History of Israel's Good News Jan to Mar 2021



In the 30th Mar 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         Israelis were able to celebrate Passover again with their families and friends.

·         On World Water Day a JNF video shows desert city Beersheva is now a water city.

·         Three Israeli nanosatellites have been launched into a synchronized orbit.

·         Israel is developing the world’s smartest microprocessors.

·         Two more Israeli companies have become worth more than $1 billion.

·         Israel’s Linoy Ashram won two world medals in rhythmic gymnastics.

·         Israel broke two matzah world records without breaking a single matzah.


·         Click here to see the 21st Mar newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours (with great festive intro) and United With Israel with extra feature on Entertainment.  Also (TY Sandra) in German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here. Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.  Thanks also to Myer for placing adverts for the newsletter in the monthly Charlotte Jewish News (see page 20)


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (18,000+ 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





Huge drop in coronavirus reproduction. Israel’s “R” factor – the average number of people that one person infects with the SARS-Cov-2 virus – has fallen to just over 0.5 and less than 1% of tests are returning positive. Israel has no “red” (high infection rate) cities for the first time since the start of the pandemic.



IDF has herd immunity. (TY WIN) Israel’s Defense Force was the first army in the world to vaccinate over 80% of its personnel. The whole operation was conducted with military precision in just 10 weeks without wasting a single vial. Currently, no IDF member has died from Covid-19 and only one had a serious infection.



It could have been much worse. Excluding the Negev desert, Israel’s population density is by far the highest in the OECD – a key factor for high Covid-19 mortality rates. But Israeli fatalities were lower than most of the 37 OECD countries. Only South Korea had both less deaths per million and a higher total population density.



The human-cloud interface. Israel’s X-trodes has developed a wireless sensor patch combined with data analysis algorithms that a patient wears on their body. It remotely measures and analyzes the health of the brain, eyes, muscles, or heart during sleep or everyday tasks. The technology was developed at Tel Aviv University.



Developing an oral Covid-19 vaccine. Israel’s Oramed (reported here previously) has launched Oravax – a joint venture with India’s Premas Biotech to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine is administered orally (not injected) and targets 3 virus proteins, so should counter any mutations. Human trials expected soon.

https://www.oramed.com/oramed-forms-a-joint-venture-oravax-medical-inc-for-the-development-of-novel-oral-covid-19-vaccines/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQXaylnGXLM


Treating heart & kidney patients remotely. The IPUD (Implantable Peritoneal Ultrafiltration Device) from Israel’s Paragate Medical (reported here previously) removes excess fluid from patients coping with chronic heart and kidney failure at home. Paragate is a portfolio company of Nazareth’s NGT3. Human trials start soon.

https://www.med-technews.com/news/latest-medtech-news/implantable-device-developed-for-remote-care-of-heart-and-ki/   https://www.startupvalley.news/uk/paragate-ngt3-vc/


Saving lives from snakebites. (TY Israel21c) Some 1.8 million people are bitten by snakes each year – about 94,000 fatally. An international research team including Tel Aviv University’s Eyal Goldstein have designed a model to determine (and so avoid) the probability of a snakebite at specific places, months, and times of day.



Training the brain to see. Israel’s Revitalvision has developed vision training software to improve eyesight in adult amblyopia, eye diseases and vision impairments. The FDA-approved therapy uses Gabor patches with a patented stimulation technique to stimulate the visual cortex and create new neural connections.

https://www.revitalvision.com/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfEWPRCUDbw



Treating diabetics & women in Dubai. (TY Hazel) Doctors from Israel’s Sheba Medical Centre are flying out to Dubai to treat an initial 350 diabetes patients in the UAE army, police, and firefighting services. Sheba is also sending physicians to train medical staff at Medcare Women & Children Hospital in Dubai.



Saved twice by the same medic. When United Hatzalah volunteer medic Alan Malka saved a 30-year-old man who suffered a heart attack in Petah Tikva, he recognized that he saved the same man two months previously. Resuscitation was much quicker this time, and he now should get treatment to prevent a further incident.






