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 - Jul to Sep 2018

180923       

·         Israeli scientists have developed more effective, personalized melanoma treatment.
·         An Israeli charity has tripled the number of Israelis willing to donate a kidney.
·         An Israeli midwife enabled the opening of a new maternity clinic in Uganda.
·         An Israeli eco-friendly fungicide is saving crops in 11 countries.
·         The European Investment Bank made its first Israeli Investment.
·         An Israeli-Ethiopian won “Best Female Director” at the Toronto Film Festival.
·         Israel’s top rhythmic gymnast won two silver medals at the World Championships.
·         The Czech Republic is moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 9th Sept newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health. 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

Fast route to new treatments.  (TY ILTV & NoCamels) Technion scientists have developed an Artificial Intelligent system for faster and cheaper discovery of new medical treatments. An algorithm identifies molecules with potentially beneficial therapeutic properties. It amazed delegates at London’s KDD conference.

Breakthrough melanoma treatment. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann and Technion Institutes have found that each melanoma patient has a different profile of neo-antigens (mutated peptides) on their tumors. Doctors can then extract and grow the T-cells best suited to target the neo-antigens on both primary and secondary cancers.

Canadian partner for research program. (TY Atid-EDI) A new clinical research program has been launched in Israel that will trial cannabinoid-based IBD treatment and other products from Israel’s SciCann. The program partners SciCann with Canada’s FSD and Mor – the technology transfer arm of Israel’s Clalit HealthCare.

Alternative to steroids. Israel’s Stero Biotechs has received a US patent for its Cannabidiol based treatment for over 100 autoimmune & chronic inflammatory diseases. Stero’s first product ST-101 for AutoImmune Hepatitis – a liver disease which requires long-term steroid treatment – is shortly to begin Phase 2 trials. (TY Atid-EDI)

US approval for migraine treatment. I reported previously (see here) on the AJOVY fremanezumab migraine treatment from Israel’s Teva. The US FDA has just given approval for AJOVY - the only anti-CGRP treatment for the prevention of migraine.  About 40% of migraine sufferers may be candidates for this treatment.

Israeli diagnostics for cervical cancer. I’ve now reported (see here) on five Israeli bio-techs that have developed devices for diagnosing cervical cancer. Biop Medical (see here) has just raised $22 million in funds.

Afghan girl has heart treatment in Israel. 5-year-old Noorina was brought by her father to Israel where she will receive life-saving surgery by doctors from Israeli charity Save A Child’s Heart. Noorina is the fifth child from Afghanistan to be brought to SACH thanks to the efforts of “Jangzapali” – an anonymous Afghan man.

New treatment for day blindness. Israeli scientists (Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Volcani Institute) used a virus to restore the sight of a herd of Awassi sheep suffering hereditary day blindness (achromatopsia). The virus replaced a missing gene. The US FDA has now approved human trials.

Kidney donations triple. (TY WIN)  The number of live kidney transplants performed per year in Israel has nearly tripled since 2010 mainly due to increased donations from healthy orthodox Jewish Israelis. Key to the increase is Israeli NGO Matnat Chaim (“Gift of Life”) which both publicizes the need and facilitates donation.

Bringing closure. I reported previously (see here) on TopClosure from Israel’s IVT Medical. The innovative wound closure technique is now saving lives in China and Africa.  IVT has also developed Vcare Alpha - a suction device to remove infectious materials from wounds and accelerate wound recovery.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israel stands with the USA to remember 9/11. Many nations appear to have forgotten the terrorist attacks of 9th Sept 2001 but not Israel. This year’s memorial was held early, as 9th Sept fell on the Jewish New Year.

Israel enforces OECD anti-bribery laws.  (TY Hazel) Israel is one of only 7 countries to strictly enforce the OECD’s 1997 Anti-Bribery Convention. In just 3 years, Israel has gone from the bottom of the enforcement league to the top with several high-profile cases brought to justice.

Maternity center in Uganda. Israeli midwife, Ilana Shemesh, was shocked by the conditions of the centers treating pregnant women in Uganda. So, she raised $12,000 to help build the Shifra and Puah maternity center in Abayudaya. The center has already assisted in two births - the first during the night after its opening.

Rare white rhino born in Israel on Yom Kippur.  (TY WIN) Israel is a major contributor to world efforts to save vanishing species.  On Yom Kippur, a fifth baby white rhino was born to Tanda and Atari at Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari. Israel’s 13-rhino herd is the largest in Europe’s program to breed the endangered species.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

A robot that navigates like a bat. Tel Aviv University scientists have developed a “Robat” – the first fully autonomous robot that, like a bat, emits sounds and analyzes the returning echoes to recognize, map and navigate obstacles. Future applications include cleaning robots, agricultural robots and rescue robots.

Everyone needs to study innovation. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has established the HUstart Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. Its aim is that every student will learn about innovation, arguing that even historians and philosophers need to be innovative and entrepreneurial.

Projects for first responders.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation has granted $2 million for joint US-Israeli projects. Firstly, an advanced drone mounted search and rescue system; secondly a first responders emergency radio repeater system for high-rise buildings.

Israel’s first satellite – 30 years ago.  Film just declassified of the 19 Sep 1988 launch of Ofek 1 (Horizon 1), Israel’s first satellite, from Israel’s Palmachim Air Base with a Shavit rocket. The Jewish State thus became the 8th country in the world to have launched an object into orbit.  The latest Ofek (11) was launched in Sep 2016.

A high-tech hub in the Galilee. Yokneam, in Israel’s Lower Galilee, is the headquarters of several Israeli hi-tech companies. I featured previously (see here) UPnRide’s device which allows almost every wheelchair user to stand upright and recently PixCell’s blood analysis (see here). Here is the latest update on both companies.

Friendly fungicide. (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli biotech STK has developed REGEV – the world’s first leaf-targeted ‘hybrid’ fungicide. It combines Tea Tree Oil and Difenoconazole to give a low chemical residue. REGEV is used in 10 countries and has just been registered for use in Argentina, initially for peanut crops.

All-Israeli partnership for satellite tugboat. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Effective Space and its proposed tugboat solution for extending the life of space satellites. Now Effective Space has partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries in the tugboat (now named SPACE DRONETM) development.

Mobile communications using nanosatellites. Israel’s Sky and Space Global made history when it initiated the first mobile telephone call using its network of three nanosatellites launched in Jun 2017.  It plans to have up to 200 nanosatellites in orbit by 2020, providing communications to remote parts of the world.

A most innovative cybersecurity company.  I reported previously (Sep 2017) on Israel’s ITsMINE and how it secures companies from internal and external cybersecurity threats. ITsMINE has just been named in the “Top 10 most innovative cybersecurity startups” at China’s Internet Security Conference (ISC) in Beijing.

Bullet-proof backpack. Israel’s Masada-Armour has developed a unique backpack that transforms into a bulletproof vest in under two seconds. It was designed to protect children against the threat of school shootings. The basic 3kg version stops handgun bullets and the upgraded 4.2kg version blocks rifle fire.

A Virtual Reality seat at live events.  Israel’s Texel makes it possible for broadcasters to offer viewers virtual seats for live events. Texel advertises an experience as if the viewer was physically at the venue, in the arena or at the pool.  Texel has just raised $3 million in a funding round led by Deutsche Telekom.

A robot for hazardous environments. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel Aerospace Industries is partnering with Croatia’s DOK-ING to develop a robotic system for high risk areas, including ones contaminated by chemical, biological and radioactive agents. It will include autonomous movement and sensors for identifying contaminants.

Forever changing lives.  (TY IsraelUnwired and TIP) Great new video showing how much US wheelchair users are benefiting from Israel’s SoftWheel.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/wwGc7NV2vEo?rel=0


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel’s financial system is stable. The Bank of Israel’s analysis of the environment in which the domestic financial system operates, and its level of robustness, states that “it remains stable.  This has improved over the years, supported by the economic environment and the positive business cycle enjoyed by the Israeli economy.”

Growing tech trade ties in the UK. Another rare positive BBC article (see here for previous) about increased trade between Israel and the UK. The UK Israel Tech Hub is at the core of this expansion, involving more than 150 UK and 490 Israeli firms. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45485255

Europe Bank’s first Israeli equity investment. (TY NoCamels) The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank, has made its first equity investment in Israel, injecting up to $20 million into a fund being set up by Israel Cleantech Ventures (ICV). The EIF expects another two Israeli investments shortly.

Israel at the Paris Motor Show.  I reported previously (17th June) about Israel’s center role in the tech conference at the 120th Paris Motor Show (Oct 2 – 6).  Here are more details, and a video.

Engie moves up a gear.  BNP Paribas is partnering with Israeli startup Engie. The European bank’s UK subsidiary Warranty Direct (WD) will issue Engie’s car maintenance device and app free to customers who buy WD’s extended warranty policies. Engie remotely detects car malfunctions and finds suitable mechanics.

Save money in the Cloud. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Spotinst helps businesses to manage mission-critical systems across different cloud providers but retaining high performance and availability. Spotinst promises savings of 80% on average on regular cloud computing costs. Spotinst has just raised $35 million of funds.

Smart money management. Israeli fintech Pagaya has developed an Artificial Intelligent (AI) asset management system that finds new opportunities for Institutional investors to manage fixed income funds. Pagaya has just raised $14 million of funds to expand its 20-person team.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Was beer invented in Israel?  Archaeologists working in the Raqefet cave south of Haifa have found what they believe is the world's oldest site for alcohol production. They discovered equipment, used by a people called the Natufians, for brewing a fermented, weak alcoholic soup-like liquid, some 13,000 years ago.

Israeli-Ethiopian is Best Director.  Aalam-Warqe Davidian won the “Best Female Director” award at the Toronto Film Festival. Her debut “Fig Tree”, in Amharic with Hebrew and English subtitles, takes place in Ethiopia at the end of the Ethiopian Civil War. Davidian, 38, made Aliya from Ethiopia at the age of 11.

See Israeli wildlife during the holidays.  (TY Janglo) Israel has many sites where animal lovers can see and learn about a wide assortment of the creatures with which we share this land.  Here are 10 of the best.

Fast recovery.  Israeli soccer striker Tomer Hemed made a late appearance on Wednesday night for his English 1st Division soccer team QPR. He spent the first half fasting until Yom Kippur ended. Then, after a quick meal of pasta and fruit, he came on as substitute in the 72nd minute to help his side to a 2-0 victory over Millwall.

More medals for Linoy. (TY Janglo) Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram has just won her 26th medal of the year. She won a silver medal in the Hoop discipline at the World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. She then went on to win a bronze in the Rope discipline followed by another silver in the individual all-around final.


THE JEWISH STATE

Next year in Jerusalem? Israel’s Prime Minister invites Jews from around the world to visit Israel.

Czech Republic to move embassy to Jerusalem.  The Czech Republic’s President, Prime Minister, Parliament Speaker and Foreign and Defense ministers have all endorsed the move of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Czech President Milos Zeman is scheduled to open the embassy during his visit in November.

Red heifer born in Israel. (TY Janglo) A red heifer (Para Aduma – totally red female calf) has been born – the first in Israel. A red heifer is the source of the purification waters that were sprinkled in Temple times on anyone with ritual impurity. https://www.youtube.com/embed/mOMH2qY6RCY/rel=0

A year to remember.  A short glimpse of some of the more memorable of Israel’s achievements in 5778.

Fiji stands with Israel. Very moving video of Fijian Israel supporters celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary.

The most important pro-Israel organization you may not have heard of. Since its launch in 2015, the Maccabee Task Force (MTF) has been providing students with “the strategies and resources they need to tell the truth about Israel.” Last year MTF held 891 pro-Israel events and brought 746 campus leaders to Israel.

US Ambassador corrects a mistake. In the excitement of the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Ambassador David Friedman misplaced an important item.  Watch him on his mission to replace it.

Sukkot in Jerusalem. (TY Janglo) Highlights of activities in Jerusalem over the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) include the Jerusalem Parade, tours in Safra Square , "BeChatzerot" ("In the Courtyards") music festival and tours in the enchanted courtyards of Jerusalem, Ein Kerem Festival and Beit Lechem Road Festival.

A million visit Western Wall. More than one million people visited the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem during the past month. And see the photos of the many thousands that went to the Kotel for special prayers on the day before Yom Kippur.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/431336


180909
In the 9th Sep 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         UK children will receive leukemia treatment originally developed in Israel.
·         Israel has built the first country club for Arab Bedouin.
·         Israeli gynecologists saved a mother and baby in Myanmar.
·         An Israeli smartphone app can analyze human stress levels.
·         Available soon - your Israeli robot personal assistant.
·         New trade agreements with Hong Kong, the Philippines and the Netherlands.
·         A new Virtual Reality tour of Jerusalem.

·         Click here to see the 2nd Sept newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health and 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 nearly 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

Alpha radiation destroys solid tumors safely. (TY OurCrowd) Israel’s Alpha Tau Medical uses alpha radiation to treat various types of solid tumors. Alpha DaRT (Dіffusіng Alpha-emіtters Radіatіon Therapy), developed at Tel Aviv University, is to begin clinical trials in Massachusetts USA.

Israeli leukemia treatment approved for UK children. The breakthrough CAR-T personalized leukemia therapy devised by Professor Zelig Eshhar of Israel’s Weizmann Institute (see here) is now available in the UK.  The National Health Service will fund Kymriah – the CAR-T treatment commercialized by Novartis.

Good results for colon capsule scan. Israeli biotech Check-Cap announced positive interim results for its post-CE approval study of the C-Scan system Version 3. Check-Cap’s capsule detects polyps (cancerous or precancerous) in patients without them having to undergo a colonoscopy or even any preparation.

Preventing hemorrhagic shock. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University and Hadassah Medical Center have developed software named VitalMiner to predict blood pressure instability in intensive care patients. It can give several extra hours’ warning of impending hypotension, where vital organs are starved of oxygenated blood.

 “Natural” protein to treat osteoporosis. Ben Gurion University scientists have discovered a natural protein in the body that can be tailored to treat osteoporosis. The protein can be modified to inhibit its standard bone destruction function, which avoids many of the side effects common with current treatments.

Safer transplants. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Orgenesis which was developing a treatment for diabetes based on replacing cells in the body.  Ogenesis is now working with Ben Gurion University to develop a cell transplantation process that avoids being attacked by the immune system.

