Bearing Fruit to Those Who Want It



The Jewish festival of Tu B’Shvat (New Year for Trees) inspired me to look back over the year at the agricultural and environmental benefits Israel and Israeli companies have provided internationally. But I was only motivated to write this blog when I heard that my cousins in Cape Town, South Africa have been ordered to ration their water usage and from April will have their water cut off.  Why?  Because South Africa has refused Israel’s offers to help solve their water management problems.  As the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink.”

Down the road from South Africa, Israeli experts in drip irrigation and crop management trained nineteen educators in Swaziland, which was almost crippled by drought last year. In the same continent, but at the other end of the scale, Israeli NGO “Innovation: Africa” has been providing clean water and aid to millions of Africans, including tens of thousands of refugees living in the war-torn Central African Republic.  The NGO also saved the whole village of Akuyam in Karamoja, Uganda where many hadn’t eaten for three days.




Ironically, in late 2016 (before the South African boycott), Israel’s Fluence installed a potable desalination system to solve dire drought conditions in KwaZulu-Natal – a semi-autonomous region in South Africa. No wonder the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithinii, monarch of 12 million Zulus urged (fruitlessly) the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to retain close ties with Israel.

On the other hand, those countries that have accepted Israel’s help are reaping the benefits. Take water, for example. In India, Israel’s WaterGen has launched a pilot with India’s Tata to generate water out of thin air.  




Israel’s water systems are certainly appreciated by the US State of Wisconsin, and by water professionals from Canada, China and the Czech Republic. In Ghana, Israel’s Yam Pro is using water to produce 150 megawatts of wave energy. Meanwhile, Israel’s TaKaDu is preventing major water leakages from Australia to Vietnam, not forgetting Spain, the UK and the USA.




Appropriately, for the Jewish New Year for Trees, here are just a few agricultural items. Israeli charity KKL-JNF was asked by Kenya to help turn its deserts into forests, using Israeli technology that can conserve soil, capture rain runoff, monitor precipitation and promote conservation. Then, just over a month ago the municipality of Jerusalem (Israel’s capital) gave away free fir trees to those Christian residents who wanted them. Finally, take a look at the FarmZee app from Israeli startup Farmster, which is saving Tanzania’s crops from going to waste.by providing farmers (without Internet access) with a special SMS link to buyers for their crops.




There are many South Africans that speak the truth about Israel’s work to benefit humanity. They agree with what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his recent speech to the United Nations.  “So many countries around the world have woken up to what Israel can do for them.” “Israel is the place for cutting-edge technology, in agriculture, in water… You name it, we’ve got it”.

And it won’t cost the earth.

History of Israel's Good News - Oct to Dec 2018


181230
In the 30th Dec 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An innovative Israeli melanoma diagnostic device has already saved seven lives.
·         An Ethiopian-Israeli has qualified as an Israeli Air Force pilot.
·         Israelis are (again) helping survivors of a natural disaster in Indonesia.
·         Israelis have invented bio-degradable, sustainable, non-polluting plastic.
·         Israelis are solving Ireland’s (and the world’s) cow pollution problem.
·         Intel have agreed to a $5 billion expansion in Israel.
·         Archeologists found a ring lost in a Jerusalem ritual bath 2000 years ago.

·         Click here to see the 23rd Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Health. Also promoted by SCICC.

·         Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,500 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

New treatment for Glioblastoma. I reported previously ((11th Nov) the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s breakthrough in glioblastoma (aggressive brain cancer) treatment. Now Sheba Medical Center researchers have developed SIXAC, a new six-amino-acid-based compound, that restricts the progression of glioblastoma.

Blood test for lung cancer. I reported previously (see here) on two Israeli startups (Nucleix and Medial EarlySign) developing blood tests for diagnosing early stage lung cancer.  Here is another – Savicell, achieving a 91% success rate. Early detection gives the patient a 50-80% recovery chance.  At late stage it is only 4%.

Device to spot melanoma. (TY WIN) Israeli startup Scade Medical has patented a prototype scanner, to diagnose early stage melanoma. BlueSky is based on DOSI (differential optical spectro-polarimetric imaging) technology invented by Ofir Aharon, whose mother contracted melanoma. It has already saved seven lives.

US approves cervical cancer diagnostic device. I reported previously (25th Sep) that Israel’s Biop had raised $2.2 million to fund its cervical cancer diagnosis device. Biop has just received US FDA approval for the device, which maps the cervix and identifies cancerous and precancerous cells in epithelial tissues.

Home diagnosis kit. (TY Arutz Sheva) Israeli startup Diagnoz.me has a smartphone system that can detect infections from home and send results to your doctor.  Founder and CTO Tamir Epstein described the system on ILTV. Diagnoz.me just won the dHealth 2018 Summit and its NIS 3 million prize money.

The Origin/als aim to end ALS. A team of students at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University competed in the 2018 International Genetically Engineered Competition (iGEM) at MIT in Boston. The group presented findings on a new therapeutic approach for Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), known also as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Novartis backs Israeli anti-cancer biotech. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli biotech Ayala and its personalized cancer treatment. It is already partnering with Bristol-Myers Squibb. Now multinational Novartis has made a $|10 million investment in Ayala, focusing on the aggressive blood cancer multiple myeloma.

Lonza opens center for Israeli cooperation. (TY Calcalistech) Swiss biotech multinational Lonza has opened an innovation center in Haifa. Its aim is to partner “with Israeli talent in academia, medical institutions and early-stage innovative companies”. Lomza sees Israel’s technologies providing new healthcare solutions.

Amgen partners Israeli biomed. (TY Calcalistech) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Entera Bio and its treatment for hypoparathyroidism. Entera Bio has just signed a research and licensing agreement with US multinational Amgen to develop a new oral molecule-based treatment that currently is given via IV or injection.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

The first Ethiopian-Israeli pilot. Lt. “Yod” has become the first Israeli citizen of Ethiopian heritage to complete the military’s prestigious 3-year pilot’s course. Lt. “Yod” (for security reasons, all pilots are referred to by an initial letter) will serve initially as a jet navigator.

Forbes top 50 tech women includes 5 Israelis. Five Israeli women were named among Forbes’ lists of “Top 50 Women In Tech” including three to the inaugural global list and two to the European round-up. They are Adv. Limor Shmerling Magazanik, Dr. Michal Tsur, Dr. Tal Rabin, Galia Benartzi and (see here) Danit Peleg.

Hi-tech conference for Arab-Israelis. The US Embassy in Israel and Israel’s Ministry for Social Equality held in Nazareth, the first high-tech conference that introduced Arab entrepreneurs to US and Israeli investors. In his speech US Ambassador David Friedman praised Israel as a “place where we are all enriched by our diversity”

More Arab-Israelis in hi-tech. New data from Israel’s Innovation Authority show that Israeli-Arabs fill about 3% of high-tech R&D positions - up from under 1% in 2015. There are now 50% more Arab-Israelis studying hi-tech subjects at Israeli universities and colleges than five years ago.

Israel’s growing Christian population. Israel is the only Middle East country where its Christian population is growing - by 2.2% in 2017. Today they number around 175,000. In Gaza less than 1,300 remain of the 30,000 before Hamas took over.  Israel issued 700 of them (over 50%) with Christmas permits to visit Israeli holy sites.  Meanwhile, Israel welcomed an estimated 150,000 Christians from overseas for the festive season.

Israel’s top search and rescue expert. Yehiel Magnus is head of Israeli-based Magnus International Search and Rescue. Magnus and his 15-person team have conducted thousands of humanitarian rescue operations over the last 25 years. They also retrieved kidnapping victims. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhutTR2stew

World’s 3rd most educated nation. (TY Jacques) According to a 2017 report from the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), Israel ranks number three on the shortlist for the most educated countries worldwide. About 50.9% of 25-64-year-old Israelis hold a 2 to 4-year higher degree. Video from 3:30

Israel-Greece-Cyprus Summit. The 5th Israel-Greece-Cyprus Summit began on 20th Dec in Beersheba. The leaders of each country are to sign agreements on cyber defense, civilian space-related issues and meteorological cooperation. https://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2018/Pages/5th-Israel-Greece-Cyprus-Summit-began-this-morning-20-Dec-2018.aspx http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-greece-cyprus-summit-to-be-held-in-beer-sheva/2018/12/19/

NATO conducts maritime medical exercise with Israel.  NATO’s flagship for its Sea Guardian Operation has conducted a medical response exercise with Israeli Navy corvette INS Eilat. The exercise, “MEDEX Crystal Sea” is designed to develop medical support around the Mediterranean Sea for Operation Sea Guardian.

Israelis help Indonesia after deadly tsunami. Volunteers from Israeli NGO IsraAID have flown to Indonesia (a Muslim-majority country having no diplomatic relations with Israel) to provide safe water and psychological support in wake of the tsunami disaster. Some IsraAID workers were still there since the last earthquake!


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Biodegradable sustainable plastics. Tel Aviv University scientists have invented a process to make bioplastic polymers from bacteria that feed on seaweed. No need for oil, fresh water or land and there are no toxic waste products. The plastic is bio-degradable and can be recycled into organic waste.

Israeli imaging startup wins Chinese innovation award. Israeli startup Newsight Imaging won second place (and $72,000) at the 2018 Optics Valley of China International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. Newsight develops chips containing 3D imaging sensors for robotics, drones and the automotive industry.

Now everyone wants Israeli anti-drone technology. Israel’s Skylock is another Israeli tech company that disables intruder drones by “jamming” them or disrupting their frequencies.  Skylock’s passive, selective and active solutions are operational in several countries. Since the |Gatwick airport incident, enquiries have soared.

Irish Republic enlists Israelis to reduce pollution. The 2 million cows in Eire (Republic of Ireland) have polluted the land and water reservoirs. So, the Irish Government-backed Ireland Ag-tech Fund has funded Israel’s CropX to use its soil measurement system to identify where to place Eire’s cows to do least damage.

CES Las Vegas.  (TY WIN and SCICC) 22 Israeli companies will be officially exhibiting at CES 2019 (8-11 Jan) – the big technology expo in Las Vegas. Many more will be exhibiting in a personal capacity.

The first cell-grown minute steak. Israel’s Aleph Farms Ltd. has produced the first cell-grown minute steak. It is said to have the full experience of meat with the appearance, shape, and texture of beef cuts. Aleph Farms’ slaughter-free steak requires no pasture, water, feed, antibiotics or other resources to raise cattle for meat.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israeli economy improves again. Israel’s Composite State of the economy index increased by another 0.3% in November.  There were significant increases in imports of inputs, also in industrial production, in retail trade and in October’s services revenue.

IKEA to open 5th Israeli store. Swedish retail giant IKEA currently has mega stores at Netanya, Rishon Lezion, Kiriyat Ata (near Haifa) and Beersheva (see here).  It now plans to open a fifth - in the small community of Eshtaol, near Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem. The new branch is set to open in early 2020.

Virgin Atlantic to start UK-Israel service. (TY WIN) UK aviation giant Virgin Atlantic plans to launch a route to Tel Aviv next September. It also won the contract to transport British Eurovision fans on a special flight to Israel in May 2019. Earlier in Dec, Israeli-born Shai Weiss was named as Virgin Atlantic’s new CEO.

KPMG chooses Israeli fintech partner. KPMG Fintech has chosen Israel’s Binah.ai as a technology partner, supplying its out-of-the-box, data science-based use cases to predict trends, FX rates, profits, risks etc. KPMG Global Fintech comprises professionals in more than 45 hubs around the world. (KPMG at Israeli conference.)

Intel to spend $5 billion on Israeli expansion. Intel Corporation will receive a $185 million grant from the Israeli government in exchange for a massive expansion of its production operations. Overall, Intel will spend an estimated $5 billion on the project, including an upgrade for its Kiryat Gat plant in southern Israel.

Gong.io wins AI and Big Data competition. I reported previously (Jul 2017) on Israel’s Gong.io which uses AI to analyze sales conversations and help train sales and customer service staff. Gong.io has just won Calcalist’s and Microsoft’s second annual artificial intelligence and big data startup competition.

Putting Israelis to work. Israel’s Tigbur is a recruitment agency that specializes in both the hi-tech and the homecare sectors. It also supplies security guards and cleaners. See Tigbur’s CEO Orit Benbenisti on ILTV.

Securing digital securities with blockchain. The blockchain platform of Israel’s Securitize allows investors and issuers to manage their digital securities from one convenient dashboard. It ensures the digital securities can be traded compliantly across all marketplaces and exchanges. See Securitize’s CEO Carlos Domingo on ILTV.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Hebrew Language Day. 27th Dec was Israel’s Hebrew Language Day - a celebration of the revival of Hebrew as the only language to return as the spoken first language of an entire nation. This year’s theme was “Hebrew - an innovative language” stressing that modern Hebrew is qualified for research and scientific study.

Maimonides Exhibition. Jerusalem’s Israel Museum has opened an exhibit showcasing original manuscripts and writings of Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides / the Rambam) - one of Judaism’s most revered rabbis. Until 27th Apr, visitors to “Maimonides: A Legacy in Script” can see many of his original writings and signature.

Bon Jovi will return to Israel. The famed Bon Jovi band has scheduled a Tel Aviv performance on July 25 at Hayarkon Park. Israel is their final stop on their “This House is Not for Sale Tour” and will be their second appearance in Israel. Their October 2015 performance attracted some 50,000 fans.

Tel Aviv Jazz festival. (TY UWI) The Tel Aviv Jazz Festival (TLV JazzFest) is one of the most important jazz events in Israel. For 28 years, the Festival has garnered a prestigious reputation in Israel and abroad, as a magnet for stellar jazz performers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=SiZ79EoSJUo

Israeli Wins Prestigious Jazz Award. (TY Jacques) Israel’s Tom Oren was granted with a prestigious prize for young jazz artists in Washington DC. The 24-year-old received the first prize award during the International Piano Competition from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which included $25,000 and a record deal.

Brazilian soccer superstars to play in Israel. Brazil’s Soccer legends Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and others are scheduled to play a “peace match” on 26 March in either Haifa or Jerusalem. The friendly will be against Israeli legends including Eyal Berkovich, Haim Revivo and Walid Badir.


THE JEWISH STATE

IDF receives 70 new Torah scrolls. I reported previously (Feb 2014) about the hundreds of Torah scrolls that have been presented to IDF bases. Now, Mizrachi Canada has donated 70 Torah scrolls to the Israeli Defense Ministry for distribution to IDF bases all over Israel.

Zionist innovation initiative. Nefesh B’Nefesh (NbN), which promotes and assists immigration to Israel has launched the 2019 Initiative for Zionist Innovation. It includes funding projects of Olim (new immigrants) that make positive changes in their communities and immediate surroundings.

2000-year-old ring lost in the bath. A 2000-year-old ring with a solitaire gem stone was uncovered recently in archaeological excavations in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem. It was found in a mikvah (ritual bath) on the Pilgrimage Road that dates to the time of the second Temple period.

Where Judah the Prince may have bathed. Excavations at the Zippori National Park have unearthed a public bath which may have been used by famed Jewish leader and scholar Rabbi Judah Hanasi (Judah the Prince). Tractate Megillah states the rabbi, who redacted the Mishna early in the 3rd century CE, bathed on a fast day.

From Nazi to Jew. 18 months ago, Yonatan was called Lutz, had been indoctrinated by extremists and was a member of a karate group with a neo-Nazi coach. Then he had a life-changing dream. After studying Kabbalah, he converted to Judaism. He now puts on Tefillin every day and plans to make Aliya in two months’ time.

330 Ukrainian Jews arrive at end of 2018.  Thanks to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), 330 Olim (new immigrants) have landed in Israel from the Ukraine. The IFCJ has brought about 4,800 Olim to Israel this year alone (750,000 in 20 years). The immigrants include Jews from 29 different nations.


181223
In the 23rd Dec 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists can detect the moment the first blood cell becomes cancerous.
·         Israel helps Christians in Israel and Gaza celebrate their holiday.
·         An Israeli anti-drone system resolved the chaos at London’s Gatwick airport.
·         Israeli security protects critical power suppliers in the US, Europe and Asia.
·         Four Israeli startups make the final ten of UN tourism competition.
·         If disaster strikes Japan, an Israeli system will maintain communications.
·         Quentin Tarantino’s bride wore Israeli dresses at her wedding.
·         Archaeologists have discovered the remains of Sodom.

·         Click here to see the 16th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen  , Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Health, Inclusivity and Business. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Stem cell treatment for MS.  Israel’s BrainStorm has received FDA approval to use its Nurown stem cells in a Phase 2 trial for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS affects approximately 1 million individuals in the U.S. and 2.5 million individuals worldwide.  Nurown is already in a Phase 3 trial for ALS (see here).

Revealing the secrets of multiple myeloma. Scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute together with other Israeli blood cancer experts, have captured the specific gene program active in each individual cell. They can now identify pre-cancer cells, for early diagnosis and treatment of the deadly multiple myeloma disease.

Targeting bone marrow to destroy tumors. Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that breast cancer tumors boost their growth by recruiting stromal cells that originate in bone marrow. Targeting these cells with new therapies could be an effective way of treating the deadly disease.

New pathway may alleviate anxiety.  Anxiety disorders can affect billions of people. Scientists at Israel’s Weiizmann Institute have discovered a new neural mechanism underlying anxiety. It involves protein importin alpha-5, gene MeCP2 and signal molecule S1P. Targeting this biochemical pathway may lead to new therapies.

Groundbreaking CT-Scanning. The Radiology department at Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem has been conducting joint research with Philips Medical Systems. It has resulted in a laboratory to study dual energy CT techniques using an experimental IQon Spectral CT scanner that is the first of its kind in the world.

The watch that watches you. I reported previously (Jun 2017) on Israel’s Cardiacsense and its watch that watches over your heart. Its sensors monitor heart activity and blood pressure. For those at risk of stroke or cardiac arrest it can detect arrythmia, arterial fibrillation and alert doctors. Watch COO Liat Shemesh on ILTV.


Engineering meets medicine for maximum impact. Engineers, researchers and physicians at Israel’s Technion literally work “hand in glove”. They developed artificial skin so burns victims can feel again. A robotic system to perform brain and spine surgery. Ingestible chemotherapy nano-delivery tubes and more.

New Israeli faculty for Medicinal Chemistry.  Thanks to a major donation, Israel’s Weizmann Institute is establishing the Dr. Barry Sherman Institute for Medicinal Chemistry. Scientists will research compounds that can become therapies for autoimmune diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and infectious diseases.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Reaching the remote. (TY JobKatif) Two Israeli charities are changing the lives of two hard-to-reach groups. SAHI (Sayeret Hessed Yihudit - Special Grace Unit) encourages at-risk teens to volunteer to distribute food to the poor. Yad Tamar (Tamar Fund International) helps cancer patients get economic and social entitlements.

On your bike. (TY JobKatif) 700 Israeli high schools in 12 cities participate in Rochvim Rachok (riding far) programs. Currently, 160 at-risk teens have changed their ways and joined Rochvim Rachok’s monthly bike trips.  They also learn bicycle maintenance at Netanya’s Wingate Institute.