Relatively happy. (TY WIN) Israel climbed two spots to 12th in the 2021 World Happiness Report which measured GDP, life-expectancy and opinions in 149 countries. Citizens of 100 countries were surveyed on social support, freedom of life choices, society corruption and generosity. Israel ranked 11th in that survey.



World Water Day. (TY JNF-USA & ILTV) To mark World Water Day, this great video summarizes the work of JNF USA in helping Israel conserve its water. The JNF supports hydroponic farms, wastewater recycling and helped fund Israel’s largest artificial lake that has turned Beersheva in the Negev desert into a water city.



Moshav in Vietnam. (TY Hazel) Four young Vietnamese men have started an organic farm in Khanh Hoa province after training in Israel. It is based on the Israeli Moshav communal farm system. It grows coconuts, pomelos, guavas, grapes, jackfruits, mangos, and herbal medicine plants, as well as raising chickens and sheep.



Most resilient Middle East country. (TY JNS) The Institute of Economics, Society and Peace in the Middle East Studies ranked Israel top of its resilience list of 33 Middle East countries. Military strength was excluded but Israel scored high in economy, social, gender equality, global openness, plus ethnic and religious variance.



Leaders of Tomorrow. (TY UWI & I24 News) Discussion on I24 News about the first Abraham Accords Virtual Social Hackathon (reported here 14th Mar). The 3-day Hackathon began on 23rd Mar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKpLCGeHQ4I   https://www.uae-isr.online/hackathon/


“Nobel Prize” for Math again. For the second year in a row (see here for last year) an Israeli has won a share of the Norwegian Academy of Science’s Abel Prize - the math equivalent of a Nobel Prize. Israel’s Avi Wigderson won the 2021 prize for contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics.







Satellite orbit launch closes the circle. Professor Pini Gurfil of Israel’s Technion Institute is the mastermind of the project to launch 3 nano satellites into orbit from Kazakhstan. Ironically, Kazakhstan is where USSR dictator Stalin had exiled Prof. Gurfil’s father and grandparents to, just because they were Jewish.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9zPWA8YprI  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1nfIV-4_e8



3D printed communications in space. The first 3D printed integrated radiofrequency (RF) circuit from Israel’s Nano Dimension has been sent to the International Space Station (ISS) for space effects studies. The circuit will be used to transmit data to and from the ISS, to assess if such components can withstand the rigors of space.



30-second baggage disinfection. The AirFort machines from Israel’s WarpUV use a 3D array of UV lights to disinfect travel bags and packages. They will help stop the spread of bacteria, spores and the viruses that cause, seasonal influenza, Covid-19, and viruses yet to come. WarpUV plans to start delivering AirForts this year.

https://www.israel21c.org/30-second-baggage-disinfection-coming-to-airports/   https://www.warpuv.com/



Turn your smartphone into a 3D studio. Israel’s TetaVi (reported here previously) is developing a system to transform a regular smartphone into a portable broadcast-quality video studio. It will enable users to create 3D holograms of themselves and project themselves into a video game, on a concert stage or anywhere they want.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoRhVQTDlQg  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uuniOEBg08


A new Industrial Revolution. The flagship product, DataMind AI from Israel’s Razor Labs transforms heavy industrial machinery into smart machines. The manufacturing process is transferred to the cloud, integrating with the machine’s sensors remotely, reducing resources and the CO2 footprint.




Generating simulations. Israel’s Datagen Technologies develops visual simulations and recreations of the real world. It allows machine learning models to be trained more efficiently and at a far greater scale. It eliminates current bottlenecks of relying on manually collected real-world imagery.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3899272,00.html   https://www.datagen.tech/



Sporting success is all in the mind. Israel’s iBrainTech (reported here previously) was runner up in the Israeli round of the Startup World Cup 2021. A sports player uses a brain sensory cap to control a screen avatar just with their mind. Training the brain improves co-ordination etc. and results in better performances on the field.