Auto-adjusting orthopedic brace. Israeli startup OrthoSpin is developing an electric brace to help with bone lengthening, setting complex fractures, and correcting deformities. The system tunes the brace’s position from pre-programmed instructions by an orthopedist who monitors progress remotely.

Eye drops to correct far-sightedness. I reported previously (18th Mar) that Israeli scientists were developing eye drops to improve vision. Israeli startup Orasis is also working on eye drops to treat presbyopia - age-related far-sightedness due to loss of elasticity in the lens of the eye.

Probiotics are personal. Two studies by scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have turned knowledge about probiotics on its head. Firstly, probiotics are only effective if your microbiome doesn’t resist the probiotics. Secondly, using probiotics alongside antibiotics is ineffective in restoring your natural microbiome.

UK-Israel conference on aging. Nearly 80 leading Israeli scientists joined their UK peers in London at two unprecedented academic conferences over 3 days. Topics included the role of genetics and “precision medicine” in age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia.

Ezer Mizion’s Mental Health Program. Newsletter readers know Ezer Mizion is a charity that operates a life-saving Bone Marrow Registry.  But that’s far from all it does, as this mother found out when she sought respite from looking after her schizophrenic husband. Ezer Mizion provides services to over 660,000 Israelis.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Education as a work of heart. (TY Leah) Meled Jerusalem is an alternative high school for Jewish students who struggled to fit into Israel’s mainstream religious school system. The school is led by its founder, development psychologist Dr. Menachem Gottesman, and described in his book “Not at Risk”.

2.3 million children start school together.  Over 2,310,000 students started the school year at some 5,000 Israeli schools. New educational initiatives include innovative research equipment, extra staff at 6,000 kindergartens, smaller class sizes and expansion of studies in mathematics, English and the Hebrew language.

Genesis Prize empowers Israeli women. The Genesis Prize Foundation and the Kahn Foundation has awarded $1 million in grants to 37 Israeli nonprofits. They represent Jewish, Arab, Druze and Bedouin communities focused on socioeconomic opportunity, gender equality, minority rights or violence prevention for women..

Training Haredim for civil service leadership. (TY Sharon) Israeli President Reuben Rivlin presented awards to Haredi graduates of the “Influencers” program. The 19 strictly orthodox men will fill government roles including the fields of economy, science, education and law.

More on Krembo Wings. I reported previously (12 Aug) that Israeli NGO Krembo Wings had been awarded special advisor status to the United Nations for its work integrating disabled children with other children.  Here now is a new video that highlights the work of the organization.

Country club for Bedouin Arabs.  (Y Hazel) The Israeli government has built a country club in the Bedouin city of Rahat in Southern Israel. It includes a fitness center, saunas, sports facilities and the first swimming pool in a Bedouin settlement in Israel. The club will serve many thousands of Bedouin Arabs from the Negev area.

The quality of life for Israeli Arabs.  (TY UWI) This article describes excellently the unprecedented advancements during the last decade in the quality of life for Israel's Arab citizens. It covers health, education, communities, employment and business development.  http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/what-apartheid/

First ever visit by a Philippines President. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and his 400-person delegation to Jerusalem. The two countries signed agreements, in trade, science and caregiving. Mr Duterte praised the work conditions of the 30,000 Filipino care workers in Israel.

CPR training for Kenya. A team from Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center conducted an advanced resuscitation skills course for local medical and nursing staff in Nakuru, Kenya. The course was conducted with cooperation of Israel’s Technion and included lectures, simulations and individual training.

Saving lives in Myanmar. (TY Hazel) Two top gynecologists from Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital spent two weeks in Pindaya, Myanmar, helping train local doctors. On their first day they saved two lives. Infant mortality in Myanmar is 40.1 deaths per 1000 live births. The OECD average is 5.9; In Israel it is 2.9.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Bringing companies into the digital age. (TY WIN) Israeli software company CodeOasis has been quietly transforming company systems for 13 years. Solutions for the likes of IsraCard, Super-Pharm, Wix, Strauss and SodaStream, CEO Amir Golan was interviewed on ILTV about CodeOasis’ innovative services.

Drink me. Dehydration results in over 1.5 million outpatient visits, 200,000 hospitalizations, and 300 deaths in the US per year. Israeli startup Water.io has developed “Reminder” - an IoT (Internet of Things) smart cap and sensor for disposable water bottles that blinks, vibrates or sounds an alarm when you need to take a drink.

Smartphone analyzes mental state. Israeli 3D imaging company Mantis Vision has just acquired Israeli AI (Artificial Intelligence) startup BrainVu. BrainVu uses machine vision (e.g. of eye dynamics and blood flow) to identify the mental state (e.g. stress levels) of a person from images captured by a smartphone camera.

SkyTrain for Netanya. My local council has just approved plans for Israel's first skyTran pod cable car rapid personal transit system. The 600-meter line is designed to overcome traffic congestion and link-up Netanya's residential and industrial areas. Each skyTran 2-person pod will operate using magnetic levitation.

A drone to save you from drowning. (TY Hazel & UWI) Israeli startup Blueskimmer developed drones to thwart firebombing kites and balloons from Gaza. Now the drones have been adapted to release floats to rescue people at risk of drowning. The drones are controlled by lifeguards and have a public address system.

Israeli summer school for science students.  73 international high school graduates came to Israel this summer to participate in a hands-on scientific research program at the Weizmann Institute of Science. More than 3,000 students (Jews and non-Jews) have attended the 4-week course over the years.

Untold News on Buzzfeed. One of my favorite NGO’s Untold News has published another article on Buzzfeed highlighting 10 Israeli futuristic innovations. 300,000 saw their last article and this one is well worth reading.

Syte is so cool. (TY Atid-EDI) Gartner has named Israel’s Syte in its 2018 Cool Vendors in AI for Retail report. Syte provides Artificial Intelligent image search technology and in-store solutions to track social media and create a more seamless shopping experience.  Customers include UK’s Marks & Spencer, Intu and Boohoo.

Your personal Israeli robot. (TY Atid-EDI) temi is an Israeli-developed personal robot that aims to become an essential addition to every home.  temi traverses the home without colliding with furniture, providing a host of services. Another Israeli startup, Newsight Imaging will provide the sensors for temi’s 3D visual system.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

The best universities for entrepreneurs. Seattle-based market research company Pitchbook rated Tel Aviv University at number eight (up from nine) in its list of global undergraduate programs that produce venture capital-backed entrepreneurs. Israel’s Technion came 14th and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was 35th.

Financial Tech agreement with Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Finance Minister Paul Chan visited Israel with a delegation of 20. He signed an agreement with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to promote cooperation in the field of Fintech. Other initiatives explored included the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Biotech.

Dutch Prince seeks hi-tech investment. Prince Constantijn van Oranje of the Netherlands, head of Dutch innovation organization StartupDelta, is in Israel with a delegation of Dutch investors. His aim is to attract Israeli hi-tech startups to Holland and to learn how to establish technology and innovation centers.

Japan opens Israeli startup accelerator. The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) – a government agency - is opening a business center and accelerator program for Israeli startups to help them expand of their business to Japan.

More multinational investment. Over the last 18 months, 16 multinational financial firms started operating in Israel, or increased previous business through strategic partnerships and investments. Newcomers include AXA SA, Bank of Montreal, Fosun, TD Bank, AmTrust, and Mastercard. The attraction? - Israeli technology. Plus two video reminders of the 4 multi-billion-dollar exits so far in 2018.

Award-winning Proof of Concept.  I reported previously (see here) about Israeli startup prooV and its service that allow companies to perform Proof of Concept (PoC) testing on new technology. The Business Intelligence Group has now named prooV a 2018 Stratus Award winner, for its unique cloud technology solution.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Rare chance to see Worms Mahzor.  For the first time in 30 years, and ahead of the High-holidays, the Worms Mahzor - a famous 13th-century prayer book - will go on display at the National Library of Israel. The exhibition, “Our hearts responded in ancient prayer…” features many beautiful medieval Hebrew manuscripts.

Vibrations are still good for Brian Wilson. Beach Boys founder and composer Brian Wilson performed at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv. Two years after his Israeli debut, Wilson and his 10-piece band played through an outstanding songbook of classics. At 76, how does he do it? The answer is in the video.

Virtual Reality tour of Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) I’ve reported previously (see here) on several VR (Virtual Reality) tours where you can step back in time to see ancient Israel. Now the Tower of David Museum is launching “Step into History” - a VR tour of Jerusalem as it looked 2000 years ago.

Hiking in Israel. (TY Erez) There is a new English website for foreign tourists, dedicated to nature and hiking in Israel. It is great news for the traveler who wants to explore Israel independently but doesn’t speak Hebrew. The descriptions are accompanied by high-quality hiking maps, GPS track files and transport links.


THE JEWISH STATE

The Jewish foundations under Mount Zion. (TY WIN) Mount Zion, South West of Jerusalem’s Old City, sits on top of thousands of years of history. Archeologists recently discovered evidence of Hasmonean construction from the time of the Second Temple.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/SP_iuw5JKLE?rel=0

Uncovering the City of David. Doron Spielman, of the City of David Foundation, was interviewed on ILTV about the latest findings in the 4,000-year-old city of King David that was only re-discovered a few years ago. Layers have been peeled away like an onion to reveal the Pilgrimage Road leading up to Temple Mount.

1,020 ancient clay seals discovered. Archeologists have uncovered a trove of 1,020 clay seal impressions dated from the Maccabean era, over 2,100 years ago. They were found in a newly discovered 7-room cave complex at the ancient city of Maresha, part of the Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park in central Israel.

The US-Israeli pilot who stopped Egyptian army.  US citizen Gideon Lichtman, who died recently aged 94, made history in 1948 when he volunteered for the emerging Israeli Air Force and shot down its first enemy plane. His Machal 101 squadron prevented the Egyptian army from capturing Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem prepares for New Year. (TY Sharon) In Israel’s capital, people are extremely busy. Activities include an update for Sacher Park, musical events in the streets and synagogues. One “unique” photo shows the candidates for position of the next Mayor of Jerusalem dancing together. And the first Sukkah (tabernacle).

A country, not a cause. I reported previously (28th Jan) about The Israel Innovation Fund (TIIF). Founder Adam Bellos urges American Jews to look beyond the politics and to come to Israel, learn the language, meet the people, listen to the music, drink the wine and enjoy the country. Israel has so much to offer.

Ancient tree may help cure diseases. On Kibbutz Katura, I saw Methuselah - a Judean date palm that scientist Elaine Solowey planted on Tu Bishvat from 2000-year-old seeds discovered by archeologists at Masada. Now scientists believe that the tree’s ancient genetic properties could have major medical benefits.

Free-gift at Ben Gurion airport. (TY Janglo) To prevent the importing of diseases, Israel’s Agriculture Ministry has banned passengers from bringing 3 of the set of 4 species (palm branch, myrtle, willow) required to be used during the Sukkot (Tabernacles) holiday.  A free set will be given to those passengers who want one.


180902
In the 2nd Sep 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli-developed molecule destroys Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
·         The UN’s most empowered female entrepreneur in Western Europe is an Israeli.
·         An Israeli company is protecting both UK and Australian armies.
·         Intel Israel has developed even faster computer processors.
·         An Israeli rescue robot is virtually unstoppable.
·         Israel’s SodaStream is bought by PepsiCo for $3.2 billion.
·         An Israeli gymnast won two World gold medals and broke a world record.
·         Readers can help launch a film that aims to give a huge PR boost to Israel.

·         Click here to see the 19th Aug newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also, 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 nearly 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

Another leukemia success.  I reported previously (see here) on new Israeli treatments for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Now the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and US biotech BioTheryX are developing a single molecule that attacks multiple leukemia proteins simultaneously. Lab tests show a 50% success rate. 

Breathalyzer for Parkinson’s and much more. I reported previously on the breath analyzers to detect cancer developed by Ben Gurion University (see here) and Na-Nose from Technion’s Dr Hossam Haick (see here). Now Dr Haick’s team has a handheld device to detect early Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and 16 other diseases.

US approves Teva’s generic EpiPen. The US FDA has approved Israeli biotech Teva’s generic version of the EpiPen auto-injector for emergency treatment for those suffering with “anaphylactic” allergic reactions. Frantic parents in the US have been reporting a nationwide shortage of the original Mylan NV “brand” EpiPen.

Another Israeli treatment for head lice. I reported previously (see here) on two innovative Israeli treatments for removing head lice. Now there’s a third - Israel’s Sphinx Smarthead Technologies is developing a device that destroys lice and their eggs in a 5-minute procedure that can be performed by children aged 7 and over.

Soil bacteria cures fungal infections.  Researchers at Israel’s Technion have cured fungal infections using bacteria commonly found in the upper layers of soil. They used a gel and an innovative “factory” formula to produce Bacillus subtilis bacterium, more commonly found on plant roots, to rapidly heal infected skin.

An app to help you sleep. Israeli startup Dayzz is launching an app for self-insured employers to offer their employees. The app uses big data and an algorithm to diagnose each user’s specific sleep problem and devise a personalized sleep-training plan. The employer enhances the sleep quality of its staff and reduces healthcare costs. https://www.israel21c.org/app-helps-fulfill-dreams-of-a-good-nights-sleep/  https://dayzz.com/

New medical school inaugurated. I reported previously (10th Sep) when the building of Ariel University’s new medical school began.  It has now been officially opened in a ceremony attended by the Israeli President and several ministers. 70 students enrolled in its first class which is open to all citizens and Palestinian Arabs.

Glucose meters for Vietnam. (TY Rachel) I reported previously (7th Jan) that Israel’s GlucoMe was shipping its glucose monitors to 200,000 Indian diabetics. Now Germany’s Merck KGaA is trialing GlucoMe’s monitors to help many of the 3.5 million Vietnamese suffering from diabetes – some 5.5% of the entire population.

UK PM honors fundraiser of 11 MDA ambulances. Retired UK surgeon Norman Rosenbaum received the Points of Light Award from UK Prime Minister Theresa May for helping to buy 11 ambulances for Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom (MDA). I was lucky to be present at the dedication of the 10th one.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

UN honors Israeli woman.  I reported previously (10th Dec) on Israeli startup ECOncrete, which develops eco-friendly concrete products. Its founder, marine biologist Shimrit Perkol-Finkel won the Western Europe nomination for the United Nations’ first “We Empower” competition for female entrepreneurs.