Russian-Israeli meets Yeshiva student who saved his life.  When Russian-born Alex contracted leukemia, he contacted Ezer Mizion who found a 10-out-of-10 match on their bone-marrow database. Shlomo (like many Haredi students at Jerusalem’s Meir Yeshiva) had registered his DNA. 9 years later, they met - brothers in arms.

The most diverse sports center. NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo inaugurated Jerusalem’s 9,290 sqm Sylvan Adams sports complex (the largest in the Middle East). It will be the venue for the 30 teams of Jewish, Muslim and Christian 11-to 13-year-olds playing in the Junior NBA Jerusalem International YMCA League.

Festive support for Israeli Christians. (TY Hazel) As every year, the Jerusalem municipality distributed free Christmas trees to Jerusalem’s Christian residents. Israel’s KKL-JNF distributed trees to residents in Northern Israel. Israel also authorized hundreds of Gaza’s Christians to visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.

Co-existence project to clean up Judea. Hundreds of journalists and social media personalities attended the recent 3-day Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem. On day 2, 40 of them chose one of four options – a trek to Judea to hear about the project where Jews and Palestinian Arabs pick up trash together to “clean the hate”.

The Israeli ambulance driver. (TY Ted Belman) Brigitte Gabriel was born Hanan Qahwaji, to Lebanese Maronite Christian parents. She relates her first encounter with an Israeli - who drove her and her wounded mother to Israel for treatment. I try to avoid politics, so don’t watch beyond 4 minutes if you do too.

10 years of Innovation: Africa. An unmissable video. Over the last 10 years, the Israeli NGO Innovation: Africa has used Israeli technology to pump water and provide electricity to schools and medical centers in African villages. The NGO has saved thousands of lives and benefited over a million Africans in 10 countries.

The 22nd person was alive. IsraAID co-CEO Yotam Polizer describes some of the amazing work of the Israeli NGO. In one example he personally helped rescue the last survivor of the Nepal earthquake. She had been buried for six days and was found only after pulling out 21 bodies. She is now back with her children.

Arab and Muslim skies are opening to Israel. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that Oman’s leader Qaboos bin Said al Said has given El Al permission to fly over Oman’s airspace. He said Israel can also now overfly Egypt, Sudan and Chad and cut flight times to South America by at least 2 hours.

Israeli anti-drone system helps re-open Gatwick. All flights at London’s Gatwick airport were suspended for 3 days at its busiest time due to unauthorized drones. The UK army eventually deployed the Drone Dome defense system that they bought from Israel’s Rafael Systems in August. (Not good news for the BBC though)


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

An Israel-Africa Agriculture Innovation Center. A team of leading scientists from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as senior representatives of the Syngenta Foundation visited Israel to agree the goals for a new Israel-Africa Agriculture Innovation Center.  

Out of sight! I reported previously (July 2017) on Israel’s Airobotics when Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority authorized it to fly the first fully-automated commercial drones in Israel. Now, it is the first to receive the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate of waiver to initiate Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations.

Surveying with multiple drones. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s vHive uses Artificial Intelligence to control fleets of sensor-loaded autonomous drones. vHive provides industries such as civil engineering, construction, telecoms, rail and infrastructure to quickly inspect large sites and projects.  http://www.vhive.ai/solution-overview/

Mind the data. Calcalist’s annual Mind the Data conference at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, brought together entrepreneurs and executives from Israeli companies and multinationals.  They discussed how big data and artificial intelligence can be used to tackle the challenges faced by industry and society.

Israeli software for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year”. Time Magazine has partnered with Israeli content creation startup Apester to conduct Time’s annual “Person of the Year” survey. It is the third consecutive year that Time has employed Apester for the survey.

Soybeans resistant to roundworms. Nematode (roundworm) infestation costs US farmers $1.3 billion a year. Israeli biotech Evogene has partnered with Brazilian plant breeder TMG, to develop non-GMO nematode resistant soybeans. Evogene will utilize genome editing technologies on TMG’s commercial soybean lines.

Securing critical industry. (TY OurCrowd) Israeli-led cybersecurity specialist CyberX focuses on defending critical national infrastructure including top US, European and Asia-Pacific energy companies. It just joined the GE Digital Alliance - to help grow industry’s digital ecosystem while securing its use of the Internet of Things.

Israel’s largest wind tunnel. The Environmental Wind Tunnel Laboratory at Israel’s Institute for Biological Research spans three floors in Ness Ziona. The tunnel is used for environmental research, (e.g. pollution dispersion) safety and urban planning and as a platform for developing new research fields in Israel and abroad.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Boot camp for entrepreneurs in the South. Nefesh B’Nefesh has launched its inaugural Entrepreneur Boot Camp” to foster growth across Israel's South. The 6-week program for Olim (immigrant) innovators is in partnership with KKL Israel, JNF - USA, the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration.

Jerusalem is rebuilding. I’ve reported previously (see here) (and here) on some of the huge business construction projects being planned for Jerusalem. This new article contains some more details on both the 300,000 square meters City Entrance project and Mobileye’s new 135,000 square meters campus.

Israel joins international financial task force. Israel has joined the prestigious Financial Action Task Force (FATF) an inter-governmental body committed to fighting the increased global terror financing and money-laundering problem. Israel can now help FATF in its work putting pressure on international sponsors of terror.

El Al launches direct route to Las Vegas. El Al Israel Airlines has announced its sixth direct route to the United States – Las Vegas. The new (initially once-a-week) service will start in June. El Al already flies direct to New York, Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles. A new direct route to San Francisco begins in May.

Four Israeli finalists in UN tourism competition. (TY Calcalistech and Israel21c) 2771 startups from 132 countries entered the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) competition. The 10 finalists include 4 Israeli startups. They are Pruvo Net, SeeVoov (GoBeenThere), Howazit (see here) and Refundit (see here)..

Skoda unveils new car in Israel. (TY Calcalistech) Czech automaker Škoda unveiled its new Škoda Scala compact family car to 300 reporters from 22 countries in Petah Tikva. It is the first time a global automaker has globally debuted a car in Israel. The car features a constant internet connection and a new infotainment system.

Securing the car.  (TY Calcalistech) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Karanba and its innovative vehicle security. Multinational car parts manufacturer Ficosa is to integrate Karamba’s cyber protection technologies into its telematic control units – mandatory for accident emergency calls in Europe.

Educational games startup exits. I reported previously (Mar 2015) on Israeli computer games startup Codemonkey, that helps children learn how to write computer code by playing and solving puzzles.  Codemonkey has just been acquired by China's giant TAL Education Group for an estimated $20 million.

Medical start-ups compete for $1 million investment. I reported previously (Apr 2017) on Israeli medical incubator Sanara, jointly setup by Israel’s Teva and Philips Healthcare. Sanara has launched a competition where two winning Israeli medical start-ups will each receive a $1 million seed investment, plus office space.

Another take-over for Israeli company. (TY Calcalistech) I reported previously (July 2017) that Israeli cybersecurity specialists Checkmarx had bought a UK software company. It has now bought Custodela, an Ontario-based software security company. Israel continues to improve its global position in cybersecurity.

Empowering the commercial property market. (TY Arutz Sheva) I reported previously (Jan 2016) on Israeli start-up Credifi which collects data about commercial property, for fund managers, brokers. lenders etc. to make decisions. Senior MD Jason Rausman explains more about the system and company culture on ILTV.

Disaster response service for Japan. I’ve reported previously (many times) on Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks. Gilat has just won a multi-million-dollar contract from Japanese government agency LASCOM, for its SkyEdge II-c platform, to maintain government communications to its people in any disaster event.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Beautifying urban centers. I reported previously (see here) on the Israel Innovation Fund (TIIF) and its social and cultural projects. TIIF has launched its first crowdfunding campaign, The Hebrew Wallpaper Project to transform Israel’s urban centers through the stunning street designs of Solomon Souza, and other street artists.

Israeli dresses for Quentin Tarantino’s bride. Director Quentin Tarantino married 35-year-old singer and model Daniella Pick in Los Angeles recently. Daniella chose two gowns (for the ceremony and reception) made by Tel Aviv-based designer Dana Harel, accented with headpieces by Tel Aviv-based designer Keren Wolf.

Pink Floyd in Israel. (TY Hazel) No, not BDS-supporter Roger Walters - this is the UK cover band Pink Floyd Experience.  They earlier cancelled their scheduled Israel tour (due to death threats from BDS supporters) but thanks to Israeli promoter Ziv Rubinstein, they’ve re-instated Beersheba, Tel Aviv and Haifa (Jan 4-6) concerts.

Excavating for a (King Solomon’s) mine. During Hanukkah, the Israeli public were invited to join an excavation in Timna Park in the southern Arava. Families sifted through excavated material to find copper slag, painted pottery, beads, animal bones and an amulet. https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Timna-Park-opens-doors-for-to-public-excavations-during-Hanukkah-573420


THE JEWISH STATE

Jobs during and after IDF service. Israeli charity Ta’suChayil (Tasohil) provides an employment-based program for impoverished IDF soldiers. It finds paid jobs that they can do during IDF vacations. After being discharged, ongoing counseling and mentoring helps them to remap their future and enjoy professional growth.

The play that helped create Israel. Saul Singer, co-author of the amazing book “Startup Nation”, has just written this article about the 1946 Broadway play “A Flag is Born” starring Marlon Brando. It galvanized American support for the Jewish State. http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/features-on-jewish-world/marlon-brando-and-the-play-that-helped-create-israel/2018/12/05/

Archeologists discover remains of Sodom. Archaeologists excavating Tall el-Hammam (now in Jordan) say it was the Biblical city of Sodom, destroyed some 3,700 years ago. Its 100-foot-thick, 50-feet-high walls were shattered by an immensely strong directional shock wave from a mid-air explosion followed by intense fires.

Wick from a 1500-year-old candle. New research by the Israel Antiquities Authority has identified a unique linen (from flax) wick, of the type used for Sabbath lamps in Mishnaic times, 1,500 years ago. It was originally found in excavations conducted in the 1930s by the American Colt expedition to the Negev site of Shivta.

From Hanukkah to Diversity and more. (TY Sharon) As memories of Hanukkah flicker away, here are 24 photos of in Jerusalem to dispel the darkness of winter. Then Jerusalem streets see Christmas decorations, a band for special needs, Art of Jazz, Crossroads/Janglo night run, ArtBnB, Hullegub (Ethiopian arts) and more.

Saved from the storm. Recent heavy rains may be good news to Israel’s farmers and water company but to one female turtle it was nearly fatal. Washed up and nearly dead on Ashkelon beach, she was rescued by Eddy Israel, an alert citizen who called the Nature and Parks Authority. Israelis leave no stone (or turtle) unturned.

Jewish Hell.  A first for my newsletter – a joke about the Jewish State.  And it’s so true!


181216
In the 16th Dec 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have discovered a new pathway for treating age-related hearing loss.
·         It’s official – Israeli tech is driving Israel’s latest diplomatic successes.
·         Israeli technology has lowered the numbers of accidents involving London buses.
·         The US Coastguard is to use Israeli technology to see beyond the horizon.
·         Jordan has bought more Israeli natural gas and has asked for more Israeli water.
·         Argentine superstar soccer player Lionel Messi has joined an Israeli fan club.
·         Archaeologists in Israel have discovered remains from the Biblical Tabernacle.

·         Click here to see the 9th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Co-existence. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

FDA designation for solid tumor treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (28 Jan) that the AGI-134 solid tumor treatment from Israel’s BiolineRX showed promise. The U.S. FDA has just granted Biological Product Designation for the novel immunotherapy compound. Early trials show complete regression of tumors.

Restoring the digestive system. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s E-Motion Medical has just received the CE Mark (i.e. European approval) for its E-Motion System, providing stimulation therapy that restores the natural motor function of the digestive system for patients with acute gastrointestinal dysmotility (GID).

New pathway for treating loss of hearing. Tel Aviv University scientists have produced the world’s first map of "methylation" (natural gene manipulation) that impacts development and ultimately loss of function of the entire inner ear. They have revealed many new genes that may help restore hearing to deaf children and adults.

Going bats to understand spatial awareness. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found that humans are more like bats than rats in how our brains help us navigate the environment. Rat neurons only emit predictable. rhythmic oscillations, whereas bats and primates additionally use far more complex mechanisms.

New program for treating eating disorders. Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center has set up a new daily program to treat young people up to age 30 in Northern Israel with eating disorders. Each patient receives an intensive, personized plan plus access to doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, dieticians and social workers.

Sleeping sickness parasite genome decoded. Dr. Noam Kaplan of Israel’s Technion Institute is a member of an International team of scientists that has decoded the genome of the fatal parasite Trypanosoma brucei – the cause of human “sleeping sickness”. It should help in the development of techniques to block the fatal disease.

Gut microbiome-analysis startup’s $5 million lab. I wrote previously (19th Aug) that Israeli startup DayTwo will provide members of health care provider Clalit with personalized nutrition plans based on DNA analysis of gut microbiome. DayTwo is now setting up a $5 million lab in Rehovot, working with the Weizmann Institute.

Of mice and men. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech CytoReason and Israel’s Technion Institute are analyzing the immune system at the cell level. As a result, they have just published a groundbreaking new mouse to human model. It will help scientists develop treatments faster that work both in clinical and human trials. Great video.

New treatment for heart failure. Israeli-founded Irish-Israeli startup Whiteswell has developed a minimally invasive solution for acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). It involves a catheter to drain excess fluid. Whiteswell has just raised $30 million of funds to support development and trials.

Patient monitoring guidance system. I reported previously (Dec 2011) that the universities of Haifa and Ben Gurion were building MobiGuide to monitor patients outside clinically controlled environments. MobiGuide is now the first AI system for the automated management of atrial fibrillation and gestational diabetes patients.

See the new migraine relief device. I reported previously (21st May) that Israel’s Neurolief was developing a non-invasive brain neuro-modulation interface system that could relieve migraine headaches. This Israel21c article shows the device, describes the technology and plans. The device is also in trials to treat depression.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israel advocates for people with disabilities. Israel’s parliament marked International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on 3rd Dec. Israel’s 8 million citizens include 1.6 million people with disabilities who are an integral part of Israeli society, and this short video publicizes it.

President hosts 60 diverse mayors. (TY Sharon) Following Israel’s recent mayor elections, President Reuven Rivlin emphasized shared interests when hosting 60 new mayors at Beit Hanasi in Jerusalem.  The mayors represented every section of Israeli society, secular, ultra-orthodox, religious and Arab, Bedouin and Druze.

Israeli-Arab doctor is youth angiology representative for Asia. Dr. Rashad Abusaleh, of Rambam Medical Center has been appointed by the International Union of Angiology (IUA) to be its International Youth Young Committee Vice Chairman. Dr. Abusaleh will represent Israel and Asia for the next three years.

Schoolhouse for migrants. (TY Josie) I reported previously (9th Dec) on the Israeli NGO teaching computer skills to some of the 38,000 African migrants in Israel. This article describes the Schoolhouse at Minshar School of Art in south Tel Aviv where Israeli volunteers educate migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.

Please can we have some more water? (TY Nevet) A Jordanian delegation has traveled to Israel to request an increase in water allocation to the kingdom, which is plagued by severe shortages. Israel already sends 50 million cubic meters to Jordan as part of peace agreements.

Look who’s taking Israeli on-line Bible archaeology course. (TY WIN) An online course at Bar-Ilan University, titled Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah, has drawn more than 1,000 students from around the world, including from Pakistan, UAE and Oman, who have no ties to Israel.

Joint research with Brazil. Israel’s Innovation Authority (IIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Research and Innovation. Each authority will allocate $5 million over five years to support R&D projects leading to solutions to technological challenges relevant for both nations.

Israel’s diplomatic breakthroughs. In 2010, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, said “Israel is the most isolated, lonely country in the world”.  But in the last eight years, the Jewish state has had extraordinary diplomatic breakthroughs in India, China, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Gulf.

Israeli technology is paving the way for diplomacy. I reported previously (6th May) that Israeli diplomats were to receive training in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship prior to going overseas. They are now being trained how to “talk tech”, show off Israel’s innovation and use it to promote the nation. About time too!


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Eilat-Eilot energy conference. The 2018 Eilat-Eilot International Renewable Energy Conference is Israel’s leading energy event. From Dec 2 – 4, thousands of participants from all over the world came to Eilat. The event launched Eilat Eilot’s East Africa Off Grid Technologies Hub, bringing Israeli innovation to Africa.

Renewable energy program. (TY Calcalistech) Israel’s Innovation Authority (IIA) is launching a $7 million annual pilot program to fund and support companies requiring R&D in renewable and efficient energy fields. Up to NIS 2.5 million is available for projects in solar, geothermal, fuel alternatives, smart grid, storage etc.

TAU-China research center unveiled. I reported previously (29th Sep) on the joint Tel Aviv University project with China’s Tsinghua University to set-up a new research center in Shenzhen. The two universities began their plans in 2016 and have just presented them at the China Israel Innovation Forum in Shenzhen.

Hebrew U launches fintech center. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has opened a new fintech center, funded by a $1.3 million donation from Israeli entrepreneur David Gershon. Its goal is to grow Israeli fintech startups and increase overseas sales. It also aims to help raise a new generation of Israeli fintech entrepreneurs.

Vegan meat startup wins European Food competition. Israeli startup Jet Eat, which developed a technology for 3D printing of vegan meat substitutes, was selected as one of the winners of the 2018 Food Accelerator Network Program competition. The contest is hosted by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology.

Vegan products from chickpea protein. I reported previously (19 Aug) on Israel’s InnovoPro, developer of a 70 percent protein concentrate from chickpeas. It has now produced prototype products like puddings, meat alternatives, high-protein snacks and vegan mayonnaise. It has also just raised $4.25 million of funds.

Airports for drones. Israeli startup Highlander Aviation has developed software that manages and coordinates the activity of autonomous drone fleets. It has just raised $1.5 million to help it expand globally. Highlander intends to build specialized airports for commercial drones, where the flyers can land and recharge.

Self-healing software accelerates in Japan. (TY Roger) I reported previously (Dec 2017) on Israel’s Aurora Labs whose systems fix problems in connected cars. Aurora has just been chosen to participate in the Batch 2 Acceleration Program of Plug and Play Japan. Aurora’s software platform is valuable to vehicle manufacturers

Israeli technology makes London buses safer. (TY Atid-EDI) London bus operator, Abellio, launched a trial in Oct on 66 of its buses of Israeli collision-avoidance technology from Mobileye (now part of Intel).  Findings to date show it has reduced avoidable collisions by 29% and reduced injuries from such collisions by 60%.

New concept steering wheel is 3D printed. (TY Atid-EDI) Global automobile products company Techniplas has used a DragonFly Pro 3D printer from Israel’s Nano Dimension to design a new steering wheel that incorporates its proprietary cognitive lighting technology with 3D printed electronics in a single step.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHUFCD5bmJ8 (Techniplas’ Israeli vice-chair Avi Reichental)

Smart pool cleaner. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Maytronics, was co-winner of the 2018 Pool Innovations Trophy Smart Pool award for its Dolphin iO robotic pool cleaner powered by self-learning AI technology featuring 3D digital mapping of the pool.  Piscine Global, in Lyon, is Europe’s leading swimming pool and wellness event.

Put them anywhere you want. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Wi-Charge and its innovative WiFi (10-meter range) charging system. Wi-Charge now turns specific Amazon and Google smart speakers into wireless speakers. Wi-Charge is also expanding with new partners for its OEM program.

