·         A new Israeli initiative to promote startups in energy conservation.
·         Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari celebrated the birth of another rare white rhino.
·         The largest group of “lost” Jews made Aliya from India.
·         The first edition of this newsletter in Hebrew.

·         Click here to see the 12th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Health and Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) available (click here) in German and (TY Jenka) for the first time (click here) in Hebrew. Please pass these links to German-speaking and Hebrew-speaking readers.


Better connections for patients needing dialysis.  Israeli medical device startup Laminate Medical Technologies has developed a blood vessel support device implanted in patients needing dialysis. It prevents blockages and repeat operations to re-insert connections to dialysis machines.  Laminate has just raised $8 million of funds.  http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-laminate-medical-technologies-raises-8m-1001176025

Israeli eye surgeon is Iraqi’s last chance.  Top Israeli surgeon Dr Ygal Rotenstreich of Sheba Medical Centre flew to the UK in a last-ditch attempt to save the sight of an Iraqi father-of-seven. The Iraqi stayed anonymous but was told in Turkey that Israel is at the cutting-edge of optical medicine. The appointment was made in London. http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/israeli-dr-iraqi-official-sight/

Volunteer EMT’s record 236 calls. Avraham Levi is a self-employed entrepreneur who works full time, has a wife and two children and volunteers as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with United Hatzalah. This past month in January, Levi broke records when he responded to 236 emergency calls in just one month.

Three promising Nazareth medical startups.  Nazareth-based Venture Capital fund NGT3 is preparing for sale three exciting medical startups featured previously in this newsletter.  Aqueduct helps fast, painless cervical cancer checks, Guide In helps safe intubation and ParaSonic’s ultrasonic comb clears head lice.

New Israeli sugar-free vegan sweetener.  (TY Liat) Israel’s Lampados International is launching Liteez - a new sweetener delivery system, shaped like a meringue. It’s egg-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and rich in prebiotic fibers. For sweetening tea and coffee or enjoyed as an ultra-low calorie sweet treat.

Repairing defects before birth. (TY Nevet) Surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital can detect and correct abnormalities in the fetus from eight weeks after conception.  Irregular heartbeats, anemia, twins sharing placentas, congenital hernias, repairing spinal cord. Israeli doctors are saving life before it has even begun.


One of the best countries for families.  I reported previously (May 2016) that ex-pats voted Israel the 4th best country to raise their kids, according to InterNations’ Family Life Index. This year, Israel rose to 3rd on the list, behind Finland and the Czech Republic.  Good childcare and education options were major factors.

Heating assistance for the elderly.  The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) has again stepped in this winter to provide some 14,000 poor elderly Israelis with home-heating assistance amid the cold winter weather. Vouchers were given to elderly in need in 100 municipalities.

Helping disabled live independently.  The Colel Chabad charity and Israel’s Ministry of Social Services and Welfare are providing 40 disabled adults aged 18 - 50 with specially adapted communal apartments. Located in Migdal HaEmek in northern Israel, they provide completely independent and private living spaces.

Innovative method to educate for peace.  (TY Elaine H) Israel’s MOFET Institute is at the forefront of teachers’ training and the development of innovative methods for teaching children. Its Technology Education and Cultural diversity (TEC) center has developed a “virtual world” to educate about co-existence.

Syrian gives birth at Israeli hospital. (TY Bennett) A 29-year-old Syrian woman recently gave birth to a healthy girl in Ziv Medical Center in Safed, and in gratitude to the State of Israel, named the baby Sarah. The woman came from a village, around which every hospital and clinic had been destroyed in the long civil war.

Building a Free Trade Zone with Jordan.  (TY Eli) I reported previously (here) on the train link from Israel to Jordan.  One of its aims is to connect to a future Free Trade Zone in a 175-acre shared industrial and business enclave on the Jordanian side of the River Jordan. Mines have been cleared and work has begun on the bridge.

Delivering winter aid to refugees.  Israel’s IsraAID and New York Jewish organization Amaliah distributed 1.5 tons of relief supplies collected in Israel to refugees suffering in snow and sub-zero temperatures on the Greek island of Lesbos. It includes warm and waterproof clothing, sleeping bags and blankets. http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-and-israeli-organizations-deliver-emergency-aid-to-refugees-on-frozen-greek-island/

Still supporting homeless Italians.  (TY Hazel) I reported previously (Aug 30) that IsraAID was the first foreign NGO to provide aid to Italian victims of the latest earthquake.  Over six months later and after another quake, IsraAID is still there, providing thermal blankets, jackets, shoes, portable heaters and other material.

French doctors learn emergency procedures. (TY Hazel) A delegation of French doctors visited Israel to learn about emergency protocols for hospitals in situations of mass casualties and terrorist attacks. They saw Tel Aviv Sourasky’s underground hospital, built to withstand nuclear, chemical, biological and missile attacks.

Indonesian Muslim leaders in Israel.  Israeli President Reuven Rivlin welcomed a delegation of Indonesian Muslim leaders to his Jerusalem residence. The delegation was visiting Israel on the initiative of the Australia / Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC). Rivlin said that his father, Yosef Yoel Rivlin, translated the Quran into Hebrew in 1936. https://unitedwithisrael.org/israeli-president-meets-muslim-leaders-from-indonesia/


Two micro satellites launched.  The Indian Space Agency has just launched two Israeli satellites into orbit. SpacePharma’s DIDO contains the world’s first “nano satellite laboratory” under the control of researchers who will conduct medical experiments. Meanwhile, Ben Gurion University’s BGUSAT will study Earth’s climate.

Israeli scientists catch early view of supernova. (TY Sandra) Scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute used rare early data of supernova SN2013fs to reconstruct material expelled in a dying star’s final year, 160 million years ago.  The study (published in Nature Physics) was even (mis)reported in the anti-Israel UK Graudian.

Judean pottery tracks Earth’s magnetic field.  The Earth’s magnetic field fluctuates over time - phenomenon that is recorded in the ceramic materials affected inside the kiln. Israeli scientific analysis of 67 well-dated Judean jar handles shows how the strength of the geomagnetic field varied from the 8th to 2nd centuries BCE.

CleanTech 2017.  The 21st “Clean Tech” International Convention and Expo takes place on Feb. 22-23 at the Fairs & Conventions Center in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of Israeli CleanTech companies will attend the event, plus government bodies, green organizations, technological greenhouses, venture funds and educational institutions.

Cleaning up another Indian river.  (TY Steve) I reported previously on Israel’s work to purify India’s rivers (Jan 2013) and wetlands (Feb 2014). Now Israeli cleantech Ayala Water and Ecology has been asked to formulate a plan to clear up a stretch of the River Yamuna near Delhi - one of the most polluted rivers in India.

Kishon River is blooming.  I wrote previously (Jan 2016) on the rehabilitation progress of Israel’s once-polluted Kishon River. Nature lovers were pleasantly surprised this winter to see the thousands of narcissus flowers in and around the river where they hadn’t bloomed in 20 years.

Chemical analysis of plants. Researchers at Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, have developed a new method of plant analysis and identified an average 15,000 organic chemicals (metabolites) in each plant. They then set up a database of metabolites, called WeizMass, and a tool MatchWeiz

Breeding better cattle.  Israel’s NRGene and US giant Monsanto have signed a non-exclusive, multi-year global licensing agreement for NRGene’s genome-analysis technology. The accord “will enhance Monsanto’s ability to predict, compare and select the best genetic makeup.

Wireless sound-effects touchpad.  Israeli startup GTC Sound Innovations has produced the RevPad, an innovative wireless sound-effects controller designed as a compact touchpad that attaches easily to any amplified instrument.  It frees guitarists from sound-effects pedals that connect via cables to their guitars.

Wi-Fi on the plane.  (TY Aviram) Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks is partnering with Air Media Group to provide an in-flight broadband service exceeding 100Mbps to air passengers in flights over mainland China.

Device to prevent jamming of GPS systems. (TY Eli) Israeli startup GPSdome is marketing a miniature “GPS anti-jammer,” a low-cost pocket-sized gadget to counteract radio frequency transmitters that deliberately block GPS communications. GPS is essential for autonomous vehicles and GPSdome is talking to car manufacturers.


The largest ship ever to dock in Israel.  Israel’s record for the largest ship ever to dock in the country has been achieved by the 13,092 TEU Maersk Elba container ship which docked at Haifa on Feb 2.  Haifa is now formally a member of an exclusive club of ports handling high-capacity 14,000 TEU mega ships.

International startup event for young professionals.  Around 350 budding entrepreneurs on the Masa Israel Journey program attended a professional development conference at Tel Aviv’s Yitzhak Rabin Center. They got an inside look at Israel’s start-up ecosystem and learned how to build networks, CVs, and personal brands.

Jerusalem gives Tel Aviv a run for its startup money.  In 2015, Time magazine picked Jerusalem as the world’s top emerging technological hub. Corporation tax had been reduced from 25% to 9%; And the Jerusalem Development Authority’s Jnext program helped setup 110 startups in Israel’s capital in 2016 alone.

Business zones booming in Judea and Samaria.  (TY Hazel) Industrial parks in the Territories are in high demand.  At Shahak, over 100 dunams have been sold to developers. At Barkan 60 companies have applied to join the existing 160. Nahal Rabah is set to open shortly, just 20 minutes from Petah Tikva.

Israeli business giants surge ahead.  Israel’s Tower Semiconductor had a record year with 2016 revenue of $1.25 billion, up 30% over 2015 and profit of $204 million after a loss in 2015. But this was dwarfed by Israel’s Teva whose revenue was $6.5 billion in just one quarter!

Mobileye and Volkswagen. Further to previous (Jan 2016) reports, Volkswagen and Mobileye now plan to implement a new navigation standard for autonomous driving starting in 2018. Future Volkswagen models will use the camera-based map and localization technology Road Experience Management™ from Mobileye.

Wizz Air from Tel Aviv to Luton and Varna.  From July 21, Wizz Air is commencing 3 flights a week between Varna Bulgaria (coolest city on the Black Sea) and Tel Aviv (coolest city on the Mediterranean). And from Jun 24, Wizz will operate four weekly flights from London Luton to Tel Aviv.

Venture Capital for energy conservation.  Israel’s Electra Consumer Products is setting up a joint project with Israel’s TechForGood to promote technology to solve social problems. The joint initiative aims to foster startups in energy conservation, the Internet of Things and air conditioning and climate control systems.

Sewage treatment for Ethiopia. Israel’s Emefcy is to build an innovative sewage plant to serve an area of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The plant will use Emefcy’s Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor to generate recycled water for irrigating the neighborhood’s landscape. It is Emefcy’s second treatment plant in Ethiopia.

Underwater defense for Indian harbor. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has developed and delivered comprehensive security and protection systems, known as the ‘Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System’ (IUHDSS for the Indian Navy. Its sensing arrays can detect threats from small boats, submersibles, divers etc. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iai-completes-integrated-underwater-harbour-defense-and-surveillance-system-for-indian-navy/2017/02/15/


Taste some of Israel’s best wines.  (TY Janglo) The Jerusalem Wine Experience (Feb 22-23) at Jerusalem’s First Station allows you to taste some of Israel’s finest boutique wines. Participating wineries include Yaffo, Ramat Negev, Metsuda, Jerusalem, Morelli, Kishor, Tanya, Netofa and Haroe. 

Rihanna has a baby.  Readers may remember (Jan 2015) when Rihanna, a rare white rhino, escaped briefly from Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari Park. She has been much more content since and recently gave birth to her first calf, Rami - the 29th baby rhino to be born at Ramat Gan.  Click here to read about three others.

Eilat’s dolphin reef.  Eilat’s dolphins are not encaged but free to come and go when they please. Israeli biologists have discovered that dolphins have their own names for each other, their own language and can even remember dolphins from the past. https://www.youtube.com/embed/_PiEN07txR0?rel=0

The Tel Aviv Marathon.  (TY Janglo) 40,000 runners are registered to compete in the Tel Aviv Marathon events on Feb 24.  In addition to the 42km run there is a half-marathon, 10km run, 5km run, 42km cycle race and a kids mini-marathon.  Set along the beautiful coast and amongst the city’s famous metropolitan sites.


Israel welcomes Latin American youth leaders. (TY Eli) KKL-JNF held its first Latin American Youth Leadership Conference in Israel. It brought together young volunteers and professionals from Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and Cuba to see the wide scope of KKL-JNF projects in Israel.

102 lost Indian Jews make Aliya.  One-hundred and two members of India’s Bnei Menashe community have arrived in Israel, marking the latest group of so-called “lost” Jews to make Aliyah.  Members of the Bnei Menashe community trace their roots from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the 8th century BC.