Freedom of worship for all. (TY Hazel) As Israel’s Muslim and Druze communities began celebrating the Eid al-Adha festival, PM Benjamin Netanyahu posted a video wishing them “Eid al-Adha mubarak”. He was proud that in Israel we have freedom of worship for all: Muslims, Druze, Christians, Baha’is, Jews - everyone.

Co-existence at summer camp for cancer kids. The summer camp run by Camp Sunrise for children with cancer in Beit Yehoshua has 20% Arab children. The ones in Beersheba and Ramat Yochanan are nearer 50% Arab. The Jewish and Arab children forget their illnesses and differences and interact - just like kids do.

Bringing sweet music to a Muslim state. (TY UWI) The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra performed at the Gabala International Music Festival in the Muslim state of Azerbaijan. The JSO was warmly received by music lovers during their second performance in one of the most important classical music events in Azerbaijan.

Israelis aid Indian flood victims. (TY Hazel & UWI) Israel’s government and NGO IsraAID have sent teams to the South-Indian state of Kerala to help victims of the floods that have displaced 725,000 people. The teams are providing urgent relief items and assessing the long-term needs of affected communities.

The first Israeli PM to visit Lithuania.  Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Vilna, Lithuania to attend a summit of the Baltic states and meet with Lithuanian PM Saulius Skvernelis, Latvian PM Maris Kucinskis and Estonian PM Juri Ratas. The four leaders will discuss the deepening of cooperation between their countries.

Protecting UK and Australia’s armies. (TY Hazel) The UK Ministry of Defense has bought six of the latest anti-drone systems developed by Israel’s Rafael for $20 million to protect sensitive facilities from drones. The Australian Defense Force has bought Rafael’s Trophy Active Protection System for its armored vehicles.

Clean water for Cameroon.  (TY Hazel) I featured previously (17th Jun) the water purification technology of Israel’s NUFiltration.  Now the company is to provide its unique water filtration systems to thousands of people in the Cameroon who currently have no access to clean water and are suffering a severe cholera epidemic.

Zulu King mobilizes support for Israel. Nkosi Zwelakhe Mthethwa, a Zulu king from South Africa’s Mthethwa tribe, has returned from a visit to Israel with a pledge to mobilize Christians all over the world to support the Jewish state. “because this place [Israel] is our tangible and intangible heritage site”.

Israel trains rescuers. Israeli officers from the IDF's Home Front Command have just returned from Dallas, Texas where they conducted their fifth session training local civilians in Israeli emergency response techniques. Meanwhile in Israel, Israeli NGO ZAKA and the IDF trained 40 rescue leaders from 5 countries.

One year later - Israel is still there. Who can forget the devastation hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, José and Nate did to the USA and Caribbean? Israeli aid organizations IsraAID and the Israel Trauma Coalition haven’t. They have stayed in the region to continue healing wounds and preparing residents for the next big storm.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Nanotechnology Conference. The Nano.IL conference (9th - 11th Oct) in Jerusalem will connect companies, universities, corporate research scientists, investors and government representatives from around the world. It features cutting-edge innovations, new technologies and presentations by top scientists.

Innovation Festival - DLD Tel Aviv 2018. DLD (Digital Life Design) Tel Aviv (Sep 3 – 6), celebrates Israel’s tech and innovation ecosystem. Thousands of guests from 110 international delegations will attend the two-day digital conference and a three-day innovation festival. Here is a list of free events, mostly open to the public.

Intel’s Israeli processors go even faster. I reported previously (8th Oct) that Intel had unveiled its Israeli-designed 8th generation processors - the fastest ever.  Now Intel’s Haifa-based team has announced even faster ones. The U and Y series, codenamed Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake, are for laptops and laptop-tablet hybrids.

Reading the web to the visually impaired. Thanks to AI technology developed in Israel, Google’s Go app can now read articles and web content out loud in 28 supported languages. Go is a lightweight, faster version of Google’s flagship search engine, primarily for devices with little space and unreliable internet connections,

Remote control for driverless cars.  I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s LiveU whose technology streams live video for the BBC, Fox News, Sky, CNN, Facebook etc.  Its remote-control technology is now sought by autonomous car makers in California who are required to monitor road testing by remote control.

Mini-firewall to protect Internet of Things. Israeli cybersecurity giant Check Point is focused on protecting the Internet of Things (IoT) - any device connected to the Internet. A company photo shows CEO Gil Shwed reportedly holding Check Point’s exciting next generation security product, entitled “Nano Security”.

Really smart customer service. (TY ILTV) Israeli startup 7Twenty’s aim is to put customers and business in touch for the digital age. Whether through the phone, social media, email, chat, video etc., enterprises, such as BNP Paribas, can communicate effectively with their customers, using 7Twenty’s innovative hi-tech platform.

Startup wins Euro sports-tech award. Israel’s Track160 won the 2018 European SportsTech competition in Hamburg. Track160 is developing a fully automatic team sports analytics service using deep learning technology. The system tracks player and ball position and produces performance and tactical metrics.

Chilean cherries to China. Israeli-based StePac together with Israel’s Tadbik have developed Xgo modified atmosphere resealable lidding film to extend the shelf-life of fresh fruit and reduce waste. It will be showcased at the Asia Fruit Logistica trade show in Hong Kong and used initially to ship cherries from Chile to China.

Why Israeli bees are thriving.  (TY Martha) Although I posted the video on World Bee Day (20th May), this article explains why Israel’s bee population is increasing, in contrast to that of the rest of the world. It is mainly due to the vast planting of trees that are essential for protecting the bees’ habitat.

Eye of Sauron powers up. A new 240-meter high solar thermal tower near Beersheva in Israel’s Negev Desert has been connected to the country’s electrical grid. Nicknamed the “Eye of Sauron” from the novel and film “Lord of the Rings”, the tower will generate 121 megawatts of power when completed in early 2019.

More Solutions. I reported previously (see here) on the book “Solution Nation” by David Wanetick, which describes 62 Israeli startups developing solutions to some of the World’s most intractable problems.  David generously sent me a copy of his book which I’m finding mind-blowing. More to follow in future newsletters.

No stopping this robot. (TY UWI) Ben Gurion University engineers Dr David Zarrouk and Liran Yehezkel have developed RSTAR (Rising Star) - a new highly maneuverable search and rescue robot. It can creep, crawl and climb over rough or soft terrain without getting stuck; through tight spaces and even vertically.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel invests record $16 billion on civilian R&D. In 2017, Israel's national expenditure on civilian research and development increased by 5% to a record NIS 57.8 billion (almost $16 billion), or 4.5% of Israel's gross domestic product (GDP). https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3745147,00.html

Economy continues to grow. (TY UWI) Having just received S&P’s AA- credit rating, Israel’s rating has never dropped in the last 30 years. It has the second fastest growing economy in the OECD over the last decade. Unemployment is at a record low. Israel has over 350 R&D centers for major tech companies.  And much more.

Israel’s tourism projects. Tourists contribute over NIS 20 billion to the Israeli economy. The 3.6 million tourists in 2017 was 25% higher than 2016 and 2018 is up even more. New projects include Jerusalem’s cable car, the Tel Aviv to Jerusalem train, plus Eilat’s new airport, ecological beach and education center. And in Aug 2018 alone, a record 2.7 million passengers were scheduled to travel through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

Israel exports to Gulf states worth $1 billion. (TY Hazel) Israel's exports to Gulf Arab states were worth nearly $1 billion in 2016, despite their refusal to recognize Israel or have diplomatic relations with it. Israeli exports outstripped those to allies and giant economies such as Russia and Japan.

Sodastream exits for $3.2 billion.  (TY Hazel) PepsiCo is buying Israel’s SodaStream, producer of DIY soda makers, for $3.2 billion. Pepsi says it wants to offer healthier options in SodaStream’s environmentally friendly re-usable bottles. SodaStream will remain based in Israel and is paying large bonuses to all its 3,000 employees. Meanwhile, PepsiCo selected 3 Israeli food-tech startups for its 2018 Nutrition Greenhouse incubator program.

UK Centrica funds Israeli cyber company. I reported previously (see here) that UK Energy firm Centrica was investing in and acquiring Israeli startups.  It has now participated in a $18 million funding round for Israeli cybersecurity startup Indegy, which provides cybersecurity technology for industrial control systems.

More direct flights. China’s Sichuan Airlines is launching a new direct route connecting Tel Aviv with Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province in Southwest China. The twice-weekly service commences on 26th Sept and flight times are just 8 hours 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines is to operate a second daily direct service from New York’s JFK to Tel Aviv, in Summer 2019.

More Russian broadband connectivity. I reported (see here) on previous deals won by Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks with two Russian satellite operators. Now Gilat will install two SkyEdge II-c gateways for the Yamal 601 Ka satellite, operated by Gazprom Space Systems, to provide broadband services in remote areas of Russia.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

The Hidden Scrolls.  I was recommended previously (Feb 2012) to visit the Moshe Castel museum in Ma’ale Adummim. A new exhibition opens at the museum on 14th Sep (until Oct). It features the work of Israeli artist Meira Ohad Dori whose latest paintings using asphalt and salt were inspired by the Dead Sea scrolls.

See King David in Jerusalem. Join the journey along the majestic story of King David, from shepherd to king, as told through a colorful night experience in Jerusalem's Tower of David Citadel.

We are the Natives. The Complete Jessy Cohen Museum (CJCM) in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon is housed in the Israeli Center of Digital Art. The CJCM documents the 1950s Jessy Cohen slum neighborhood and in Sept opens a “We are the Natives” exhibit of bronze-age artifacts found during 1965 excavations of the area.

Israeli gymnast wins two golds and breaks world record. (TY Hazel) Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram, scored a world record 20.65 in the clubs-handling round at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Minsk. She went on to win the gold medal in the all-around category and a second gold in the rhythmic gymnastics.


THE JEWISH STATE

No stone unturned. Hundreds of policemen, canine rescue units, and volunteers searched for an 84-year-old man who was last seen on Herzl Street in Haifa. A police chopper pilot spotted a man lying down in the Haifa forests. Using new location tracking systems, the elderly man was rescued - exhausted but otherwise unharmed.

Pulling out the stops. A Bnei Brak policeman chased a speeding MDA paramedic who jumped red lights and ignored his calls to pull over. However, the policeman recognized the address where the paramedic eventually stopped and was saving the life of an unconscious 64-year-old heart attack victim - the policeman’s own father.

Defending the Jewish State. The NGO Honest Reporting has been leading the fight against media bias for many years.  On 26th Aug it opened its new international headquarters in the heart of downtown Jerusalem.

400 new Olim from the Ukraine. 400 new immigrants from Ukraine have just arrived in Israel via two special flights coordinated by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ).

The inspiration for SodaStream’s CEO. At the event to announce the $3.2 billion takeover of his company, SodaStream’s CEO Daniel Birnbaum honored his father. Ervin Birnbaum survived the Shoah, sailed on the infamous Exodus and founded the award-winning She’arim Netanya charity supporting Russian Olim.

The Jerusalem Stone. (TY UWI) This powerful film, in production, could solve Israel’s PR problem … once and for all.  Ancient secrets buried beneath the Dome of the Rock have the potential to bring humanity together in the most positive and profound way imaginable. And YOU can be a part of it.


180819
In the 19th Aug 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have discovered that Nitrogen can highlight early cancers.
·         Israeli hospitals are experiencing a record number of births.
·         A new experience in a Tel Aviv street publicizes Israel’s democratic character.
·         Israeli scientists are using jellyfish to filter plastic from the ocean.
·         Two Israeli startups can make protein from chickpeas and print vegan steaks.
·         Two positive BBC programs featured Israeli hi-tech.
·         Two Israeli Paralympic swimmers are European champions.
·         In the latest Nefesh b’Nefesh flight were 27 medics and 3 sets of twins.

·         Click here to see the 12th Aug newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Global impact and Business. Also (TY Sandra) in German. And new (TY Zachy) the 5th Aug and 12 Aug newsletters in Hebrew.  Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also, please visit (and “like” and “follow”) the new 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 nearly 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

Nitrogen test for early cancer diagnosis. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered that in many cancers, the body’s mechanism for producing nitrogen is disrupted so that the tumors can grow faster. These mutations can be detected early on, by analysis of the body’s urea cycle.

Link between near drowning and kidney failure. Rambam Hospital doctors have discovered acute kidney injury (AKI) to be a common complication of near-drownings. Of 95 Rambam patients who nearly drowned between 2000 and 2017, 45% developed AKI. The reason is lack of oxygen and potassium, high blood sugar and constricted kidney blood vessels.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/250572

A revolution in blood testing.  This Israel21c article features three Israeli startups that are working on instant diagnosis of viruses and bacteria. I already featured Sight Diagnostics (see here) and Efa (see here). Sonorapy has developed a sensor to identify each pathogen from the unique acoustics it emits in response to soundwaves.

Freezing tumors to be performed in Israel. (TY Hazel) I’ve reported previously (see here) on Israel’s IceCure Medical and its technology for freezing and destroying tumors. Now Haifa’s Elisha Medical Center is the first Israeli hospital to offer IceCure’s treatment for malignant kidney tumors and benign breast tumors.

Find a local doctor while overseas. If sick while on vacation in Europe and the Americas, Israeli startup Air Doctor Ltd will locate pre-vetted doctors that provide services to tourists. Air Doctor’s web interface and app will find and book appointments with relevant local general physicians, pediatricians, gynecologists etc.

New immigrant medics are eager to contribute. In the latest Nefesh b’Nefesh flight there were 27 US and Canadian medical professionals (doctors, nurses, paramedics etc.) who want to get to work as soon as possible. Meanwhile, top liver transplant surgeon Daniel Azoulay has left Paris to join the staff of Sheba Medical Center.

Trust your gut to manage your health. Israeli gut microbiome analysis startup DayTwo Ltd. has partnered with Clalit, one of Israel’s four health care providers. Clalit will offer its members DNA analysis of their gut microbiome and provide personalized nutritional insights based on DayTwo’s technology.

Burning fat or carbs? (TY Calcalistec) Israeli startup Metaflow’s Lumen is a respiratory metabolism tracking device that determines whether you are burning fat or carbohydrates. An AI-based app then provides nutrition and fitness advice based on the test's results and personal goals. Lumen has raised $1.4 million on Indiegogo.