Dying wool online in any color. The technology of Israel’s Twine Solutions continuously dyes a single raw off-the-shelf white thread to any requested length and in any one of millions of colors and shades and gradients. It eliminates the inefficient conventional bulk dyeing of thread in use today.  Twine has just raised $22 million.

Systems for U.S. Coast Guard planes. (TY Atid-EDI) The U.S. Coast Guard is to use the MilliSAT L/W system from Israel’s GetSat. Its beyond line of sight (BLOS) technology will support the Coast Guard’s intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, humanitarian aid, search and rescue and disaster relief missions.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Reckitt Benckiser partners with Israel, (TY Calcalistech) Israel’s Innovation Authority (IIA), has signed a Tech Collaboration Agreement with Healthcare multinational Reckitt Benckiser (RB). The IIA will help RB locate Israeli healthcare startups focusing on AI and blockchain and match investments that RB makes in them.  

Jordan buys more Israeli gas. (TY Atid-EDI) Tamar Petroleum (owned by Israel’s Delek and US’s Nobel Energy) is to supply up to 1 BCM more Israeli gas worth $200 million to the Jordan Bromine Company and Arab Potash Company. Jordan began receiving Israeli gas in 2017 (see here) after a $500 million deal (see here)

Battery charging startup gets Chinese boost. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s StoreDot and its innovative fast-charging batteries. Now, China’s EVE Energy Co. Ltd. has signed an agreement with StoreDot. to manufacture the Israeli company’s products for electric vehicles and mobile devices in China.

The OurCrowd Global Investor Summit. On March 7, 2019, in Jerusalem, Israel, over 15,000 people from over 120 countries are expected to attend the fifth annual OurCrowd Global Investor Summit. Its theme is “Startups: Making a Global Impact,” – their breakthrough technologies and their social impact in the world.

Morgan Freeman is so cool. Octogenarian Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman will soon be seen all over Israeli billboards and television screens as the new face of Tadiran air conditioners. Freeman signed an agreement with Tadiran to lead the company’s advertising campaigns.

Protecting millions of cars.  I reported previously (1 July) about Israel’s ERM Advanced Telematics and its systems that prevents cyber-attacks on connected cars. ERM now protects and monitors 5 million cars globally. It is now expanding in Latin America, focusing on the fleet management and stolen vehicle recovery markets.

Ex-Intel employees invest in Israeli tech. Five former Intel senior executives have co-founded investment group NextLeap Ventures. It has already invested $1.5 million in five Israeli tech startups – GuardKnox, Zuta-Core, Magentiq Eye, Montfort (see here) and TechsoMed. 80 ex-Intel employees came to its recent Pitch Night.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Urban art in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Development Authority’s Cultural Infrastructures and Public Domain of Eden has initiated the painting of 11 exquisite wall paintings in the Talpiot district of Jerusalem. They are the works of an international roll call of professionals, including from China, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Israel.

Dance festival attracts VIPs from 45 nations. The 24th annual International Exposure dance festival (Dec 5 – 9) took place at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Tel Aviv. The 178 VIP guests from 45 countries included the directors of the dance festivals of Montpellier, Lyon, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, Singapore and many more.

Print fair in Tel Aviv. The Print Fair photo exhibit at Tel Aviv’s Print House photo studio that finished early Dec was so popular that it re-opened the following weekend. The event’s aim was to bring good photography to young people. 150 photographers were selected via a Facebook open call and photos can still be bought on-line

New Israeli stamps. (TY Jacob) Israel Post has issued new stamps featuring Israeli achievements in robotics; trees of Israel and simultaneous joint issues with the USA and with Poland.

Circling Mount Meron. The 100% circular nature trail in the Mount Meron Nature Reserve leads from Nahal Moran to Nahal Neria past gorgeous groves and enchanting landscapes. Check the weather first, because it requires walking inside the riverbed, which remains dry most of the year except immediately after rain.

Messi joins Beitar Jerusalem fan club. Argentine football (soccer) legend Lionel Messi has become a member of the fan club of the Israeli football team Beitar Jerusalem. Beitar’s owner and Sirin labs CEO Moshe Hogeg, presented Messi with a membership card and Sirin smartphone in Barcelona, where Messi plays professionally.


THE JEWISH STATE

Relic from the tabernacle discovered. Archaeologists excavating at Shiloh have unearthed a 20 cm-long clay pomegranate dating back well over 3000 years to the time of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the First Iron Age. It is the same shape as the pomegranate-shaped bells on the priests’ cloaks and probably decorated the Mishkan.

Archaeological evidence for Chanukah. I reported previously (Sep 2013) about the Siebenberg House Museum built on top of the remains of a 2000-year-old house in Jerusalem. Recently archaeologists discovered large stones from a Hasmonean era building, and the time of the Maccabees of Chanukah fame.

Ancient vanilla found in Israel. The first evidence of the use of vanilla has been discovered in residue from a 3,600-year-old (Bronze-age) tomb at Megiddo in Israel. Traders probably brought the spice from orchids grown in Africa. Scientists previously thought that vanilla originated in South America, several thousand years later.

New Dead Sea scrolls? Archaeologists are busy excavating two recently discovered caves overlooking the Dead Sea which contain 2000-year-old jars, wrappings, and possible scroll fragments. Although the cave had been plundered, the robbers hadn’t dug very deep and the archaeologists were hopeful of a new discovery.

Mystery donor give Chanukah presents to hospitalized kids. An anonymous Australian donor has sent a transport of toys to hundreds of children at Rambam’s Ruth Rappaport Children's Hospital in Haifa. It took a special truck to transport all 1,150 toys. Leftover toys will be given to children all year round.

Award for Rescuers Without Borders. Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked presented Israel’s Rescuers Without Borders (RWB) organization with an Award of Excellence at the Arutz Sheva conference in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. RWB’s 1,000 volunteers provide emergency medical assistance in Judea and Samaria.

JNF to fund Israel education in UK Jewish schools. JNF UK is giving £1.2 million to 18 UK Jewish schools to boost Israel education programs. Its aim is to strengthen the Jewish identity and connection to Israel for over 12,000 pupils. Primary schools receive grants of up to £10,000 a year and secondary schools up to £50,000.

The first International Jewish People’s Parade. Some 6,000 Jews from Israel and around the world participated in the first-ever International Jewish People’s Parade in Jerusalem. The marchers carried Macy’s Day Parade-like floats. Characters included Chinese dragons, a Muppet, a Smurf, Ben Gurion and Herzl.

Australia recognizes Israel’s capital. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced, "Australia now recognizes West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset [Israel's parliament] and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel." Australia is to establish a trade and defense office in West Jerusalem.

Reali school’s “Chanukah Miracles”.  (TY Marlene) Haifa’s Reali school magazine featured the project of its Middle School students who are translating articles from my VeryGoodNewsIsrael newsletter into Hebrew. Click here for the link to the magazine.  It’s the last article on the page. Here is what is says:-
נס חנוכה – הניוזלטר "חדשות טובות ישראל" מתורגם לעברית בשיתוף עם תלמידי תיכון הדר
"חדשות טובות ישראל" – ניוזלטר שבועי באנגלית המופץ לקוראים רבים ברחבי העולם.
בניוזלטר תמצאו חדשות וחידושים מישראל בכל תחומי החיים ומעשים טובים שקורים במדינה הקטנה והנפלאה שלנו.
קבוצת תלמידים, בשיתוף עם סניף תיכון הדר בהנחייתה של מרלין, עוסקת בתרגום של מאמרים נבחרים, זאת במטרה להנגיש את התכנים גם לציבור בישראל.
תלמידים שנענו למטלה התנדבותית ואצילית זו, זכו בתזכורת מכובדת וסיקור של החגיגות ה- 105 של בית הספר.
תהליך התרגום מרחיב למתנדבים את ידיעותיהם באנגלית, מרחיב אופקים ומעודד עשיה חיובית.
בכך הם הופכים לשגרירים צעירים של חדשות טובות ישראל, ושגרירים יצירתיים של בית ספר הריאלי וסניף תיכון הדר.
למעבר לעמוד "חדשות טובות ישראל" לחצו כאן.

181209
In the 9th Dec 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         A new Israeli treatment for advanced chronic kidney disease
·         Jewish paramedics in Judea save the life of a Palestinian Arab boy.
·         Israeli system blocked several unauthorized drones at the G20 Summit.
·         A new Israeli environmentally-friendly space-rocket fuel is being developed.
·         Skoda has just partnered with its sixth Israeli tech company.
·         The number of tourists visiting Jerusalem last year rose by 38%.
·         Israeli technology has uncovered a 2,600-year-old Jewish town in Judea.

·         Click here to see the 2nd Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Cell-therapy for advanced kidney disease. Israeli biotech KidneyCure is developing personalized cell-therapy technology for treating advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). An estimated 30 million adults in the US have CKD (most are undiagnosed) with 600,000 on dialysis.

Non-Hodgins lymphoma treatment approved. Israel’s Teva has received US FDA approval for its Truxima treatment for several conditions of the deadly non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. Truxima is a bio-similar (tested low-cost alternative) to Rituxan (Rituximab) manufactured by Roche.

Good results in H. pylori treatment. Israeli biotech Redhill announced positive top-line results from its confirmatory Phase 3 study using its TALICIA treatment for H. pylori Infection. Of 455 trial participants, the antibiotic-resistant infection was eradicated completely in 85% of cases compared to 58% using an alternative.

Giving an amputee a reason to live. 72-year old Israeli Yehuda lost both legs after an infection and was considering ending his life. But when volunteers from NGO United Hatzalah’s ‘Ten Kavod’ project heard of his plight, they took him swimming in the sea and even on a yacht trip. It has totally changed his life.

Boosting Israel’s life-science powerhouse. Israeli NGO 8400 Network is building a network of 400 top Israeli health-tech brains over 8 years (hence 8400). These leaders are using the best practices of global life-sciences ecosystems to initiate projects that promote growth in the health-related industry in Israel.

EU award for cancer breath-test inventor. Israel Technion Professor Hossam Haick (see here) received the European Commission Innovation Prize in Lisbon for inventing the SniffPhone, a smartphone device to detect cancer in the breath. He was “the most innovative scientist realizing an idea in the field of electronic systems”.

Nursing training for Ethiopian-Israelis. Israeli NGO JobKatif has established Achotenu - a program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital, for Ethiopian-Israelis to earn a degree in nursing and long-term employment. The current program has 58 students including those in this inspiring video.

Israeli leads the cardiovascular world. (TY Hazel) Israel is number one in the world for medical patents per capita. These patents have led to numerous revolutionary cardiovascular procedures and devices. E.g. aortic valve replacement, mitral valve repair, tiny pacemakers, heart monitoring chips and especially stents.

Charity’s 3,000th transplant. Israeli charity Ezer Mizion is celebrating the 3,000-milestone for the number of life-saving stem-cell transplants performed as a direct result of its bone-marrow registry. Prior to Ezer Mizion, chances of a Jewish patient finding a genetic match was 8%. Now, 76% of requests receive a positive response.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Hi-tech training for Negev Arabs and Jews.  Founded in 2009, Israeli NGO A New Dawn in the Negev improves quality of life for Israel’s Bedouin community. Its Tech2Peace program in Yeruham trained 30 young men and women (15 Israeli Arabs and 15 Jews) in software development, graphic design and 3D printing.

Israeli-Druze woman is Public Broadcaster’s TV News anchor. (TY Hazel) Israeli-Druze Gadeer Mreeh is the first non-Jewish woman to anchor the Hebrew news at the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation. A mother of two, she has a BA from Bar-Ilan University and a master’s in international relations from Haifa University.

Israeli Arab “is privileged” to serve in the IDF. (TY Hazel) “T” - a 19-year-old Israeli Arab from the Jerusalem area joined the IDF Border Police and completed basic training. The teenager says it's "a privilege to serve my country,” Following T.'s decision to enlist, three of his close friends decided to follow his footsteps.

Palestinian Arab boy’s life saved. (TY Avi) Efrat is a Judean town situated between Bethlehem and Hebron. Arab residents from neighboring Wadi Nis brought to Efrat a boy from their village who was seriously hurt in a fall from his second-floor balcony. Efrat’s Jewish paramedics provided advanced treatment, saving his life.

Co-existence projects in the Jordan Valley. Israel’s Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry has partnered the Jordan Valley Regional Council to promote agricultural cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian Arab communities. Head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, David Elhayani tells more.  

Haifa welcomes European navy ships. Haifa port, on Israel’s northern coast, often hosts ships from allied naval forces. On 28th November, a French navy vessel docked at the port and it is shortly to be joined by ships from Italy, Spain and Britain. https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/189754-181128-exclusive-french-warship-docks-in-israel-to-be-joined-by-italy-britain-spain

Latino Christian Zionists in LA. (TY IsraPundit) Latino evangelicals from Southern California gathered at the Igelsia Evangelica Latina church in Los Angeles for a special event honoring the State of Israel. The event was also attended by local Jewish community leaders and a representative of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles.

UN adopts Israel’s national rescue team. Israel’s Home Front Command National Rescue Unit has joined the prestigious “INSARAG" - a United Nations body that centralizes rescue units from around the world to coordinate, optimize and utilize rescue operations in disaster-stricken areas and save lives.

Drones neutralized at G20 Summit. Last week (see here) I wrote that Israel provided security for the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires. In fact, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) subsidiary ELTA, deployed its Drone Guard detection system and successfully blocked several suspicious drones from flying towards the global leaders.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Making Tel Aviv bloom – with sheep! Ecologist Liav Shalem has deployed Asaf Gal to graze his herd of sheep in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon River Park as a pilot project to rehabilitate 52 patches of undeveloped nature in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Grazing restores the natural ecological balance, promoting the growth of flowers.

Training migrants in computer skills. We frequently hear bad news about Tel Aviv’s asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea. In contrast, this initiative of Israeli NGO African Refugee Development Center and the Developer Institute is to teach some of them coding skills and integrate them into the Israeli hi-tech sector.

Card games to teach innovation. Israeli start-up Innovations Nations Games (TING) has developed a learning ‘Toolkit’ in the form of card games to help develop innovative and creative thinking skills. Players brainstorm ideas for new innovative ventures or solutions for existing challenges.

Wireless charging anywhere you want it. I reported previously (17th June) on Israel’s Humavox and its smart recharging technology. It is now promising to turn everyday places (e.g. handbags, briefcases, drawers, even toy boxes) into wireless battery chargers.  https://www.israel21c.org/wireless-charging-anywhere-you-want-it/

Israeli agricultural conference in Vietnam.  (TY Nevet) The Israeli embassy in Vietnam held a conference on hi-tech agriculture to help Vietnamese farmers. Vice Chairman of Ha Noi People’s Committee Nguyen Doan Toan praised Israel and anticipated Israeli companies would help the city develop its hi-tech agriculture sector.

Whatever happened to Iron Beam? I reported previously (26th Jan) on the laser beam system to stop short-rage mortars. The project was stopped to give priority to Iron Dome. But now Israel Aerospace Industries is “at a very advanced stage,” in its development and “successful experiments have already been carried out".

Gel propulsion. Israeli startup NewRocket is developing gel propulsion – a cheaper, more environmentally friendly rocket-engine technology offering the same level of performance and control as toxic “legacy fuel” and a better solution for smaller satellites. The technology was invented by Prof. Benny Natan of Israel’s Technion.

Facing threats full in the face. I’ve reported on many Israeli startups (see here) that have developed innovative face-recognition technology. Israel’s AnyVision uses artificial intelligence (AI) to perform real-time forensic analysis of video images for pro-active threat intervention. Investors include Qualcomm and Bosch.

Developing cybersecurity with Japan. Israel’s (female) ambassador to Japan Yaffa Ben-Ari and Japan’s Minister of the Interior and Communications Masatoshi Ishida signed an accord in Tokyo to cooperate in research and development, information exchange, and training programs in the field of cybersecurity.  

Two global game-changers. New York-based data company CB Insights named two Israeli startups in its 2019 Game Changers report of 36 international fast-growing firms that are changing the world. I reported (see here) on connected car startup Autotalks and AdVerif.ai uses AI to keep users safe from spam and malicious content.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel is a hot spot for tourism. (TY WIN & I24 News) Having broken the all-time record for tourist numbers to Israel, the Israel Hotel Investment Summit some of the top world hoteliers have come to Israel and are ready to invest.  In particular, the number of tourists visiting Jerusalem rose by 38% in the past year.

Salary growth declines, except in Israel. The Global Wage Report 2018/19 finds that the world’s average wage growth slowed in 2017 compared with 2016 and is considered the lowest rate since 2008. But in Israel, the average real wage has increased every year since 2013 when the rise was 1.4%. In 2017 wages rose 3%.

Direct flights to Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines has announced that it will start direct flights, twice-a-week, from Hanoi to Tel Aviv from Sep 2019. Vietnam Airlines CEO Thanh Tri Duong was reportedly in Israel in November for meetings on the new operation. He also signed a code-sharing agreement with El Al.

Israeli security and water for UN African Peacekeepers. The United Nations has signed an $8 million agreement Israel’s MER for defense sensors in Africa where 61 peacekeepers were killed last year. In addition, Israeli water treatment technology company Odis has won a UN tender worth $42 million.

Radar protection for South Korea. (TY WIN) ELTA Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has won a deal reported to be worth $292 million to supply two long-range warning systems to South Korea. The mobile, ground-based Green Pine radar systems detect and track long-range missiles.

Skoda accelerates in Israel. Czech car-maker Skoda has revealed that it is working with two Israel-based startups - Chakratec and UVeye and already testing their technologies. Skoda started seeking Israeli innovation in 2017 and has already partnered with Israel’s Anagog, XM Cyber, Guardian, and Otonomo.

Keeping Chinese eyes on the road. New regulations come into force in Shenzhen, China in 2019 that require all heavy trucks to have driver monitoring systems. So, China’s Exsun has partnered with Israel-based motion recognition startup EyeSight Technologies to integrate its systems with Exsun’s truck fleet management tools.

German firm acquired for $100 million. Israeli companies don’t exit as much as they did a few years ago., Israeli gaming giant Playtika has just bought out its German rival Wooga (makers of puzzles) for $100 million. Playtika’s annual revenue following the acquisition will surpass $1 billion.  No small shakes!

Moving from Cloud to Cloud to IBM. Israeli startup NooBaa’s technology makes it easy for companies to move data from one Cloud location to another or manage it in multiple locations as if in a single coherent data set. Anyway, NooBaa’s software is so good that Red Hat Inc (owned by IBM) just had to buy the company.

Free cybersecurity for the hotel industry. Israeli cybersecurity startup ITsMine is to provide its AI-based Data Loss Prevention solution free of charge to the worldwide hotel industry through the end of 2019. It follows Marriott hotel’s recent data breach that exposed the financial data of approximately 500 million guests.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

ArtBnB in Jerusalem. No, not a spelling mistake. Project ArtBnB brings 21 artists from 17 countries to “live and create” in one of three Jerusalem cultural centers. They will be guested by 21 local artists from Dec 9 – 20, culminating in an exhibition to showcase their works in the fields of cinema, theater and photography.