“He made me an Israeli - I am Israel”.  (TY Eli) Gershon Veroba’s first new solo album of original songs in nearly a decade, includes a song titled "Ani Yisrael" (I am Israel). Veroba said, “Israel is part of us. It’s ultimately where we’re from and where we live, no matter what our backgrounds have been or where our houses are."  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/223371

Flying abroad?  Take some Zionism with you.  (TY Eli) Helena Glaser, Chair of the Zionist Council, highlights the 400-foot poster display of 120 Years of Zionism at Ben Gurion Airport.  Its message is that although you might be leaving the Holy Land physically, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in Israel in spirit.

National Library buys 8000 manuscripts. (TY Eli) Israel’s National Library has purchased 8,000 or so texts at Sotheby’s from the Valmadonna Trust collection. They include a 1491 Lisbon Bible; a 1556 Prague Passover Haggadah and the 16th Century Plantin Polyglot “King’s Bible” in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Aramaic and Syriac.

Inspiration for Australian Aborigines.  Nyunggai Warren Mundine is a leader of the Australian Aborigines. He has just returned from his fifth visit to Israel in the last ten years. He says, “I’ve found inspiration in peoples who’ve rebuilt themselves to thrive in modern society.” He describes the history of the Jewish State very well.

Found in Jerusalem - source of Tekhelet blue dye.  The latest discovery from the Temple Mount Sifting Project are shells from the sea-snail Murex trunculus used by Jews in Biblical times to make the blue dye Tekhelet. The dye was used to color the fringes worn on prayer shawls and 4-cornered garments, until the technique was lost. https://templemount.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/arent-you-dying-to-know/

Israeli weather forecast – Rain, cold with chance of rainbows. Israelis look forward to winter rains.  They provide precious water but are also often accompanied by a heavenly visual promise of no more global flood!


In the 12th Feb 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         A new Israeli cancer treatment restores natural cell death in tumors.
·         An Israeli exoskeleton helps a paralyzed UK policewoman to walk.
·         Israel’s United Hatzalah honors its Arab-Israeli paramedics.
·         Israel’s molecular scanner is now available in a smartphone.
·         The north of Israel is to get a NIS 15 billion economic boost.
·         An innovative Israeli startup is selling cake mixes to the Chinese.
·         Tu Bishvat – the New Year for Israeli trees.

·         Click here to see the 5th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Inclusiveness and Economy. Also (TY Sandra) available in German. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking readers.


New treatment to fight cancer.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Sep 2013) that Dr. Sarit Larisch of Haifa University discovered ARTS - a protein missing in tumors that regulates apoptosis (cell death). Israeli biotech ARTSaVIT is developing a treatment based on this research and has just received $6.3 million of funds.

Diagnosing early cancer from blood tests.  I reported on Israel’s Medial EarlySign previously (May 2015) when it was MedialCS and trialing its colon cancer early-warning algorithm (now called Colon Flag) with Israel’s Maccabi Health company. EarlySign is now designing and validating models for upper GI cancer, lung cancer, and epilepsy. https://www.youtube.com/embed/8LejHavZ7v8?rel-0

Positive results in trials of Alzheimer’s treatment.  (TY Atid-EDI) In latest trials, the NeuroAD cranial device from Israel’s Neuronix (see here) slowed the progression of the disease in 85% of patients suffering mild Alzheimer’s.  The treatment is now being used commercially in the UK (London, Berkshire, Chester and Manchester). http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/neuronix-reports-positive-results-from-its-multi-center-alzheimers-study-at-the-clinical-trials-in-alzheimers-disease-ctad-conference-609622515.html

Clues to defeating resistant bacteria.  Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered some surprising characteristics of bacteria.  When phage-resistant bacteria are in close contact with phage-sensitive bacteria, the resistant bacteria lose their resistance. The discovery could help research into antibiotic resistance.

Record number of organ transplants.  (TY Atid-EDI) A record 504 Israelis were saved thanks to organ transplants in 2016, up from 433 in 2015. The number of live kidney transplants (222) was also a record and included 129 donations from friends or strangers.  887,317 Israelis have now signed organ donor cards.

One Weekend in the Life of an Israeli EMS Paramedic. (TY Steve and United Hatzalah) Dov Maisel had six emergency calls during the 24 hours from Friday afternoon right through Shabbat.  Five people were saved.

Lung inflation device is aired on TV.  I reported last week about Israel’s Guide In Medical (GIM) and its innovative tube for inflating collapsed lungs.  GIM’s CEO Ariel Shrem has just spoken about the device on ILTV daily. https://www.youtube.com/embed/yOb8CmAORMY?rel=0

A fighting chance. I reported previously (Feb 2016) on Israel’s Intensix and its early-warning analysis of deteriorating Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients.  Intensix has won or come close to winning 3 recent startup competitions.  It has also just received $8.3 million of financing.  https://www.intensix.com/news

Paralyzed UK policewoman walks again. Former British police officer Nicki Donnelly, who was paralyzed in 2009, can now walk again. She received a ReWalk exoskeleton from the Gerald Ronson Family Foundation and the UK Jewish Community Security Trust (CST).  Nicki now wants to visit ReWalk’s Israeli inventor Amit Goffer. http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/robocop-re-walk/


Tech solutions help at-risk Israelis.  American humanitarian assistance organization Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Israel (JDC-Israel) teamed up with Microsoft and HP for a first JDC Social Impact Hackathon. It resulted in 21 practical solutions to help vulnerable Israelis, e.g. the elderly and people with disabilities.

Inventing for the disabled.  Another group of 160 innovators came together for a TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) 72-hour session at Israel’s Technion. They developed solutions for the disabled including an umbrella for wheelchairs, a coffee-making conveyer belt for people with tremor and a special portable toilet seat.

BBC interviews Israeli blind golfer.  I’ve reported on Israel’s world champion blind golfer Zohar Sharon previously several times (click here).  But I was very surprised to hear him being interviewed on the BBC World Service’s Outlook program. Listen after 26 minutes. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04r7hgp#play

Emergency at evening to honor Arab EMS responders. United Hatzalah held a special dinner to honor its Jerusalem-based Arab Emergency Medical Service (EMS) volunteers. Its newest doctor, Dr. Murad Issam Odeh had to immediately treat a fellow responder who unknowingly ate some fish and suffered a severe allergic reaction.  https://israelrescue.org/blog/arab-doctor-in-israel-saves-fellow-ems-responder-on-his-first-day/

Real situation of Arab citizens of Israel.  This article contains some interesting statistics.  Between 2005 and 2011, inflation-adjusted Arab net family income increased by 7.4%. Arabs “very satisfied” with their economic conditions rose from 40% in 2005 to 60% in 2011. 4000 work in hi-tech – up from 400 in 2009.

Turkey’s Tourism Minister visits.  Israel’s Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin met with his Turkish counterpart, Nabi Avci, at the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) conference in Tel Aviv.  Avci is the first Turkish government minister to visit Israel since the two countries normalized their relations.

Israeli PM meets UK PM.  (TY Hazel) In their recent London meeting, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the steps to prepare the ground for a post-Brexit trade agreement. They also committed to deepen co-operation on intelligence-sharing and cyber-security to keep their people safe. Mrs May also invited Mr Netanyahu to London in November to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

Pro-Zionist Muslim is Pakistan media editor.  Noor Dahri has been appointed as an editor of Pakistan’s US-based Rabwah Times - the first Salafi and Muslim Zionist to be an editor of the newspaper. He says he will use his position to continue his peaceful mission to promote better understanding between Israel and Pakistan.

Shhh! Saudis use Israeli Internet security services. (TY BIG) Israel’s Shmuel Bar writes how his IntuView system is used by the Saudi Arabian government, to identify security threats on social media and the dark web.

Israeli awards for global success. Israel’s annual Wolf Foundation prize encourages achievers from outside of Israel in the sciences and arts.  This year “Israeli Nobel Prizes” were awarded to eight individuals from the US, UK and Switzerland. They include for anti-tumor immunotherapy and for the discovery of an exoplanet.


Tel Aviv joins global driverless car program. (TY NoCamels) Tel Aviv is one of 10 cities in the prestigious “Global Initiative on Autonomous Vehicles.”. It joins London, Paris, Helsinki, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and four US cities, each aiming to incorporate driverless cars into its public transit system.

Molecular sensing smartphone. Remember (see here) the SCIO scanner from Israel’s Consumer Physics Inc?  Now SCIO’s technology has been built into the Changhong H2 to produce the world's first molecular sensing smartphone. It was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The most innovative startup at CyberTech.  I wrote recently (Dec 11) about Israeli cybersecurity startup Aperio and its ability to detect attacks against critical infrastructure.  Aperio was selected as the most innovative startup in the Cybertech 2017 Startup Competition, winning a trip to the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

Keep head lice treatment under your hat.  Using technology from Israel’s Weizmann Institute, Israel’s TechCare has produced a cap that treats head lice. It is worn on the head and releases a natural material in gas form that kills lice and their eggs. The hat is designed for multiple use, as is the capsule containing the material.

The first study of insect migration.  An Israeli-led study over 15 years reveals that 3.5 trillion insects, weighing a total of around 3,200 tons, migrate hundreds of kilometers every year.  This is one of the first comprehensive studies that examines the phenomenon of insect migration.

More effective crop breeding.  I reported previously (Nov 2015) about Agrochemical giant Syngenta using Israel’s NRGene to map the genomes of crops and develop hardier, higher yield varieties of seed. Syngenta has now signed a deal to use NRGene’s GenoMagic software to save time in its crop breeding program.

Protecting pedestrians from cars.  (TY Atid-EDI) Vehicles equipped with the V2X chipset from Israel’s Autotalks (see Sep 2013) will soon “talk to” the OMEN system from China’s RoyalTek. OMEN alerts pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and people with disabilities when vehicles get dangerously close.

Voice-controlled cars.  I reported previously (Jan 2016) on the joint project between Israel’s VocalZoom and Honda to help its goal to build intelligent cars.  A year later and the voice-control technology was on display at CES Las Vegas. http://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-vocalzoom-honda-show-voice-control-tech-at-ces/

How we remember directions.  Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered how bats (and possibly humans) navigate.  A network of cells encodes the direction of one’s destination. The findings may help explain how memory loss and “getting lost” tend to go together in Alzheimer’s patients.

Making security managers happy.  The biggest problems for managers in charge of responding to computer security incidents are lack of both time and skilled resources. So, Israel’s Demisto provides an automated platform to handle the whole incident response lifecycle.  Demisto has just raised $20 million of funding.

Measure with your smartphone.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Dec 2015) on MysizeID which measures your body for clothes with the sensors of your smartphone. Now MysizeID has been upgraded so that it can measure almost anything.  Helps with packaging, choosing furnishings, kitchen equipment etc.


Israel’s credit is good in Europe.  Israel’s sale of its largest-ever euro-denominated bonds was more than four times oversubscribed.  The Israeli government sold 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in 10-year debt and 750 million euros in 20-year bonds. Investors, however, were prepared to buy 9.8 billion euros of bonds.

Budget deficit is well below forecast.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s budget deficit was only 2.1% of GDP at the end of 2016 compared to a target of 2.9%.  The reason was a NIS 9 billion under-estimate of state revenues. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-budget-deficit-down-to-215-in-2016-1001170940

NIS 15 billion for developing the north.  (TY Atid-EDI) The Israeli government has put forth a NIS 15 billion plan to revamp northern Israel. It includes upgrading schools, improving health care, grants to businesses, road schemes, expanding Haifa’s bus system and a light rail between Haifa and Nazareth.

Multinationals invest in ex-IDF cybersecurity fund.  Microsoft and Qualcomm join the international investor partners of Israel’s Team8 – the venture fund formed by ex-IDF cybersecurity experts.  In addition, Citibank is becoming a non-investing partner. Existing partners include Cisco, AT&T, Accenture, Nokia and Mitsui.

Checkmarx to list on NASDAQ.  I reported previously (here) about Israeli security code checker Checkmarx and its massive revenue growth.  Now Checkmarx is preparing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the US NASDAQ.  It has grown to 300 employees from 180 a year ago, and plans to recruit another 100.

Israel’s Stratoscale buys US company. Israeli cloud infrastructure company Stratoscale has acquired Tesora, a database-as-a-service (DBaaS) provider, based in Massachusetts, USA.  Tesora’s database will help Statoscale customers move onto cloud-based systems.

Its savory and sweet in South Africa.  Israel’s Frutarom has made another acquisition in South Africa, buying Pretoria-based Unique Flavors for $6.7 million.  Unique’s African customers include in Ghana, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Unique’s operations will be merged with Frutarom’s existing Pretoria site.

Cakes for Chinese home-baking.  (TY Nevet) Having discovered that few Chinese own an oven, Israel’s Ronen Mechanik launched Uga Uga (Uga = Hebrew for “cake”).  Chinese users order cake-baking kits for use in their rice cookers. 4,000 kits have already been sold since the website’s launch - just through word of mouth.