Solving sustainability challenges. (TY JNS) Sapir Academic College and the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council hosted ECO-thon to help companies reduce their environmental impact, while helping the population of the western Negev. ZutaCore won the competition section with its “energy from computer cooling” solution.


https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/03/17/eco-thon-event-aims-to-tackle-industrial-challenges-in-southern-israel-and-beyond/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF4KfjIp7Pg  https://zutacore.com/


Israel’s hi-tech election. (TY JNS) Israel employed several hi-tech innovations for the 2021 elections. They included “Vote & Go” polling stations with taxi transport for coronavirus patients and quarantined citizens. Incoming air passengers could vote at Ben Gurion airport and drones redirected voters stuck in traffic jams.



Google’s Israeli microchip development center. (TY JNS) Google is expanding in Israel by establishing an Israeli team to develop microprocessors for computer servers. These will comprise Systems on Chip (SoC), where multiple functions sit on the same chip, or on multiple chips instead of the traditional motherboard.



Next-gen semiconductors. Israel’s Teramount has developed the Photonic-Plug, for connecting optics to silicon. Silicon-photonics is the process that sees ‘speed-of-light data transfer’ at low power consumption. Teramount’s breakthrough will ease bandwidth challenges from 5G rollout, sensors, and mobility systems.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3899311,00.html   http://www.teramount.com/





Economy improves. Israel's Composite State of the Economy Index for February increased by 0.4 percent, due to the easing of restrictions in the third lockdown. Positive factors were more job vacancies, services revenues, building starts and retail trade revenues.  A survey also showed increased optimism amongst business leaders.



Didn’t they do well. The Bank of Israel grew its reserves of foreign currency deposits by some $47.3 billion in 2020. It bought foreign currency to keep Israel’s shekel from soaring in value, which damages Israeli exports. The Bank invested these reserves and, despite low interest rates, made 4% profit – its highest in 5 years.



Look who is flying to Israel. Passengers with travel exceptions can travel to Israel using several airlines. They include El Al, Israir, United, Delta, Lufthansa, Swiss, Ethiopian, Wizzair, Air Canada, Air France, Belavia, Ryanair, Austrian, Turkish, AirMoldovia, Aegean, Europa, Pegasus, Easyjet, Ukraine and FlyDubai.



A socially aware cell phone company. Israeli cell phone company Partner and the 8200 Impact accelerator have partnered to solve social problems of equality, empathy, inclusivity, and doing good to help emerge from the financial crisis. Their aim is to support builders of solutions to social problems using technology.



Twitter acquires Reshuffle. Israeli startup Reshuffle, which develops an integration platform for developers, has been acquired by Twitter to help build its new Twitter API. Reshuffle has built an integration platform that lets developers easily build workflows and connect systems using any API.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3901231,00.html   https://www.reshuffle.com/


Fyber exits for $600 million. Digital Turbine, Inc. is set to acquire Israeli-founded Fyber N.V. for $600 million. Fyber says its platform helps app developers monetize their products and optimize profitability through quality advertising, with its technology infrastructure reaching more than one billion monthly active users.

https://jewishbusinessnews.com/2021/03/22/fyber-n-v-ad-tech-co-bought-out-for-600-million-by-digital-turbine/   https://www.fyber.com/


Latest Unicorns. Israel’s Yotpo (see here) has just raised $230 million to give it a market valuation of $1.4 billion. Simultaneously, Israel’s Orca Security (see here) raised $210 million for a $1.2 billion valuation.



https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3901012,00.html   https://orca.security/


Fast companies. Israel’s Surgical Theater, Theator & TytoCare made Fast Company’s 2021 world list of most innovative companies. Beewise was the most innovative company in Europe, Middle East & North Africa with Quantum Machines 4th. Identiq (2nd) and PerimeterX (7th) were top innovative security companies.




Investment in Israeli startups: Yotpo raised $230 million; Orca Security raised $210 million; Incredibuild raised $140 million; Veev raised $100 million; StarkWare raised $75 million; Axis Security raised $50 million; SCADAFence raised $12 million; Utilis raised $6 million;





Virtual tours of Israel. For those currently unable to physically visit Israel, Israel is Beautiful offers instant access to original and informative virtual tiyulim (tours) in Israel.