Moses led Romanian Jews to the Promised Land. “Bucharest Diary: Romania’s Journey from Darkness to Light” is a new book by 89-year-old American Alfred Moses. In it, he recounts his 13-years work from 1976, bringing thousands of Jews to Israel from Communist Romania.

Israeli wine wins International double-gold. Israel’s Tom Winery won "Best Winery" in the boutique winery category, plus the top "Double Gold" award for their "Cabernet Franc 2016" in the "Terra Vino" international wine competition in Ashdod. 30 international judges tasted and graded 500 wines from all over the world.

Shark observation center opens. Every winter, about 20 to 30 dusky and sandbar sharks come to enjoy basking in the pure warm waters surrounding Israel’s Orot Rabin power plant in Hadera. From Dec to Apr, visitors can watch them and learn about sharks at the new information and shark observation station.

New Tel Aviv bike trails. I reported previously (24th July) on Tel Aviv’s many bike pathways and how easy it is to rent a bike. Now, Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai has just inaugurated the first section of a new 110-kilometer network of bicycle trails that “will turn Tel Aviv into the Amsterdam of the Middle East”.


THE JEWISH STATE

Jerusalem’s Yemenite synagogue. In 1885, Jews from Yemen built a synagogue in the village of Shiloah (Silwan), right outside Jerusalem's Old City. The British evacuated the Jews during the 1936-9 Arab riots and the Jordanian army destroyed the synagogue in 1948. It is now being rebuilt and discoveries are being made.

Kosovo would move its embassy to Jerusalem – if it had one! Kosovo’s president, Hashim Thaci, said that were his country to have an embassy in Israel, he would put it in Jerusalem. Israel and Kosovo (a majority Muslim country) have warm relations but currently do not have formal diplomatic ties.

Technology reveals ancient Judean village. Over 2600 years old, the vanished village of Beit Lehi-Beit Loya is re-emerging, southwest of Jerusalem. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology and a 360-degree UVU drone-mounted 4K camera have revealed 20% of the village and some amazing remains. Visit it on-line.

Local evidence of Babylonian exile. Just north of Netanya, Israel, a cuneiform tablet has been discovered documenting the sale of slaves, in the Biblical Land of Israel. The Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) fell to the Assyrians around 722 BCE and the ten northern Tribes of Israel were exiled as slaves to Babylon.

Ancient mask connects Israel to birth of civilization. Israeli archaeologists discovered a Neolithic 9,000-year-old stone mask - one of only 15 in the world - at Pnei Hever in Judea. Experts link stone masks to the transition from hunting and gathering into a domestic farming economy with ritual-religious activities.

Helping French Jews settle in. Israel’s Ministry of Education has launched “Feel at Home” – a program specific to the needs of young Olim from France. It aims to increase and ease their integration into Israeli society with after-school activities for children, projects promoting leadership and study enrichment centers.

World’s largest Hanukah menorah is now in Jerusalem. The world’s biggest Hanukah menorah (Hanukiyah) has been erected on top of the Hadar Mall in Jerusalem. At 11 meters tall and 56 meters wide, it can be seen from any outside location in the capital. The previous record (candle) holder was in New York City.

Or Gadol – a great light.  (TY Leonie) Recorded last year, but appropriate for Chanukah - the Jewish festival of lights. Israel’s Koolulam gathered hundreds of people in Jerusalem for a few hours just to sing together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak79axDkIEw


181202
In the 2nd Dec 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have developed a new method for designing safe medicines.
·         Israel has appointed its first male Ethiopian-born judge.
·         The President of Chad visited Israel and is to restore diplomatic relations.
·         Israeli drip irrigation has given 6,000 Indian farmers a second harvest.
·         Deal signed to lay undersea pipeline for supplying Israeli gas to Europe.
·         An Israeli gymnast won two World gold medals.
·         Haifa’s Reali school celebrates its 105th anniversary and helps VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here to see the 25th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with additional feature on Medical (with 4,000 likes). Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew and (new) some articles by students of the famous Reali school in Haifa.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Boost for prostate treatment. I reported previously (Feb 2012) on Israel’s Medi-Tate and its non-invasive treatment for benign prostate enlargement.  Now Japan’s Olympus Corporation has invested $20 million in Medi-Tate and will market Medi-Tate’s iTind implant in several countries.

Israeli innovation saves lives. Hospitals all over the world use Israeli medical technology. But Israeli Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next big item. This article highlights Israel’s MedAware (preventing prescription errors), MobiGuide’s Patient Guidance system, Zebra Medical, and AI systems at Israeli hospitals Sheba and Sourasky. 

Toolbox for chemists.  Researchers at Israel’s Technion have developed a “toolbox” technique to give organic chemists a cheap and quick method to design complex molecules and make safe medicines. They place smaller molecules in a ring, make them rigid, use a catalyst to break their bonds and re-assemble them like toy bricks.

Recognition for pain monitor. I reported previously (Feb 2017) that the PMD200 pain measurement device from Israel’s Medasense had received European CE Approval. Now, the international Society of Critical Care Medicine has included the innovative technology in its Intensive Care Unit Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Treatment to combat mustard gas. The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has invested $43 million in Israel’s MediWound to develop its NexoBrid product for the treatment of mustard gas injuries. In 2015 BARDA invested $112 million to help MediWound develop NexoBrid for burns.

Guidance system for visually-impaired goes global. I reported previously (Sep 2017) on Israel’s RightHear and its app that enables the visually impaired to navigate shopping malls, hospitals, universities etc. RightHear has since been installed in Israeli supermarket chain Shufersal, launched in the US and is heading for the UK.

Bio-ethics conference. We’ve just returned from Jerusalem. The hotel where we stayed was also hosting the UNESCO 13th World Conference on Bioethics, Medical Ethics and Health Law and many of the international delegates were pleased to hear about VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

Medical clowning is no joke. The results of a quantitative study at two Israeli medical clinics have proved that medical clowns relieve the anxiety of children towards invasive medical examinations. Lowering anxiety levels shortens procedure time and reduces pain (e.g. of a colonoscopy).

Three sets of triplets on one day. Israel’s Sheba Medical Center has just delivered three sets of triplets on the same day - a unique occasion. The three mothers had carried for 30 -32 weeks. Co-incidentally, World Premature Day is recognized on 17th Nov around the world. Last year, 77 women in Israel gave birth to triplets.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Diplomats’ fun run raises money for special needs. Israel’s foreign ministry hosted its third diplomatic race for foreign diplomats up and down the hills of Jerusalem. The event raised funds for Shalva, an Israeli organization that helps children with special needs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TRAc-idCMs

Israeli band with disabilities plays at top UK school. An Israeli band of eight musicians with disabilities has played at UK’s prestigious Eton College, where Prince William studied.  The Shalva Band includes musicians with Down syndrome, autism, and various physical handicaps and raised money for children with disabilities.

President hosts special Olympians. (TY Sharon and UWI) Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin welcomed Israeli athletes of the Special Olympics to his Beit HaNasi official Jerusalem residence as part of the launch of the team that will participate in the 2019 Special Olympic games in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Israel’s first Ethiopian-born male judge. For the first time, Israel has appointed a male Ethiopian-immigrant to be a judge. Bialin Elazar will serve on the bench of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. Elazar, who previously served a state prosecutor, will join two female Ethiopian judges (see here) who were appointed two years ago.

Joint campus in China. The University of Haifa is launching a joint campus with the largest university in Shanghai - the East China Normal University. Courses will focus on environmental sciences, biomedicine and neuroscience. Haifa[MO1]  professors will use campus research facilities and get grants from the Chinese university.

11 UK Universities visit Israel. 11 British universities visited Israel in preparation for Brexit. senior personnel came from the Universities of Exeter, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester, Warwick, Lancaster, Durham, Queen Mary, Queen’s Belfast, King’s London and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Historic visit by President of Chad. President Idriss Deby has made the first-ever visit by a President of the Republic of Chad to the State of Israel, and brought his Foreign Minister, Economy Minister and other senior officials and visited Yad Vashem. He promised to re-establish diplomatic relations. Chad is 55% Muslim.

UN passes Israeli-led resolution for a better world. (TY UWI) The United Nations has adopted an Israel-led resolution on sustainable development through entrepreneurship. It calls all States to support young innovators, people with disabilities in the workplace, small and medium-sized businesses and to stop gender discrimination.

Water from air in California. Israel’s WaterGen has supplied its GEN-350 atmospheric water generator to help police and firefighters battling the California wildfires. The mobile system provides 156 gallons of water per day and is equipped with a generator and charging stations.

Helping first responders in California. The drone footage from Israel’s Edgybees helped firefighters with California’s wildfires in March (see here).  And they have been helping California combat the recent disaster.

Israeli NGO launches in Eswatini. Israel’s Innovation: Africa has added eSwatini (previously Swaziland) to its list of African countries that it is working in. Innovation: Africa implements projects to install solar power and water systems into remote villages, bringing energy and clean water to millions of Africans.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Technion joins EuroTech University Alliance. (TY UWI) Israel’s Technion Institute will join the EuroTech Universities Alliance of five leading European Universities on 1st January. It will pool education, research and innovation with the universities of Denmark, Lausanne, Luxembourg, Eindhoven, Munich and across the EU.

Cybersecurity for G20 summit. Israel provided cyber defense and cybersecurity to the end of November G20 Summit meeting in Buenos Aires. The Argentine Defense Ministry has signed a $5 million contract with Israel’s Defense Ministry for two computer security response teams.

US firm buys Israeli satellites. US-based XpressSAR has bought a constellation of up to four TecSAR synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites from Israel Aerospace Industries. Launching in 2022, XpressSAR will use them to monitor harbors, airfields, active volcanoes, spreading floods, oil spills and ship traffic.

Using voice analytics to recruit staff. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (21st May) on Israel’s VoiceSense and its speech analytics program that can predict behavior from speech patterns. VoiceSense has just launched its solution for Human Resources which analyzes interview videos to produce a shortlist of suitable candidates.

Saving lives on Nevada roads. I reported previously (July 2017) when the Artificial Intelligent road crash prediction system from Israel’s Waycare started a one-year pilot project in Las Vegas. Nevada Highway Patrol says the system reduced crashes by 17 percent and it wants to extend the system across the Las Vegas Valley.

Transforming Indian agriculture. Around 6,000 farmers in 50 previously drought-stricken villages in Hungund, India, adopted drip-irrigation from Israel’s Netafim and are enjoying a second annual harvest. The 24,000-hectare Ramthal (Marol) project has doubled their annual crop yield and reduced water consumption.

Science without borders. To honor Israel’s 70th anniversary, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the French Academy of Sciences have convened joint scientific conferences - in Paris in June of this year, and just recently, in Jerusalem. Nobel Prize laureates attended and delivered papers at both conferences.

Technology, art and archaeology. In Jerusalem we met Professor Amos Notea who is chairing the third Art&Archaeology International Conference in Jerusalem from Dec 9-12. The conference will focus on breakthrough methods and technologies for measuring and analysis of our cultural and historical heritage.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

European gas pipeline deal signed. I reported previously (see here) on the progress of the planned pipeline to take up to 20 billion cubic meters per year of Israeli natural gas to mainland Europe. Israel has now signed an agreement with Cyprus, Greece and Italy to lay the 1,242-mile pipeline – the longest gas pipeline in history.

UK minister seeks more trade with Israel. Britain’s minister for international trade, Liam Fox, met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bid to replicate or improve on the trade relations currently enjoyed between the two countries as part of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

Guarding servers in 8 countries. I reported previously (Sep 2016) on Israeli cybersecurity startup Guardicore when it raised $50 million to help R&D and commercial expansion. Guardicore now has customers in the USA, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Ukraine and Switzerland and has won several major international awards.

Co-working in Jerusalem.  WeWork, co-founded by Israel’s Adam Neumann, has opened a new co-working center in King George Street, Jerusalem. WeWork now has nine shared office spaces in Israel, including Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheva and now Jerusalem.

Twitter discovers Israel. Social media company Twitter has announced that it is planning to significantly grow its presence in Israel. Its first business-to-business event took place in Tel Aviv attended by hundreds of local entrepreneurs and executives.

Another Israeli purchase for Medtronic. I reported previously (Jan 2016) on Israel’s Nutrino that uses artificial intelligence to make a personal food plan, based on their dietary needs, their medical profiles, health goals, preferences and lifestyles. Medical giant Medtronic has just acquired Nutrino for around $100 million.

Huge contracts with Boeing. I reported previously (see here) on US Aerospace giant Boeing’s involvement in Israel. In a new agreement with State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, Boeing plans to partner with IAI in contracts worth billions of shekels, relating to sales of its new tanker aircraft and other defense products.

Going the extra mile. Israeli-founded insure-tech startup Hippo has been doing a bit more than normal insurance companies to help Californian wildfire victims. First, using maps and artificial intelligence, Hippo warned customers in the route of fires to evacuate. They then arranged accommodation and helped with claims.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Urban art in Tel Aviv. (TY Jacques) Tel Aviv City Council, real estate agencies and artists are taking the dilapidated buildings across Tel Aviv to flip them, if only briefly, into cultural centers. In one of them, Alfredo Libre Gutierez, also known.as Libre, painted a mural to transform a soon-to-be-torn-down old clothing factory.

NIS 49,560 awards for 21 artists. Israel’s Culture and Sport Ministry has announced the 21 winners of the Arik Einstein Prize for Veteran Artists. Each of the winners in seven categories – music, dance, singing, theater, film, literature and visual arts – will be awarded a prize just under NIS 50,000 to avoid them paying higher tax.

Jerusalem Hills wine festival.  The 20th annual Jerusalem Hills Regional Wine Festival opened on 29th Nov. 33 wineries celebrate their unique vintages and the region. The Jerusalem Hills are perfect for grapes, and an extensive boutique winery industry has blossomed. There are weekend tastings and music events until 22 Dec.

Dancing for World Kindness Day. In honor of World Kindness day, hundreds gathered in Jerusalem's First Station for a flash mob.

Israeli artistic gymnast wins another World Cup gold. Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won the gold medal in the floor exercise at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup (FIG) competition in Cottbus, Germany. He had previously won gold in the same exercise at September’s Paris World Challenge Cup.


THE JEWISH STATE

Excavating Biblical Judean town. (TY Jacques) During an excavation in Khirbet Qeiyafa near Beit Shemesh, Hebrew University Professor Yosef Garfinkel uncovered the Biblical city Sha’arayim. Using carbon dating, he proved that the fortified city (in books of Joshua and Samuel) was part of King David’s Kingdom of Judah.

Czech President opens first stage of Embassy move. During his recent official visit to Israel, Czech President Milos Zeman inaugurated Czech House - a cultural center - as the first step in his 3-stage plan to move the Czech Republic embassy to Jerusalem.

Roman Abramovich’s beautiful new home. Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is building a 1,500-square-meter mansion in Tel Aviv. The $27 million purchase picturesque Neve Tzedek neighborhood, will be developed from its original boutique hotel into a courtyard complex in the historical elegant Tel Aviv style.

Fancy a donut – or 360,000?  To celebrate the Jewish festival of Hannukah, Israel’s Defense Ministry has purchased 360,000 donuts to give to IDF troops, including those at Air Force and Navy bases. It has also bought 16,000 packages of Chanukah candles, 30,700 tin menorahs and 200 large menorahs.

Haredi enlistment at all-time high. Over 3,000 haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, Israelis enlisted in the IDF in 2017 – the highest ever in the history of the State. It represents roughly a third of 18-year-old haredi Israelis eligible for military service. https://worldisraelnews.com/ultra-orthodox-enlistment-in-idf-at-record-high/

Israel Rail workers find volunteer's lost $2000.  Sarah had been teaching English to Israeli children as part of a US volunteer program. During her train journey to catch her flight back to the US, Sarah lost her wallet containing $2000.  Israel Rail workers found the wallet and a friend of Sarah’s collected it later.

Almost all Israeli Jews light Chanukah lights. (TY Janglo) This really surprised me. According to data from the #IsraeliJudaism project of the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), 73% of Israeli Jews claim they light the Hanukiah (menorah) for the full eight days of Hanukkah. Another 25% say they light on some nights.

Haifa’s Reali School celebrates 105 years.  This leading prestigious educational institution boasts graduates of the highest caliber who have shaped the State of Israel. Students from the Hadar branch chose the project of translating VeryGoodNewsIsrael in fulfillment of the school’s vision which is about encouraging caring and involvement in Israeli society. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i--LYAZlrMI
בית הספר הריאלי העברי בחיפה חוגג 105 שנה. לבית הספר שורה רחבה של בוגרים שתרמו ומשפיעים על עיצוב דמותה של מדינת ישראל. תלמדי הראלי בסניף תיכון הדר, בחרו להשתתף בפרויקט תרגום של "חדשות טובות ישראל" כהגשמת חזון בית הספר – "להיות מוסד חינוכי איכותי, מוביל ומתווה דרך, המכוון את תלמידיו להיות בני אדם מעורבים ומשפיעים בחברה הישראלית".


181125
In the 25th Nov 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Two new Israeli portable blood tests are now available.
·         An Arab Christian is Israel’s new ambassador to Muslim Azerbaijan.
·         Israeli NGO IsraAID is providing help to evacuees from California wildfires.
·         NASA’s Sun probe is using Israeli technology to capture images and data.
·         Innovative Israeli startup benefits supermarkets, customers and the planet.
·         A new all-time record for the number of tourists to Israel.
·         An Israeli comedy show won an Emmy award.
·         3,000-year-old Hebrew-inscribed half-shekel weight discovered in Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 18th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, IsraPundit and United With Israel with additional feature on Inclusive & Global and Economy/Business. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Brain bleed detection approved. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s MedyMatch and its Artificial Intelligent Accipio Ix intracranial hemorrhage detection software.  MedyMatch (renamed MaxQ AI) has now received both FDA and CE approval to sell its systems in both the US and in Europe.

US approval for portable blood test. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (8th Apr) on Israel’s PixCell which received a multi-million grant by the EU to help advance its HemoScreen portable blood test.  The US FDA has just approved HemoScreen to sell in the USA. Meanwhile, Israel’s SightDx has launched its OLO blood tester.

Treatment for advanced Parkinson’s disease. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Intec Pharma which is developing treatments based on its innovative Accordion technology.  Intec’s COO Nadav Navon provided an update of Intec’s pipeline on ILTV.  Phase 3 trials have now commenced on Intec’s Parkinson’s treatment.

Quadriplegic bridegroom stands at his wedding. (TY TIP) I reported previously (Dec 2015) about a paraplegic bridegroom who walked down the isle in an Israeli ReWalk exoskeleton. Now a quadriplegic Israeli, Adir, was able to stand next to his bride, Liat, thanks to ReWalk’s latest “UPnRIDE” mobility solution.

The right treatment is in the DNA. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s 2bPrecise takes sources of patient genetic data to help physicians determine the best treatment for individuals. 2bPrecise is partnering with US-based Innovation Institute and Avera Health’s GeneFolio to deliver a pharmacogenomics knowledge base to the point of care.