Yet more flights from Tel Aviv.  Israel’s Arkia Airlines is commencing regular flights to London Stanstead, Milan, Salonika and Sardinia. It has already begun flying to Belgrade. Air France is going to Tel Aviv from Nice and Bilbao and China’s Hainan Airlines is offering Beijing flights for $500. And (TY Atid-EDI) Air Transat is to fly direct twice weekly from Montreal between June and October with connections from Toronto.


UNESCO sites on new Israeli stamps.  (TY Jacob Richman) Israeli stamps issued during February feature the ancient Jewish sites of Bet She’arim Necropolis and Bet-Guvrin Caves – both UNESCO World Heritage sites.  Other stamps feature Etsel, Krav Maga, 120 years of the Zionist Organization of America and Aromatic plants. 

Shlomo Katz benefit concert.  (TY Sharon) Contemporary religious Jewish singer and guitarist Shlomo Katz is performing in a benefit concert in Jerusalem on Feb 23. The aim is to raise funds for building a Bayit Lehayalot - a Jerusalem home for female Lone Soldiers. 

Anti-BDS film in two film festivals.  (TY Laurie) The anti-BDS documentary “Boycott This” from Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), starring Brad Stine. has been selected for two film festivals.  The Chandler International in Toronto and the Hollywood Boulevard. The film has won a 2016 Telly Award and a Gold Award from The Spotlight Documentary Film Awards.  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/boycott-this-anti-bds-documentary-makes-it-to-shorts-festivals-video/2017/01/13/

Tel Aviv festival for dogs.  (TY Nevet) Tel Avivians love their dogs (Kelav in Hebrew) so much that they put on Kelaviv - the ultimate party for dogs and their owners. They served sushi and cakes for canines, provided dog-massages, therapists, stylists and much more.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/EYGwuKE8GjI?rel=0

Israel in a day.  In one day, actress and writer Renny Grinshpan and Jerusalem U director Chloé Valdary make shakshuka, learn self-defense, attend a peace pre-school, taste wine in the Gush, visit a petting zoo, ride a very long zip line, go surfing, attend yeshiva, breakdance, watch basketball, hit the bar and enjoy a live band.

$6 million donation for American Football stadium.  On the heels of his franchise’s latest Super Bowl title, New England Patriots owner and five-time National Football League (NFL) champion Robert Kraft has announced that he will donate $6 million to a new regulation-sized American football stadium near Jerusalem.


The first all-Haredi paratrooper company.  The first-ever all-Haredi paratrooper company of 40 soldiers was sworn in at an IDF ceremony at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem. Rabbis associated with the Nahal Haredi Foundation, which provides support to Haredi soldiers, praised the new paratroopers as trailblazers.

Tu Bishvat – New Year for Trees.  (TY Hazel) Our friend DJ Antithesis broadcast an Israeli Tu Bishvat Music Special on Israeli radio station TLV1.

Plant trees for Tu Bishvat.  Click on the United with Israel link to support Tu Bishvat tree-planting activities in Israel. https://unitedwithisrael.org/plant-fruit-trees-in-israel-for-the-new-year-for-trees/?a=eh_0208

Torah is alive in Jerusalem.  (TY Janglo) This new video from the Pardes Institute connects an incident in the Talmud with the sights and sounds of modern day Jerusalem.  Should Torah be taught in the market place?  https://www.youtube.com/embed/RVHDtUPhrEI?rel=0

Recognition for women on Jerusalem streets.  (TY Janglo) Two Israeli activists got Jerusalem’s Municipality to properly recognize the women identified in the street signs for Beruryah Street and Ruth Street. Beruryah’s now says (in Hebrew) that she was Righteous and amazing in Torah. Before, she was just Rabbi Meir’s wife.


In the 5th Feb 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli biotech has developed a patch to help repair damaged brain tissue.
·         Israel’s Parliament held its first meeting to discuss common Jewish-Moslem links.
·         The UK’s close relationship with Israeli intelligence is saving British lives.
·         Israel’s cybersecurity experts presented to 10,000 visitors at CyberTech 2017.
·         The EU is funding an Israel-led project to produce long-life packaging.
·         3 Israeli records: low unemployment, high reserves and most electricity from gas.
·         A Picasso sketch of ex-Jerusalem mayor Kollek was discovered by his children.
·         Remains of a 2000-year-old Judean vineyard found on the site of a modern vineyard.

·         Click here to see the 29th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Health, Business and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) available in German. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking readers.


US approves two Teva asthma treatments.  The US FDA has approved two treatments developed by Israel’s Teva, for adolescents and adults with asthma. They are AirDuo RespiClick (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) and ArmonAir RespiClick (fluticasone propionate inhalation powder).

Combatting fatty liver disease.  (TY Atid-EDI) In advance of Phase 2 trials, preclinical data showed the potential efficacy of Namodenoson (CF102) from Israel’s Can-Fite (see Jan 2012).  It inhibited the growth and proliferation of liver fibrosis cells, supporting its potential ability to combat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Europe approves focused ultrasound treatment for prostate cancer.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (several times) on the focused ultrasound treatment from Israel’s Insightec to cure shaking and remove uterine fibroids.  Now Insightec has been given the CE mark to use focused ultrasound to treat prostate cancer.

Patching up the brain after surgery.  Israeli biotech Nurami Medical is developing the ArtiFascia, a biodegradable nanofiber patch that protects brain tissue and spinal cord damaged during neurosurgery. Nurami, founded by Jewish and Arab graduates, has just secured NIS 2.5 million ($650,000) of funds.

Diagnosing sleep apnea by smartphone.  Ben-Gurion University researchers have developed a system to assess obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity by analyzing the patient’s speech using his or her smartphone.  It also records and evaluates overnight breathing sounds and has been tested successfully on 350 subjects.

A shining example.  Former Lieutenant Colonel Yossie Cohen made many life and death decisions in the IDF. But he never thought that filling in a form at the Ezer Mizion Bone Marrow Registration Station was one of them.  Ten years later he received a phone call.  He donated some cells and gave another man the gift of life.

Universal flu vaccine - latest news.  Knowing many sufferers of the current flu bout, it is timely to report positive preliminary results in the Phase 2b trials of the Universal Flu vaccine from Israel’s BiondVax.  And thanks to a $2.8 million investment (see Jan 15), BiondVax is to “proceed confidently into Phase 3 as planned.”


Everyone can visit Israel.  (TY Sharon) Yad Sarah – Israel’s largest voluntary organization – has launched a new initiative to enable disabled individuals and their families to visit Israel. They arrange airport pick up in special vans and transport to hotels or specially prepared apartments. Tour guides and tours are also available.

Women feature on new bills.  The design of new Israeli currency notes features two famous Israeli women.  The poet Rachel is on the new NIS 20 bill. Poet, author and playwright Leah Goldberg is on the NIS 100 bill. 

Mass-emergency drill for women.  (TY Steve and United Hatzalah) 89 women simulated the first ever all-female mass casualty incident of its kind in Israel. The women (many ultra-Orthodox) replicated a terror attack on a Jerusalem girls’ high-school, under the guidance of trainers, paramedics and doctors from United Hatzalah.

Jewish-Muslim Caucus. (TY Hazel) The Israeli Knesset has inaugurated the Jewish-Muslim Ties Caucus, alongside religious leaders from both faiths.  The initiative, led by MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Union) and MK Yehudah Glick (Likud) started with a session about the value of life in Judaism and Islam.

The Christian Empowerment Council.  I have reported previously (4 times) about Father Gabriel Naddaf and his work to promote Israel and integrate Christian citizens.  He heads the Christian Empowerment Council and their annual conference was attended by IDF and police officers, Jewish and Arab municipality heads and Muslim and Druze sheikhs. http://cecisrael.og-en.co.il/en/home-5/

More ultra-Orthodox at university.  Between 2008 and 2014 the number of Haredim newly enrolled in academic learning institutions increased from 1,122 to 3,227.

Israel is the most popular embassy in China.  (TY Bennett) Many foreign embassies in China have an Internet presence on Sina Weibo – China’s most popular social media platform.  And the most popular embassy - with over 1.9 million followers - is Israel! Next are Canada and the US with just over 1 million followers.

Israel welcomes foreign entrepreneurs.  Israel has launched an “Innovation Visas” program to allow foreign entrepreneurs to reside in Israel. They will be able to stay in Israel for 2-5 years while receiving support from the Authority’s Tnufa program, which exists specifically to help inventors with good ideas.

25 years of diplomatic ties with China and India.  Israel just marked 25 years of diplomatic relations with China and India. India’s ambassador to Israel announced the 2017 visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And trade with China (currently $11 billion p.a.) is expected to grow significantly once negotiations conclude on a new free trade zone.  http://www.thetower.org/4510oc-israel-marks-25-years-of-diplomatic-relations-with-china-india-amid-strengthening-ties/

UK’s partnership with Israeli Intelligence.  (TY Hazel) The Director General of British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) praised the “strong partnership with our Israeli counterparts in signals intelligence”. He said the relationship “is protecting people from terrorism... not only in the UK and Israel but in many other countries.” https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/revealed-gchq-s-israel-uk-partnership-1.431416

Designing Canadian stamps.  Israeli-born graphic designer Avi Dunkelman has a key role in Canada Post’s five-year stamp program honoring Canada’s towering hockey stars. The Canadian post office has issued a new collection of hockey stamps each year, all based on Avi’s designs.


10,000 visitors to Cybertech 2017.  Tel Aviv’s Cybertech is the second largest conference and exhibition of cyber technologies in the world. Over 10,000 visitors heard from the experts in many of Israel’s 450 cyber companies - 65 more than a year ago.  Israel’s PM also announced a new National Center for Cyber Education.

Driverless in Las Vegas.  At CES 2017, Israel’s Mobileye and its UK partner Delphi demonstrated their latest autonomous technology with a 6.3-mile driverless journey through the streets of Las Vegas. The car self-drove smoothly, handling “with aplomb impolite drivers cutting in … like a good driver was behind the wheel.”

Stopping a thief from using your smartphone.  Researchers at Ben Gurion University have developed a method of distinguishing between the genuine owner of a smartphone and a thief, by how the user presses the touch screen. It takes just 35 touches to reveal an imposter – long before he/she can steal valuable information.

Images from space.  Ben-Gurion University and Israel’s ImageSat International (owner and operator of the EROS satellites) are developing a high resolution hyperspectral imaging system. The cameras have been miniaturized and require only 10% of the data previously needed to produce high-resolution images.

Radiation protection suit is heading for the Moon.  I reported previously (Aug 2015) on the cosmic ray protection suit developed by Israel’s StemRad.  The suit will be tested in 2018 on the next trial flight to the Moon of NASA's Orion satellite. If successful, the suit will be used on the first manned flight to Mars in 2021.

A virtual “security camera” for your business.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli cyber security company Intezer has developed a virtual "security camera" for a company’s computer processing. It maps all the active programs, down to each code fragment and highlights any unrecognized software. Intezer has just raised $2 million in funds.  http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-cyber-security-co-intezer-raises-2m-1001167029

Protection from email overload.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Knowmail is building “personalized Artificial Intelligence” to help employees manage email and other messages better. It studies your email habits, time management and personal preferences and automatically prioritizes your emails. Knowmail has just raised $3.5 million in funds.  https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/14/knowmail/

Customize your app in minutes.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Insert is the first automated in-app marketing platform. It puts "inserts" (videos, banners, messages, surveys etc.)  into any live app in minutes, with no coding. Insert is partnering with Mobiquity of the US, a digital engagement provider to Fortune 500 companies.

Nano-packaging to prolong shelf life.  The European Union has invested 7.7 million Euros in the NanoPack project, led by Israel’s Technion, to develop nanotech food packages for perishable foods. Polymers based on Halloysite Nanotubes (HNTs) release antimicrobial and anti-fungal oils to inhibit microbes and increase shelf life.  http://nocamels.com/2017/01/nanopack-antimicrobial-nanotech-food-packaging/

Israeli tech fuels Uruguay security center.  I reported previously (July 31) that Israel’s Elbit Systems (and Noa) were working on the Safe District project for the Maldonado District of Uruguay.  The $20 million security center has just opened in the presence of the Israeli ambassador to Uruguay and the Israeli companies.

Inside the Aquarius engine.  (TY Avi) This video dovetails with the article by CNN (see Nov 27) about the innovative new piston engine from Israel’s Aquarius.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZZZLPraJVd0?rel=0

The future is here.  Ben Gurion University looks forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020 with this entertaining and inspiring video, depicting’s BGU’s vision of medicine and science in 2050.