Laughter and Music in Ra’anana. Celebrate spring and freedom with comedy and song. One of Israel's top stand-up comedians, Yohay Sponder performs live at Center Stage in English on 1st & 17th April. Also, Evan Kent’s Musical “Shards, Putting the Pieces Together” on 21st April.  Plus, “On Cue” Interviews on Zoom.

https://www.eventer.co.il/yohay0104 https://www.eventer.co.il/yohay1704

https://www.centerstageisrael.com/shards.html   https://www.centerstageisrael.com/on-cue.html


CBS to remake Shtisel. CBS Studios says that it is developing an American adaptation of the popular Netflix-distributed Israeli drama “Shtisel.”  It is described as a modern take on “Romeo and Juliet” and will be a TV directing debut for Oscar-winner Kenneth Lonergan. Fremantle is the co-studio.



Israel to host world flag football championship. Israel will host the Flag Football World Championships in Jerusalem from Dec. 6-8, 2021. More than 40 teams from up to 30 countries will compete for the world title that was postponed in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.  Jerusalem hosted the 2019 European Championships.



Nigerian female basketball star’s Israel tours. (TY UWI) Nigerian international basketball player Rosalyn Gold-Onwude has a Russian Jewish mother and a Nigerian father. She toured Israel with Birthright and then as a staff member on her sister’s tour. Rosalyn loved Israel and spent Shabbat with her mother’s Jerusalem family.



Two gold medals and more. Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram won the all-around gold medal in the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria. She then won a second gold medal in the ball event a day later. To round off the tournament, Linoy won a bronze medal in the hoop event.






Unleavening the playing field. (TY UWI & JNS) Two Israeli matzah world records. 200 residents in the city of Modi'in built a 5.4-meter tower of 950 matzahs and chocolate spread (recycled into chocolate balls). Then the Matzot Aviv factory in Bnei Brak baked the world's largest single matzah, some 6 meters by 1.06 meters.




One of the safest places in the world. Every month. Bloomberg calculates the best places to be during the pandemic based on a series of statistics. In time for the Passover festival, Israel became the first new entrant into the top five since the ranking began in November.



All who are hungry come and eat. This Passover, even more than previous years, Charity Colel Chabad is fulfilling the mission to feed and clothe Israel’s poorest citizens - Jews, Arabs, Druze, and Christians alike. Its dozens of programs include Pantry Packers, 23 soup kitchens, lunch-bags for kids and Passover Seder-in-a-Box.



A glimpse of Passover in the Holy Land. (TY UWI & I24 News) In Israel, the Passover holiday is particularly special as practically the entire country celebrates. And (TY Sharon) Jerusalem came back to life, just in time for Passover.  Hopefully, it will be “Next Year in Jerusalem” for many more visitors and new immigrants.






In the 21st Mar 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         With half the population fully vaccinated, Israel’s Covid-19 infection rates have plummeted.

·         The UK benefits from two more Israeli medical innovations.

·         Many Israeli activities for Good Deeds Day - the country where it began 14 years ago.

·         Israeli-designed Instagram Lite is rolled out to 170 countries.

·         Israelis enjoy newly opened parks, restaurants, entertainment and sporting events.

·         Kosovo opens its Jerusalem embassy.

·         1900-year-old Jewish relics discovered in Dead Sea cave.


·         Click here to see the 14th Mar newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours (with excellent topical intro) and United With Israel with extra feature on Medical.  Also (TY Sandra) in German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here. Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (18,000+ 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





Huge drop in infections. (TY UWI) Israel’s Covid-19 infection rate has fallen such that hospitals are now closing their coronavirus wards. 50% of Israelis are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19. See also the YouTube animation showing relative percentages of each country’s vaccinations over the last 3 months.

https://www.ynetnews.com/article/HJbiwkpmd  https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/298855



Together we can do miracles. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer explains why he chose Israel as the priority destination for his company’s SARS-COV-2 vaccine.  A small population, a good healthcare system, a high degree of electronic data and an obsessive Prime Minister. And the scientific partnership has a great future.