Pediatric orthopedic training for 50 African doctors. Professor Mark Eidelman of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center led a unique 4-day training course in Addis Ababa. 50 doctors from Ethiopia and neighboring countries learned how to fix pediatric orthopedic deformities.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

From Ethiopian immigrant to Israeli Parliament.  (TY UWI) Penina Tamanu-Shata is the first Ethiopian-born woman to become a member of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset). Penina came to Israel in 1984 at the age of 3 during Operation Moses. She tells of her Aliyah and her work helping other immigrants to integrate.

Audio books for kids with reading difficulties. (TY Moshe K) The Israel Audiobook Project provides children with reading difficulties free access to texts in audio, rather than written, form. Now they too can enjoy the pleasure of well-known children’s stories and their characters.

Training program for special needs. Tel Aviv University and AKIM have launched a training program for those with learning difficulties to become professional dental sterilization technicians. Skills include decontamination, assembling, packaging, and distribution of re-usable surgical instruments and equipment.

The guy who saves wild animals. Avihu Sherwood runs the “For the Wildlife” Animal Rescue at the Dear Park Country Zoo, founded by Tzvi Adiv, on Israel’s Moshav Elishama, in Central Israel. Avihu tries to save any injured animal and reintroduce it into the wild – some 3,000 – 4,000 animals per year.

Christian Arab Israeli Ambassador to Muslim Azerbaijan. Israel has appointed George Deek, an Israeli Christian Arab, as the country’s next Ambassador to Azerbaijan. Born in Jaffa (Yafo), Deek has previously served as deputy ambassador to Nigeria, and Norway. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/russia/george-deek-first-israeli-christian-arab-to-be-ambassador-to-azerbaijan/2018/11/19/

Winning the argument.  An Israeli youth debate team has topped the EurOpen 2018 International Schools Debate Competition in Stuttgart, Germany, beating 30 other teams. The four members of Israel 1 made history by becoming the first team from Israel to win the tournament. http://www.europen-debate.net/

Israel’s international Parliament. Israel is hosting the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for a conference on promoting innovation. Established in 1889, the IPU represents the national parliaments of 178 countries and is the permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations. It is the first time Israel has hosted the IPU.

The largest international rescue drill. On 4th Nov, the Israel Air Force’s elite Airborne Combat, Search and Rescue Unit 669 hosted elite units from the US, Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic, Canada and Netherlands in Israel’s largest-ever rescue exercise. 669 unit has previously rescued over 10,000 people across the world.

Averting India’s water crisis. (TY Arlene) India’s Sandipan Dasgupta is a PhD student in Biochemistry at Israel’s Weizmann Institute. He summarizes Israeli water technology and confirms that Israel is thus rightly poised to be India’s strategic partner to help alleviate its water crisis that impacts some 600 million people.

Help for Californian wildfire evacuees. Israeli NGO IsraAID has sent an emergency response team to California in the wake of its deadly and devastating wildfires. IsraAID will distribute relief items to families in temporary accommodation and initiate activities to promote community resilience and recovery.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Best Invention of 2018. I reported previously (24th Dec) on the revolutionary new Nanobébé baby bottle. Nanobébé has now been recognized by TIME magazine and appears on the cover of its latest issue as one of the best inventions of the year. TIME rated originality, creativity, influence, ambition and effectiveness.

Foresight wins CES innovation award. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (21st Jan) on the QuadSight vehicle camera-based vision systems from Israel’s Foresight. QuadSight has now been named a 2019 CES Innovation Award honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology category.

Even better innovation. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (3rd Dec) that Israel’s Innoviz won a CES Innovation Award for its groundbreaking InnovizPro High Definition Solid State LiDAR (Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging). This year, Innoviz went even better, winning the CES Best of Innovation award.

More fuel for Israeli moonshot. Sylvan Adams, the Canadian-Israeli billionaire businessman credited with bringing the Giro d'Italia cycle race to Israel earlier this year, has joined Israel SpaceIL’s project to land a spacecraft on the moon.  He is also donating $5 million to the project. https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Billionaire-Sylvan-Adams-joins-Israeli-space-project-aiming-for-the-moon-572246

Photographing the Sun. A breakthrough image sensor developed by Israel’s TowerJazz is onboard the NASA Parker Solar Probe spacecraft. The CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) sensor is capturing high-resolution images of the sun’s atmosphere, including coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar wind.

Broadband connectivity across China. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks already deploys its multi-application platform, SkyEdge II-c in China.  During 2019, China Satcom will use Gilat’s ground network to deploy its CS-18 and extend its CS-16 broadband services across the whole of China.

Israeli simulators for Poland. Israel’s Elbit Systems has delivered M-346 Full Mission Simulators (FMS) and Flight Training Devices (FTD) to the Polish Air Force. Already in use in Israel’s Air Force, they enable cadets to safely achieve skills from basic familiarity to top level combat flight competence in complex arenas.

Pearls to follow diamonds. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli-founded Sky and Space Global and the success of its first three nanosatellites, the “3 Diamonds,” launched into space in June 2017. SAS has completed the critical design review of its Pearls satellite and intends to launch 200 of them in 2019 and 2020.

Another Israeli flying car? Israeli startup NFT is developing a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle – i.e. a flying car. Apparently, the vehicle will be the size of a big SUV, offered in both electric and hybrid versions and will be priced competitively against regular cars.  Watch this space!

Pupils’ startup idea to keep beach-goers safe. A team of 16- and 17-year-olds at Yeshivat Amit Nachshon school near Beit Shemesh has set up a startup to develop a wrist band that aims to help keep beach-goers safe from drowning. Life guards will be alerted if someone is swimming out too far or if showing signs of distress.

Reducing food waste and shopping bills. (TY Jacques & Hazel) US supermarkets throw away 25 million tons of food each year. Israeli startup Wasteless cuts food waste and shopping costs. Its system enables supermarkets to lower prices of products nearing their expiration date. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5FKSmWIcjQ

The bio-toilet. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s HomeBiogas, manufacturer of small-scale biogas systems. To mark World Toilet Day, HomeBiogas has launched its Bio-Toilet in Jalpatagua, Guatemala, and in off-grid communities in Israel. The digestor turns both human and paper waste into cooking gas.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Million-dollar fund for North Israel startups.  (TY UWI) The University of Haifa’s Carmel innovation fund has raised $1 million to attract entrepreneurs to Haifa and northern Israel. It includes $100,000 to support its underwater-vision startup SEAERRA, developing applications for oil and gas, security and fish-breeding.

Annual tourism record broken. The number of incoming tourists to Israel has just surpassed last year’s record of 3.6 million, and the Tourism Ministry is projecting the total will exceed four million by end Dec. Significant increases include 90% from Poland, 40% from the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary, and 35% from Italy.

Up to £250,000 for joint UK-Israel projects. The UK and Israeli governments have set up a fund of over £2 million to encourage joint UK-Israel business ventures. They have invited entrepreneurs developing new technology to team up and bid for grants up to £250,000 to help pay for cooperative business efforts.

UK delegation seeks Israeli innovation. Senior UK executives from Mastercard and Citi have come to Israel as part of a delegation organized by the chamber of commerce for UK Israel Business (UKIB). They will meet Israeli technology giants, startups, investors etc. Many UK businesses are seeking Israeli partners post-Brexit.

Welcome Mississippi. I reported previously (Nov 2014) when Mississippi Governor Phil Bryan led a business development mission to Israel. Governor Bryan is back again on his 4th visit, with a large delegation of state economic development leaders and private business executives.

Israeli energy and agro-tech for Angola. (TY Hazel) Israel is to invest $60 million in various sectors in Angola, including the construction of a 50 megawatts solar power plant. Israel has already invested $300 million in the agricultural sector in Angola since 2014. https://allafrica.com/stories/201811150152.html

Getting good value from ad campaigns. Israeli startup Trendemon analyzes a company’s ad campaigns and can help prevent it wasting money. Trendemon CEO Avishai Sharon explained more on ILTV.

Award-winning business tools. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup Camilyo equips small businesses with the tools to compete with the big on-line companies. One of Deloitte’s 50 fastest growing Israeli companies, Camilyo just won 3 prestigious Excellence awards at the SIINDA Local Search Summit held in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Israel’s top retail disruptor.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported recently (4th Nov) on Israel’s Ladingo and its platform to significantly reduce shipping and handling costs. Ladingo has just won top prize at the Retail Disrupt Startup Competition. 1200 delegates from 25 countries attended Israel’s leading conference on retail technology.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Matisyahu goes underground. Jewish American reggae singer Matisyahu, currently on a world tour with his latest album, “Undercurrent,” returns to Israel with a concert on December 2 at Jerusalem’s Zedekiah’s Cave. He is also hosting intimate evenings at bars and spaces throughout his Israeli tour.

Netta performs at BA’s Israel celebration. Eurovision fans in London were treated to a star performance by this year’s Israeli winner, Netta, at British Airways head office. The event celebrated 70 years of Israel’s independence and over 80 years of British Airways flying to Tel Aviv.

Israeli series wins International Emmy. The Israeli show Nevsu won the Best Comedy series at the 46th annual International Emmy Awards in New York. Nevsu depicts a marriage between an Ethiopian Israeli man and an Ashkenazi Jewish Israeli woman.

The Israel National Mediterranean Sea Trail. (TY Erez) The Israel National Mediterranean Sea Trail is an exciting project to add to Israel’s impressive line-up of nature trails. In 2019, hikers will be able to enjoy the first 34km of a 240km (150 miles) coastal trail from Rosh Hanikra in the North to Kibbutz Zikim in the South.


THE JEWISH STATE

1st Temple census stone. Archeologists sifting soil originating from Western Wall foundations, have found a half-shekel stone weight engraved “beka” in ancient Hebrew. Beka is mentioned in the Bible in Exodus 38, Verse 26: “One beka per head; [that is,] half a shekel”. The beka stone was used in a census 3000 years ago.

The Jewish bond to Jerusalem. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen made a passionate speech from the House floor about the significance of the archeological discoveries of ancient Jerusalem at the City of David site.  She reaffirmed the Jewish people’s undeniable connection to the holy city as a matter of historical fact.

Thanksgiving dinner for 1000 lone soldiers. Each year Israel’s Lone Soldier Center hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner for nearly 1,000 Lone Soldiers from all over the world. This celebration is all about appreciating all the good in our lives and thanking the lone soldiers defending Israel.

Turning a “crisis” into a beautiful Shabbat. If you have been upset by malicious reports about the problems on a delayed pre-Shabbat El Al flight LY-002 from New York to Tel Aviv, please read these uplifting accounts (especially the second one) of what really happened.

Yitzhak Navon. (TY Sharon) Now that Jerusalem’s Yitzhak Navon railway station is open, this article nicely describes the man who served as Israel’s fifth President from 1978 to 1983, passing away in 2015. His family had lived in Jerusalem for over 300 years and he was fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, Ladino, French and English.

Jerusalem Conference of European Rabbis. (TY Sharon) President Reuven Rivlin hosted the heads of the Conference of European Rabbis - the main Orthodox rabbinical alliance in Europe, comprising over 700 communities. The Chief Rabbi of Moscow presented the Israeli President with a new Talmud, in Russian.

Israel never gives up. The IDF publicizes its moral obligation to locate all missing personnel, prisoners and fallen whose burial places are unknown. Using new technology, the remains were found of Israel Air Force pilot Lt. Yakir Mordechai Naveh (Leifer) who died when his plane crashed into the Kinneret, 56 years ago.

Hanukkah in Israel. Hanukkah in Israel (Dec 2 – 10) is an important and iconic festival, widely celebrated and marked by many symbolic events, customs and, of course, foods. There are many national events, tours, and traditional foods such as sufganiyot (donuts) and latkes can be seen everywhere. (And TY Jacob for the songs.)

Hatikva – Israel’s National Anthem. (TY Jacob) Here is a great site for everything you want to know about Israel’s National Anthem – Hatikva.  It includes Hebrew lyrics with English transliteration and translation, plus links to its historical background and 15 unique videos.


181118
In the 18th Nov 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Revolutionary new Israeli process to stop transplants being rejected.
·         The first Arab woman to captain an Israeli professional basketball team.
·         An Israeli Government Minister has been invited to Bahrain.
·         Israel is building innovation centers in Haifa, Tel Aviv and India.
·         Israeli hyperspectral scanning predicts fruit yields long before harvest.
·         A fun program introduces entrepreneurial skills to Israeli children.
·         Israel’s WaterGen is providing water and hundreds of jobs in the USA.
·         Thousands of historical pre-State photos are now available on Wikipedia

·         Click here to see the 11th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel with additional feature on Medical (with 8,000 likes) and Global impact. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Implants made from patient’s own cells. Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed the first fully personalized tissue implant, made from of a patient’s own fat cells. It means that eventually there will be no risk of an immune response to any organ implant, whether heart tissue, brain tissue or spinal cord.

ALS treatment gets FDA boost. The US FDA has just given Orphan status to the ALS treatment being developed by Israel’s Kadimastem (see here). The designation qualifies the company for various development incentives and less rigorous bureaucracy. Kadimastem expects results of its Israeli clinical trials in mid-2019.

Bio-artificial pancreas to fight diabetes. Israel’s Kadimastem is also partnering with France’s Defymed to develop a stem cell-based bio-artificial pancreas for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. They received NIS 5.4 million from the European Commission and the intergovernmental research organization EUREKA.

Targeting liver and metabolic disorders. Israeli biotech 89Bio has just raised $60 million to advance its pipeline of biologic and small molecule treatments for liver and metabolic disorders. 89Bio’s BIO89-100 is in a phase 1 clinical trial for treating nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Halting the growth of Mesothelioma. (TY Grace) Scientists in the labs of Israel’s Technion and in the US have stopped the growth of mesothelioma - a cancer of the mesothelium membrane protecting the internal organs of the chest and abdomen. They found heparanase inhibitors PG545 and defibrotide slowed tumor growth.  https://www.israel21c.org/cure-may-be-on-the-horizon-for-mesothelioma/

Repairing hearts again in Tanzania. Since 1999 (see here) surgeons from Israel’s Save a Child’s Heart have saved the lives of over 750 children from Tanzania.  SACH doctors recently flew again to Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to conduct life-saving heart surgeries.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

In their shoes. (TY Zissie) The Israeli charity In Their Shoes (ITS) trains caregivers to better serve patients with compassion. ITS’ Virtual Dementia Tour allows participants to feel the effects of dementia - hence “In Their Shoes”. ITS also conducts the Music and Memory Program for residents in nursing homes.

Recycling fair funds special needs program. Israeli mum Ayelet Sanens launched the Ashdod Environmental Preservation and Recycling Fair. Toys, cosmetics, costume jewelry, clothing, household items etc. were sold to raise funds for Israeli charity Ezer Mizion’s special summer program for special needs children in Ashdod.

New Israeli town to support special needs kids. I reported previously (19th Aug) about the new community named “Daniel” being built in the Negev that will provide home care for children (mainly Bedouin) with severe medical and therapeutic needs. Here is a much more detailed article on the new town and its aims.

Israeli-Arab captain of women’s basketball team. (TY Hazel) Shahd Abboud, who plays for the Hapoel Petah Tikvah women’s basketball team in Israel, opened the 2018/19 season as their new captain, making history as the first female Arab captain of a professional Israeli basketball team.

Friendship born on the soccer field. Nice story about Motke (“Berko”) Berkowitz and Mohammed Einan who have been friends for over sixty years, having played on Hapoel Nahariya’s soccer team in the 1950s and 1960s. Each week, Berko drives from Shavei Zion to the coastal village of Mazra’a to have coffee with Einan.

Bahrain invites Startup Nation Minister. Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen has received an invitation from Bahrain to participate in its “Startup Nations Ministerial” - an international high-tech conference. Cohen will join global leaders aiming to boost bilateral technology initiatives and partner on policy initiatives.

Trade with Arab states. (TY Hazel) Despite lack of diplomatic relations, trade between Israel and Morocco was worth $37 million in 2017 ($149 million since 2014). Israeli drip irrigation specialist Netafim even setup a $2.9m subsidiary in Morocco last year, having operated there unofficially since 1994. Opportunities abound!

Five new ambassadors. (TY Sharon) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin received diplomatic credentials from the new Ambassadors to the State of Israel of Croatia, Jordan, Czech Republic, Egypt and Mongolia.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Thousands to attend security conference. 5,000 people, 175 companies and representatives from over 80 countries will attend the International Homeland Security & Cyber Conference in Tel Aviv starting 19th Nov. 170 Israeli companies will also showcase an extensive array of innovative security technologies.

New Technion Innovation Center. Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE) has awarded NIS 10 million to Israel’s Technion Institute to establish “t-hub” - The Technion Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center. It will help connect the Technion’s activities to the new branches of Technion in New York and China.

TAU nanotech partnership with NWU. I reported recently (29th Oct) that Tel Aviv University (TAU) and 3 Illinois universities are building an innovation center in Chicago. Now TAU and Northwestern Uni are to establish a nanotech program and TAU center, funded by a multi-million donation from Roman Abramovich.

Helping India to innovate. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel is to set up an India-Israeli Innovation Centre (IIIC) in Bengaluru (Bangalore), the first startup incubation facility in India. The 10,000 square feet facility will be operated by startup hub MESH (Modiin Entrepreneurs’ Startup Hub). Two more IIICs will open soon.

Water research with Louisiana. (TY Atid-EDI) Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards attended the signing of a research Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Ben Gurion University with the Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge. The two institutions will conduct joint research and exchange research staff and students.

Re-filling Kinneret. Israel’s Water Authority (Mekoret) has begun work on the $300 million project to pump desalinated water into the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). It is also removing thousands of tons of salt from the lake. https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/sinking-sea-of-galilee-to-get-infusion-of-desalinated-water/

Turning human waste into fuel. Ben-Gurion University scientists have shown for the first time that human poop can be converted by hydrothermal carbonization into a safe, reusable fuel (biomass) and a nutrient rich fertilizer. It addresses two major worldwide issues of sanitation and fuel for energy.

Protecting the aviation industry. A group of leading Israeli cybersecurity firms, plus Israel’s Economy and Industry Ministry, have set up a new cyber consortium for the aviation industry. It will offer comprehensive, end-to-end cybersecurity solutions for the commercial aviation industry: airports, airlines and aircraft.

Flowing through the traffic lights.  I mentioned previously (24th June) Israel’s NoTraffic that allows cars with smart sensors to optimize flow through traffic lights. NoTraffic has just raised $3.2 million to fund pilot programs in the U.S. https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3749114,00.html

Artificially Intelligent microchips. Israel’s Habana Labs uses artificial intelligence to improve performance of microprocessor chips and lower their costs and power consumption. The processors are aimed at the specific needs of training deep neural networks. Habana has just received $75 million of funding, including from Intel.

Keeping IT clean. Israel’s OzCode has launched the IT industry’s first Debugging-as-a-Service (DaaS) and raised $3.5 million in seed funding. OzCode focuses app developers on innovation rather than the tedious task of cleaning badly written computer code and fixing bugs.

Streamlining office communications.  Israeli startup Chatway has developed simple tools that will seamlessly convert haphazard on-line chats (emails, social messaging etc.) into business opportunities. CEO Shahar Mintz explained more on ILTV News about how Chatway’s productivity tools are used by non-tech companies.

Bringing children’s books to life. Israel’s Inception has launched “Bookful” - a new app that will let readers add augmented reality features to specific books published by Penguin Random House LLC. Initially, 6 books, including “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”, will come to life, enabling children to interact with the characters.