Unemployment at new record low.  Israel's unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in December, from the previous record low of 4.5% in November.  Most of the increase was in full-time jobs.  More women joined the labor force.  The average salary rose by more than 2.5% over the past year.

Over $100 billion in currency reserves. Ahead of the official announcement, foreign exchange analysts have calculated that the Bank of Israel's foreign currency reserves have exceeded $100 billion for the first time ever. Last month’s value was $98.361 billion and the BOI added at least $2.75 billion in January.

Record electricity production from natural gas.  69% of all electricity produced in Israel now comes from natural gas - a new Israeli record. The Israel Electric Corporation reported electricity production at 11,936 megawatts, of which 8,258 MW was produced by gas-driven turbines. The rest is from coal and other sources.

Air fares fall 15% thanks to Open Skies.  Air fares from Israel to Western Europe have fallen 18% in the five years since Israel signed the Open Skies airline competition agreement with the EU.  Fares to North America have also dropped – by 14%.  110 foreign airlines now fly to Israel, and passenger traffic has increased by 40%.

More foreign tourists stay in Israel.  (TY Atid-EDI) Some 970,000 tourists stayed at least one night in Israel in Nov 2016, an increase of 38% compared to Nov 2015 and 23% higher than Nov 2014. The revenue generated from foreign tourists in Nov 2016 was more than 1.5 billion shekels ($390 million).

Up to 100 startups on show.  More details of the world’s largest equity crowdfunding conference taking place in Jerusalem on Feb 16.  5000 delegates from 80 countries including 200 multinationals. Most of OurCrowd’s portfolio of 110 startups will participate. They include Consumer Physics, MedAware, VocalZoom, Freightos and Zebra Medical.  http://blog.ourcrowd.com/summit5k/   Search for info on them at www.IsraelActive.com

Facebook community for Israeli startups.  Israel’s Startup Stadium is a non-profit venture that maintains a Facebook page with almost 40,000 friends and a variety of other activities. It provides a network of connections between entrepreneurs, investors, and representatives of international corporations.

From university idea, to startup success.  I reported previously (Aug 2013) about the GuideIN Tube designed by students at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center to help inflate collapsed lungs.  Guide In Medical is now a startup company and has just raised two million shekels ($529,000) for further development of the device.

Israel’s first student-run venture fund.  Fresh.fund is Israel’s new student-run venture fund.  Its aim is to invest in early-stage companies and ventures run by students and others.  ​The new fund has raised $1 million from an angel investor in Jerusalem and intends to invest $20,000 to $50,000 per venture.

Cimagine exits for $30-$40 million.  (TY Eli M) I reported previously (5 times) on Israeli augmented reality startup Cimagine Media. Now Image messaging app Snapchat is buying Cimagine for an estimated $30-$40 million, marking Snapchat's first acquisition in Israel. Cimagine will become Snapchat's R&D center in Israel.

$250 million for Israeli plastics company.  US Celanese Corporation has acquired the nylon compounding product portfolio of Israel’s Nilit Plastics for an estimated $250 million. Nilit, however, will retain ownership of its worldwide nylon fibers and polymerization businesses, including facilities in Israel, US, China, and Brazil.

Online cash advances.  Israeli fintech startup Behalf has provided millions of dollars of short-term loans to US companies to pay their suppliers.  Borrowers apply on the Behalf website, which uses databases and algorithms to decide if the borrower is a good risk. Behalf pays the supplier, and collects from the borrower on pay day.


Rescued Picasso sketch of ex-Jerusalem mayor.  The children of ex-mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek found a picture of their father doodled by the artist Pablo Picasso in a catalog to a 1965 Israel Museum exhibit of Picasso’s art.  The catalog was nearly thrown away, but has now been donated to the Jerusalem Foundation.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/picasso-sketch-of-ex-jerusalem-mayor-narrowly-avoids-trash/

Things to do in Israel in February.  Israeli events in February include Eilat Chamber Music festival, Bonnie Tyler, Crazy Horse Paris Show, Red Sea Jazz festival and the Tel Aviv Marathon. Later, on April 6, Jean Michel Jarre is to perform a concert at Masada.

Levi Eshkol House to open in Jerusalem.  (TY Sharon) Levi Eshkol was Israel’s fourth Prime Minister, from 1964-1969. His former official Jerusalem residence at 46 Ben Maimon Street has been renovated and should be fully open to the public shortly.  From these humble surroundings, the Six Day War was commanded.

Tears For Fears.  One of the most iconic bands of the 80s, Tears for Fears, has lined up a July 5th concert in Tel Aviv’s Menora Arena (the old Nokia Arena).  The video is of their hit. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”! https://www.youtube.com/embed/aGCdLKXNF3w?rel=0

Birdwatching in the Hula Valley.  (TY Nevet) The Hula Valley in northern Israel is where ornithologists and “twitters” watch hundreds of bird species rest during their winter migration. Scientists estimate that some 42,500 Gray cranes stayed this winter in the Agamon Hula Lake. To protect crops they are fed with corn.

Beersheba qualifies for European soccer finals.  (TY Nevet) Israeli soccer team Hapoel Beersheba drew 1-1 with UK’s Southampton FC to win a place in UEFA’s Europa League knockout competition stages.  Beersheba finished second in the group stage with two wins and two draws - enough to clinch a spot in the next round.


Discovering a vineyard for the Temple wine.  (TY Nevet) Whilst Yaakov Berg was planting his vines in Psagot, Judea, he discovered a cave containing a 2000-year-old wine press.  Their “new” vineyard was exactly on the site where wine for the ancient Temple in Jerusalem had been made.

2000-year-old street is dedicated.  (TY Algemeiner) Jerusalem has re-dedicated “Pilgrim’s Way” a 2000-year-old street currently being excavated in the City of David. During 2nd Temple times, pilgrims would immerse in the Siloam Pool and then walk up Pilgrims’ Way to enter the Temple.  http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2016/12/27/at-jerusalem-dedication-of-ancient-street-israel-strikes-defiant-tone-on-un-measure

Report the good news too!  (TY Walter’s World) Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin told delegates at the recent international Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem to report not just the bad that happens in Israel, but the good as well. “I urge you all: be sure you give a voice to those working for a better future.” 

Israel’s biblical dog.  New article about the Canaan dog - Israel’s national dog breed. It has been around for at least 2,500 years as evidenced by first-century rock carvings in Sinai. And in 1987, the largest dog cemetery in the ancient world, with 700 Canaan dog skeletons, was unearthed in Ashkelon. 

An indigenous people returns home.  A short, yet powerful video, “If you will it, it is no Dream” - produced by Israel-advocacy organization StandWithUs. It shows that Israel has, and will always be, the home of the indigenous population – the Jewish people.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/cuiKSH-jUYY?rel=0

VeryGoodNewsIsrael goes to Rehovot.  Thanks to Marlene for arranging my presentation to the T.E.A.M. (Together English-speakers Achieve More) group in Rehovot.  I am now available to talk about my newsletter to groups elsewhere in Israel.  Meanwhile, please read about our discovery of family history in Rehovot.


In the 29th Jan 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli surgeons saved an Arab baby born with her organs on the outside.
·         UK Prime Minister says Israel is a beacon of tolerance.
·         Israel is giving a home to 100 Syrian orphans.
·         An Israeli team is one of only five finalists to attempt a moon landing.
·         Renault-Nissan is opening an Israeli R&D center.
·         3 airlines are adding new scheduled routes to Israel.
·         An Israeli won the world youth windsurfing championships.

·         Click here to see the 22nd Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Inclusiveness, Technology and Culture. Also (TY Sandra) available in German. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking readers.


Israeli doctors save Arab baby with a serious birth defect.  Ibtihaj from Arab village of Kfar Kassam was born with her intestines outside her abdomen.  After birth, surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital put her organs back in place. They closed the wound with the Israeli TopClosure Tension Relief System (see here).

50 patients cured of essential tremor.  (TY Karen) Haifa’s Rambam medical center has now used the non-invasive focused ultrasound brain treatment to cure 50 patients of essential tremor.  This video features Haya Mandelbaum – a baker, who celebrated “getting her life back” by making Hanukkah donuts for hospital staff.

Golf event saved 16 lives.  I reported previously (Jun 19) on the “Hole in One” golf event that Israeli charity Ezer Mizion uses to raise money for its bone marrow registry. Funds pay for specific genetic tests and the subsequent bone marrow donations are monitored. In 2016, 16 people were saved thanks to these donations.

Israeli tech cuts down prescription errors.  (TY Nocamels.com) I reported previously (see here) about Israeli tech that prevents medical errors. Here now is an article about Israel’s Medaware that alerts doctors about mistakes when writing out prescriptions.  A Harvard Medical School study proves Medaware saves lives.

US approves media for growing stem cells.  (TY Atid-EDI) The US FDA has approved the application from Israel’s Biological Industries for its NutriStem hPSC XF Medium to grow stem cells.  The kibbutz-based company has over 30 years’ experience in cell culture media development and manufacturing.

US approves suturing system.  (TY Atid-EDI) I wrote previously (Oct 10) that Israel’s Gordian Surgical had received CE (European) certification for its innovative TroClose1200 system for closing wounds after keyhole surgery.  The system has now received US FDA approval and Gordian has received a $2.25 million investment.

Advanced gene editing.  Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have combined two powerful research tools to advance the search for genetic breakthroughs.  First, they use CRISPR gene editing to make changes to DNA molecules. Then they use single-cell genomic profiling to confirm the outcome of changes.

Detecting disease in “healthy” people.  (TY Karen) Recent video by Israeli-Arab Professor Hossam Haick of Israel’s Technion who invented the Na-Nose breath test to detect diseases such as cancer.

Predictive analytics health research institute set up.  Israel’s Maccabi Health Services has set up a $6 million digital health research institute. It has already developed technology for predicting colon cancer among Maccabi patients who never considered going for a scan for this purpose.  And it is not stopping there.

Migraine treatment for South Korea.  (TY Meron) Israel’s Redhill Biopharma and its Canadian co-development partner, IntelGenx have signed a definitive agreement with Korea’s Pharmatronic, granting an exclusive license (initially for 10 years) to market the acute migraine treatment RIZAPORT® in South Korea.


UK PM hails remarkable, tolerant Israel.   In a speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May called the State of Israel “a remarkable country” and “a beacon of tolerance”. She said UK ties with Israel were “crucial,” and promised to raise the bilateral trade relationship to new heights.

 “Linked to Life” again.  I reported previously (twice) on the What’s App group “Linked to Life” run by Israeli charity Ezer Mizion.  Here are some more examples of the life-enhancing activities of its thousands of volunteers, taking parents by car to see their sick children in hospital.

The truth about Arabs.  Mohammad Darawshe, director at The Center for a Shared Society at Givat Haviva presents some “astounding” statistics.  23% of Israeli doctors are Arabs; 46% of Israeli pharmacists are Arabs; 28% of Technion hi-tech students are Arabs and 16% of the students in all of Israeli higher education are Arabs.

Israelis raise more money for Syrians.  (TY Suri) Religious Jews do not remain silent when they see what is happening to Syrian civilians.  Beit Hillel – a small, Modern-Orthodox spiritual leadership movement with 200 Rabbis – has just raised $10,000 for the Syrian refugee children.

Israel takes in 100 Syrian orphans.  Israel is to absorb 100 orphans from Syria.  The children will receive temporary resident status, be placed in boarding schools and with Arab foster families, and later, should their families seek a unification, both they and their family members would be absorbed in Israel. And 1000 Israelis formed a human chain from the Russian embassy to the US embassy to demonstrate support of Syria's civilians,

Cooperation deal with Croatia.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Croatia’s Andrej Plenkovic, who was on his first visit to Israel as Prime Minister. They signed a cooperation agreement on disaster prevention and emergency response.  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-croatian-leaders-sign-cooperation-deal-in-jerusalem/2017/01/24/

Massachusetts police learn counter-terrorism.  I reported previously (Sep 2015) on the 13th trip that the Anti-Defamation League arranged for US police to train in Israel.  Their 2016 trip included police, FBI and Homeland Security agents from Massachusetts. Many had memories of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing.

Co-operation with Latin American Universities.  Some 20 rectors from leading Latin American universities signed agreements with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in a first-of-its-kind conference signaling growing academic cooperation. They also met with President Reuven Rivlin at his Jerusalem residence.

Working together for a greener world.  The Arava Valley Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev brings together Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, Palestinian Arabs and Jordanians to study the region’s environmental problems. Their solutions also work in similar conditions worldwide.


Going to the Moon.  (TY NoCamels.com) Israel’s SpaceIL is one of only five teams (out of 33 starters) to reach the final of the Google Lunar XPrize competition, which will award $20 million to the first private team to land a vehicle safely on the surface of the Moon.  The five teams all now have verified launch contracts.  The announcement also coincides with Israel Space Week.