The Covid-19 benefits of Aspirin. (TY UWI) A joint team from Israel’s Leumit Health Services, Bar-Ilan University, and Barzilai Medical Center analyzed records of over 10,000 Leumit patients. They found low-dose aspirin (75mg) reduced Covid-19 infection risk by 29% and shortened virus duration by about two days.



Successful UK trial of anti-Covid-19 nose spray. Israel’s SaNOtize (reported here previously) has announced that UK trials showed its Nitric Oxide nose spray successfully reduced virus severity in infected patients and prevented it being transmitted to others. Emergency deployment is now being sought in Britain and Canada.



Portable blood count system for UK hospital. Israel’s Sight Diagnostics (reported here previously) has deployed its lab-grade Sight OLO solution to the UK’s John Radcliffe Hospital, part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation. The portable system delivers Full Blood Count (FBC) results in just a few minutes.



Guiding catheters to the tumor. Israel’s Cortica (reported here previously) has launched another medical spinoff – CORDiguide. It is developing AI-based technology to navigate catheters, using angiographic imaging, to transport miniature treatment devices to a cancer target, along a road map of blood vessels.



Reducing nerve damage from cancer treatments. A study of 500 cancer patients at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center found that those who took cannabis prior to oxaliplatin chemotherapy suffered 40% less nerve damage than those who didn’t. Oxaliplatin’s neurological side effects affect 70% of cancer patients.



Faster recovery from strokes. Israel’s BrainQ (reported here May 2018) reported that the double-blind trial of its AI-based electromagnetic therapy shows that patients recovered 77% faster from the disabilities caused by the stroke and were able to resume normal life. The therapy now has FDA Breakthrough Device Designation.



Safe insertion of feeding tubes. (TY WIN & I24 News) Thirty million feeding tubes are inserted into patients annually. One million are inserted incorrectly, many with tragic consequences. The ENVue electromagnetic wave-guided system from Israel’s Envizion prevents those mistakes. Its use is mandatory at many US hospitals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAyaP0zWOOU  https://www.envizionmed.com/


Saving Eli. Scientists at Tel Aviv University’s Blavatnik Center (see here) are racing to find a cure for 2-year-old Eli Reich from New York, who suffers from the rare FOXG1 syndrome that damages brain development. They have already identified several FDA-approved medications that could repair Eli’s faulty FOXG1 proteins.

https://www.jpost.com/health-science/can-israeli-innovation-save-the-life-of-a-2-year-old-jew-from-new-york-662070    http://www.webelieveinacure.org/our-story


Paramedics save Jerusalem mother at 3am. Just before 3:00 a.m., a 56-year-old mother suffered a heart attack at her Jerusalem home. A total of eight United Hatzalah volunteer EMTs ran up five floors to administer CPR and defibrillator shocks. After 12 minutes, the woman’s pulse returned, and she opened her eyes.






Running from Jerusalem to Eilat. (TY Sharon) Israeli charity Afikim provides children-at-risk in Israel, and their parents, with tools to help escape the cycle of poverty through education. At 230 miles, Run4Afikim (R4A) is the longest organized charity relay run in the world. This year it has already raised over NIS 2 million.



Israelis clean up on Good Deeds Day. Israeli entrepreneur Shari Arison launched Good Deeds Day (GDD) in 2007 (reported here previously). Many Israeli hi-tech startups organized volunteering activities for GDD 2021. They included Elad Software, GeoEdge, Capitolis, Bezeq Online, Riskified and Urban Place.



El Al flight simulator is made wheelchair accessible. In honor of Good Deeds Day, the pilot’s seat of EL AL’s Boeing 737 flight simulator was replaced with a wheelchair. One young woman and three young men from ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran and ADI Jerusalem, each enjoyed 60-minute flight instruction simulations.



Israeli disabled emerge from lockdown. 60 residents of Colel Chabad’s centers for Multiple Sclerosis, were able to go on an outing from their rehabilitative residences for the first time in nearly a year. 90 staff members took them to the Galilee’s fully accessible Jordan Valley Village.