The new way to contact emergency services.  I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup Reporty, now renamed Carbyne, and its emergency services video distress platform used by Magen David Adom. Carbyne and its C-Now app is used in 30 cities in the US, Mexico, Europe, Israel and Singapore. It could save your life.

European comic book features Israeli research. This is good news.  The European Research Council (ERC) funds research into invisibility by Professor Ulf Leonhardt of Israel’s Weizmann Institute. The ERC has made the research more accessible to the public by featuring “And the Invisible” in its popular ERCcOMICS series.

Predicting the fruit harvest. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s FruitSpec has developed hyperspectral machine vision technology that scans the trees in an orchard to count the fruit and estimate yields six months before the harvest. Latest trials show 90% accuracy – more than double that of alternative current estimation methods.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Asia wants Israeli finance technology. (TY OurCrowd) Israeli companies are benefiting from the increasing demand in Asia for financial technology. Israeli exhibitors at the Hong Kong FinTech Week conference included AU10TIX (see here), and ThetaRay (see here).

Kindergarten entrepreneurs. Israel’s Ministry of Education has approved an enrichment program called Entrepreneurship for Kids (EFK). Developed by Israeli serial entrepreneur Galit Zamler, EFK is a fun way to introduce children of all ages to entrepreneurial skills, while finding and fostering their personal strengths.

Symantec buys another Israeli cyber company. US cybersecurity giant Symantec Corp has made its third Israeli cybersecurity acquisition in a year, adding Javelin Networks to its recent purchases of Israel’s Skycure ($275 million) and Fireglass ($250 million). Javelin now plans to double the size of its R&D center in Tel Aviv.

Get your vacation off to a sweet start. Israeli startup Sweet Inn uses “TravelTech” to offer its clientele an innovative and hassle-free vacation experience. It offers guests airport transfer, grocery and breakfast delivery, a personal chef, romantic surprises, housekeeping, wifi hotspots and more.

Water and jobs for America.  (TY Aubrey) Israel’s WaterGen has opened a factory in Columbia, South Carolina that will employ 400 people building its “water from the air” machines. WaterGen plans to open 3 more factories in the next 2 years. WaterGen’s Yehuda Kaploun revealed even more on Fox Business News.

A better image.  UK image products giant Vitec Group has acquired its Israeli chipmaker supplier Amimon in a $55 million cash deal. Vitec’s CEO said, “Amimon is the technology of choice for wireless equipment used in the cine market” and Vitec will integrate the company into its creative solutions division.

Huge acquisition by Israeli security company. In contrast to recent big takeovers of Israeli companies, Israeli cybersecurity company ForeScout has just bought US-Netherlands security company SecurityMatters for $113 million.  SecurityMatters provides extended enterprise operational technology (OT) network protection.

Deep learning tech for Hyundai. (TY Atid-EDI) Hyundai Motors has made a strategic investment in Israeli computer vision deep learning startup allegro.ai that will allow more rapid deployment of Artificial Intelligent technology in many business areas and improve the quality of Hyundai’s products.

Repair the past, connect the future. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Krausz Industries have been connecting and repairing water pipes for about 90 years with millions of installations globally. Krausz has just been acquired by Atlanta’s Mueller Water Products for $140 million.

WeWork is worth $42 billion. I’ve reported previously (see here) on co-working office space company WeWork, co-founded by Israel’s Adam Neumann. WeWork has just received a $3 billion investment from SoftBank which takes the value of WeWork to a massive $42 billion (up from $20 billion in June).


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Lost in Translation (but now found again).  Rabbi Jeffrey Saks edits English translations and lectures on the works of Israel’s Nobel laureate author S.Y.Agnon – the only Hebrew author ever to receive a Nobel Prize. Thanks to Rabbi Saks, his writing is now being re-introduced to a new audience in the English-speaking world.

Jazz Globus Festival. (TY Janglo) Jerusalem hosts the jazz and alternative music festival Jazz-Globus from Nov 27 to Dec 1. It is known as one of the best quality jazz festivals in Israel and features four concerts with 20 musicians from Israel, USA, Russia, Cuba, Italy, Poland, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. http://www.jazzglobus.com/   https://www.carnifest.com/jazz-globus-in-jerusalem-2018/

South American dance in Tel Aviv. On 30th Nov, the Compas Dance Company presents AgauDulce at the Suzzanne Dallel Center in Tel Aviv. Argentinian tango dancers will perform a group of rhythms that was imported from South America, became connected to the Spanish musical tradition and created a new language.

Tel Aviv Illustration Week. More than 50 exhibitions by hundreds of Israeli illustrators, designers and artists will be open to the public, mostly free of charge, during the fifth edition of Illustration Week in Tel Aviv, Nov 15-24. The exhibitions take place in Old Jaffa, Rothschild Boulevard, the Eretz Israel Museum and more.

Tel Aviv’s Night Run and more. Tel Aviv’s annual 10km Night Run went ahead as planned.  Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai invited Israeli residents from communities near the Gaza border to participate in the run, free of charge. Tel Aviv community centers hosted 200 Southern Israel families, who also had free museum visits.


THE JEWISH STATE

Massive project to support Israel. I reported previously (May 2015) about the Friends of Zion Museum which opened its doors in Jerusalem.  The FoZ now has 50 million supporters and is launching a $100 million project to help educate pro-Israel supporters around the world about the Jewish state, its challenges and achievements.

A hundred friends. One hundred Christian Zionists visited Israel, led by Pastor John Hagee of Christians United For Israel (CUFI).  Whilst here, they visited the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem where its founder Dr. Mike Evans presented Hagee with an award for his steadfast support of Israel and the Jewish people.   

Six effective ways to stand with Israel.  Canadian-Arab Fred Maroun has advice for supporting the Jewish State. Be informed. Put ethics ahead of partisanship. Speak up for Israel among your peers. Speak up wisely on social media. Support Israel’s economy (with links). Be a role model in respecting Israel’s democracy.

Czech FM visits Western Wall. Israel's Ambassador in Prague Daniel Meron, accompanied Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček to the Western Wall in Jerusalem - the first time a European foreign minister is joined at the wall by an Israeli diplomat.

Wiki publishes 28,000 Israeli archive photos. 28,000 public-domain pre-1947 photos extracted from public and private archives in Israel are now available on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Israel developed automatic tools to scan through the previously unsearchable online Israeli archives.


181111
In the 11th Nov 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli biotech’s treatment is poised to rid the world of AIDS.
·         Israeli scientists discovered a molecule that destroys brain cancer cells.
·         An Israeli minister in Oman proposed new trade route with Arab states.
·         Israeli research now prevents coral reef damage in South Pacific.
·         An Israeli design breakthrough makes drip irrigation affordable to most farmers.
·         An Israeli games projection system rehabilitates sick children.
·         October broke the all-time-record for tourists to Israel.

·         Click here to see the 4th Nov newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel (with additional feature on Inclusive & Global). Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

AIDS / cancer treatment success & goes into production. (TY Hazel) Following successful human trials, Israel’s Zion Medical is to build a biotechnology plant to manufacture its “Gammora” AIDS / cancer treatment. Gammora (see here) eliminates HIV virus-infected cells - not the virus – preventing development of resistance.

New molecule kills brain cancer cells. Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have developed a molecule to treat glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of brain cancer. The molecule blocks the ability of the MKNK2 gene to produce Mnk2b – a cancer-causing protein but increases the levels of Mnk2a – an inhibitor protein.

Destroys tumors in weeks. I reported previously (9th Sep) on Israel’s Alpha Tau’s radiation emitters starting trials in the USA.  Trials have also been launched at two centers in Rome, Italy. But I should have mentioned that 70% of patients in earlier Israeli and Italian studies saw their tumors disappear in just a few weeks.

Seeing early Alzheimer’s, before symptoms appear. I’ve reported previously (see here) that Israeli researchers at Sheba hospital have linked Alzheimer’s disease with loss of retina function. They have now found that in those with a family history of Alzheimer’s, the inner layer of the retina is thinner than usual.

Shape-shifting pills for better targeted treatments. 3D-printing is relevant even in the medical industry. Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists have engineered capsules from a hydrogel that can change shape upon various conditions.  E.g. to release medication only in the intestines, or to expand to fill the stomach.

Major partnership to prevent diabetes. (TY OurCrowd) I reported previously (Apr 2016) on Israel’s Sweetch and its system for detecting pre-diabetics. Sweetch is partnering with US-based WellSpan Health, providing its 15,000 employees with “the tool we have been looking for to augment our wellness assessment program”.

Breathtaking technology. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli innovations that can detect illness by analyzing someone’s voice. Israeli startup HealthyMize (see here) has just won $75 million in the Henry Ford Health System’s “Increasing Patient and Caregiver Engagement to Reduce Readmission” Challenge.

More about finding cancer treatment trials. I reported recently (21st Oct) on Israel’s TrailJectory which helps match cancer patients with clinical trials appropriate to their condition. I believe the subject to be so important that I’m publishing another recent article about this innovative startup. It could save someone’s life.

Why Israelis live longer. If the previous medical articles haven’t given you the answer, this article might. Then click the link (here) to see the youtube or (here) Facebook video “Nas Daily meets United Hatzalah”.

Just a day in the lives of Hadassah medics. When 7-year-old Elisha Alush collapsed in the Judean desert, paramedics rushed him to Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. They realized he had been stung, but by what?  They guessed a scorpion and the antidote worked. Had it been a Black Widow spider, it may have been too late.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Cyclists raise $3.5 million for sick children. Israel’s annual bike ride “Wheels of Love,” broke records raising more than $3.5 million for ALYN - Israel’s leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem. 600 cyclists (nearly a third from the US) cycled for 3 days in the Dead Sea region, followed by 2 days in the Judean hills.

A factory of co-existence. The 150 Israeli and Palestinian Arab employees of the Israeli Snapir aluminum factory at Mevo Horon in Samaria work side by side. As Subhi from Beit Sira said, “Our relations are great – we are like brothers here – one family”.

IDF medics risk their lives for wounded Syrians. (TY UWI) Israeli Defense Force medic 21-year-old Staff Sargent Bar, speaks about how he saw the “best and the worst of humanity” in Syria while he provided care to the innocent victims of Syria’s civil war.  https://www.youtube.com/embedX7Sjlyr0OjQ?rel=0

Trade route discussions in Oman. Following on from PM Netanyahu’s historic visit, Israel’s transport and intelligence minister, Yisrael Katz, visited the Arab Gulf state of Oman to discuss “Tracks for regional peace” - his revolutionary proposal for a new system of shipping by sea and rail to and from the Middle East.  And even the BBC can no longer ignore Israel’s warming ties with Arab countries.

European leaders improve relations. (TY UWI) Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu discussed security, trade and technology with the leaders of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Greece at the Craiova State Forum in Bulgaria. It was the first time the four European leaders had invited a foreign leader to their joint summit.

Closer cooperation with Ghana. On his return from Bulgaria, Israeli PM Netanyahu met Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and discussed economic cooperation and other opportunities for strengthening cooperation between the two countries. Ghana’s President hopes to visit Israel in 2019.

Training rice farmers in Nigeria. (TY Hazel) Professor Ben Ayade, Governor of Nigeria’s Cross River state, has signed an agreement with the government of Israel to train from 1000 up to 12,000 rice farmers in modern farming techniques. His goal is for Cross River to become the number one rice producing state in Nigeria.

Saving the coral in Palau. I reported previously (13th May) that to save their coral reefs, Hawaii had banned sunscreen ingredient BP-3 thanks to Ben-Gurion University research. The Pacific island of Palau has now done likewise – although reports by the BBC (here) and New York Times (here) do not credit the Israeli scientists.

Millions see Vegan Tel Aviv video. (TY Louise) For those with Facebook access, it is worth following Nas Daily. He’s got over 10.8 million viewers for his one-minute video “Tel Aviv – World’s Vegan City”. Nas is an Israeli Arab and records his nationality as “Israeli”.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Israel to host forum of digital nations. (TY Ruth) The annual international Digital 9 forum, comprising the world's nine leading digital countries, will convene in Israel for the first time. The conference will be held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv simultaneously on November 19-21.

Sustainable Nation.  (TY Hazel) Israeli-developed water technology is being used in more than 100 countries. New York’s Micah Smith has directed “Sustainable Nation,” a new Israeli documentary that follows three Israelis bringing sustainable water solutions to an increasingly thirsty planet using solutions developed in Israel.

Water technology for Vietnam. Israel has displayed new water technology in Hanoi, Vietnam, to improve its agricultural sector. Hanoi’s “Exposition of Futuristic Agro and Water Israeli Technologies and Cultural Performance” featured Israel’s Watergen, plus a 100-meter vertical rice field from Israel’s Vertical Field.

Drip irrigation just got even more efficient. Israeli Simcha Blass had the idea for drip irrigation over 80 years ago but it is still too expensive for 85% of farmers. Israel’s NDrip has developed a low-cost system that uses gravity, not energy. It also removes the need for filters. NDrip has just raised over $50 million of new funds.

Saving palm trees. Israel’s PlantArcBio has developed a pesticide that it says is 100% effective in fighting the deadly red palm weevil that attacks trees around the world. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), considers the red palm weevil one of the world’s most invasive pest species, infesting palm and coconut trees.

Never get lost again. Israel’s TrekAce Technologies has developed a tactile wrist-strap that serves as a navigator, directing wearers using vibrations and sound notifications. Get a buzz on your left? turn left; on the right? just follow the vibration. A strong buzz? Stop where you’re at.

Ford cars will make decisions. Ford Motors is investing $12.5 million in its Israeli subsidiary SAIPS so that it can build a decision-making system for Ford’s future autonomous vehicles. System development will be led by Professor Shie Mannor of Israel’s Technion Institute, who joined SAIPS in August.

More effective solar energy production. Much solar energy is lost due to defective, degraded, misaligned or dusty panels. Israel’s RayCatch - one of World Economic Forum’s 61 Technology Pioneers (see here) uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to diagnose and optimize solar farms. RayCatch has just raised $4.5 million of funds.

Tiny solar panels to power home devices. (TY Hazel). 3 years after receiving a US-Israel BIRD clean energy grant (see here), Israel’s 3GSolar Photovoltaics is launching tiny solar panels that allows electronic devices to generate their own power. The panels work indoors, in low light and can sustain devices for up to 15 years.

Downloadable 3D printable clothing. I’ve reported previously (Sep 2015) on Israel’s Danit Peleg when she printed clothing on her home computer for her final project at Israel’s Shenkar College. Danit is the first person in the world to create an entire fashion line using an at-home 3D printer. Here are some more of her designs.

Successful 3D printed circuit tests. In a major breakthrough for additive manufacturing for printed electronics, tests conducted by Harris Corporation showed that 3D printed radio frequency (RF) circuits made by Israel’s Nano Dimension performed equal to that of circuits developed using conventional manufacturing techniques.

Convert any space for games. Israeli startup EyeClick’s BEAM platform converts a normal floor into an interactive playtime site, using a projection screen and dual motion sensors. Hospitals use it to help children regain muscle strength through games. EyeClick has just won a $50 million deal with China’s Guoshu.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Moving on from R&D to production. The Israel Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Economy’s investment center have partnered to provide grants mainly to Israeli life sciences companies looking to make the transition between research and development to manufacturing. BiondVax (see here) is already benefiting.

All-time monthly tourism record. October 2018 was the best month ever for Israeli tourism, with close to half a million people entering the country. It was a 14% increase on Oct 2017 and the total number of visitors for the ten months of 2018 is 15% higher than for the same period last year.

New Jerusalem Entrepreneurship Center. Israel has allocated NIS 20 million to a consortium of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Bezalel Academy of Design and Azrieli College of Engineering, to establish an entrepreneurship and innovation center in central Jerusalem.

Exports to China are booming. (TY IsraPundit) Israeli-Chinese trade reached nearly $10 billion in 2017, more than double the figure of a decade ago. This trend appears to be accelerating, with Israeli exports to China increasing dramatically by 62% to $3.5 billion in the first eight months of 2018.

Israel has the 8th cheapest Internet. (TY Janglo) UK company Cable.co.uk’s 2018 survey of Internet prices places Israel 8th cheapest in the world. Israel had ranked 18th in last year's report. https://www.cable.co.uk/broadband/deals/worldwide-price-comparison/

Israel values its security personnel.  Israel knows how important it is to have good cyber security experts. This article highlights how highly this can be recognized.

“Pitch in the Dark”. 21 startups battled to win the favor of judges in complete darkness at an event hosted by Citigroup in Jaffa. The idea was meant to increase objectivity, however Avenews-GT, (an agricultural produce trading platform that uses blockchain technology) would probably have still won even with the lights on!

Direct flights from Manchester (UK) to Tel Aviv. El Al are to launch a 3-times-a-week direct service from Manchester UK to Tel Aviv, commencing 25th May 2019.  “We’re going to make Israel even closer,” said Michael Strassburger of El Al, at the 2018 World Travel Market in London.

Indian airline evaluates TaxiBot. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s IAI’s TaxiBot aircraft towing system. Three Indian airlines (SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Indigo Airlines) are currently evaluating the system. A SpiceJet flight used TaxiBot for the first time to take off from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.

Financial security for top Latin American banks. (TY OurCrowd) I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s BioCatch, whose cybersecurity software prevents potential financial criminals from committing on-line fraud. BioCatch has just signed up seven tier-one banks in Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Mexico.

Engie moves into the fast lane. I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Engie and its car maintenance decision software. Engie has just launched its Fleet app, to help car fleet operators, including rental and leasing companies, maintain their vehicles. Engie now has over 150,000 users in Latin America, the UK and Israel.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Eat your way round Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In Open Restaurants Jerusalem (Nov 14-17) restaurants open up to chefs, who offer a combination of workshops, meals and talks. Meanwhile, visiting chefs take over the kitchens of the most popular restaurants for Tel Aviv’s 4th annual AMEX Roundtables Tour (Nov 11-23).

93-year-old artist’s new exhibition. (TY WIN) Painter and sculptor Aviva Naaman (age 93) spoke on ILTV about her latest solo exhibition of Judaica, that has just opened at Jerusalem’s Hechal Shlomo’s Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art. https://www.youtube.com/embed/_6v0jOarsLA?rel=0  http://eng.hechalshlomo.org.il/

Israel’s remarkable culture of innovation.  Sheldon Kirshner sums up Avi Jorisch’s recent excellent book “Thou Shalt Innovate.”  https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israels-remarkable-culture-of-innovation/  

Weizmann Institute – a must visit. The Levinson Visitors Center at the Weizmann Institute of Science takes you on exciting journey through interactive exhibits to personal testimonials from scientists whose research has led to some of the most groundbreaking of medical and technological applications.

The best place to sing. 4,000 college students from 60 countries gathered in Tel Aviv for the latest mass singalong by the social music project, Koolulam. They sang Kit Chan’s “There’s No Place I’d Rather Be”.


THE JEWISH STATE

Investing in Israel is Biblical. According to David Parsons, vice-president of ICEJ (International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem), “Investing in Israel is biblical”. ICEJ therefore engaged equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd to present to 6,000 evangelical Christians at its annual Feast of Tabernacles conference.