Record numbers of births.  Israeli hospitals reported record numbers of new babies in July, always the busiest month.  The 1,518 deliveries at Soroka in Beersheva was 10% higher than last July’s record. Tel Aviv’s Ichilov recorded 1,014 births - 10% more than average. Israel’s 3.11 births per mother is the highest in the OECD.

I don’t know how, but she swallowed the nail.  Doctors at Baruch Padeh Medical Center near Tiberias removed a 2-inch long (5cm) nail from the small intestine of an 8-year-old Arab girl. She had been using her teeth to pull the nail out of a plastic bottle and when it emerged, she accidentally swallowed it.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Summer camp for special needs. Israeli charity Ezer Mizion runs a summer camp at Moshav Nechalim for 300 special needs children and young adults. Each camper has a personal counselor, a yeshiva student who decided to volunteer in this summer camp instead of spending vacation time with his friends.

Imparting skills to underprivileged teens.  Israeli NGO Unistream runs a multi-year program and an annual competition to give entrepreneurship and leadership skills to 4,000 underprivileged teens. This year’s winners developed an allergen detector, an app to recommend charities and a clothing line for special needs children.

Democracy Pavilion.  Tel Aviv’s new Democracy Pavilion, on Rothschild Boulevard, is an exciting and rich multimedia experience which brings awareness to Israel’s core values of equality, freedom, and diversity. The exhibition is a part of the Independence Trail (see here) which can be followed using an interactive mobile app.

Israeli homes for disabled and Bedouin.  Israel has approved the construction of several new towns in the Negev and Galilee geared to serve the Bedouin and disabled populations. Shibolet, in the southern Galilee, will have a total of 350 units. 500 units will be built at Daniel in the south. 20% are for people with disabilities.

A closer look at Operation Good Neighbor. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Israel has treated about 5000 patients from Syria -both adults and children. The army coordinates their transport, usually at night, to Israeli hospitals mostly in northern Israel.

Two Israeli universities in top 100.  In the 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Israel’s Technion was ranked at number 77, up from 93 last year.  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem moved into the top 100 at number 95 after being in the 101 – 150 section last year.

Partnering to ease African poverty. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and Israel’s Ministry of the Economy are working together to alleviate poverty among Africa’s smallholder farmers. They will leverage Israeli agricultural technology as part of JDC’s new Tikkun Olam Ventures (TOV) program.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

$1.8 billion campaign for global innovation. Israel’s Technion Institute has launched a global $1.8 billion, ten-year fundraising campaign. The campaign has already raised 40% of the required funds that will be used to support world-changing, life-saving innovation. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kvf85BSOXnQ?rel=0

$123 million for research universities. Israel’s Council for Higher Education has approved an investment of $123 million (NIS 458 million) over 5 years to fortify research programs in Israeli universities. It is 83% more than that invested in the last 5-year plan. 90% of the funds will be used for lab equipment.

$24 million to strengthen cyber security. Israel has launched a 3-year NIS 90 million dedicated program to strengthen Israel’s cyber industry. Its aim is to ensure that Israel continues to meet the cyber sector’s biggest challenges, secures its place at the forefront of innovation, and bolsters its global leadership in the industry.

Turning jellyfish into plastic filters.  I reported previously (see here) on Israelis making use of jellyfish. Now, scientists at the University of Haifa are developing a filter made of jellyfish mucus to isolate microplastics in the oceans. The research is part of the International Go Jelly project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program.

Clean technologies for a better environment.  This video summarizes Israel’s work in water recycling, solar energy, wind energy and other alternative energies. More than 400 Israeli companies specialize in developing sustainable technologies.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/MwQiJ83Kv3g?rel=0

Cybersecurity wherever you work. More and more employees are working away from their main offices. So, the security of their data and devices needs to move with them.  Israeli startup Meta Networks has implemented a cloud-based solution which protects the employee (and the company) anytime, anyplace.

Get connected like never before. You have HDMI for your TV, Internet, video, audio, and cables all over your house. With the HDBaseT tester from Israel’s MSolutions, the installer connects everything in every room with just a flick of a switch.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/8SifyYhv9ng?rel=0  https://www.m4sol.com/

Keeping pizza fresh for 8 weeks. Israel-based startup Timeless Foods makes firm disposable plastic containers for vacuum packaging delicate foods. It means manufacturers can vacuum seal delicate foods and produce, thus significantly prolonging their shelf life. Pizza, for example, stays fresh for up to 8 weeks without freezing.

Alternative protein sources.  Israel’s InnovoPro is developing a technology for extracting concentrated protein from chickpeas.  InnovoPro is one of the two winning start-ups in the 2018 Calcalist FoodTech competition.

3D-printed vegan steaks. Tel Aviv-based startup Jet-Eat develops 3D printing technologies for vegan meat substitutes. The printed meat substitute is designed to emulate the appearance, texture and taste of beef and can be cooked like beef. Jet-Eat was a finalist in the 2018 Calcalist FoodTech competition.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

17 trillion shekels. As he opened trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) last week, Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon revealed that the State of Israel would be worth NIS 17,638,763,277,054 if it floated on the TASE. This was according to the latest methodology used by the World Bank in a survey of 140 countries.

Indonesia selects Israel transportation app. (TY Tower) The Asian Games (Aug 18 – Sep 2) doesn’t allow Israeli athletes to compete, but the host country Indonesia has chosen Israel’s Moovit as the games’ official mobility app. Moovit is the world’s most downloaded transit app with over 200 million users in 82 countries.

BBC admits Israel is creating UK jobs. (TY WIN) What a contrast to the BBC’s normal biased anti-Israel reporting.  BBC World’s “Talking Business” program included this feature by Jonathan Josephs. It highlights the UK-Israel Tech Hub as the ideal model to expand UK hi-tech business and create jobs post Brexit.

BBC “dragon” funds Israeli startup.  Israelis Yosi Romano and Ziv Leinwand went on the BBC’s “Dragon’s Den” program, winning a £125,000 investment from star “dragon” Touker Suleyman. Their device protects babies from pollution, sucking in air, cleaning it and blowing it into the child’s breathing space in its pram.

El Al buys 16 Dreamliners. El Al has purchased 16 Dreamliners (Boeing 787s) in a $1.2 billion deal, which will gradually replace older Boeing 747 and 767 planes. El Al received its 6th Dreamliner in a ceremony with the PM’s wife Sara Netanyahu who dressed as an El Al flight attendant - one of her previous jobs.

More Israeli hostels.  Good news for backpackers.  Latin American hostel and co-working company Selina and Israel’s Ampa Real Estate have been scouting locations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and the southern Negev desert. Selina intends to open several hostels with a combined capacity of 5,000-7,000 beds within five years.

Warren Buffet buys more Teva shares. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has upped its stake in Israeli biotech Teva by another 6.7%. Berkshire Hathaway now owns nearly $1 billion of Teva shares.

Visa invests in Israeli Fintech startup. I reported previously (Feb 2017) on Israel’s Behalf which provides short-term loans having used hi-tech to decide on a company’s risk profile. Now financial giant Visa is partnering Behalf to “support small business growth”.  Behalf’s clients receive a tokenized Visa Virtual Card.

Gett generates $1 billion of revenue. Israel’s Gett makes 100 million rides a year, mostly with its London and NYC taxis. This generates around $1 billion in mobility services, according to Stockholm-listed venture capital firm Vostok New Ventures Ltd in its latest financial report.

Bringing Hungarians and Bulgarians to Eilat.  Low cost Hungarian airline Wizz Air is commencing twice-weekly flights from November between Eilat and both Budapest and Sofia.  Wizz already operates services from Eilat to London, Vienna, Bucharest, Riga, and Warsaw.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Annual stork migration begins.  The annual migration of the storks has started in Israel. Thousands of storks were spotted flying over the Rotem Plain in southern Israel, according to the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). (No connection with the large numbers of Israeli births last month!)

Colombian Superstar Carlos Vives performs in Israel. Award-winning Colombian musician Carlos Vives held a successful concert in Tel Aviv. He tweeted, “Thanks Tel Aviv! It has been a very special night! What an incredible concert, we are very happy to have been here with you to share and learn from here a little more!”

Michael Jackson is to tour Israel. Well, not the superstar himself, obviously, but the “I Am King” tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, is landing in Israel for 20 spectacular dates in 2019. Performances begin in Herzliya on Jan 19 and end in Haifa on Feb 20. Catch it in Tel Aviv on Feb 14 and Jerusalem on Feb 16.

Travel magazine awards for 3 Israeli locations. Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2018 World’s Best Awards included Jerusalem (3rd place) and Tel Aviv (4th) in the “5 best cities in Africa and the Middle East” category. The Beresheet in Mitzpe Ramon came 3rd in the “Top Resort Hotels in Africa and the Middle East” category.

Dog TV is now on satellite.  I reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Dog TV channel that allows dog owners to leave their pets home alone but happy.  Dog TV is now available on U.S.-based satellite broadcast provider Dish Network Corporation. It is already on Comcast’s cable Xfinity and AT&T’s DirecTV.

Israel to host Euro Championships of Flag Football. Israel has been chosen to host the European Championships of flag football next year in Jerusalem. The tournament will feature both men’s and women’s competitions and is currently scheduled for June 2019. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/big-sports-news-israel-chosen-to-host-the-european-championships-of-flag-football-next-year-in-jerusalem/2018/08/16/

Para-Euro swimming champions. Israeli swimmers won two gold medals in the European Paralympic championship held in Dublin, Ireland. Inbal Pezaro, 31, won the women’s 200-meter freestyle final and Ami Dadaon, 17, won the men’s 100m freestyle. Both are members of the ILAN Haifa swimming club.

Medals for windsurfers. (TY Nevet) Israelis Eyal Zror and Liam Segey came 1st and 2nd in the men’s U17 category at the 2018 RS:X Windsurfing Youth World Championships in France. Israelis Naama Gazit and Linoy Geva won silver and bronze in the main women’s event. Geva came 1st in the women’s U17 category.


THE JEWISH STATE

239 new immigrants fly in.  The 15th Aug Nefesh b’Nefesh flight contained 239 new Olim from 24 US states and 3 Canadian provinces. They included 57 lone soldiers, 27 medics and 90 children including 3 sets of twins. 

When Ray Charles met David Ben Gurion. I just read about world-renowned singer/songwriter Ray Charles’ support for the Jewish State. In 1972 he visited David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, during his 86th birthday celebrations at Kibbutz Sde Boker. “Israel is one of the few causes I feel good about supporting,” Ray Charles said in 1976.  https://unitedwithisrael.org/watch-when-ray-charles-met-israels-first-prime-minister/

Jerusalem festival re-enacts Jewish history. (TY WIN) The Kings Valley Festival in the Kidron valley celebrates Jerusalem's history, offering family workshops and a chance to see what daily life was like in the ancient city during ancient times. https://www.youtube.com/embed/fqVirXKji4o?rel=0


180812
In the 12th Aug 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have discovered an enzyme to prevent spinal cord injuries.
·         An Israeli disabled children’s charity is recognized by the United Nations.
·         Israelis win top two prizes at European Debating Championships.
·         Whilst global coral reefs are dying, Eilat’s reef is growing.
·         Israelis have achieved ultra-low friction for boosting computer performance.
·         New direct flights from Israel to Washington DC and China.
·         Israelis win gold at athletics, acrobatics and ten-pin bowling for the blind.

·         Click here to see the 5th Aug newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health and Technology. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         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 12,500 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 Leishmaniasis. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s work to combat Leishmaniasis - a deadly parasitic disease common in the Middle East. Now Professor Shulamit Michaeli, at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, is working to commercialize a compound that in 20 minutes kills two types of Leishmania parasites.

Reading memories in the brain. (TY UWI & TIP) Israeli scientists have discovered that both positive and negative memories are stored in genes within areas of the brain that can be retrieved even post-mortem. The findings could one day help treat patients with psychiatric disorders such as OCD, schizophrenia and trauma.

Enzyme can prevent spinal-cord damage.  Tel Aviv University scientists have discovered an enzyme that controls blood glutamate levels and could help patients recover from spinal injuries if administered soon after an accident. Reducing the release of glutamate after a trauma enabled lesions at the injury site to regenerate.

First Israeli coral-based knee replacement. (TY MR) I reported previously (see here) about Israeli startup CartiHeal which invented the Agili-C knee implant that uses coral-derived material to repair damaged knee cartilage. Doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital have just performed the first Israeli Agili-C surgery.

His ankle is now his knee.  Jacob A’s lower leg was amputated after a work accident.  But his foot was fine, so in Israel’s first “rotationplasty” operation, doctors at Haifa’s Rambam hospital turned it upside down and made the ankle joint into a knee joint.  Once Jacob has a prosthetic fitted, he should be able to walk normally.

Bio-protection for life. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup Nobio (previously named Nanolock) and its revolutionary nano-polymer that causes bacteria to die immediately on contact. Nobio has just raised $3.6 million of funds to help it obtain FDA approval. See also new video.

$4 million to advance cancer resistance testing.  I reported previously (Jun 2017) on Israeli biotech NewStem which is developing a stem cell platform to test cancer treatments in the lab before potentially wasting them on patients. NewStem has just received $4 million of funds from an unlikely source – Hollywood Media Corp.

The future of medicine is being formulated in Israel.  British philanthropist David Dangoor writes that Israel is at the forefront of development of personalized medical innovations that can solve prohibitive and largely ineffective medical treatments being used in the UK and elsewhere.

Sweet protein gives hope to diabetics. Israeli startup Amai Proteins has synthesized the protein thaumatin, found naturally in the Nigerian katemfe plant, which acts as a sweetener but does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels. Amai have conducted initial test tastings and have raised NIS 3 million of funding.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

UN honors Israeli special needs youth movement. The United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has given “Special Advisor” status to Israeli NGO Krembo Wings (see here).  It recognizes the youth movement as a world leader, integrating disabled children with other children.

First female legal advisor to Israeli rabbinical court. Shira Ben-Eli has been appointed to serve as a judicial assistant to the Jerusalem District Labor Court - one of the most senior positions in the Orthodox-run court system. The position involves close contact with the court’s decision-making processes.

Israeli soccer to be color-blind friendly.  Israel’s Premier League is to adopt new kit guidelines to help color-blind supporters. Green and red have been defined as identical colors and if the colors of opposing team kits clash, the away team will be required to use an alternate outfit of black or white or stripes.