Burundi solar field breaks ground.  I reported previously (Apr 2015) on the plan by Israel’s Gigawatt Global to build a 7.5 MW solar field in Burundi, East Africa. The $14 million project has now broken ground with a ceremony attended by about 2,500 government officials, investors, religious leaders and diplomats.

A system that can evaluate the truth.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Rootclaim has launched a crowdsourced analysis platform that navigates a sea of evidence and half-truths to arrive at the most likely hypothesis.  What happened to flight MH370?  Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?  Find the (likely) answer on this site.

Award-winning smart water meter sensor.  Israel’s BwareIT has developed BrighTap, a smart water meter sensor that monitors water quality and consumption. BrighTap beat 1,000 startups from 101 countries to win the 2016 Startup Open competition, run by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).  It was also one of CNBC’s hottest startups of 2016. http://www.israel21c.org/brightap-takes-first-place-in-gens-startup-open/

Cola plant substitute for fizzy drinks.  Israel’s Hishtil Nurseries produces the Cola plant (Artemisia abrotanum). Its leaves give a caramel flavor to hot and cold beverages, and even salads, stews and stir-fries. It is one of 250 kinds of culinary herbal plants exported by Hishtil across Western Europe and North America. 

Your voice is your fingerprint.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (several times) on Israel’s VocalZoom and its amazing voice recognition software that eliminates noise.  It has now put the system onto portable sensors so it can now be used as a biometric method for authenticating someone - just like a fingerprint.

Mystery of super flash solved. Weizmann Institute scientists have determined the cause of a heavenly flash of light, on June 14 2015, that was double the intensity of any previous supernova.  They ascertained that it was a star being swallowed by a massive black hole, rotating close to the speed of light.

First US basketball team to use Israeli tech.  (TY Nevet) I’ve reported previously (several times) on Israel’s Playsight and its Smart Court tennis training system. The system has now been adapted for basketball and installed by NBA Champions Golden State Warriors in Oakland California.

Renault-Nissan to launch Israeli R&D center.  The Renault-Nissan Alliance is to establish an independent Technology Innovation Center in Israel.  The information was revealed at the Cars 2017 conference in Tel Aviv.  Renault-Nissan is the latest carmaker looking to exploit Israel's leading smart car capabilities.

Startup’s Artificial Intelligence helps to launch startups.  Israeli startup Dragonera uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate up to 70% of a startup’s early development phase. Dragonera uses blocks of code (microservices) to produce the prototype of any startup’s new app.

Eddy can help feed the world.  Karen Kloosterman, of Israel’s Flux, has developed Eddy - a foot-high plastic robot that communicates the growing conditions of your hydroponics unit (pH level, temperature, humidity, pollutants etc.) via a smartphone app. It can even control the nutrients in the plants, revolutionizing agriculture.


Economic indicator soars upwards.  I often report the monthly increase in Israel’s Composite State of the Economy (CSE) indicator.  It usually rises by 0.2 – 0.3% but in December it shot up by 0.45%. Factors include higher consumer spending, increased industrial production and more revenue from trade and services.

Internet support for peripheral firms.  Israeli website builder Wix.com, Google and the nonprofit Atidim are helping 10,000 businesses far from Israel’s financial center to set up websites, and use social media platforms.  The Digital Starter project is supported by the Israeli government and some 250 trained volunteers.

Learn to innovate in Israel.  Israel has the greatest number of startups per capita in the world, prompting entrepreneurship courses at universities and colleges throughout the country. Ben Gurion University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Technion, the IDC and ORT all aim to combine theory with practical help.

Buy for Good.  Israeli startup Buy for Good only sells products produced in vocational training centers that offer rehabilitation and employment opportunities for people with disabilities and from underprivileged communities. Soaps, tea, dolls, Judaica items etc. are sold via the website and shipped locally and overseas.

Formula 1 team adopts Israeli 3D printing.  Israeli 3D printing company Stratasys is now the official supplier to the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 racing team. Stratasys will supply McLaren Racing with its latest 3D printing solutions and cutting-edge materials for visual and functional prototyping, and production tooling. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-stratasys-teams-with-mclaren-racing-1001173473

Israeli crime-busting software sells big in USA.  (TY Harold G) Israel’s Cellebrite has sold its phone and computer forensic software to police agencies in at least 20 US states.  Revenue from the sales exceeds $4 million including $2 million from the FBI alone.

New flights from Israel. Low-cost airline Ryanair is to commence flights out of Tel Aviv.  Its first route is to Paphos, beginning in March.  More European destinations are expected soon. Cypriot airline TUS is adding Athens, Rhodes and Kos to its Haifa route. And Iceland’s WOW Air is to go daily from Tel Aviv to Reykjavik.

TaxiBot pulls Airbus 320.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (three times) about TaxiBot from Israel Aerospace Industries, which has been towing Lufthansa Boeing 737 jets at Frankfurt airport since 2014.  It has just completed tests on towing Airbus 320neo jets at Airbus facilities in Toulouse, France and is now in the final stages of certification.  http://www.iai.co.il/2013/32981-48158-en/MediaRoom.aspx


Darom Adom (Red South) festival.  The Darom Adom Festival, throughout February, follows the rainy season, when the ordinarily green landscape of the northern Negev is covered with a magnificent carpet of scarlet red anemones.  This year the festival features mountain bike marathons, poetry readings, concerts by Israeli artists every Thursday, and much more.  https://www.touristisrael.com/darom-adom-festival/9365/

Jerusalem’s Winter Festival.  (TY Israel21c) February in Jerusalem sees the annual Shaon Horef (Winter Noise) cultural festival. On each of the four Monday evenings, Jerusalem’s streets are transformed into art and music venues. Events include street theatre, night tours, dance classes and videos screened on buildings.

Bonnie Tyler concerts in Tel Aviv.  Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, famous for “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, is performing at three concerts in Israel – Feb 4, 6 and 7. 

Wonder woman in Super Bowl ad.  Israeli actress Gal Gadot, of Wonder Woman fame, is starring in this year’s Super Bowl advert for Israel’s Wix.  The ad, cost NIS 13 million to produce and over $10 million per minute to broadcast.  http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-gal-gadot-to-star-in-wix-super-bowl-ad-1001172867

Australian Open runner up.  Israeli tennis prodigy Yshai Oliel reached the final of the boy’s singles at the Australian Open, beating the number one seed.  Oliel won the junior Orange bowl twice and last year won the boys doubles at the French Open. At last year’s US Open, he reached the semi-finals of the boys singles.

Israeli windsurfer wins youth world title.  (TY Bennett) Israel’s Yoav Omer won gold in the boys’ RS:X race of the Youth Sailing World Championships, held in Auckland, New Zealand.  In addition, Israel’s Ido Blik and Ofek Shalgi won silver in the 420 boys class race and Katy Spychakov won silver in the RS:X girls class race.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/UodsQaUWBYA?rel=0 (includes Hatikvah – Israel’s national anthem)


The JNF is 115.  Keren Kayemet Le’Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) has planted some 240 million trees in Israel since its founding in 1901. And it has undertaken massive projects in sustainability, conservation, education, tourism, agriculture, roads and reservoirs. It also works in Kenya, Colombia, Italy, Australia and even Indonesia.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/pno6FjZonWI?rel=0

400 feet of Zionism at Ben Gurion Airport.  To commemorate the 120th anniversary of the first Zionist Congress, the World Zionist Organization has installed a 400-foot long exhibition of posters at Ben Gurion Airport. They comprise photos and compositions depicting milestones in the history of the Zionist movement.


In the 22nd Jan 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli biotech has successfully transplanted lab-grown bone into 11 patients.
·         The President of Sierra Leone thanked Israel for helping to eradicate Ebola.
·         Israel has appointed its first Druze Arab cabinet minister.
·         Top ministers from 12 West African states attended a conference in Israel.
·         The Super Bowl will be broadcast using Israeli 360-degree video technology.
·         Israeli technology has saved an Italian power station from a massive outage.
·         Oracle is the latest multinational to open an Israeli R&D center.
·         A 17-year-old Israeli motorcyclist won a 6,500km race in the Sahara Desert.
·         An American and an Israeli are joint winners of the International Bible Quiz.

·         Click here to see the 15th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional features on Health, Inclusiveness and Economy. Also (TY Sandra) available in German. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking readers.


Successful bone transplants.  I reported previously (often) on the revolutionary method from Israel’s Bonus BioGroup for growing bone in the lab from a patient’s own fat cells.  Latest trials show that bone, injected into the jaws of all 11 patients, successfully fused to existing bone and filled gaps in their deteriorating jawbones.

European approval to grow bone from coral.  (TY Harold G) I reported previously (twice) about Israel’s CoreBone which grows ultra-strong bone-graft material in the laboratory from corals.  CoreBone recently received both CE and ISO 13485 certification to allow the company to sell the product in Europe.

How viruses communicate.  Weizmann Institute scientists have discovered that some viruses (phages) secrete small molecules that are read and updated by other copies of the same virus.  Viruses use this to coordinate their attack and will go dormant if these molecules indicate that insufficient uninfected host cells remain.

Pain relief for osteoarthritis.  Israel’s Moebius Medical is developing MM-II, a novel treatment for osteoarthritis pain. MM-II’s proprietary liposomes lubricate arthritic knee joints, to reduce friction and wear, and pain in the joints. Moebius has contracted with India's Sun Pharmaceutical to further develop MM-II.

Plant extract mimics insulin.  (TY Liat) A new study in Austria has confirmed the anti-diabetic properties of the purslane herb extract Portulaca oleracea L. Israel’s Frutarom manufactures Portusana®, a scientifically supported and unique purslane extract.

Improved ECG is saving lives.  I reported previously (Nov 2014) about HyperQ from Israel’s Biological Signal Processing (BSP) that discovers heart problems that normal ECG tests cannot. BSP’s CEO Dr Yair Granot came on ILTV Daily and said HyperQ had been sold worldwide, including to anti-Israel Venezuela! 

Low-cost proton therapy to destroy tumors.  I reported previously (twice) about Israel’s P-Cure which has developed low-cost Proton radiation therapy devices to kill cancer tumors.  The revolutionary technology was explained recently on ILTV daily.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/DPf2Hu616i8?rel=0

App to streamline emergency response.  Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency service, has developed the My MDA app. It provides dispatchers and ambulance teams with advance information, including the exact location of the user, medical information, and photos or a live video feed from the scene.

An excellent brain scientist.  Professor Haim Sompolinsky of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem won Israel’s EMET prize for Excellence in Life Sciences (Brain Research) for his work on the principles of brain function and the behavior of neuronal networks, and for shaping brain theories into a systematic discipline.

Thank you for fighting Ebola.  On the first ever state visit to Israel, the President Ernest Bai Koroma of the Muslim-majority Sierra Leone expressed his gratitude for the Jewish state’s assistance in fighting the Ebola virus.  “That we have put the Ebola behind us is because of the support of this nation” he said.


Promoting women, Arabs and haredi in hi-tech.  The Israeli government has announced a $325 million six-year program to boost the number of higher education students by 40%, and to encourage women, Arabs, and ultra-Orthodox to get hi-tech jobs.  The program aims to address the future likely shortage of hi-tech workers.

First ever Druze cabinet minister.  Member of Knesset Ayoub Kara is to become the first lawmaker from Israel’s Druze community to serve as cabinet minister. Kara will be minister without portfolio.

Arab volunteers in the IDF.  "Why did I decide to enlist?" asks Sergeant Yusef Salutta, a 20-year-old Arab from the north of Israel who serves with the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion. "Because I'm from this country and I love the country and I want to contribute," he said. "anybody who lives here should enlist."

Co-operating over water. After a six-year hiatus, Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have signed an agreement to jointly advance water infrastructure and development. In the last 18 months, the two sides have signed agreements covering electricity, mail, 3G cellular infrastructure and now water.

“Settler” medics treat Palestinian Arab.  In a not-unusual event, United Hatzalah medics from Judea and Samaria treated a Palestinian Arab injured in a traffic accident near Gush Etzion. Afterwards they passed him to the Palestinian Authority's Red Crescent ambulance service, which transported him to the nearest PA hospital.

Celebrating 20 years of EU-Israel co-operation.  (TY Sharon) In sharp contrast to political conflicts, European ambassadors to Israel joined Israeli scientists, entrepreneurs, and invited guests to celebrate a successful two decades of collaboration on scientific research and technological development.

Historic visit of African states.  (TY Pamela Levene) Foreign ministers from 12 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) attended a major Jerusalem conference – the first ECOWAS meeting outside of Africa.  Pamela’s son Adam of MASHAV talks about the visit on IBA news (view from 9 mins 30 secs)

Jamaican PM meets Israeli PM.  Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness visited Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss cooperation in water, agriculture and domestic security.  He also visited the Western Wall (Kotel) and invited Mr Netanyahu to make an official visit to Jamaica.