UK trust funds Israeli clinic for disabled children. London-based Jewish philanthropists Gillian and Irving Carter, of the Locker Foundation trust, opened the Sylvia Carter Medical Clinic at ALEH Moriah, a treatment center for Israeli children with severe, complex disabilities. https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/london-philanthropists-open-clinic-for-israeli-children-with-severe-disabilities/

Record funds raised for IDF. I wrote three weeks ago (see here) that the Friends of the IDF (FIDF) raised over $32 million at their gala in New York.  Well, their Beverly Hills event eclipsed that by raising $60 million - a record amount for the charity at a single event. The IDF’s paramedic “heroes” were specifically honored.

Celebrating Sigd. Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin sang “Jeena, Jeena, Ierusalem, longing, longing for Jerusalem” at celebrations marking the Sigd holiday of the Ethiopian-Israeli community. He praised “those ancient, wonderful prayers that you kept hold of and held dear to you and learned by heart and taught your children and passed down the generations.”  http://rjstreets.com/2018/11/07/sigd-celebrated-in-jerusalem-2/

Israeli Jews are the quintessentially indigenous people.  (TY IsraPundit) Dr Nan Greer, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Redlands, outlines the five essential characteristics of an indigenous people and summarizes that Israeli Jews tick all the boxes. https://www.youtube.com/embed/U5raihYpexQ?rel=0

Come Home.  (TY Janglo) Beautiful song and video by Akiva Pamensky.


181104
In the 4th Nov 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli technology allows doctors to review 3D images from ultrasound scans.
·         Israel has six new women mayors plus a female Ambassador to Egypt.
·         Israel’s (female) culture minister visited the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
·         Driverless taxis are planned to start operation in Israel next year.
·         The EU is to use Israeli drones to watch over European coastlines.
·         The Israeli National Anthem was played twice in the United Arab Emirates.
·         Brazil is to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 28th Oct newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Revolutionary technology to review ultrasound scans. Israeli startup iNNOGING enables physicians to manipulate ultrasound video captured previously by a technician and perform a virtual dynamic exam without the patient being present. The original scan’s video clips are converted into a 3D model of the examined area.

Breakthrough treatment for urinary tract cancer. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (May 2017) that Israel’s UroGen had been granted FDA’s Orphan status for its treatment of malignant Upper Tract Urothelial Carcinoma. It has now received Breakthrough Therapy Designation status to help speed up development.

Device to cure both overeating and sleep apnea.  Zen Eating, with R&D in Israel, has developed the Sipper – a device that trains the tongue to digest food slower, to match the brain’s “I’m full” mechanism. A Sipper user eats up to 30% less food per meal. The training also can cure snoring – a major cause of sleep apnea.

3D-printed lung transplants. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s CollPlant has licensed US’s United Therapeutics to use CollPlant’s 3D bio-printing technology to manufacture lung transplants. The multi-million-dollar agreement can be expanded to print up to three additional organs. CollPlant will initially supply the necessary bio-ink

Trials to regrow knee cartilage. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Nov 2016) that Israel’s Regentis was to begin Phase III trials on its GelrinC, treatment for cartilage damage in the knee. The study has now been extended to 11 US sites involving 120 patients. The GelrinC implant encourages stem cells to re-grow cartilage.

Intensive care system in use. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Clew Medical and its system to warn of deteriorating Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. It has since been trialed at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital and several US hospitals and is to be used at Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center.

The hospital of the future.  Israel’s Sheba Medical Center hosted a summit “The Future Hospital: Setting Strategies for 2030 and Beyond”. Healthcare leaders and innovators from the USA, Canada, UK, EU and Israel discussed challenges facing hospitals and saw Israeli cutting-edge technologies shaping the future of medicine.

Israeli support for Pittsburgh. Volunteers from Israel’s ZAKA Search & Rescue, Dream Doctors and the Psycho-trauma and Crisis Response Unit of Israel’s United Hatzalah have arrived in Pittsburgh to provide aid to the community and the victims of the deadly mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Pioneering disabilities program. Jerusalem’s Ono Academic College launched its two-year Disability Studies program in 2017. 40 students (Muslim and Christian Arabs, modern Orthodox and secular Jews) completed the first year’s theoretical component and 13 are now developing community-based group projects.

More women mayors. In the municipal elections, Dr. Einat Kalisch Rotem became the first female mayor of Haifa - one of Israel’s largest cities. Other new women mayors include Yeroham’s Tal Ohana, Gezer’s Rotem Yadlin, Emek Hefer’s Galit Shaul, Drom Hasharon’s Oshrat Ronen and Beit Shemesh’s Dr. Aliza Bloch.

Boosting Arab and Haredi hi-tech employment. “Excellenteam” is the new program for “Enhancement of Arab and Haredi Human Capital for the Jerusalem High-Tech Workforce”. It aims to tackle the shortage of skilled hi-tech workers, while increasing the participation of Israel’s Arab and ultra-Orthodox community.

A Zionist, Muslim Arab IDF soldier.  21-year-old Corporal Yahya Mahamid calls himself a “Zionist Muslim Arab.”  He grew up in the Arab town of Um-Al Fahm. He loves Israel and wanted to “give back to his country.” He volunteered to join the IDF in a combat unit. His army colleagues treat him with respect and admiration.

Israel’s Armenian community. 2,000 of Israel’s 11,000 Armenian Christian citizens live in Haifa. They continue to maintain their culture, language, customs and social religious heritage.  The community in the Holy Land began prior to 400 CE and many more arrived after the 1915 massacres in Armenia.

First official state visit to Abu Dhabi mosque. Israel’s culture and sports minister, Miri Regev, paid a state visit to Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque - the third largest in the Moslem world. “This mosque has a message of brotherhood and peace,” Regev wrote in the visitor’s book, in Hebrew. “I wish a good life and peace for all.”

Why we invited Israeli leader. Oman’s foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah was interviewed on Al-Jazeera about the visit of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and his Israeli delegation, to the Gulf State.

Chad next? A delegation of Israeli officials has traveled to Chad - a Muslim-majority country in central Africa. Chad cut diplomatic ties with Jerusalem in 1972 after a decade of good relations and cooperation, however the two countries have recently been quietly discussing the renewal of diplomatic relations.

First female Israeli Ambassador to Egypt. (TY Jewish Press) Amira Oron, former Israeli head of Embassy in Turkey, was named as Israel’s first female Ambassador to Egypt. Fluent in Arabic, Amira was head of Arab media at Israel’s foreign ministry. Women were also named as ambassadors for Spain, Latvia and Chile.

Celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations with Vietnam. (TY Ruth) The Israeli Embassy in Vietnam put on a large celebration in Hanoi to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Thousands of Vietnamese enjoyed a display of Israeli technology and a mass Israeli folk-dancing session.

Closer ties with Canada. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Jerusalem and discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation. An updated trade agreement aimed to double the scope of trade is shortly to be ratified by both Parliaments.

Mossad helps foil Iranian attack in Denmark. Israeli intelligence services (Mossad) aided Denmark in foiling a recent assassination attempt by Iranian agents. Mossad provided Danish security services with information which led to the arrest, in Sweden, of a member of the suspected Iranian terror cell operating in Scandinavia.

270 wheelchairs for Guatemala. Israel’s MASHAV Agency for International Development is donating 270 Wheelchairs of Hope to children with special needs in Guatemala. Israel’s Ambassador to Guatemala Mattanya Cohen presented the first of the wheelchairs at a ceremony attended by Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Waste apples are a superfood. (TY Atid-EDI) Scientists at Tel-Hai College and at the MIGAL Research Institute of the Galilee have developed a freeze-drying process that turns low-grade fallen apples into highly nutritional apple powder. It could save up to NIS 25 million from the 15,000 tons of apples wasted each year.

Splitting hydrogen peroxide to make clean fuel. I reported previously (here) (and here) articles on Israeli scientists splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy. Now they have discovered a carbon-neutral process to split hydrogen peroxide, also using solar power, to produce cheap, clean hydrogen fuel.

Water-based battery for electric vehicles. Israeli -founded Electriq-Global (formerly Terragenic) has developed a system to extract hydrogen from water to power electric vehicles. The system, presented at Tel Aviv’s EcoMotion 2018, uses BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin) and a catalyzer to produce cheap hydrogen.

Israeli chemist shares $1 million alternative fuel prize. At Tel Aviv’s EcoMotion 2018, Chemistry Professor Doron Aurbach of Bar Ilan University won a share of the $1 million Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels. Professor Aurbach’s innovative magnesium-based battery has great potential.

Driverless taxis in Israel.  Volkswagen, Mobileye and Israel’s Champion Motors have announced that they will deploy the first autonomous ride-hailing service in Israel in 2019. The Israeli government formally accepted the group’s proposal at the EcoMotion 2018 Smart Mobility Summit in Tel Aviv.

World’s largest metal & ceramic 3D printing center. I reported previously (see here) on the innovative metal 3D printing technology of Israel’s XJet.  Now XJet has invested $10 million to launch the world’s largest metal and ceramic additive manufacturing center, using its NanoParticle Jetting technology.

World’s best education technology. Israel’s Sense Education won “World’s best ed-tech startup” and “Best technology solution” at South Summit’s 2018 enlightED competition in Madrid. Sense has developed an artificial intelligence solution for finding patterns and providing personalized feedback in student coursework.

UK to get an ed-tech “Jolt”. Israeli educational technology startup Jolt is set to open its first micro campus (“Jolt Room”) by London’s Liverpool Street Station in early 2019. Jolt, which has already launched in the United States, offers co-learning classes via the Jolt app on subjects such as technology and business.

Container-sharing is the future of international e-commerce. (TY Jacques) Israel’s Ladingo has developed a platform to significantly reduce shipping and handling costs. Ladingo allows sellers of large home appliances, such as sofas and washing machines, to share shipping containers going to the same overseas destination.

When everything connects. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve just read about Israel’s Baccara, which produces top quality air valves, air cylinders, and solenoid valves for use in industry, agriculture and irrigation. These are sold all over the USA, Europe, Australia, South Africa and the Far East. It has been in operation for over 50 years.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Economy’s expansion remains solid. ​The Bank of Israel's Composite State of the Economy Index for Sept 2018 increased by 0.3 percent. September job vacancies increased as did imports of manufacturing inputs. August. There was also a sharp rise in industrial production and in services revenue in August.

200 Israeli blockchain startups. (TY Atid-EDI) The Israeli Blockchain Association (IBA)’s 3rd Israeli Blockchain Startup Map, shows over 200 startups operating in the blockchain industry.  A large increase was seen in the Security sector, with 23 startups. The IBA predicts the overall number to double in 2019.

Israeli drones to protect the EU. Israel’s Elbit has been awarded a 59 million Euros contract for Unmanned Aircraft System patrol services provided by European Maritime Safety Agency to EU countries. Elbit’s Hermes 900 drones and systems will monitor Europe’s coastlines for suspicious activities and potential hazards.

Reciprocal spending deal with Boeing. Aerospace giant Boeing currently spends over $322 million annually in Israel on purchases and investments.  This could increase to at least $3.5 billion after signing a reciprocal spending agreement with Israel’s Ministry of Economy. https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Boeing-and-Israel-agree-to-lucrative-reciprocal-spending-agreement-570764

Enabling African farmers to insure their crops. Israeli startup OKO has developed a system for subsistence farmers to obtain crop insurance to protect them from drought, storms etc. 3rd-party insurers (mobile operators, micro-finance institutions, NGOs etc.) use OKO’s broker platform to price policies and verify claims.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Fashion exhibition continues. I reported previously (12th Aug) on the Israeli fashion exhibition at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum.  I recently enjoyed visiting this display of historical clothing of the Jewish State. The exhibition continues until 6th April 2019.

The vegan capital of the world. I have reported previously (see here) several articles about vegan food in Israel, including that Israel has the most vegans per-capita in the world.  Many foods (e.g. humous) are vegan by design but, as this video shows, there are many unique Israeli vegan dishes that even carnivores will enjoy.

History made in UAE. Israeli judokas Sagi Muki and Peter Paltchik won gold medals at the IJF Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi. It marked the first time in the United Arab Emirates that Israeli athletes have worn the Israeli flag on their uniforms and that the Israeli national anthem Hatikvah has been played at UAE victory ceremonies.


THE JEWISH STATE

Israel’s President harvests his olives. (TY Sharon) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his wife, Nechama harvested from 60 olive trees in the Jerusalem gardens of the Presidential Residence Beit Hanasi. The President invited olive growers and owners of olive presses from all over Israel to join him, together with their families.

British “Builders of Zion”. Israeli women originally from the UK won two of Nefesh b’Nefesh’s Bonei Zion (Builders of Zion) - Israel’s top prize for outstanding contributions of immigrants. Linda Streit founded the Daniel Amichai Center for Rowing and Natural Studies. Major Keren Hajioff manages the IDF’s social media.

Brazil to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Following his victory in Brazil’s Presidential elections, Jair Bolsonaro announced that Brazil would move its embassy to Jerusalem. Mr Bolsonaro visited Israel two years ago and said earlier this year that a visit to the Jewish state would be his first diplomatic mission.

The boy we brought to Israel.  Lovely article by Michael Dickson, Executive Director of Stand With Us. He writes about his son who was 9 months old when the family made Aliya from the UK over 12 years ago.  He is proud that his son is now celebrating his Bar Mitzvah in the Jewish State.

Support the Jewish State.  This article emphasizes that there is a positive activity that everyone can do in the aftermath of a tragedy anywhere in the world.  https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/theres-something-you-can-do/

“The times they are a-changing.” A baby boy was born at 1:58am on Sunday 28th October at BeerSheva’s Soroka Medical Center. Four minutes later, his twin baby sister was delivered.  But daylight-saving time began at 2am and the girl’s birth was registered as 1:02am. “The first one now, will later be last.” (Bob Dylan).


181028

·         Israeli research predicts a substantial rise in life-expectancy.
·         IDF elite unit assisted Jordan in its flood rescue operation.
·         The first visit to Oman by an Israeli leader in 22 years.
·         Israeli company successfully tested device to remove plastic from oceans.
·         Israeli businessman awarded the Order of the British Empire.
·         Israel’s Alon Day is NASCAR Europe champion again.
·         A Golan synagogue has been rebuilt, 1200 years after an earthquake destroyed it.

·         Click here to see the 21st Oct newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra feature on Health (with 2,300 hits) and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Regenerating muscles. I reported previously (Feb 2015) on the recovery from muscle injury of hip-replacement patients treated with PLX-PAD stem cells from Israel’s Pluristem. Follow-up data has now confirmed the results and expanded Phase III trials are being supported by the European Horizon 2020 program.

A map of good and bad proteins. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have identified certain proteins in the human body that are key to progressing or preventing diseases such as cancer. They have mapped protein to protein interactions and are confident they can develop new treatments for those diseases.

Living to 200 and beyond.  (TY WIN & I24 News) Israeli biotech Cellect is developing stem cell technology that may extend individual human life far beyond what currently can be conceived.  And a new international study forecasts Israeli life-expectancy to rise to 84.4 by 2040, giving Israel a world ranking of 7 (currently 13).

New heart center doubles treatment capacity. A $10 million cutting-edge heart center has been dedicated at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem. The center more than doubles the department’s capacity to treat heart patients with 32 extra cardiac beds, 11 post-catherization beds and 11 intensive care private rooms.

Successful 2nd heart op for Syrian baby. I wrote previously (31st Dec) about a seriously ill baby boy, born to Syrian refugees in Cyprus being flown to Israel for emergency heart surgery. He is now making a good and steady recovery in Israel’s Sheba Hospital after a second heart operation.

Stay healthy, the Israeli way. This video highlights seven ways that Israelis exercise to stay fit and healthy.

Think positively to beat cancer. I reported previously (24th July) that Israel Technion researchers have proved that positive emotions have the ability to shrink tumors. Here is another couple of articles about their research.

Smartphone urine tests. (TY Hazel) I reported previously (22 April) on Israeli start-up Healthy.io that allows patients to test their urine at home, using a smartphone camera. Patients with kidney disease (for example) can closely monitor their condition. Siemens Healthineers is now partnering Healthy.io to provide testing kits.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Support for families of a cancer patient. Israel Cancer Support Network (ICSN) offers cancer patients and their families the support they need to meet the challenges of suffering through painful cancer treatments. ICSN and its 2,000 volunteers have helped over 11,000 families from giving lifts to helping to access top doctors.

Bedouin woman joins Israeli police rescue unit. I’ve included articles previously (see here) about Bedouin Muslim women integrating into Israeli society. Now Rana Jaboua, a resident of the Bedouin Negev village of al-Fara’a has become the first female Bedouin in Israel to join the Israel Police Rescue team.

Israeli Arab woman goes to Stanford. Israeli Arab Mira Shalah gained her BSc at the University of Haifa and her PhD in Computer Science at Israel’s Technion Institute.  She is now doing post-doctorate research into Computational Geometry at Stanford University, California. http://web.stanford.edu/~mshalah/home

IDF helps Jordanian flood rescue. The Israel Defense Forces sent its elite 699 search-and-rescue unit to Jordan to assist the rescue operation after a tour bus was hit by flash flood near the Dead Sea. They deployed rescue equipment, established a ground command team and illuminated the area from the air.

Israeli embassy in Rwanda. Israel is to open an embassy in the central African state of Rwanda in its capital, Kigali. Although the two countries have maintained diplomatic relations for years, previous contacts have been held via the Israeli Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/10/15/deepening-diplomatic-partnership-with-africa-israel-to-open-rwanda-embassy/

Chinese VP visits Israel.  China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan made an important visit to Israel.  After meetings with Israel’s President and Prime Minister, he addressed the fourth meeting of the Israel-China Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation. He also signed eight joint science and technology agreements.

Thank you for helping save Thai boys. (TY Hazel) Thailand's Ambassador to Israel Penprapa Vongkovit, thanked Israel’s Maxtech for its communication technology used in the rescue of the Thai boys earlier this year. She also thanked Israel for "its special navy team and specialized diving helmets to assist the operation."

Guatemala’s new Ambassador. The Friends of Zion Museum hosted newly-confirmed Guatemalan Ambassador to Israel Mario Bucaro following his official presentation to President Reuven Rivlin. Guatemala has been a strong supporter of Israel in the United Nations in recent years and moved its embassy to Jerusalem.

Israeli PM visits Oman. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, made a “not so secret” visit to the Gulf nation of Oman – the first by an Israeli leader in 22 years. He discussed the peace process with Sultan Qaboos bin Said. See the extra-ordinary video of the event on the official Oman TV channel.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Rent an Israeli space lab. For a tiny fraction of the development budget for a new treatment, you can now rent one of the orbiting “minilabs” of Israel’s SpacePharma for up to six months. Clients run experiments in zero gravity by remote control from Earth. SpacePharma has two tiny milk-carton size minilabs already in operation.

Using AI to find a job. Israeli-founded startup Stellares helps tech companies find talented workers using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Tel Aviv R&D center has developed a questionnaire plus an algorithm that crawls the web and matches a candidate’s digital footprint with the job specification and company’s ethos.

1-hour delivery with AI and robots. Israel’s CommonSense Robotics has launched a service that enables even small retailers to offer one-hour, on-demand grocery deliveries to consumers. Robots at CSR warehouses in urban areas use Artificial Intelligence to retrieve produce for humans to pack. Robots then dispatch orders.