Jerusalem scores a goal for peace.  I reported previously (see here) on the soccer event organized by Kulna Yerushalayim that united so many of Jerusalem’s Arab and Jewish kids. Here is an Israel21c video of the event.

“Jerusalem” for Guatemala volcano survivors. Israeli medical NGO Zaka is working with the Guatemala Jewish community to build 100 homes for evacuees from the recent Guatemala volcano eruption. The homes have been named, “The Jerusalem Neighborhood” and those completed are already housing affected families.

Gala event to support humanitarian work of Israeli doctors.  The “Life & Hope” Project Gala, in support of the remarkable humanitarian work of Israeli doctors around the world, will take place on 9th Dec 2018, in Miami Beach, Florida. Performers include Gloria Estefan and the Miami Symphony Orchestra. https://friendsofziv.org/event/

Debating champions. (TY UWI) Israelis won the European Universities Debating Championship in Serbia. Noam Dahan and Tom Manor won the main competition, beating teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Amichay Even-Chen and Ido Kotler won the “English as a Second Language” category.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Boosting Indian agriculture. (TY UCI) Israel continues being a frontrunner on the world stage in agricultural technology. This video from I24 news shows how in a region of India with a rainy climate, this technology has enabled urban farmers to grow tomatoes successfully.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/nj-hgY9kFeg?rel=0

Eilat’s coral reef is growing.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on the excellent state of Eilat’s coral reef, in sharp contrast to the damage being caused to the coral reefs of other countries.  The latest report from Eilat’s Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences shows that Eilat’s reef is growing at a rate of 0.5% per year.

Helping Thailand with cybersecurity. (TY Nevet) The Embassy of Israel in Thailand hosted the "Israel Cyber Security Roadshow 2018". Twelve Israeli cyber security companies showcased their products and services to Thai companies interested in mitigating cyber-attacks.

Swipe right for home.  I reported previously (Mar 2015) about Israeli startup Impris and its ability to launch apps with one finger without even looking at your smartphone.  Now Impris has adapted this technology to cars so that you can control music, phone calls, messaging, and navigation without taking your eyes off the road.

Anyone can build VR websites. Israeli startup DoublX VR has developed a platform that allows anyone or any organization to upload video from a 360-degree Virtual Reality camera. It generates a Virtual Reality website in 3D to watch with VR glasses.  All for free, without having to write a single line of computer code.

Unravelling complex contracts. Israeli startup Uhura Solutions has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform that can analyze even the most complex of customer contracts, isolate the key terms and help make vital business decisions.  Aimed at financial institutions, it can save hours of work and eliminate human errors.

Tell your story.  I reported previously (Nov 2015) on Israeli startup Apester which offers tools for on-line publishers such as quizzes and polls to promote user feedback. Now Apester has launched a story tool for embedding onto a website or integrating into social platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat.

Monitoring industrial machinery. Israel-based startup EcoPlant Technological Innovation develops a cloud-based system for monitoring industrial machinery. Its purpose is to improve energy efficiency and equipment uptime. EcoPlant has just raised $1.7 million in funds.

Israel is the driving force of tomorrow’s cars. (TY Percy & Stanley) Although Israel is not a car manufacturer, many people are unaware of Israel’s partnership with manufacturers from around the world. This article by Viva Sarah Press gives an insight behind the scenes of very possibly the vehicle that you are driving.

Robot pepper picker. Ben Gurion University scientists are part of the team that built the Sweeper robot pepper picker together with other international companies as part of a European Horizon 2020 funded project. The BGU team developed the fruit detection and maturity classification technology.

Protect against electromagnetic radiation. Israeli startup Green Elmf manufactures cables that cancel out the electric magnetic discharge from wired infrastructure. The technology was developed by two Technion Professors. The result is less electrical interference and possibly better health, especially for young children.

Fighting fire with lasers.  (TY TIP) The main cause of a fast-spreading forest fire is when the leaves at the top of the trees catch fire. Israel’s Fighting Treetop Fire (FTF) is developing algorithm-controlled laser beams for helicopters or trucks to remove leaves, thin branches and pine needles off treetops in the path of a forest fire.

Super-lubricity for super performance.  Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Tsinghua University in China have discovered a method to dramatically reduce friction. It promises to generate much faster computer processing. This ultra-low friction is known as super-lubricity.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel gets another “A”.  True to its promise, (see 5th Aug) ratings agency Standard & Poor (S&P) raised its rating for Israel from A+ to AA-. S&P citing Israel’s steady economic growth and improved debt outlook.  AA- is Israel’s highest ever rating from any international rating agency and will save billions in interest repayments.

Deep Tech links Israel to Korea. Israeli equity crowdfunding company OurCrowd’s Labs/02 incubator has joined with Korean VC firms Development Trusts NI and Yozma Kore to help setup startups in both countries. Labs/02 focuses on technology startups in AI, deep learning, autonomous transportation and smart cities.

UK’s Centrica funds Israeli electric vehicle charging.  British energy company Centrica has co-led a $12 million funding round for Israeli startup Driivz.  Driivz develops and sells cloud-based electric vehicle charging network management software.  Already over 200,000 drivers make use of the service.

United Airlines starts Tel Aviv to Washington route. (TY Jewishpress.com) United Airlines is marking its 20th year of service to Israel with the first ever nonstop flight between Washington Dulles International airport and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. The three-times-a-week service commences on 22nd May 2019.

Direct flights from Guangzhou. China’s Hainan airlines has just commenced its new direct service between Tel Aviv and the South China city of Guangzhou. Hainan already operates direct flights from Israel to both Beijing and Shanghai and is to add Shenzhen. Chinese tourism increased by 41% in 2017 compared to 2016.

Gateway to the sun. Due to open early in 2019, Eilat’s new Ilan and Assaf Ramon International airport is expected to service 2 million passengers annually. https://www.youtube.com/embed/zJHMFUkZQFg?rel=0


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Massive Lego sculptures in Tel Aviv.  An exhibit at Tel Aviv’s port features 25 works by the award-winning Lego artist Sean Kenney of New York, who uses Lego bricks - thousands of them - to construct sculptures featuring famous sites, portraits, animals and objects from everyday life.  Open daily until 31st Aug.

August in Jerusalem.  This month’s Jerusalem events include the International Arts and Crafts Fair (till 18th), Puppet festival (till 16th), Water festival (27-29th) and 15 activities at 15 shekels each (last 15 days in Aug).

Putting life into old clothes. No, not a new washing powder.  Jerusalem’s Israel Museum is using Israeli on-line shopping app Zeekit (see here) to generate a virtual reality personal fashion show featuring pre and post-state clothes. Museum visitors take a “selfie” and in five minutes can see themselves wearing the exhibits.

World’s lowest resort gets upgrade.  (TY ILTV) The Dead Sea resort is soon to get luxuriously upgraded. A new leisure complex is to be built, with two hotels, a visitor’s center, entertainment and culinary venues, a spa and shops. The complex’s designer is Moshe Safdie, responsible for some of Israel’s most iconic buildings.

Alanis Morrisett wows Tel Aviv.  Canadian rocker Alanis Morissette marked her third performance in the country, in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,000 at Rishon Lezion’s Live Park. She performed her best hits, including “All I Really Want,” “Hand in My Pocket,” “You Learn,” “Head Over Feet,” and “Ironic.”

Cool off at Israeli nature reserves.  Nice video of five Israeli resorts to enjoy this summer while keeping cool.

Golan to Eilat bike trail. Cyclists will soon be able to bike all the way from Mount Hermon in the north of Israel, to Eilat in the south - completing the 1,200 km Israel Trail for bikes. The Israel Lands Authority is to invest NIS 45 million over 3 years to build 600km of cycling paths and complete the national trail.

Gold for Israeli acrobats at World Championships.  (TY UWI, Janglo and Leonie) The Israeli men’s team won the gold medal at the 2018 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in April.  I didn’t report this at the time, but the videos have just been widely circulated. Israel also came second overall in the medals table.

Blind Shlomi is world champion again.  I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Shlomi Lazmy, who won the 2018 Tenpin Bowling World Championships for the blind.  Well Shlomi has just won the 2018 gold medal as well.  https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-blind-bowler-wins-world-championship-for-2nd-time/

First Israeli woman to win Euro athletics gold. Lonah Chemtai Salpeter became the first Israeli woman to win gold at a European Athletics Championships when she won the 10,000 meters in Berlin. The former nanny to Kenya’s ambassador to Israel married Israeli running coach Dan Salpeter and took Israeli citizenship in 2016.


THE JEWISH STATE

Italian Jewish history is preserved in Jerusalem. (TY UCI & I24 News) The art of the Jews of Italy has been preserved in the Umberto Nahon museum of Italian Jewish art in Jerusalem - one of the most beautiful buildings in the Holy City.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/idgqTX7LkQE?rel=0  http://ijamuseum.org/

2000-year-old earing found in Jerusalem.  A spectacular gold earring, shaped like a horned animal and dating back to the 2nd or 3rd century BCE, during the Hellenistic period, was discovered during excavations of the Givati Parking Lot in the City of David National Park encircling the Old City walls.

15 couples remarry in Jerusalem.  Fifteen Bnei Menashe couples, who immigrated to Israel from Manipur, India in Jun 2018, were remarried in a festive and emotional group ceremony at nonprofit Shavei Israel’s absorption center in Kfar Hasidim, after completing their formal conversion.


180805
In the 5th Aug 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have found how to prevent lung cancer from returning.
·         Israel helped evacuate over 400 Syrian “White Helmets” and their families.
·         Israeli intelligence prevented a terrorist attack in France.
·         An Israeli app can predict earthquakes.
·         Israeli hi-tech startups have raised a record amount of funds.
·         Israel has won its first U20 FIBA basketball championship.
·         In 22 years, three ancient Jewish mosaics were found on one site in Lod.

·         Click here to see the 22nd July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Global impact, Technology, Business and Culture. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         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 12,500 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

Triple treatment to defeat lung cancer. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have used a combination of 3 cancer treatments to prevent lung cancer tumors from re-occurring. In laboratory tests, when Tagrisso, Erbitux and Herceptin were used together they prevented the cancer from developing resistance to single treatments.

Crohn’s treatment shows promise.  Israeli biotech Redhill announced positive results of the Phase 3 trial for RB-104 in treating Crohn’s disease which affects 1.5 million people worldwide.

More European funds for Israeli cancer testing. I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Nucleix and its innovative blood and urine tests for early-stage cancer diagnostics. Nucleix has just received a grant of 2.5 million Euros from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program – its second grant in two years.

3 healthcare giants expand Israeli R&D. (TY TIP) Three life-science multinationals will grow their Israeli R&D centers over the next six years. GE Healthcare’s ultrasound, Change Healthcare’s cardiology and Medtronic’s imaging systems will receive a boost via a $33 million grant from the Israel Innovation Authority.

Heart surgery for 20 Rwandan children. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Save Child’s Heart team is checking the hearts of 70 children at Kigali Teaching Hospital, Rwanda.  The 20 most severe cases will be immediately transferred to Israel with all costs covered.

Why some dyslexics are good readers. Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the University of California have identified the reason for some dyslexics having low decoding skills but high reading comprehension. Dyslexics with a high neuron density in the left DLPFC of their frontal brain were still able to read well.

Uganda praises Israel for hospital. (TY Hazel) Uganda’s Health minister, Dr Jane Aceng, hailed the Israeli government for supporting health services delivery in the country. Dr Aceng spoke while commissioning a diabetes clinic at Kiboga Hospital, which was established with support from Israel.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Funding for hi-tech haredi and Arabs. Israeli startups in the ultra-Orthodox sector will now be eligible for government funding of over 70% of their research and development costs – up to NIS 7 million over two years. A similar scheme is soon to be introduced to encourage Arab entrepreneurs to enter the hi-tech industry.

Islands of Peace.  (TY UWI and Sharon) There are 14 industrial areas in Judea and Samaria where Jewish Israelis and Arab Palestinians work alongside each other. They discover the “other” isn’t as they expected. And with jobs, these 15,000 Arabs add NIS 4.5 billion to the PA economy and can enjoy a normal and fruitful life.

An everyday medical emergency. Just a normal case of Israeli police medics treating an injured Palestinian Arab boy outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the city of Hebron. This is news for the international press.

Israel evacuates Syrian White Helmets and their families. (TY UWI) Israel transported 422 volunteer “White Helmets” rescue workers and their family members from Syria, via the Golan Heights to Jordan. The operation was praised by many countries including the USA and Canada.

Seven years of secretly aiding Syrian civilians. For the last seven years, Israel’s Gal Lusky, founder of Israeli NGO Flying Aid, has been going undercover into Syria to smuggle aid into Israel’s war-torn neighbor. Now, this heroic woman has decided to tell her story.  https://www.israel21c.org/the-israeli-saving-lives-in-syria/

Help for Africa’s Green Revolution. (TY Hazel) A delegation from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) visited Israel to see how its agricultural technologies can help farmers in Africa. AGRA works with millions of African smallholder farmers to reduce poverty and hunger by investing in agriculture.

Mossad thwarts Paris terrorist plot. TY Hazel) Israeli intelligence agents (Mossad) exposed an alleged Iranian plan to bomb the annual National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) rally in the town of Villepinte, a northern suburb of Paris, on June 30.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

On-line book of 100 Israeli innovations.  (TY Barry) The Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry has just released the bi-lingual (English and Hebrew) online book “Israeli Innovations - Breakthrough Products that Changed the World”. It contains 100 success stories. Click on the following link and then on the left arrow.

Olympiad medals for Israeli students. Israeli students continue to shine in International competitions. At the Physics Olympiad in Lisbon, Portugal, Israelis won two golds and three silvers.  At the Chemistry Olympiad in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Israelis won silver and bronze medals.

Award for accessibility app. Israeli startup GalaPrompter has developed the app GalaPro, which provides smartphone users at all Broadway shows with subtitles in many languages, dubbing, and amplification services. GalaPro has just won a prestigious 2018 Sapolin Accessibility Award for Communication and Technology.

Pilot project for foldable car. I reported previously (Dec 2013) on the Israeli-built City Transformer foldable car when it was just a concept. Now, the Tel Aviv municipality is to launch a pilot program next year that will see as many as 50 City Transformer vehicles being tested on the streets of Israel’s busiest city.

System to predict earthquakes. (TY Hazel) Israeli start-up SeismicAI uses sensors to detect small earthquakes and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict stronger ones. It also alerts management centers, for warning citizens and controlling traffic signals and critical infrastructure (e.g. power plants).