Bringing laughter to Tanzanian tribe.  The founders of Israeli-developed Powtoon brought their animation software to the remote Hadzabe tribe in Tanzania.  On seeing PowToon’s cartoons for the first time, the entire tribe was in fits of laughter.  After earning the tribe’s trust, the team brought doctors to treat their eye problems.

Saving the Peruvian monkey.  Two Israeli researchers are behind a global campaign to rescue the last remaining yellow-tailed woolly monkeys of Peru - one of the world’s 25 most endangered Primates. The Israelis have launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to purchase lands that the monkeys inhabit.


An excellent mathematician.  Professor David Kazhdan of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem won Israel’s EMET prize for Excellence in Exact Sciences (Mathematics) for his work in design of representation theory and its uses in algebra, algebraic geometry and number theory.

Building the world’s tallest solar tower.  (TY Jacques) Recent article and interesting video about the Ashalim project to build a 250-meter high solar tower in Israel’s Negev desert.  Also, Leonardo DiCaprio has publicized the project.  http://israelbetweenthelines.com/2017/01/12/israel-is-running-not-walking-on-sunshine/

Israeli tech comes to the Super Bowl and Laliga.  (TY Pamela Levene) Intel bought Israel’s Replay Technologies and its 360-degree video technology for $170 million last year. FOX Sports will use it in the Super Bowl broadcast. Thanks to Pamela’s son Yonatan, Spanish soccer league Laliga is also now using it.

4000 smart rental cars.  Israel’s Pointer Telocation Systems (see here) has won a tender to manage a five-year driver behavior project in cooperation with the American Transit Insurance Company (ATIC), which insures rented cars in New York. 4000 cars will be fitted with systems from Pointer and Mobileye.

Computerized companion for the elderly.   Israeli startup Intuition Robotics is developing social companion technology to positively impact the lives of millions of older adults.  Its first product is ElliQ, robot resembling a lamp that uses body language to convey emotion, plus sounds, light, in addition to voice, to express itself.

Did we just get hacked?  Israeli cybersecurity startup SECDO saves huge amounts of time following a security “incident”. It collects all data, all the time, from all endpoints.  When the alarms go off, management can see it’s not a false alarm and can close the breach instantly. SECDO has just received $10 million of funding.

More joint science papers with the US.  (TY Stan and Bennett) The number of co-authored scientific publications involving American and Israeli researchers has increased by 45 percent over the last decade, from 3,439 joint U.S.-Israel publications in 2006 to 4,979 publications in 2015.

Israeli tech finds major problem in Italian power station.  I reported previously (Nov 20) on Israeli startup 3DSignals. Its acoustic technology has detected a malfunction in a hydroelectric power station run by Italian company Enel. Early repair of the faulty oil valve saved Enel hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Euros.


The second most innovative nation.  The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 ranks Israel as the second most innovative nation in the world after Switzerland. Israel rose 3 positions to 24th for competitiveness, thanks to Venture capital (2), Research institutes (3), R&D (3) and collaboration (3).

BDS fail – investment in Israel tripled.  Ambassador Yoram Ettinger’s recent report highlights that the foreign capital flow into Israel shows a near tripling from 2005 when the so-called BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign started. 2016 was a record year and more is forecast by Israel’s Finance Minister.

China to solve Israeli housing shortage.  Israel and China have signed a draft agreement that will bring 6,000 Chinese construction workers to Israel in 2017 to build homes and alleviate the housing shortage.

Low-sodium extract production to triple.  (TY Liat) I reported previously (see here) about Mediterranean Umami – the vegan extract from Israel’s Salt of the Earth that reduces the sodium content of many food products. Its success has led the company to build new production lines to triple the output of this innovative ingredient.  http://www.saltoftheearthltd.com/news-events/salt-earth-expands-reduced-sodium-solutions/

No free plastic bags at supermarkets.  (TY Janglo) The number of plastic bags being distributed at Israeli supermarkets has dropped by between 50% and 85% thanks to the new law requiring customers to pay for each one. Cynics thought the 10 agarot cost of each bag was too low but Israelis have already changed their shopping habits. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/No-more-free-plastic-bags-at-Israeli-supermarkets-477165

Tel Aviv is Start-up City.  The Israeli entrepreneurs in this video are making everything from smart cars to apps that connect volunteers with their next project. See why Israel is called the Start-up Nation and Tel Aviv is the Start-up City.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/-isOUlHybW8?rel=0  

FT Fintech award winner. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Transmit Security has won the UK Financial Times Future of Fintech Innovation Award for its ability to create lasting change in the financial services sector on a global scale.  Transmit Security brings together biometric and other financial security services on to one platform.

Oracle to open Israeli startup cloud accelerator.  Computer giant Oracle is opening its Startup Cloud Accelerator program in Tel Aviv. It provides six months of mentoring from technical and business experts, state-of-the-art technology, a co-working space, plus access to Oracle's customers, partners and investors.

Car-sharing rentals in Tel Aviv.  This summer, Israel’s Car2Go is starting operations of Auto Tel – a new car-sharing service in Tel Aviv. Subscribers can rent one of 260 cars, together with 500 reserved parking spaces. The service aims to reduce car ownership costs, traffic congestion, pollution and parking problems in Tel Aviv.

Sweet smell of Israeli coffee in Canada.  Israel’s Aroma has opened 35 cafes in Toronto since its 2007 launch in Canada.  It has also opened in Ottawa, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Oakville and London Ontario, bringing to 39 the number of Canadian locations. In 2017, it’s planning to open 10 more branches, including in Vancouver.


The 8th best place to visit.  America’s first fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Israel should be number eight on your list as a vacation destination. The magazine states, “Don’t be fooled; its vibrant culture, phenomenal food scene, historic landmarks, beaches and endlessly impressive hotels are too much of a draw to ignore.”

Israeli blues – Israel’s best kept secret.  (TY Steve and Moshe) The Tel Aviv Blues festival, in the heart of south Tel Aviv, attracted some of the finest blues musicians from all over Israel. At the local “Tsuzamen” venue, Moshe Beauford played as guest violin with featured band Oded Weiss & Peripherya.

Rod Stewart is coming to Israel.  Legendary Rock Superstar Rod Stewart will be “sailing” again into Israel when he performs on June 14 2017 in the Yarkon Park Tel Aviv.  The video is of his 2010 concert in Israel.

Israeli youth wins Africa Eco Race.  17-year-old Israeli motorcyclist Gev Teddy Sella won the 12-day, 6,500km Africa Eco Race.  He beat experienced drivers racing motorcycles, SUVS and trucks through Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, plus the harsh Sahara Desert, whilst navigating by guidebook.

Blind golfer is world champion again.  (TY Michael P) I wrote previously (twice) about Israel’s Zohar Sharon - one of the best known blind golfers in the world. He recently won his sixth (bi-annual) International Blind Golf Association tournament.


Israeli and American share top Bible Quiz prize.  Yair Shahak of New York City and Israel’s Yafit Silman were joint winners of the International Adult Bible Contest in Jerusalem in December. The competition is held every two years. Yair reached the last eight in 2014 and had to defeat his wife on the way to this year’s final.

Israel’s nationalism is a model to emulate.  An article by ex-Labor MK Einat Wilf.  The world should admire Israel. E.g. airport security - no need to remove belts and shoes or throw away bottles of water.  Israel’s main problem is “timing”, because what once was only Israel’s problem, is now coming to everyone.

$10 million donation for Diaspora Museum.  The San Francisco-based Koret Foundation has given a $10 million grant to the Beit Hatfutsot (Museum of the Jewish People) in Tel Aviv. It will fund an International School offering educational programs for visitors, online users, students, educators and community leaders. 

Hebrew Language Day.  Israel marks Hebrew Language Day every year on the birthday of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of modern spoken Hebrew. This year, the Hebrew date falls on January 19th.  The revival of the 3000-year-old language is unique, becoming a spoken language after being dormant for centuries.


In the 15th Jan 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         You can upload your medical scans for analysis to an Israeli website.
.      Israel's Guide Dog Center celebrated 25 years with some amazing stories.
·         Israelis are building a hydroponics farm in Colombia, South America.
·         Israeli software monitors the performance of millions of smartphones.
·         An Israeli supermarket has opened in Brooklyn, New York.
·         An Israeli film won two awards at the Tallinn film festival.
·         A biblical breed of sheep has been re-introduced into Israel.

·         Click here to see the 8th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Health. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Felipe) in Portuguese.  Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.


Cutting the blood supply to cancer cells.  I reported previously (Dec 2013) on Israel’s VBL Therapeutics (aka Vascular Biogenics) and its treatment VBL-111 for brain cancer. VBL-111 targets new blood vessels developed to feed the tumor. Also, delivering the treatment inside a virus triggers the immune system to attack the tumor.

Medical scan diagnosis from home.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision has launched “Profound” –fast, accurate medical image analysis over the web.  Individuals can upload their medical imaging scans such as CTs and mammograms to Zebra’s online service, and receive an automated analysis for key clinical conditions. In addition, Zebra also announced a new algorithm that can increase osteoporosis detection by 50%.

Smart bracelet tracks injured soldiers.  Cadets in the IDF Technological Officers Training Course have developed a digital bracelet that medics attach to soldiers injured on the battlefield. Sensors monitor pulse, blood pressure, and body temperature. A chip tracks medication and procedures for handover to the hospital.

Diagnose skin ailments with your smartphone.  I reported previously (May 1st) on DermaCompare from Israel’s Emerald Medical Applications.  Founder Lior Wayn has just gone on ILTV to explain his app that uses any smartphone camera, imaging software and proprietary algorithms to identify skin moles that may develop into cancer.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/HBVDJrFcZy0?rel=0  http://www.dermacompare.com/

Device to fix shoulder injuries.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Mininvasive makes the OmniCuff device that enables minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder rotator cuff repair – with over 1 million potential operations annually.  Mininvasive has just announced a strategic partnership with China’s MicroPort Scientific Corporation.

Bringing life-saving devices up to date. I reported previously (Nov 20) on the emergency medical solutions from Israel’s Inovytec.  The company’s innovative equipment has just been featured on I24 news.

106 new subsidized treatments and dental treatment.  (TY Janglo) In the 2017 healthcare basket of subsidized medicine, Israel’s government has added 106 new medicines and treatments for cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's and HIV. It is also providing free dental treatment for children up to the age of 15.

Space & Time in the Brain.  Top speakers in the fields of memory, space & time, presented their research during the international “Space & Time in the Brain” conference in Jerusalem. Over 250 delegates heard from experts about the physiology of the brain and its ability to affect temporal and special awareness.

Paramedic on electric bike saves baby.  (TY Steve) United Hatzalah’s Yehuda Fachima rode his electric bike through the narrow alleys of Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood just in time to save the life of a 5-month-old baby girl choking on fluids trapped in her airway.  An ambulance arrived 7 minutes later to take the baby to hospital.

Israeli study shows benefits of Nordic Pole Walking.  (TY Don) A study led by Israel’s Dr Don Silverberg has shown that Nordic Pole Walking (NPW) can alleviate chronic low back, hip and/or knee pain. 91% of the study’s 100 subjects had a marked reduction in pain on walking and a substantial increase in distance walked.

This is Israel.  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon where Save A Child’s Heart surgeons have been mending the hearts of thousands of children from all over the world, including countries having no diplomatic relations with Israel.


A guide dog can change one’s life.  The Israel Guide Dog Centre marks its 25th anniversary.by publishing the stories of individuals whose lives were changed by a guide dog. They include Gadi Yarkoni, who ran in the Rio Paralympics; Orit Ray, who pulls her daughter in an accessible buggy and Saleem Sharif – doing National Service at a health clinic. http://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/a-leap-of-faith-with-a-furry-friend/

Tackling domestic violence.  Israeli social service organization Yad Sarah has opened its second facility dedicated to the treatment of victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Its new “family center” in Israel’s western Negev region joins the Jerusalem treatment center, which opened in 2000.

The safest place for Christians in the Middle East.  Israel provides Christians with a haven in a region that is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to live freely.

Minorities in the IDF.  There are Muslim, Bedouin and Christian soldiers that volunteer to join the IDF, in addition to Druze and Circassian soldiers whose leaders undertook to be drafted into the IDF. Many are high-ranking. During their service, the IDF recognizes the rights of these (and all) soldiers to honor their traditions.

Syrians want peace with Israel.  Those being treated in Israeli hospitals have found Israel to be very different than the image depicted by the Syrian government.  About 800 Syrians have been treated at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed since February 2013, making Ziv the largest treatment center in Israel for wounded Syrians.  http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Syrian-patients-leave-mark-on-staff-as-they-recover-at-Israeli-hospital-478092

Israeli aid for world’s refugees.  A timely reminder of the work of Israeli NGOs and government organizations, to alleviate the suffering of victims of global disasters and wars.