Tel Aviv & Chicago pair up to innovate. Tel Aviv University is partnering with the University of Chicago, University of Illinois and Northwestern University to establish the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in central Chicago. The DPI will focus on research and innovation into cyber security, AI, big data and food security.

Punjab seeks Israeli help to recycle water. (TY Hazel) Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh held extensive talks in Jerusalem with Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Yuval Steinitz, on the issue of water management to boost water conservation in Punjab. Four Memorandum of Understanding were signed.

SodaStream’s “holy turtle” cleans sea of plastic waste. Israel’s SodaStream (now part of PepsiCo) has launched “Holy Turtle” – a 300m contraption that recovers plastic waste from open waters. During the 4-day pilot, the device captured tons of waste floating in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras.

Israeli tech used in Florida rescue missions. I reported previously (10 Mar) on Israel’s Edgybees whose First Response app saved lives after Hurricane Irma and the California wildfires. Edgybees’ Augmented Reality (AR) system was used recently during Hurricane Michael, by response teams in Florida and Missouri.

Alexa – vacuum seal my strawberries. Israel’s Silo Kitchen is developing an Alexa-controlled food vacuum container system that extends food-life up to 5-times. Silo aimed to raise $80,000 on Kickstarter but after just 10 days it had pledges worth over half a million dollars. Very informative video.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

New Jersey Governor’s first Israel mission. New Jersey Governor Philip Dunton Murphy visited Israel on his first commercial mission to strengthen economic and technological ties between his state and the State of Israel. A new agreement was signed that aims to triple the current $1 billion annual trade between the two states.

OBE for Israeli businessman. Israel’s Haim Shani, who chairs the UK Israel Tech Hub, is to be appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). British Ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey said, “Haim has helped transform the tech partnership between the two countries.” 

Top multinationals invest in Israeli fund. Israel’s Team8 (formed from ex-IDF security unit 8200) has setup a second $85 million fund for technologies and startups focused on big data and artificial intelligence. It has attracted 14 multinationals including Walmart, Softbank, Airbus, Microsoft, Moody’s, Cisco and Barclays.

Best Israeli workplaces.  Google is still the best company to work for in Israel, with Facebook second as per last year. But Microsoft jumped ten places to 3rd, displacing Intel which dropped to 7th. The Dun & Bradstreet list analyzes wages, benefits, career development, support provided, employment stability, and wellness.

Tech salaries keep rising. High demand for Israeli tech talent continues to push up local wages. The average pay for software professionals in Israel in the third quarter of 2018 increased by 6% year-to-year. Algorithm developers are the highest paid, but data scientists had the biggest pay rise (15%).


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Open houses and busy streets. (TY Sharon) Jerusalem’s annual Batim MaBefnim, (Houses from Within) are free open houses, with over 100 options in all parts of the city. This article highlights the Art Museum in Heichal Shlomo, Beit Kadima, the Miffal, Hansen House and especially Villa Mamilla.

Come aboard for Eurovision. Tens of thousands are set to visit Tel Aviv in May for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. To address the increased demand for accommodation, the Tel Aviv Municipality has hired a cruise ship with 500 cabins, which will dock near Tel Aviv and provide low-cost beds for many of the visitors.

Israel’s 95-year-old skydiver. Walter Bingham, broadcaster on Arutz Sheva (Israel National Radio) waited until the grand age of 95 before he took to the air for his first skydiving experience. From 13,000 feet, he witnessed some amazing views of the Holy Land.

Youth Olympics Israeli medal winners. At the Youth Olympic games in Buenos Aires, swimmer Anastasya Gorbenko won gold in the women’s 200m individual medley while Denis Loktev won bronze in the men’s 200m freestyle. Yonatan Fridman and Noa Kazdo Yakar won the acrobatic gymnastics mixed pair silver medal.

Israel’s Alon Day wins NASCAR Euro again. Israel’s Alon Day had an impressive start to finish win at Belgium’s Circuit Zolder on the last day of the season to win the Euro NASCAR championship for the second consecutive year. Day’s seventh victory this year matches the record for the most wins in a season.


THE JEWISH STATE


Look what they’ve done to the synagogue. (TY Erez) The ancient synagogue at Ein Keshatot in the Golan is now open to the public, nearly 1200 years after it was destroyed by an earthquake. 15 years of reconstruction involved 3D laser scanning technology and the numbering and positioning of each displaced brick.

US-Israeli stamps for Hanukah. (TY Sharon) US Ambassador David Friedman and Israel Cultural Minister Ayoub Kara, unveiled new Hanukah stamps at the American Center in Jerusalem. A parallel ceremony held in the Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island was live-streamed to the Jerusalem location.


181021
In the 21st Oct 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli startup provides cancer patients with details of treatment trials.
·         Israelis are helping survivors of Indonesian earthquake and Florida hurricane.
·         Israeli scientists have developed a new process to tackle industrial pollution.
·         Two more Israeli companies have been sold for billions of dollars.
·         The new conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra is an Israeli.
·         Hebron’s Jewish origins are now on display to the public.

·         Click here to see the 23rd Sept newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Global impact, and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 13,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either click here or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Palestinian Arab baby given Jewish heart. Surgeons at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center tried to save the life a very sick 6-month old Palestinian Arab baby with a transplant of the heart donated by an Israeli Jewish child. The baby unfortunately didn’t survive.

Israeli heart surgery for Iraqi-Kurdish newborn. (TY Nevet) An Iraqi baby born with a congenital heart defect is being flown to Israel for life-saving surgery after an emergency appeal to Israel’s Interior Ministry. Baby Ahlam, from Iraqi Kurdistan, suffers from the reversal of the main arteries carrying blood from the heart.

US approval for brain scan software. I reported previously (Nov 2016) on Israel’s Aidoc whose AI image software helps radiologists in fast detection of acute brain bleeds in CT scans. Aidoc’s system has now received US FDA approval and is currently in use at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center.

US approves Teva’s cancer treatment. (TY Arlene) The US FDA’s oncology committee has approved CT-P10 – Teva’s monoclonal antibody biosimilar to Rituxan (rituximab) for the treatment of various forms of cancer. The development of biosimilars has the potential to increase accessibility to therapies for patients.

“Moses” blasts bladder stones. Conventional treatment of bladder stones uses a laser that causes the stone to be repelled, extending the time taken to destroy it. Israeli biotech Lumenis’ laser technology (named “Moses”) keeps the stone in place, saving time, anesthesia and money.  Nice simple video demonstrates this.

A replacement for the “forgotten valve”. Israeli startup Trisol Medical is developing a minimally invasive device that can replace a faulty tricuspid heart valve. The tricuspid valve is known as the “forgotten valve” as other bio-techs have focused efforts developing replacements for the aortic and mitral valves.

Hope in sight for vision impaired. (TY WIN) Israeli startup ICI Vision has developed Orama - digital glasses to help the visually impaired to see more clearly. Orama uses artificial intelligence (AI), eye-tracking software, a built-in 3D camera and more, to map and project images onto an individual’s remaining healthy retina cells.

Contact lenses for the nose.  Israel’s Beck Medical has developed NozNoz – a silicon nasal insert that curbs the appetite by blocking the senses of smell and taste. The effect is to prevent stimulating the body’s olfactory bulb that controls hunger and food preferences. NozNoz is comparable to contact lenses for the nose.

Israel ranks 6th for healthcare efficiency. (TY Nevet) Israel has moved up from 7th to 6th in the world ranking for its achievement of having an average life-expectancy of 82.5 whilst spending only 7.9% of its GDP on Health.  In comparison, the USA has an average life-expectancy of 79 but spends 16.8% of GDP on Health.

Where to find cancer treatment trials. Israeli-US startup TrialJectory helps match (initially) melanoma patients with clinical trials appropriate to their condition.  The patient provides details of themselves and their cancer to TrialJectory. An algorithm and AI (Artificial Intelligence) then select trials likely to be effective.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

See Jerusalem’s diversity on the light railway. The Jerusalem Light Rail is where you can meet people of all backgrounds. It’s a microcosm of the diverse and inclusive society of Jerusalem. The train line runs through Israeli and Arab neighborhoods and serves all of Jerusalem’s residents.

Israel sends aid to Indonesia. Israel has provided emergency aid to tsunami hit Indonesia, despite having no formal diplomatic ties. It includes teams from IsraAID and water purification systems from Israel’s NU Filtration. https://israelunwired.com/israel-sends-help-to-tsunami-victims-of-muslim-country/

And to Florida. Israeli NGO IsraAID has dispatched natural disaster assistance teams to help communities in Florida that were hard-hit by Hurricane Michael.  IsraAID’s emergency response team will work to return affected people to their homes.  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/israel-sends-aid-to-florida-north-carolina-philippines-indonesia/2018/10/14/

Pro-Israeli Nobel Peace Prize laureate.  Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad, co-winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, was welcomed previously at Israel’s Knesset and the University of Tel Aviv. Nadia enlisted the help for her fellow Syrian Yazidis, of Israeli NGO IsraAID, saying they were "more effective than many governments".

Pediatric clinic for refugees in Nigeria. Israel’s embassy in Nigeria has opened a pediatric clinic in Durumi near Abuja, the capital Nigeria. Israeli and local medics are treating children in need of primary care who have been displaced by decades of violence within Nigeria.

Ivory Coast orphanage renovated. Israelis have just finished renovating the girls’ orphanage at Grand Bassam, in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Africa. The project was concluded with a special ceremony attended by Israeli Knesset members and Israel-Côte d’Ivoire embassy staff.

Jerusalem hosts tourism security summit. The first-ever International Tourism Security Summit has been held in Jerusalem. Experts and academics from around the world met to discuss security at the world’s leading tourist destinations. Israel is seen as a model of how to handle security threats at tourism and travel sites.

First US Navy ship in Ashdod in decades.  USS Ross docked at the Ashdod port – the first US Navy ship to do so in 20 years. Commander Kyle Raines of the U.S. Sixth Fleet said that the port visit “reinforces the strong and enduring partnership between our two nations”. US Navy ships to Israel usually dock at the port of Haifa.

200 Israelis join European disaster drill. (TY TIP) A 200-strong Israeli team, including over 90 medics, took part in the Seism 2018 (Earthquake 2018) exercise in Bucharest, Romania, in cooperation with the European Union. They simulated the scenario of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake with thousands of casualties.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

New process to tackle pollution. Israeli university scientists have developed Phased Transaction Extraction (PTE) to help get rid of organic and metal pollutants. Solvents extract organic compounds while special bonding agents separate toxic metals. All materials and polluting chemicals can be recycled afterwards.

Hi-tech IDF. 60,000 lucky Israeli citizens snapped up all available tickets for a special exhibit called “Our IDF” produced by the Israeli army. They saw the IDF’s Virtual Reality (VR) capabilities and had a glimpse of a other cutting-edge technologies that are either currently being used or are in the works.

New AI research center.  Intel Corporation and Israel’s Technion Institute have inaugurated a new research center in Haifa, dedicated to AI (artificial intelligence) technologies. Intel’s top leaders attended the event. The research will include natural language processing, deep learning, and hardware optimization for algorithms.

3 Israeli startups in TIME’s “Genius” list. TIME Magazine included 3 Israeli companies in its 2018 list of 50 “genius companies”. They are Lishtot (see here), WeWork (see here) and Aidoc (see here). TIME’s editors and correspondents selected companies based on their originality, influence, success, and ambition.

Video to prove whose fault it is. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Nexar which has developed a car dashboard camera.  Now another Israeli startup Comroads has developed a smartphone app that connects to the dash cam and allows a community of users to exchange video footage in the event of an incident or accident.

The complete picture. Israel’s Vayavision Sensing has developed a system designed to provide precise 3D imaging of a vehicle’s environment. The system comprises a variety of autonomous sensor systems, cameras, radars, and LiDAR. Vayavision has just raised $8 million of funding.

Eradicating mosquitos in Brazil. Two Israeli companies are partnering to eliminate deadly mosquitos in Brazil. I’ve already featured Senecio (see here) and its system to release sterile male mosquitos from planes. Now Israel’s Forrest Innovations has developed a new process to silence the mosquito’s fertility gene.

Climate innovation prize winner. Israel’s Paulee CleanTec affiliate company Epic CleanTec has won the grand prize in the Climate Innovation Showcase at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Epic converts solid waste from high-rise buildings into dry, odorless, sterile, organic fertilizer for landscaping.

Israel’s moonshot – latest news.  Israel’s SpaceIL lunar module is now targeted to land on the moon in 2019. Thanks to a $2 million boost from the Israeli government.  SpaceIL will also benefit from tools provided by NASA in exchange for magnetic field data.  NASA will also try to capture images of the actual landing.

3D on your smartphone.  I reported briefly previously (see here) on Israel’s Mantis Vision and its 3D technology. Here are more details, including a video to highlight its exciting potential.

Robots to clean skyscraper windows. Israel’s Skyline Robotics has developed software that enables existing machinery like cranes and elevators to be upgraded into window-cleaning robots. The company also has a social responsibility program that re-trains human window cleaners who have made redundant by the robots.

50% more protein. I reported previously (Jun 2016) on Israel’s Equinom which is developing superior vegetables for a hungry world. Equinom’s non-GMO legumes have 50% more protein than varieties currently on the market. Equinom has just received a $4 million investment from vegetable protein pioneer Roquette.

World Space Week. 50 countries participated in the 19th annual United Nations World Space Week initiative, with multiple activities in each country. Israel’s free events, hosted by Israel Space Agency, included lectures, workshops, escape rooms, virtual reality, and films about space and the impact it has on our lives.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Optimistic state of Israel’s economy. In his latest summary, Ambassador Yoram Ettinger highlights good financial ratings, median age of 30, 3.3% 2018 growth estimate, recent billion dollar exits and multinational investments. He also recommends this video publicizing Avi Jorisch’s great book “Thou Shalt Innovate”.

$1.64 billion exit for Mazor Robotics.  Israeli robotic surgery company Mazor Robotics has been acquired by medical equipment giant Medtronic for $1.64 billion. Hadassah surgeons in Jerusalem used Mazor’s Renaissance Guidance System last year to perform the world’s first dual robotic surgery (see here) (and here).

$2.1 billion exit for Imperva.  Israeli-founded cybersecurity company Imperva is being acquired by US investment firm Thoma Bravo in a deal valued at approximately $2.1 billion. Imperva has 6,200 customers and 500 partners in more than 100 countries plus development centers in Tel Aviv and Rehovot.

$250 million cybersecurity exit. Singapore's governmental holding company Temasek has acquired Israeli cybersecurity startup Sygnia for an estimated $250 million. Originating from Israel’s Team8 foundry (see here) Sygnia offers cyber security consulting and incident response services to businesses and organizations.

Walmart’s $250 million Israeli venture. (TY Arlene) The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, has announced a strategic entertainment deal with Israeli interactive video technology developer Eko (formerly Interlude see here). Reported to be worth $250 million, the joint venture will help Walmart compete with Amazon.

$100 million finance deals not rare.  (TY Arlene) Until a few years ago, Israeli startups looked to be bought up for a few million dollars. These days, Israeli entrepreneurs are looking to grow their businesses rather than exit. Six Israeli companies have held financing rounds of $100 million or more in the past 12 months.

An Israeli medical incubator in Atlanta. Haifa’s Rambam Hospital is partnering with Georgia Institute of Technology to establish a new MedTech incubator for Israeli-based companies in Atlanta, Georgia. The joint biomedical and digital health innovation center will speed up bringing medical products to the US market.

Funding nanotech research. Yissum, the technology transfer company of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has launched a $9 million fund dedicated to the university’s nanotech research. The fund will focus on innovations in the fields of smart materials, 3D printing, quantum science, and renewable energy.

The best hotel in the Middle East. Conde Naste Traveler Magazine has named Tel Aviv’s Hotel Norman as the best hotel in the Middle East and Africa.  Four Jerusalem hotels were included in the magazine’s 2018 Top Hotels in the Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-hotel-named-best-hotel-in-africa-middle-east-by-conde-naste-traveler-magazine/2018/10/14/


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Becoming Israeli. A new book brings the Aliya experience home. “Becoming Israeli: The Hysterical, Inspiring and Challenging Sides of Making Aliyah.” edited by Akiva Gersh, describes the experiences of 51 new immigrant bloggers who describe life (warts and all) in modern-day Israel.

Chief conductor of BBC Philharmonic is Israeli. The British Broadcasting Corporation has appointed Israel’s Omer Meir Wellber as the new chief conductor to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, from Sept 2019 for an initial four years. Wellber is also a Good Will Ambassador for Israeli charity Save a Child’s Heart.

Netflix buys another Israeli TV series.  Israeli television drama “When Heroes Fly” has been sold to Netflix, joining several other Hebrew-language series already featured on the popular streaming platform. The show’s 10 episodes will be available to millions of viewers starting in early 2019, along with English subtitles.

Operation Wedding – new dates. The exciting documentary “Operation Wedding” (see here) about Jews trying to escape the Soviet Union, has new Israel screening dates.  Oct 28 in Tel Aviv; Nov 10 in Beit Shemesh.

Jethro Tull’s 50th Anniversary Tour.  Legendary folk/rock band Jethro Tull, led by Ian Anderson, is scheduled to perform in Israel on 27 October. The concert begins after Shabbat at the Culture Palace Tel Aviv and is part of the band’s world tour to mark its 50th anniversary.

Music of the Jewish Streets. (TY Janglo) The best of Klezmer with Jazz interpretations will be celebrated on Oct 24 at Beit Avi Chai in Jerusalem. Award-winning master pianist Orit Wolf hosts the Di Gasn Trio and other musicians. https://www.bac.org.il/music/event/music-of-the-jewish-streets

Israel is top of the league. The Israeli soccer team beat Scotland and Albania in its last two matches to go top of its Nation League soccer group. Israel now has six points – three ahead of both Scotland and Albania.


THE JEWISH STATE

Christians celebrate Tabernacles in Jerusalem. The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ) hosted thousands of Christian supporters of Israel celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. They then marched through the streets of Jerusalem, dressed in their national garb, displaying flags from around the world.

50,000 at Kotel for Priestly blessing. (TY UWI) An estimated 50,000 people took part in the traditional priestly blessing ceremony at the Western Wall on the first day of Chol Hamoed (intermediate days) Sukkot (Tabernacles). U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also attended the service.

$32 million raised for IDF. 1,200 leading business people and philanthropists attended the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) National Gala Dinner in New York. Together they raised more than $32 million to support well-being and educational programs for IDF soldiers.

40 years of peace with Egypt. It’s 40 years since Israel’s PM Menachem Begin and Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Accords. It ended 30 years of war between Egypt and the Jewish State.

Ancient Jerusalem inscription discovered. The earliest stone inscription bearing the full Hebrew spelling of Jerusalem has been excavated in an ancient artisan village just 2.5km outside of modern Jerusalem. “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem” (Yerushalayim) was inscribed on a column made in 100 BCE.

Biblical Jewish Hebron site opened. Tel Hebron, in the city of the Patriarchs, is now open to the public. Archaeological finds at the birthplace of Jewish history include 1st Temple-era pottery vessels, jewelry and coins, as well as olive presses, kilns and giant vats used to produce oil and wine in accordance with Jewish law.