Saving Togo’s mango crops. I reported previously (10th Sep) that Israel’s BioFeed had developed a no-spray fruit-fly solution to protect mango crops in India. Now BioFeed’s FreeDome environmentally friendly pesticide has been deployed to defeat the two species of fruit fly currently decimating the mango crops in Togo.

10 Mass Challenge winners.  (TY Sharon) MassChallenge Israel has accelerated over 100 companies since 2015.  In its latest event in Jerusalem, 10 entrepreneurs were selected to go to Boston to present their businesses for funding. They included Solutum (dissolving bags), MonitHer (see here), MyPart, QPower and Ziron Labs.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israel’s rating outlook rises. (TY TIP) International rating agency Moody's Investors Service has joined Standard & Poor's (S&P) in raising its rating outlook for the government of Israel from "stable" to "positive". Israel's current rating is A1. Moody’s reasons were Israel’s fiscal discipline and strong economic growth.

Hi-tech startups raise record $3.2 billion in six months. Funds raised by Israeli high-tech companies in the first half of the year soared to an all-time record of $3.2 billion - higher than the annual total capital raised in the full years between 2010 and 2013. The growth of investment from China and Europe was significant.

Facebook pays millions for Redkix. (TY UWI) Facebook’s fifth Israeli multi-million dollar acquisition is messaging developer Redkix, which has developed a platform to streamline an organization’s email chat. It is centralized instant messaging for the workplace to help employees collaborate by connecting to each other.

Joint India-Israel fund launches 4 projects.  The Israel-India Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) has just awarded its first grants. Israeli startups benefiting are Bacsoft, Ubiqam, Agrosolar and Samoculis. The projects are water/energy, cellular network quality, irrigation and glaucoma surgical devices.

Food ordering goes Dutch! Takeaway.com from the Netherlands has just acquired Israeli startup 10bis for $158 million. 10bis software and lunch card enables corporations to replace their canteens with a delivery service from local restaurants.

Israeli hotels as an investment. (TY Russell) The Israel Hotel Investment Summit (19-20 Nov) in Tel Aviv provides an in-depth analysis of the business opportunities within the Israel hospitality sector. With only 55,000 rooms for 3.6 million visitors, the market looks interesting for investors, developers, operators and advisors.

Healthy partner for Europe’s largest sugar producer. I reported previously (May 2015) on the technology of Israel’s DouxMatok that makes sugar sweeter and reduces the amount required to be added to products. Now Germany’s Südzuckee is to set up production, joint marketing and sales of DouxMatok sugar to Europe.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Listen to our friends.  (TY Benyamin) From the Grapevine has launched a series of podcasts entitled “Our Friend from Israel”, featuring Israeli actors, academics, artists, archaeologists and much more. It is intended to show a side of Israel that is different to the one that the global media normally portrays. Please subscribe.

Tel Aviv Natural History museum opens. I reported previously (21st May) on the new Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv. Now the largest natural history museums in the Middle East is officially open. It estimated to attract 150,000 visitors annually to explore the environmental artifacts and cultural displays.

1500 children from 29 countries compete in Jerusalem. (TY TIP) 750 boys and 750 girls aged 12 – 15 from 29 countries came to Jerusalem, Israel for the 50th International Children’s Games. They competed in nine sports: basketball, soccer, street ball, volleyball, fencing, judo, athletics, tennis and swimming.

Israel wins Euro U20 basketball championships. Israel won an historic first-ever FIBA title at the Under 20 European Championship 2018 in Chemnitz, Germany. Israel beat Croatia 80-66 in the final.

Gold, silver and bronze for Israeli judokas. (TY WIN) At the Judo Grand Prix in Zagreb, Israel’s Tal Flicker won gold in the under 66kg category. Or Sasson won silver in the over 100kg category.  There were also bronze medals for Israelis Baruch Shmailov (U66kg) and Tohar Butbul (U73kg). Israel finished 6th in the medal table.


THE JEWISH STATE

Ancient pottery factory with games room. Excavations near Rehovot have revealed a pottery factory that manufactured large storage jars in the Roman and Byzantine periods - from the 3rd to the 7th centuries CE. The factory contained a room with game boards hewn out of the bedrock, and a complex of 20 hot and cold pools.

Roll away the stones.  A 1700-year-old mosaic floor was discovered in Lod. Archaeologists believe that the original owner was Jewish as the mosaic depicts only animals and nature. It is the third mosaic to be found on the site.  The video shows it being rolled up for transporting to a safer location for cleaning and preservation.

Legendary pitcher’s solidarity with Israel. Former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera toured Israel with members of his church as part of a spiritual interfaith mission led by the New York Board of Rabbis. After visiting an IDF base, Rivera said, “For me, it was something special that I will take with me through my life.”

Public park preserves Second Temple village. (TY Sharon) Khirbet Arza is a little-known archaeological gem on a scenic hilltop in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood. When remains of a Second Temple era Jewish village were discovered, an archaeological green park replaced the planned apartments and shopping mall.


180722
In the 22nd July 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         It’s official - reading my positive Israel newsletter can help beat cancer!
·         Israel gave agricultural technology training to 350 Palestinian Arab farmers.
·         Israeli-donated computers are transforming the lives of Nigerian children.
·         Israel leaped six places to number 11 in the UN Global Innovation rankings.
·         A second Israeli company donated its services to help rescue the Thai boys.
·         Up to 2000 US army veterans will use wheelchairs with Israeli technology.
·         A 7-year-old Israeli girl is a European chess champion.

·         Click here to see the 8th July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Global impact, Technology, Business and Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         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 12,500 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

A genetic test for aging. The WizeAging study at Israel’s Weizmann Institute has enrolled 150 volunteers who take a blood test once a year to check for genetic mutations that indicate abnormal aging. Their target is 10,000 volunteers over the age of 50, to help with the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of age-related diseases.

Instant blood tests from a pin-prick. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup Sight Diagnostics and its Malaria blood test. Now Sight Diagnostics has launched a “lab-grade” desktop blood count analyzer called OLO, that digitizes blood images into complete blood count (CBC) tests from only a finger prick of blood.

Re-engineering the immune system to fight cancer. I have reported nearly 20 articles (see here) about Israeli scientists using immunotherapy to tackle cancer. Now Israel’s Cancer Research Fund and US Cancer Research Institute are partnering to decide which, of 160 Israeli research projects, could make the next big breakthrough.

Positive emotions can shrink tumors. (TY WIN) Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have linked positive emotions with cancer remission. In laboratory tests, increased levels of the pleasurable neurotransmitter dopamine helped the immune system to reduce tumor size by 50 per cent.

Palestinian Arab baby saved. Israeli Border Police in the city of Hebron saved the life of a nine-month-old Palestinian Arab baby. Hearing shouts from a house, they found an unconscious baby boy and distraught parents. They administered CPR until an Israeli medical team arrived to restore the baby’s breathing.

Mobile dental clinic for Kenya. Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID set up a mobile dental clinic for one week in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. The four-person dental team treated many of the 190,000 refugees in the camp, many of whom had never received dental care in their lives.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

PA farmers attend Tel Aviv agrotech event. (TY UCI) More than 350 Palestinian Arab farmers (60% of the delegates) joined together with Israeli farmers at an agriculture technology event in Tel Aviv. At the fair, Israeli companies demonstrated technology and products to help the farmers.

60,000 Syrian refugees seek Israeli help.  Following the battle of Deraa, 60,000 Syrian refugees have fled to the Israeli border. Many had horrific injuries and the IDF used trucks and helicopters to transport them to Nahariya’s Galilee Medical Center where Israeli surgeons reconstruct skulls, faces, limbs and perceptions.

Syrians thank Israelis for help.  Israel’s aid and treatment of wounded Syrians doesn’t go totally unrewarded. Expressions of gratitude stretch from warm handshakes to an Israeli flag drawn by a 9-year-old Syrian girl. And a letter that in Arabic expresses “hope that the borders between us will one day be purely geographical”.

The Israeli humanitarian mindset. Thai officials leading the cave rescue operation ordered $100,000 worth of innovative communications devices from Israeli startup Maxtech, but CEO Uzi Hanoni donated them free of charge.  “That’s the Israeli contribution to this rescue effort”, he said.

Aid to flooded Japanese.  (TY TIP) Japan IsraAID Support Program (JISP), has sent an emergency response team to the Okayama prefecture in western Japan where the heaviest rainfall in decades has caused flooding, landslides and loss of life. The JISP team are Japanese professionals who have received training in Israel.

Jump-starting education in Nigeria. Civil war has ravaged Nigeria for decades, afflicting the lives of children in the West African nation. To help alleviate the situation, the Embassy of Israel in Nigeria has donated Israeli-flagged tablet computers to young students. See how these (Muslim) children’s lives are being transformed.

Wonder Woman visits children’s hospital.  Israeli actress Gal Gadot took a break from filming the sequel to the 2017 movie “Wonder Woman” to visit a children’s hospital in Virginia in full costume. Gadot visited children on the wards at Inova Children’s Hospital in Annandale.

Cybercrime agreement with Europol. Israel Police and the European Union’s law enforcement agency Europol are to collaborate in battling cybercrime, terrorism, and fraud. They will joint plan operational activities and exchange strategic information. It is the Europol’s first such agreement with a non-EU country.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Soaring up the Innovation Index. Last year (2017) Israel rose 4 places to 17 in the United Nations’ Global Innovation Index.  This year, Israel jumped six further places to number 11, leaping over Japan and France.  Israel came top in Researchers and talent, R&D spend, VC deals, Innovation linkages and ICT services exports.

60 years of aid to developing countries.  (TY Stuart Palmer) Growing lettuce in Senegal, child education in Ghana and Nepal, combatting human trafficking, courses to empower women, a neonatal clinic in Ghana. Just some of the 60th year of activities of MASHAV - Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.

Green Israel.  For a country that is over 60% desert, Israel is tremendously GREEN.

“The epicenter of magic”. REALITY Experience, an initiative by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, brings inspiring influencers from around the globe on a transformative journey through Israel to reignite their passion and potential for repairing the world. Here they describe some of what they have learned.

Weizmann in top ten for research quality again. The Leiden University of the Netherlands has issued its latest ranking of the 1,000 best Universities (CWTS Leiden Ranking). Israel’s Weizmann Institute was awarded ninth place for its Research Quality. It has risen from 19th in 2008 and from 10th in 2017.

400 graduating innovators.  Israel’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is unveiling this year’s innovations by more than 400 graduating industrial design students. Highlights - a field blood supply kit for medics, a home dialysis machine, artificial fruit to fight global food and vitamin shortages, and a mosquito control system.

Detecting water leaks in Finland. The cloud-based technology of Israel’s TaKaDu (see here) is now operational in 13 countries. Jyväskylä Energy Group, the water utility of central Finland’s largest city, will deploy TaKaDu’s central event management solution to improve network efficiency and customer service.

Broadband satellite communications. Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks is to develop fast, secure broadband data transmission via the Phase-1 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite from Canada’s Telsat that was launched earlier in 2018. https://www.gilat.com/pressreleases/telesat-and-gilat-join-forces-to-develop-broadband-communication-modem-technology-for-low-earth-orbit-leo-satellites/

You can fly. Israeli startup XTend has developed drone-based extended reality technology to simulate the experience of pilots or race car drivers. They say users will realize their dreams of flying. XTend’s founders previously launched 3D company Replay Technologies which they sold to Intel for $170 million.

Protecting Brazilian cotton against pests.  Israel-based Evogene is partnering with Instituto Matogrossense do Algodão (IMAmt) to test its pest-resistant genes in Brazil’s cotton crops. Annual damages caused by the Cotton Boll Weevil is estimated at $468 million just in Brazil.

The other Israeli tech in Thai rescue mission.  In addition to the radios from Israel’s Maxtech, the comms systems from Israel’s Radwin were used to coordinate rescue operations by the various forces in the area. A team from Radwin’s office in Bangkok established a wireless network in an area with little to no connectivity.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Dutch Christians sell Israeli products.  John Farenhorst, a member of Netherlands’ Christian Friends of Israel, sells Israeli products at the Israel Product Center in Nijkerk, near Utrecht. IPC’s store has a mail order department with a network of over 200 volunteer salespeople who sell the products from their homes.

OurCrowd is five years old.  In its first five years, Israel’s leading global investing crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, has helped 160 startups raise $750 million. It supports 25,000 small investors from 120 countries.

Maritime accelerator makes a splash. Of 6,000 active startups and companies in Israel, just 50 are in the maritime category. But now TheDOCK Innovation Hub has begun working with Danish shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk to co-create the next billion-dollar success in next generation logistics, trade and supply chains.

$125 million to improve its image. I reported previously (see here) on Israeli startup Trax with its image recognition and analysis technology. Trax has just received an injection of $125 million to help it continue to enhance its vision technology at its Tel Aviv development center and explore engineering options in China.

2,000 SoftWheel wheelchairs for veterans. (TY Hazel) I reported previously (Sep 2015) on the plan for US Army veterans to receive revolutionary wheelchairs from Israeli startup SoftWheel. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has since approved 361 of the wheelchairs and a new deal makes that into a total of 2,000.

Riding the high seas. Israeli shipping giant Zim is to jointly operate lines between Asia and the US East Coast with vessel operators Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). The accord will run for seven years. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-zim-strikes-alliance-with-global-shipping-giants-to-share-routes/

Skoda invests in Anagog. I’ve reported previously (here) on Israeli sensor company Anagog. Now Skoda, Volkswagen’s Czech subsidiary, is investing $1.5 million in Anagog. Porsche (Skoda’s sister company) and Daimler are already invested in Anagog.

Lufthansa start two routes to Eilat. German airline Lufthansa is starting twice-weekly flights from Munich and Frankfurt, in Germany, to Eilat, Ovda Airport, in Southern Israel, starting from 28 Oct 2018. They will be the first flights to Eilat by Lufthansa.

$30 million Pentagon contract for Orbit. The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $30 million contract to Israel-based Orbit Communications. Orbit will provide repairs and upgrades to communication technology aboard the U.S. military's aging KC-135 refueling jets over a 5-year period.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

The best time to come to Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) has launched a series of “iTravelJerusalem” services to make the city more accessible and convenient for tourists. A new Jerusalem City Pass entitles the holder to discounts on main attractions and includes a free bus ride from Ben Gurion airport.