Hydroponics in Colombia.  (TY Karen) Israeli hi-tech companies are investing in a hydroponic farm project in Colombia, South America.  The farm in the El Nus township will generate roughly 830 jobs, producing tomatoes, sweet peppers and other vegetables, in the desert conditions of Colombia’s Antioquia department.

UK Navy ship docks at Haifa.  (TY Nevet) British Royal Navy’s HMS Bulwark stopped in Haifa Port on its way back to the United Kingdom. The Navy stated that the docking “demonstrates the growing relationship between the Royal Navy and the Israeli Navy and the desire to continue to develop that interaction.”


13km water tunnel to Jerusalem.  Israel’s national water carrier Mekorot has begun the construction of the world’s longest tunnel for transporting water under pressure.  It will extend 13km from near Beit Shemesh to Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.  It is part of the project to connect the coastal desalination plants to the rest of Israel.

The origin of autonomous technology.  (TY Nevet) Israeli universities (mainly the Hebrew University, Technion, Tel Aviv University and Weizmann) are globally renowned for their research and educational programs in the IT fields that are at the heart of the race for autonomous vehicles.

BGU and PayPal set-up R&D partnership.  Online payment system PayPal has established its first-ever partnership with Israeli academia. It has joined with Ben Gurion University to develop big data, machine learning, and cybersecurity solutions that will make payment transactions safer for its 192 million customers.

The art of water conservation in Israel.  (TY David F) The California water crisis continues. Californians admire Israel’s solutions and hope they could be applied to their situation.

Giving control back to the app developers.  (TY Atid-EDI) When startups build an app, they nearly always use development kits (SDKs) from 3rd parties to do the mundane things such as crash reporting, advertising, login or security.  Israel’s SafeDK monitors the SDKs. Its products are now on millions of mobile devices.

Saving male chicks from unnecessary slaughter. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Dec 2013) on Israel’s EggDetect that prevents hatching of male chicks - unwanted by the egg industry.  Now there is an alternative – TeraEgg from Israel’s Novatrans. It uses terahertz spectroscopy on gasses that leak from the pores of the egg.

Stimulating drought-resistance in corn.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Evogene has successfully improved the ability of corn to thrive in drought conditions with its Bio-stimulant products. These produce drought-resistant microbial strains that have produced high yields in their first year of testing.

Loads of Israeli tech at CES.  The Israeli pavilion at CES 2017 in Las Vegas was full of hi-tech Israeli products.  The BBC mentioned that TytoCare’s telehealth system was Israeli, but failed to credit Israel with Intel’s Project Alloy AR headset or BMW’s partnership with Israel’s Mobileye.

More fruitful Australian almond trees.  (TY Atid-EDI) China’s Olam group, owner of the largest almond orchard in Australia, has implemented the crop sensor technology from Israel’s Phytech across the entire 5,000 hectares of its five orchards in South-Eastern Australia. The previous season’s 700-hectare trial resulted in higher yields with less water usage.  http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161116005970/en/Olam-Announces-Deployment-Phytech-technology-Australian-Almond


Israel’s growth is awesome.  Ambassador Ettinger summarizes Israel’s economic and technological growth over the last 20 years as “unprecedented”.  And the last 12 months wasn’t bad either.  The second video details many of the foreign investments in Israel – totaling $3.76 billion last year.

Israeli hi-tech companies raise record $4.8 billion.  (TY TIP) Israeli private high-tech companies, a main driver of the country's economy, raised an all-time high of $4.8 billion in 2016, up 11 percent from 2015.  The ability to raise funds has allowed Israeli startups to grow and cut down dramatically the number of early exits.

The startup that test-drives startups.  Israeli startup ProoV is the first ever “pilot-as-a-service” and the only one in the world. It offers a platform to allow independent software vendors (i.e. startups) to demonstrate their proofs of concept (i.e. early-stage developments) to global enterprises (i.e. big companies).

Qoros to set up Israeli smart car R&D center. Chinese auto manufacturer Qoros is opening a Research & Development center in Israel aimed at developing an electric smart car. The R&D center would develop networks for charging electric vehicles, vehicle sharing, etc.

Universal flu vaccine gets $2.8 million investment.  I’ve reported previously many times about the Universal Flu vaccine being developed by Israel’s BiondVax. The biotech has just received $2.8 million of funding from Angel Investments – managed by Israelis Dr. Yair Schindel and Marius Nacht, founder of Israel’s Checkpoint.

Israel is a hotspot for Australian startups.  Up to 40 Australian trade delegations visited Israel in 2016.  An estimated 400 people attended The Bridge, an Israel-Australia investment summit, held in Sydney in November. And almost all thought that Israel could teach Australia how to build an innovative economy.

An Israeli supermarket in New York.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli supermarket chain Osher Ad has opened its first New York branch, named Bingo, in Brooklyn. If successful, more stores could be opened in cities with large Jewish communities.  Osher Ad is Israel's fourth-largest supermarket chain, numbering 15 stores.

Customers saved $250 million.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Optimal+ analyzed more than 50 billion semiconductor devices on behalf of its customers in the 12 months to Oct 2016.  The information has saved its customers in excess of $250 million through improved yield, efficiency and quality.

Over 5,000% growth in revenue.  (TY Atid-EDI) AnyClip, the world’s first personalized, content-driven video advertising platform, has been ranked by Deloitte as second of the fastest growing technology companies in Israel and 14th outside of the USA.  AnyClip’s revenue has grown by 5,141% since 2012.


Israeli street food is a bite of creativity.  (TY Nevet) Chefs in Tel Aviv are fulfilling the Israeli demand for quality fresh food that they can just grab and go. https://www.youtube.com/embed/DECB4exlHKM?rel=0

Joseph and his Brothers.  The Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra and the Profeti della Quinta male vocal ensemble will perform Joseph and His Brothers, in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa on Jan 24, 25 and 28. The musical drama was written by Israeli composer, harpsichordist and bass singer Elam Rotem.

Quiet Heart wins twice at Tallinn film festival. (TY Nevet) The Israeli film Lev Shaket (A Quiet Heart) won two top honors at the 20th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Director Eitan Anner took home the Grand Prix honor and actress Ania Bukstein received the award for Best Actress.

NASCAR driver is Athlete of the Year.  Alon Day, the first Israeli to compete for America’s NASCAR racing circuit, was recognized by Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sports as the Jewish state’s Athlete of the Year for 2016. Day competed full-time in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Jewish major league baseball players visit Israel.  (TY David L) 10 Jewish American major league baseball players made their first tour of Israel as a preliminary to competing as “Team Israel” in the World Baseball Classic in South Korea in March.  Highlights of the tour will be included in a documentary called "Heading Home" by Ironbound Films.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/Oahvtq77kcc?rel=0


We are all responsible for each other.  (TY Karen) Many Israelis opened their homes to the thousands of Israeli citizens who had to escape from the devastating November fires.  Volunteers calling the Haifa Municipality were told to “get in line” because so many had offered to host fleeing residents.

Lost sheep return.  I reported previously (Apr 3) that Jenna and Gil Lewinsky, an Israeli couple in Vancouver, were raising Jacob sheep (mentioned in Genesis) for returning to the land of their ancestors. Now the first 3 of 11 flights carrying the sheep have arrived in Israel on 28th Heshvan – the day that Noah came out of the ark.

The gate to King Solomon’s mines.  In 2014 Tel Aviv University archaeologists found an ancient gatehouse complex in the Negev Desert. Remains of the stables and other artifacts in one of the largest copper smelting camps in Timna Valley have now been dated as 3,000 years old - the time of Kings David and Solomon.

Volunteering in Israel.  (TY Or) International Volunteer Day on Dec 5 is always well-supported in Israel.  Israel Central Bureau of Statistics published the volunteer data for 2015. Last year, 1.1 million Israelis volunteered - 21% of adults age 20 to 64 and 16% of those 65 and older.


In the 8th Jan 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli treatments are saving lives – and the BBC reluctantly admits it.
·         Israeli Christian leader praises religious freedom in the Jewish State.
·         Another Chilean earthquake and Israeli alert system saves more lives.
·         An Israeli has developed an easy-access bag for wheelchair users.
·         Intel has launched the full range of its 7th-gen Israel- designed microchips.
·         17 million passengers used Ben Gurion airport in 2016 – up 11% on 2015.
·         Israel’s Mobileye has two new partners for its autonomous car technology.
·         Jerusalem is building a new Arts campus including 4 new schools.
·         3 archaeological discoveries linking Israel to the historical events of Chanukah.

·         Click here to see the 18th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with additional feature on Global impact and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese. Please pass relevant links onto German-speaking and Portuguese-speaking readers.


BBC finally admits prostate cancer treatment is Israeli.  BBC Radio 4’s Today Program omitted the fact (as newsletter readers know) that the TOOKAD prostate cancer treatment being praised globally, was developed at Israel’s Weizmann Institute.  After protests, BBC News interviewed co-developer Professor Avigdor Scherz.  

Treatment for tremors is also Israeli.  (TY Hazel) Yet another example. The BBC radio broadcast itself didn’t mention that the Exablate Neuro ultrasound machine for treating tremor is produced by Israel’s Insightec.  They then buried that fact deep in their report on their website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38157770

Food supplement can treat FD disorder.  Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that a popular food supplement called phosphatidylserine can reverse the effects of the debilitating neurodegenerative disorder Familial Dysautonomia (FD).  It improves the supply route to neurons by reducing levels of enzyme HDAC6.

Life-saving treatments from Kamada.  Amir London, CEO of Israeli biotech Kamada, was interviewed on ILTV Daily about Kamada’s protein purification treatments for lung disease and rabies.  Kamada’s Glassia is also being tested for treating Type 1 diabetes, GVHD and the rejection of bone marrow and lung transplants.

The first kidney dialysis for Sierra Leone.  In 2012, MASHAV - Israel Foreign Ministry’s agency for international development cooperation donated the first-ever dialysis unit to Sierra Leone.  Due to the Ebola outbreak, the African country’s first dialysis treatment took place on Dec 15 this year, and a life was saved.

Dual action treatment for aggressive breast cancer.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have made a breakthrough in treating triple negative breast cancer. This cancer lacks three receptors that serve as targets for anti-cancer drugs. However, inhibiting molecules EGFR and PYK2 significantly reduces the size of tumors.

Blood warmer prevents hypothermia.  Two thirds of sufferers of blood loss trauma experience hypothermia.  Blood and fluids used in transfusions must be warmed from storage temperatures (4 degrees C) to body heat (37 degrees C). Israeli startup QinFlow’s Warrior portable system does just that – faster than any alternative system.  It recently received US FDA approval.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdelVHvOqBE

Needle-free scar removal.  Israel’s PerfAction Technologies has developed EnerJet (Airgent in the US) - a non-thermal, no-needle, high-pressure jet stream to introduce any kind of healing agent or skin-enhancement material. It removes acne scars, surgical scars etc.  Available in 22 countries including Indonesia and Malaysia.


Saving lives together.  (TY Hazel) The normally anti-Israel UK Independent has run a feature on Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital, highlighting that it appoints whoever is best qualified for the job, regardless of ethnicity, gender or religion.  Also, critically injured perpetrators of attacks are treated before less-injured victims.

Eco-Impact tour of Israel.  Vibe Israel brought 5 mega-bloggers with 10.8 million followers to Israel to learn about Israel’s eco innovations first hand.  They saw water conservation, desalination, green transportation, urban farming and solutions for smart cities. They even saw how Israel supports victims of human trafficking.

The world’s most inclusive army.  Omer Lahat’s cerebral palsy did not hold him back from graduating high school with honors. His dream was to serve in the IDF through the “Special in Uniform” program. Lahat then became the program’s first-ever wheelchair-bound participant.

Greek patriarch praises Israel’s freedom of worship.  (TY Hazel) At the annual Christmas reception hosted by Israeli President Rivlin for spiritual and lay leaders of Christian communities in Israel, Greek Patriarch Theophilos III said: "We take the opportunity of this holiday gathering to express our gratitude to you for the firmness with which you defend the freedoms that lie at the heart of this democracy - especially the freedom of worship...” http://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/Christians-laud-freedom-of-worship-in-Israel-476715

Most Arabs say life is good in Israel.  (TY Bennett) The 2016 Israeli Democracy Index, produced by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research, reveals some interesting facts.  55% of Israeli Arabs identify themselves as “proud citizens”.  Also, 60.5% of Israeli Arabs categorize their personal situation as “Good” or “Very good” and another 31% as “Not bad”.  https://en.idi.org.il/press-releases/11986

Huge rise in Arabs students at Technion.  Just 12 years ago, only 7% of students at Israel’s Technion were Arab.  Today, it is 20% - not due to any lowering of entrance standards, but thanks to its NAM program - a 10-month “boot camp” in math, physics, English and Hebrew.  And it is all paid for by Jewish philanthropy.