The culture of Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Season of Culture Festival (Mekudeshet) is an innovative art initiative from Aug 8 to Sep 4.  Events encompass music, art and extra-sensory experiences.

“Operation Wedding”. I publicized previously (3rd Sep) this documentary of the 1970 attempt by 16 Jews to steal a plane and escape the Soviet Union. The film is going to be shown again on 29th July in Rishon Lezion.

Explore Tel Aviv by bike. Tel Aviv offers many bike pathways and is relatively flat, making it easy to enjoy a casual cruise along the beach and one of the best ways to see this dynamic city. Several bike-share companies offer 24-hour eco-friendly rental programs to grab a bike when needed and park it when finished.

European chess champion. (TY TIP) Israel’s Liel Levitan, who just turned 7, won the Girls U7 category at the 2018 European Schools Chess Championships in Krakow, Poland. Liel is now eligible to compete in the World School Championship 2019 to be held in Tunisia.


THE JEWISH STATE

Where Jews hid 2,000 years ago. Pottery vessels dating back to the Hellenistic era, over 2000 years ago, were retrieved in a complex rock-climbing operation from a cave on a cliff along the Lebanon border. Large wine jugs, cooking pots and other crockery indicate that those who brought them planned to live there for a while.

The Dead Sea Scrolls – a window to Jewish history.  The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest copy of the Jewish Bible. Sophisticated technology deciphered some of their contents. The scrolls are now accessible online, offering a window to the deep roots of the Jewish people in their ancient homeland, the Land of Israel.


180708
In the 8th July 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli model of the immune system is a major medical breakthrough.
·         Israeli technology helps locate boys missing in Thailand caves.
·         Israeli education project doubles the number of advanced math students.
·         An Israeli company boosts the world’s three fastest supercomputers.
·         Three multinationals select Israeli self-driving car technologies.
·         Israel enjoys a good helping of American Pie, care of Don McLean.
·         The first ever blue whale to visit the modern Jewish State.

·         Click here to see the 1st July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Inclusiveness, Technology, Business and Entertainment. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         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 12,500 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

Mapping the immune system. Israel’s Technion scientists have built a tool to help treat patients with immune system diseases. “ImmuneXpresso” scans millions of scientific publications to construct a computerized model of the immune system, showing the interactions between immune cells and the human body, across thousands of diseases. https://www.technion.ac.il/en/2018/06/the-immune-system-cracking-open-the-black-box/

Automatic analysis of chest X-rays. (TY Atid-EDI) I’ve reported (see here) on the artificial intelligent (AI) image analysis systems developed by Israel’s Zebra Medical. Now Zebra’s technology extends to chest X-rays with “Textray”, that can identify 40 different common clinical findings. Zebra also raised $30 million of funds.

Europe and Canada approve Israeli bone regeneration.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Datum Dental has developed OSSIX Bone – an innovative solution for bone and tissue regeneration for dentistry. It has just received the CE Mark in Europe and Health Canada approval. OSSIX Bone already has FDA clearance.

US approval for knee cartilage repair system. (TY Atid-EDI) Meniscus (knee cartilage) tears are common for athletes, those engaged in daily sport activities, the elderly, and anyone with cartilage problems. Israel’s Arcuro Medical has developed the SuperBall™ meniscus repair system and has just received FDA clearance.

Go-ahead for bio-ink. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s CollPlant (see here) is developing a proprietary rhCollagen-based formulations intended for use as bio-ink for the 3D printing of tissues and life savings organs.  It has now received grant approval (up to $1.2 million) of additional finance from the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA).

Israeli algae antioxidant protects the skin.  I’ve reported previously (see here) on AstaPure - Israel-based Algatech’s algae-derived Astaxanthin, produced at Kibbutz Ketura. A new clinical trial in Japan provides evidence of Astaxanthin’s protective role against skin deterioration caused by ultraviolet (UV) light.

Advanced security and medical training. Israel’s Advanced Security Training Institute (ASTI) has just completed its latest course, providing 30 US first responders with practical security and medical training. Since 2003, these skills have been passed on to more than 7,000 emergency personnel in the USA.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

IDF’s first female tank commanders. (TY UWI) Following a successful pilot of all-women tank crews, four women made history when they were appointed commanders of IDF tank units. The four were chosen, from the original 15 women tank trainees, to enroll in the Caracal Battalion’s grueling tank commander program.

The first Israeli President to host Arab policewomen.  (TY Hazel) Israeli President Rivlin made history when he hosted 29 Muslim and Christian Arab policewomen at his Residence. Over the past two years, 728 Arabs have joined the Israeli police force, including 74 women, of whom nearly 50 are Muslim.

Israel trains Yazidis to treat Iraqi trauma victims. A group of five Yazidis from Iraq recently received training in Israel in medical clowning to help them treat children in their home country, in need of medical treatment or post-traumatic stress disorder. The Yazidis were brought to Israel by UK NGO “Road to Peace”.

Israelis collect toys for Syrian children.  Less than 24 hours after a Golan Regional Council request, hundreds of Israelis across Israel volunteered to bring goodie bags for Syrian refugee children living on the Golan border.

Training Ghanaians in agriculture. (TY Hazel) Ghana’s government is sending 50 students on one-year paid internships in Israel. The students will learn modern agricultural practices in greenhouse vegetable production, then return to help Ghana set up greenhouses and increase its local production and exports.

Israelis help find missing boys in Thailand cave. Two Israeli rescuers voluntarily joined the international effort to reach 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped for more than a week in a flooded cave in Thailand. The Israelis brought innovative radios from Israel’s Maxtech networks that enabled the divers to locate the boys.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Numbers of advanced math students double. In just three years, Israel has doubled the number of advanced math students in Israeli high schools, particularly in the periphery. There are now 18,000 students studying math at the highest level – crucial for the future of the State of Israel as the Startup Nation.

The Aliya Initiative – training for hi-tech jobs.  The Aliya Initiative is a free, four-day workshop in Tel Aviv that provides Olim (immigrants) with the necessary skills to join the Israeli startup scene. The initiative of Israeli venture capital firm Aleph VC helps find work for immigrants, plus addresses the hi-tech skills shortage.

Saving motorcyclist lives. (TY Atid-EDI) Motorcycle crash fatalities are nearly 28 times higher than for car crash occupants. Israel’s Ride Vision has developed collision aversion technology (CAT), giving any motorcyclist 360-degree predictive vision protection. Ride Vision has just raised $2.5 million of funds.

A personal trainer in your ears.  The VI wireless earphones from Israel’s VI Technologies provide you with a real-time fitness coach, biometrics (heart rate, SPO2 rate, speed and step rate) and premium sounding music in time with your step rate. The company, previously known as LifeBeam (see here), has just raised $20 million.

Motivating you to practice. I’ve reported previously (see here) about Israel’s Tonara and its interactive app to help learn how to play and practice a musical instrument. In the latest version (360), the teacher can assign practice sessions of either time or musical pieces, after which the app uses algorithms to grade.

Reducing phosphorus pollution in Brazil.  (TY Atid-EDI) Trials prove that Rootella BR mycorrhizal inoculant from Israel’s Groundwork BioAg increases phosphorus absorption of crops, increases yield, reduces fertilizer wastage and its polluting runoff. Rootella BR has just been commercially registered in Brazil.

Powering telecom towers in Kenya. I reported recently (17th Jun) on Israel’s Gencell which makes fuel cell-based solutions to create emission-free electricity. Kenyan telecom company Adrian Group Kenya is installing Gencell’s fuel cells to replace the diesel generators powering 800 cell towers in rural Kenya.

Technion inaugurates satellite ground station. I reported previously (14th Jan) that Israel’s Technion Institute is aiming to launch 3 nanosatellites into orbit in late 2018. Israel’s Orbit Communications has just completed building the Technion’s Adelis ground station for monitoring these satellites. An excellent video.

Defending the Internet of Things. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s NanoLock Security has unveiled what it markets as “the industry’s most comprehensive lightweight, unbreakable security and management platform purpose-built for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Devices ecosystem”.  (The old NanoLock was renamed Nobio.)

Faster and faster.  (TY Atid-EDI) The InfiniBand systems from Israel’s Mellanox now support 43% of the World’s 500 fastest supercomputers including the top three.  The 216 include Astra, supporting the US Dept of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and Summit – the fastest computer in the US.

Proving the Concept. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Jan 2017) on Israel’s ProoV’s service that allow companies to perform Proof of Concept (PoV) testing on new technology. ProoV has now expanded its strategic partnership with Deloitte to become the testing arm of its Innovation Tech Terminal lab.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

100,000 passengers a day. Up to 100,000 passengers are estimated to pass through Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport during the busiest days of July and August, according to Israel’s Ministry of Transportation. The expected total of 5.3 million summer passengers represents a 15% increase on the same period last year.

Easier US-Israel travel for new business investors.  (TY Atid-EDI)  The US and Israel have agreed mutual visa arrangements for potential investors to visit each other’s country. The US E-2 Investor visa and the Israeli B-5 equivalent are to be launched imminently.

Cutting Chinese diamonds. The Shanghai Diamond Exchange has agreed with the Israel Diamond Exchange to transfer the processing of large stones to Israel. Many Chinese diamond processing companies may transfer some of their processing to Israel and some Chinese diamond cutters will relocate to central Israel.

15 Israel startups pitch to 200 UK corporates.  (TY TIP) I previewed (24th Jun) Innovate Israel 2018, hosted by UK Israel Business (UKIB) on 3rd July. The 15 Israeli startups covered the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), vison enhancement, drones, big data, cybersecurity, marketing technologies and nanosatellites.

Where submarine technology is going. (TY Janet C & Tower) I reported previously (May 2017) on Israeli startup Tevva Motors and its UK-based electric trucks that use Israeli submarine technology. Auto component giant Bharat Forge has just invested $13 million in the company, aiming to bring the concept to India.

Round three of Barclays accelerator program. I reported previously (Oct 2015) about multinational bank Barclays and its financial startup accelerator. Barclays has just initiated the 3rd cycle of its RISE program, now mentoring 10 startups from Israel and overseas.

Audi to use Israeli autonomous simulator. I reported previously (29th Oct) that Israel’s Cognata had built a 3D Artificial Intelligent (AI) simulation platform to test autonomous cars.  Now German car maker Audi AG is partnering with Cognata to integrate the simulator at all stages of development and production of its vehicles.

Hyundai connects with Autotalks.  Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Israel’s Autotalks (see here) are partnering to develop the next generation V2X chipset for connected cars.  V2X (Vehicle to external systems) technology improves vehicle and road safety, mobility and is vital for autonomous driving.

Baidu links up with Mobileye. Chinese tech giant Baidu is adding Mobileye as a technology provider to its Apollo autonomous driving platform. Mobileye’s Israeli-developed Responsibility Sensitive Safety model - a set of rules for how cars minimize the chance of an accident - will be integrated into Apollo.

Mindspace expands to Romania. I reported previously (21st May) that Israeli co-working real estate company Mindspace had opened business in a sixth country (the Netherlands). It didn’t take long for Mindspace to move into a seventh country – it has just leased 3 offices in Bucharest, Romania.

Mortgage decision-making for U.S. Bank.  (TY Atid-EDI) The fifth largest commercial bank in the US – U.S. Bank – has selected DECISION Manager from Israel’s Sapiens International to help service its mortgage customers. U.S. Bancorp has 74,000 employees and will use DECISION within its Home Mortgage group.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

See the light. (TY Sharon) The tenth annual Jerusalem Light Festival took place night in the Old City.  The streets were closed from 8pm to 11pm to accommodate tens of thousands of visitors. The light and music video projections were highlights this year. Illuminated inscriptions were in Hebrew, English and Arabic

Absolutely sandal-ous. (TY Janglo) The deep link between wearing sandals and being Israeli is the subject of a new exhibit at the Eretz Israel Museum. In 1961, archaeologists discovered 2,000-year-old sandals in a cave near the Dead Sea. Their resemblance to modern Israeli kibbutznik’s sandals, began a whole new fashion.

Free shows if you made Aliya after 1989.  If you arrived in the Jewish State less than 30 years ago, Israel’s Ministry of Absorption still considers you a “new Oleh” for the purposes of these free Israeli culture shows.

Don McLean rocks Ra’anana. Don McLean was described as the “consummate professional” in presenting his master class of the Great American Songbook to a sell-out audience at the Ra’anana Amphitheater. Although everyone was ecstatic at American Pie and Vincent, the whole concert was pure rock & roll history.

Welcome Bomba Estereo. Colombian band Bomba Estereo is performing for the first time in Israel at Barby’s in Tel Aviv on 23rd July. Bomba Estereo has a characteristic cumbia style, or “electro tropical”. They will perform their latest album “Ayo”. https://www.touristisrael.com/bomba-estereo-tel-aviv-israel/21841/

Jerusalem Film Festival. (TY Janglo) This year’s Jerusalem Film Festival (25 July to 5 Aug) features 180 films from 60 countries. The films are screened at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and other Jerusalem cinemas Events include meetings with filmmakers, cinema workshops, premieres, parties, shows and outdoor events.

IDF’s world-cup soccer ball juggling champion.  IDF soldiers from nine countries competed to see who could keep a soccer ball in the air the longest. England came third; Belgium was second; but watch who won.

Wheelchair tennis silver medalists. (TY Nevet) I reported (May 2017) that Israel were runners-up at last year’s Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup.  They did the same in this year’s competition, beating Japan, South Korea, and the United States, before going down to Australia in the final.

Netanya hosts World Lacrosse Championships. (TY Israelunwired) Jake Silberlicht urges you to support Team Israel at the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships. 48 teams play in Netanya, Israel from July 12 – 21.


THE JEWISH STATE

For the Redemption of Zion.  A bronze coin from 69 CE was uncovered recently during wet sifting by a volunteer at the City of David Sifting Project located near the Mount of Olives in Emek Tzurim, Jerusalem. The coin reads, ‘For the Redemption of Zion.’ The coin was minted just before the destruction of the 2nd Temple.

First visit by blue whale.  (TY Nevet) After the first official UK Royal visit to Israel last week, Israelis and tourists in Eilat were treated to the first-ever documented visit of a blue whale, the largest of all whale species and the largest mammal. The 20-meter whale swam just 300 meters from the beach, before continuing south.