Israeli charity helps disabled Arab-Israeli kids.  I’ve reported many times previously on Israeli charity Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) and its work with disabled children.  Here is a recent article about Beit Issie’s Sindian Center in Kalansua, a 22,000-population Arab city in central Israel.

Israelis raise funds for Syrian children.  The Israeli “Just Beyond the Border” initiative on the online website Mimoona is raising funds for blankets and medical equipment for delivery directly to Syrians across the border, particularly children. In only 18 days, nearly 7000 Israelis have donated over 1,275,000 Shekels.

Israel to treat Aleppo wounded.  (TY Hazel) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed his government to extend medical assistance to Syrians injured in the latest round of fighting, especially those from the embattled city of Aleppo. Israeli hospitals will treat wounded women and children, and non-combatant men.

Israeli aid workers in Iraq.  (TY Hazel) Israeli aid workers are part of an official IsraAID mission to assist Yazidi refugees living in displaced person’s camps in Dohuk province, in northern Iraq. One of the priorities is women who have suffered at the hands of the brutal Islamic State group.  The video is from 2015.

Israeli system saves lives after Chile earthquake.  I reported previously (Apr 2014) that the SMART Broadcast alert system from Israel’s eVigilo saved hundreds of lives after the 2014 Chilean earthquake.  Well it has just done it again, following Chile’s recent 7.7 magnitude quake. 4,000 were warned to evacuate Chiloe Island.  http://www.israel21c.org/evigilos-alert-system-saves-lives-in-chile-earthquake/

Israelis arrange free surgery for Ethiopian boy. Lori and Doron Bacher from Ra’anana met Nobel Habib in his village in Ethiopia. Nobel could hardly walk due to birth defects. Through Israeli non-profit Ezra LeMarpeh, the Bachers brought Nobel to Israel and then to Boston for surgery to correct his bone deformities.


Behavior biometrics to protect credit cards. Israel’s Leumi Card will integrate the first-of-its-kind mobile app that uses behavioral biometrics. Based on cutting-edge technology of Israeli startup SecuredTouch, the solution uses finger size, touch pressure, touch surface and more to validate the card owner and eliminate the need to use complex passwords.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej5kkVCmFsw

A handy bag for wheelchair users.  Israeli startup Handy Bag designs and manufactures bags are easy for wheelchair users to access their belongings unaided. Founder Yair Zur was inspired by his wheelchair-bound parents – one a war veteran and one with polio. Yair raised his goal of $20,000 on Kickstarter

Whatever happened to the Ash Poopie?  Newsletter readers back in Oct 2011 may remember that Hebrew University of Jerusalem Professor Oded Shoseyov invented a device for turning dog waste into ash. Israel’s Paulee CleanTec is building the device and its innovative technology into eco-friendly commercial products.

A novel travel guide.  Israeli startup “Books on Map” provides readers with virtual tours through a city’s streets by way of novels that reference that city.  Combining library, treasure hunt and social network, it services Paris, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Books on Map won the recent City of Paris tourism app competition. http://nocamels.com/2016/12/literary-voyage-app-books-on-map/

Reducing pesticide usage by 40%.  (TY The Tower) I reported previously (Feb 2014) on AgriTask – an app from Israel’s Scantask that improves farming efficiency. AgriTask is now protecting about 1,000 farmers in Israel, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Kenya and Thailand from crop damage and saving them up to 40% in pesticide use.  http://www.israel21c.org/making-precision-agronomy-accessible-to-all-farmers/

Rehabilitating the Dead Sea region.  (TY Bennett) Israel’s International Cooperation Ministry has established and dedicated a new NIS 4 million Dead Sea Research Institute.  Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Authority scientists will work together at the Institute, to study the Dead Sea and find ways to rehabilitate it and the region around it.  https://unitedwithisrael.org/israel-jordan-palestinians-work-together-to-save-dead-sea/

Robotics in China.  (TY The Tower and Bennett) As predicted previously (Oct 2015) the Sino-Israeli Robotics Institute was inaugurated during the second Sino-Israeli Robotics Summit in Guangzhou, China. The 4,800sqm robotics incubator includes exhibition and demo area, innovation lab, training center and corporate offices.

US signs joint US-Israel cybersecurity act into law.  The US-Israel Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016 has been signed into US law.  The act will expand existing joint research and create a grant for new development.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-israel-cybersecurity-collaboration-act-signed-into-law/

Find my stuff. Israeli startup GearEye uses a radio frequency ID (RFID) scanner, tags, and an app to locate your important belongings.  GearEye sought to raise $60,000 on Kickstarter.  It ended up with over $500,000.

Intel launches full range of Israeli micro-processors.  I reported previously (11th Sep) that Intel announced its Israeli-designed and developed 7th generation micro-processor – the Kaby Lake. Now Intel has officially launched the full line of those advanced processors.  http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Tech/Intel-launches-next-gen-processors-developed-and-designed-in-Israel-477358

Airmule is now the Cormorant.  I’ve reported previously (see here) about the Air Mule flying car from Israel’s Urban Aeronautics (also known as Tactical Robotics). Here is the latest on the Unmanned Air Vehicle – now renamed the Cormorant. Its target for launching on the aviation market is now 2020.

The Sun is shining on the world’s tallest solar tower.  Here is the latest report on the progress of the Ashalim project – building the world’s tallest solar tower, deep in the Negev desert (see here). When complete in 2018 it will generate 310 megawatts of power - enough for 130,000 households, or roughly 5% of Israel’s population.


GDP up 3.8% and a trade surplus. Israel’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.8% in 2016 – 1.8% more than the growth in its population.  Israel also had a balance of payments current account surplus of $13.4 billion in 2016.  h/ttp://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israels-economic-growth-estimated-at-38-in-2016-1001169483

Exports boost economy.  Exports of Israeli goods rose 7.7% in November, raising Israel’s Composite State of the Economy index up 0.34% from its Oct value.  Job vacancy numbers also increased.  Israel’s debt to GDP ratio is now 60.4% - close to the Government’s 60% target for 2020.

Record year for passengers using Ben Gurion.  The number of international travelers passing through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport in 2016 was a record 17.3 million - 11% more than in 2015.

Another delegation from Massachusetts.  (TY Hazel) Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has been leading a delegation of some 50 business and academic leaders from Massachusetts to Israel.  A similar visit in 2014 (see here) resulted in several new partnerships and business deals.

$50 million fund for sustainable agriculture.  Copia Agro & Food is raising $50 million to expand its investments in Israel. The fund aims to create technologies and products aimed at improving the efficiency and sustainability of the food chain and decrease the adverse effects of agriculture on the environment.

The biggest UK-Israel deal in history.  Israeli airline EL Al is purchasing the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine for its Boing 787 Dreamliners.  The $1 billion deal gives the UK its largest ever trade deal with Israel.

Skies open for Elbit system.  The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has issued a new regulation allowing planes to land in difficult vision conditions if the pilot has special accessory systems. The announcement has raised interest in the ClearVision system from Israel’s Elbit.- the first system to comply with the new rules.

Chinese $50 million fund to invest in Israel.  CreditEase China, one of the world’s largest microcredit and wealth management firms, is raising a new $50 million fund to invest in Israeli smart manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, and Augmented Reality technology. The group’s 2015 Israeli investment fund raised $32 million.

Competition to promote insurance technology.  Jerusalem Venture Partners and AXA Strategic Ventures have launched the InsurTech Israel Competition, to find groundbreaking companies in the field of InsurTech” for the changing insurance world. The winner will receive a $1 million investment and other business support.

Tel Aviv rooftop farm is a growing business.  (TY Hazel) I reported previously (Aug 2015) about Green in the City – a 100 sqm farm on the roof of Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Center. The farm is now 750 sqm, produces 10,000 heads of lettuce per month, grows 17 different varieties of greens and herbs and even a banana tree.

Chinese firm puts its shirt on Healthwatch.  I reported previously (Jan 2015) on Israeli startup Healthwatch and its shirt technology comprising electrodes that measure the wearer’s vital signs.  China’s Shijiazhuang Yiling has just invested $20 million in the Israeli startup.  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/chinese-pharma-investing-20-million-in-israeli-smart-shirt-startup/2017/01/03/

Protecting the Dutch army.  Israel Military Industries will supply the Dutch army with its Iron Fist light active defense system for armored personnel carriers (APCs). The Dutch army is the first NATO country to adopt active defense technologies for its armored units.

More partners for Mobileye.  Israel’s Mobileye is working with luxury car maker Lucid Motors to enable autonomous driving capability on Lucid vehicles. Mobileye will provide the primary compute platform, including cameras, radar and lidar sensors, software and algorithms. Mobileye is also partnering with Dutch autonomous vehicle technology company HERE, to enhance road positioning awareness.

Israeli desert (but not dessert) wine.  In Israel’s Negev Desert, the hot daytime sun and cool nights are ideal for vineyards to produce superb quality wines.  And in the extreme dry conditions, there are no pests, so no pesticides are required.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOg40xLyP-Y


$50 million Arts Campus for Jerusalem.  (TY Janglo) A 2.5 acre $50 million Jerusalem Arts Campus is planned to open in 2020. 650 students will attend one of four new schools – Nisan Nativ Acting Studio, Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, the School of Visual Theater and the Center for Middle Eastern Music.

Vibe Israel’s Wellness Tour.  Vibe Israel brings mega-bloggers to Israel to see how different the country is from that portrayed in the global media.  The latest tour brought four “healthy food” bloggers with over 4 million followers.  They were most impressed with Israelis, Israeli cooking ingredients and the Dead Sea.

Natalie Imbruglia concert.  Australian popstar Natalie Imbruglia is heading to the Mann Auditorium Tel Aviv for a concert on 1st March. Natalie became world-wide famous at the end of the ’90s with her hit “Torn”, followed by the album “Left of the middle” which sold over 7 million copies.

New water park for Eilat.  (TY Janglo) The City of Eilat had approved the building of a new 20-dunam water park on the site of the old Texas Ranch.  Luna Water Eilat is expected to have over 30 water attractions including a wave pool, 25-meter water slide and a shopping area. It will cater for around 3,500 people.


Chanukah coin revealed in Jerusalem.  Israeli archaeologists have found a bronze coin from the Hasmonean era, during conservation work on the Tower of David in Jerusalem after recent storms. The coin bears the head of Antiochus 1V Epiphanes – the Syrian-Greek ruler of Judah who was defeated by the Maccabees in 168 BCE.

Ancient menorah engraving discovered.  Hikers exploring a water cistern in the Judean hills discovered a rare engraving of a seven-branch menorah in the chalk bedrock walls.  It has a base with three feet, portraying the menorah that stood in the Jerusalem Temple during the Second Temple period.

Hasmonean bowl discovered.  A 2,100-year-old stone bowl engraved with a rare Hebrew inscription – “Hyrcanus” - dating to the Hasmonean period was discovered during excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Givʽati Parking Lot at Jerusalem’s City of David.  Hyrcanus was a common name of the time.

Evidence for the Kingdom of David.  (TY Janglo) Yehuda Kaplan, the curator of the Bible Lands Museum, explained to Arutz Sheva the significance of an ancient city which was unearthed in the Elah Valley near Beit Shemesh.  The city is over 3,000 years old, and is one of the oldest known urban centers to use sophisticated Judean architecture.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3fYlVG9vEA 

Archaeologists find 3800-year-old clay thinker.  Israeli archaeologists have discovered a unique clay figure, mounted atop a ceramic vessel, in the central Israel town of Yehud. The head of the figure rests on its hand as if in a state of reflection, similar to the pose of the famous 19th century sculpture “The Thinker” by Rodin.

The Jerusalem education center of StandWithUs.  International pro-Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs has an Israel Education Center in the heart of Jerusalem.  The center features up-to-date information and resources for visitors, sessions and tours to counter misinformation about Israel.

Hotel owner leaves $2 million to employees.  Gilbert Luzon, owner of the King Solomon Hotels in Jerusalem and Tiberias, passed away in 2016.  In his will, he left his ex-employees $1,000 for each year of service.  Even staff washing dishes received $20,000.  In a TV interview, one man replied. “What can I say? It is a blessing.”

An educational legacy.  (TY Sharon) David Fischman lost his entire family in the Holocaust but overcame his nightmares to help establish future Israeli economists, lawyers and political scientists. His estate has funded 71 scholarships with several beneficiaries presenting at Jerusalem’s E. David Fischman Scholarship Conference.