Even non-observant Jews can have Shabbat off.  (TY Atid-EDI) The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) has approved an amendment to a Sabbath law that will allow Israeli employees to request not to work on Shabbat even if they are not religiously observant. The law recognizes that many secular Jews enjoy Shabbat traditions,

Celebrating independence.  4th July is a double celebration for many Israelis. On American Independence Day 1976, the IDF mounted a daring operation to independently restore the independence of more than 100 Israeli and Jewish civilians held hostage by Arab and German terrorists at Entebbe airport in Uganda.

Jewish law in the modern world. (TY Sharon) The annual Katz awards are for excellence in implementation of halakha (Jewish law) in modern life. The 2018 winners were Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin, Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, and Rabbi Asher Zelig Weiss.

What goes around, comes around.  Here is an account of a volunteer for Israel’s Ezer Mizion “Linked to Life” group. On one day she drives people to visit relatives in hospital; next, she’s being driven to see her relative in hospital; while she is there, she arranges someone to bring another patient’s medicine to the hospital.

Jerusalem’s first Haredi weightlifting competition.  (TY Janglo) Proving that spiritual strength and physical strength are not incompatible. https://www.youtube.com/embed/_DDeEvUC2Vw?rel=0


180701
In the 1st July 18 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli researchers make tumors glow to help surgeons remove them.
·         Israel delivered aid to Syrian refugees and rescued Syrian children.
·         In an Israeli initiative, 500 children planted 1,000 trees in Angola.
·         Israeli scientists have produced electricity from bacteria.
·         An Israeli startup has invented superfast memory on a USB stick.
·         All of Mexico’s premier league soccer teams will use an Israeli coaching system.
·         Prince William made the first-ever official UK royal visit to the Holy Land.

·         Click here to see the 24th June newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo, and United With Israel, with extra features on Health, Inclusiveness and Jewish State. Also (TY Sandra) in German.

·         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 12,500 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

Stem cell treatment effective against radiation sickness. I reported previously (see here) on the stem cell treatment of Israel’s Pluristem for radiation sickness. Pluristem’s four-year studies show that its placenta-based PLX-R18 cells are effective as a treatment for radiation damage to the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow.

Making tumors glow to guide surgeons. Tel Aviv University researchers have developed smart nanoprobes that turn on a florescent light in presence of cancerous cells. They will help surgeons remove more cancer cells, with the least possible damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The probes identify enzymes common in tumors.

New cancer care center in the Negev.  Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba is opening a brand-new comprehensive cancer center this summer.  The Legacy Heritage Oncology Center and Dr. Larry Norton Institute will fill a profound need in Israel’s south.

Award-winning cancer monitor. TY Nocamels) Newsletter subscriber Yehudit Abrams has founded startup MonitHer which is developing an innovative home-use handheld ultrasound system to check for breast cancer. MonitHer has just won the $360,000 Grand prize at the WeWork Creator awards in Jerusalem.

Increasing recovery rates for stroke victims. (TY Yehoshua) Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer has radically improved the treatment of stroke patients, just by persevering for longer. Whilst the text book states that the first 8 hours after a stroke is crucial, Sheba extends this to 24 hours. Even a 93-year-old recovered.

Free dentures for needy elderly.  For the last two years, Dental Volunteers for Israel (DVI) has been providing free dentures to needy elderly and Holocaust Survivors aged 70 and up (see video). Since 1980, DVI has provided free dental care to Jerusalem’s at-risk children and youth, regardless of race or religion.

US approval for diabetes monitor.  I reported previously (10th Mar) that Israel’s DreaMed received European approval for its Advisor Pro diabetes monitor. Now the US FDA has given its approval. Advisor Pro provides insulin delivery recommendations by analyzing information from diabetes pumps and glucose monitoring.

Tunnel vision adapted to colonoscopies.  Israeli startup IBEX Technologies developed a thin inflatable “sleeve” that transmits live video from places that are too dangerous to enter (e.g. terrorist tunnels or collapsed buildings). Now IBEX spinoff Consis Medical uses the same technology to check inside the human body.

Trauma support to Chicago.  The city of Chicago has one of the worst crime rates in the USA. Faith leader Christopher Harris called in trauma experts from Israel’s NATAL to help relieve the deep emotional wounds to many thousands of Chicago’s victims and their families.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Giving back a lost childhood.  On alternate Friday afternoons in the summer, the Modi’in Ilit Linked to Life Friday Afternoon Field Trip volunteers take local sick and bereaved Israeli children on surprise trips. This project of Israeli charity Ezer Mizion makes their day. It makes their week. And it makes their life.

106 participate in women-only hackathon. A team of five Orthodox students won a 44-hour, female-only hackathon held in Jerusalem. Their winning design, a voice-to-text bracelet relays information from first responders to hospitals in the event of a mass-casualty incident.

Building bridges between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. Eyal Waldman (CEO of Israel’s Mellanox) met Bashar al-Masri, (founder of the new PA city of Rawabi), at a dinner in Washington and became good friends. Now Mellanox employs 100 Palestinian Arabs and at least 10 Israeli companies work in Rawabi.

How Israel treats Palestinian Arab children. (TY UWI) Watch what really happens to unfortunate Palestinian Arab children in the hands of Israelis.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/qjfDvEk9cKk?rel=0

IDF sends aid to Syrians and rescues orphans.  The Israel Defense Forces delivered 300 tents, medical equipment and 58 tons of food and clothing to Syrian refugees living in tent cities close to the border with Israel. They then brought six injured refugees to Israeli hospitals, including four recently orphaned children.

Israeli educational games in Arabic?  Israeli educational games startup TinyTap has just raised $5 million of funds to help it launch learning plans in Mandarin, Arabic, and Spanish. It will also be used for promoting the company's partnership with Oxford University Press to start a learning plan for English language learners.

Guatemala renames streets to Israel’s capital.  Cities throughout Guatemala are renaming streets and traffic circles "Jerusalem the Capital of Israel." The first such renaming ceremony took place on the main street of the southern city of Guastatoya. Hundreds waved Israeli flags and stores along the road hung Israeli flags.

Israel and Indonesia agree on tourist visas. Israeli tourists can visit Indonesia (the largest Muslim country) and vice-versa. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson tweeted ““visa restrictions on Indonesian tourism to Israel were lifted, in parallel to lifting of restrictions by Indonesia on Israeli tourists. Good news.”

Heads of 10 US Universities visit Israel. The presidents of ten American universities and colleges are visiting Israel this week on a trip to promote bilateral academic ties. The 17-member delegation will meet the heads of Israeli universities to discuss joint research, commercialization and exchange opportunities.

Pushing back the desert in Angola.  Israel’s Embassy in Angola’s capital, Luanda, led an initiative to bring 500 children to plant a green wall of 1,000 trees between the Namib Desert and the city of Tômbwa, which is threated by desertification. Israel’s renowned drip-irrigation system was deployed to nourish the saplings.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Technology summer camps.  (TY Janglo) In sharp contrast to Hamas’ Gaza summer camps, Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology operates subsidized science and technology summer camps across Jerusalem. Each 5-day camp costs NIS 80 and the three age groups enjoy either Mathematics, Robotics or Creativity.

US-Israel Energy & Water Center. I reported previously (Oct 2016) of the US-Israeli plan to establish a joint energy research center. In March, the US Congress and Israeli Government each appropriated $4 million for the center. Now the two energy chiefs have signed a formal implementation agreement.

Electricity from bacteria.  Researchers from Israel’s Technion have developed an energy-producing system from photosynthetic bacteria, also known as cyanobacteria. The bacteria use photosynthesis to generate energy from sunlight. This energy can be harvested as hydrogen and then used to generate electricity.

8 of 61 WEF’s Technology Pioneers are Israeli. (TY NoCamels) Eight Israeli startups are on the World Economic Forum’s 2018 list of 61 Technology Pioneers. They include Innoviz (see here), Precognize (see here), Vayyar (see here), Aqua Security, Raycatch, XM Cyber, Utilis (see here) and Water-Gen (see here).

Royal approval. (TY Arlene) One of the four startups presented to Prince William on his official visit to Israel was AlgoBrix.- an educational system that teaches young children how write code to operate robots.

More protection for cars. Israel-based international automotive technology provider ERM Advanced Telematics has developed eCyber – a hardware-software product that protects vehicles against ransomware and other cyberattacks. It is unique in that it can be installed by authorized parties after the car has left the factory.

Clean the air, not replace it.  (TY Ourcrowd) Israeli startup enVerid eliminates a leading cause of energy waste in buildings by cleaning the inside air instead of continuously replacing it. EnVerid has just been selected as one of the 2018 Red Herring Top 100 North America Awards finalists.

Making (infused) water out of wine. Anat Levi, CEO of Israel’s Wine Water Ltd, uses grape skins, seeds and sustainable processes to make O.Vine - infused spring water. Grape skins and seeds are rich in phytochemicals - shown to have positive health benefits. A tasty, nutritious product, using waste material from the wine industry.

New Samsung smartphone includes Israeli facial recognition. Samsung’s new smartphone, the Galaxy S10, is reported to feature facial recognition technology by Israeli startup Mantis Vision. Mantis Vision develops 3D scanning technologies used to create 3D content for a wide range of applications.

1,000 times faster than flash. Israeli startup Weebit Nano has developed non-volatile computer memory that is a thousand times faster than flash memory (e.g. on a USB stick) and uses only one-thousandth as much power. The company plans to launch a commercial product in 2020.   https://weebit-nano.com/


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israeli economy stable. Global economy isn’t. The latest Bank of Israel analysis of the domestic financial system shows that it remains stable. However, there is greater likelihood of an economic or geopolitical shock originating abroad. Looking long-term, the strength of most industries in the business sector has improved.

El Al to open Florida school for pilots. (TY Arlene) El Al is to train civilians to become commercial pilots in Florida, USA, commencing in December. The new course is for Israeli citizens, at least 21 years old with matriculation certificates and no previous flying experience. There is a growing shortage of pilots worldwide.

Daily flights to Delhi. The new 3-days-a-week Air India service from Tel Aviv to Delhi is so popular, that it is being increased to a daily service. The route began in March, making history when Saudi Arabia, for the first time, gave permission for an airline to fly direct to Israel over its territory, reducing the flight time by 2 hours.

Helping improve Mexican soccer teams. The Mexican Soccer Federation (FMF) and the Liga MX, the top tier of Mexican soccer, have agreed a deal with Israeli automated sports production company Pixellot. Pixellot’s coaching systems will be deployed at all 18 clubs in the Liga MX, as well as their respective youth academies.

Maximize your sales with Joopy.  Israel’s Incentives Solutions markets the Sales Performance Management platform “Joopy”.  Its features include incentive schemes, analytics and interface to payroll systems. Clients include Nestle, Coca Cola, AIG, Pheonix Insurance, Orange and Teva.

US buys more Israeli tank defense systems. I reported previously (8th Oct) that the US Army had installed Israel’s Trophy Windbreaker active defense system on some of its Abrams tanks. Tests of the system were so successful that the US Army is now buying another $193 million worth of Windbreakers.

More telecoms for Peru.  Peru’s Fitel has awarded Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks another two regional telecoms projects. The Amazonas project is worth $108 million and the Ica project worth $45.6 million. Previous projects won by Gilat in Peru (see here) have been worth nearly $400 million.

Grants for seven more US-Israel projects. The BIRD Foundation has approved another $6.3 million in funds for seven new joint US-Israeli projects. The Israeli companies involved are ARTsys360, Correlor Data Science Intelligence, Diamond Valley, DouxMatok, Manam Applications, Oxitone Medical and Pixellot.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israel’s best rooftop bars. The rooftop bars of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and beyond provide a luxurious way to cool off on summer evenings in Israel. These rooftop bars often are glamorously located in modern boutique hotels, some overlooking historical landmarks and others overlooking the lapping waves of the Mediterranean.

Brazil’s Gilberto Gil to perform in Israel. One of the biggest legends in Brazilian music, Gilberto Gil, is returning to Tel Aviv, Israel for a concert in Raanana on 4th July 2018. Gilberto Gil will bring his world tour “REFAVELA 40”, with other artists such as Mayra Andrade, Bem Gil, Chiara Civello, and Mestrinho.

Ringo Starr performs in Israel.  Ex-Beatle drummer Sir Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band performed a juke-box of 70s and 80s hits during their first-ever Israeli concert. He had a “little help from his friends” including lead members of Santana, Men at Work, 10cc and Toto. “It ain’t easy” at 77, but he was still entertaining.

Helping sick children attend World Cup. Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich has donated a six-figure sum to the Israeli charity "Fulfilling Dreams," which together with other donations, has allowed 30 seriously ill Israeli children, plus their carers, to attend the World Cup in Russia

Israel at the soccer World Cup. Israel’s soccer team didn’t get to Russia, but at least two Israeli tech teams did.  Mtech’s fire and smoke detection systems are protecting the stadiums in Volgograd and Nizhny Novograd. Meanwhile, LiveU’s (see here) transmission technology is used by Fox, Sky, Reuters, AP and Telemundo.

World Cup soccer unites Jerusalemites. I reported previously (6th May) about the World Cup soccer event to be held in Jerusalem for Arab and Jewish kids. Here is the write-up of the 25th June event. It was organized by Kulna Jerusalem (“we are all Jerusalem”). Three more events take place on semi-finals and final match dates.

Streetball Jerusalem. (TY Janglo) From 31st July to 1st Aug Jerusalem hosts the largest street basketball event in Israel with more than 1,000 male and female players. Within the framework of the International Children's Olympics, Safra Square converts into a huge basketball area, with 17 courts facilitating hundreds of games.


THE JEWISH STATE

Biblical evidence uncovered at Shiloh.  The Bible records that after conquering the promised land, Joshua set up the Tabernacle at ancient Shiloh, where it remained for 369 years. Findings all around the site give clear indication of an ancient civilization, with remnants of sacrifices to reinforce the Biblical narrative.

Prince William visits Israel. (TY WIN) Over 70 years after the end of the British mandate and the founding of the modern State of Israel, a member of the British monarchy made a historic first official visit.  On 25th June, Prince William, grandson of the Queen of England, stepped off an RAF jet at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

6,000 celebrate 18 years of Birthright. The Taglit-Birthright Israel initiative celebrated its 18th anniversary with a festive gala in Jerusalem Wednesday.  Some 6,000 participants from around the world, were joined by 1,500 Israeli soldiers at the Sultan's Pool, Jerusalem, for the biggest celebration in the organization's history.