Elite IDF unit to train women for tech. The Woman2Woman program set up by graduates of the IDF’s elite 8200 tech unit is to train women for positions in Israel’s booming hi-tech industry. The program will partner leading tech companies, including Microsoft Israel, Salesforce, Dell and General Motors.



Arab-Israel teens build a satellite. (TY UWI) Israeli-Arab teen Mariam Fahoum led her Nazareth classmates in building a fully functional satellite. The students worked on the project for three intense years, including while fasting during Ramadan.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOj4OBR1iZE


Arabs and Jews save lives together. Israel’s national emergency service Magen David Adom (MDA) not only saves lives around the world, but its Arab and Jewish medics are a model example of Israeli coexistence. Israeli-Arab blogger Nas Yassin (famous for Nas Daily - reported here previously), shows the reality.



The largest Israeli-Egyptian conference in 20 years. (TY JNS) Some 60 Israeli and Egyptian officials and businesspeople recently held the largest bilateral meeting in the last two decades. The event in Sharm el-Sheikh aimed to expand economic ties in agriculture, desalination, textiles, food, tourism and much more.



Unique performance. Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Performed by Israel’s “special” Shalva Band, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, with top UAE musicians including singer, Tareq Al Menhali. Shalva’s 31st anniversary is aptly themed “Building Bridges to the Future.”




More water from the air for Colombia. Israel has donated two more WaterGen water from the air devices to Colombia (see here for previous) – this time to schools in drought-ravished La Guajira. The area accounts for a disproportionate 20% of Colombia’s malnutrition fatalities among children under 5.






The agrarian revolution. UK entrepreneur Jim Mellon, author of “Moo’s Law: An Investor’s Guide to the New Agrarian Revolution”, highlights Israel’s role at the forefront of meat alternatives development. By replacing intensive farming, cultivated cell-based, slaughter-free meat can help solve global food scarcity.



Turn old photos into movies. Israel’s MyHeritage may have been taken over by Francisco Partners, but it is still innovating. It has now released Deep Nostalgia - a new feature for its photo enhancer app that allows users to turn old photos into short video clips, where those pictured move their faces naturally as if they are alive.



A sonic black hole. Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have generated a sonic black hole – a system from which sound waves cannot escape. Its purpose was to emulate a true black hole from which light cannot escape. It even emits Hawking radiation, as predicted by the scientist Professor Stephen Hawking over 50 years ago.



M.A. in Smart Cities. For the first time, students can study in Israel for a master’s degree in Smart Cities and Urban Informatics. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is offering a one-year international program in English to educate a new generation of urban planners, administrators and decision-makers.

https://overseas.huji.ac.il/academics/international-graduate-programs/masters-programs/m-a-in-smart-cities-and-urban-informatics/  https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/298435


Institute for future technologies. Israel’s Ben-Gurion University is partnering the New Jersey Institute of Technology to establish a world-class Institute for Future Technologies in Newark, New Jersey. The new joint NJIT-BGU Institute will offer dual degrees and research posts in cybersecurity and environmental engineering.



Israel’s commercial drone network. Israel is testing a first-of-its-kind national drone network, primarily to transport cargo in cities. Using software from Israel’s Airwayz, 20 drones from different companies have been flying simultaneously over the city of Hadera, managed from Israel’s air traffic control center in Haifa.



https://www.airwayz.co/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od955PrSDXM 


Israeli-designed Instagram Lite. Facebook has begun roll-out of Instagram Lite, designed by its Tel Aviv team. The software was developed for people in remote communities with poor internet access. It requires only 2MB to download on Android (unlike the 30MB full version) and will be launched in 170 countries this week.


https://www.africanews.com/2021/03/19/facebook-rolls-out-instagram-lite-to-sub-saharan-africa-and-other-emerging-markets// https://nocamels.com/2021/03/tel-aviv-instagram-lite-170-countries/


Building systems faster. The software from Israel’s Incredibuild is used by world leading brands such as Microsoft, Amazon, Barclays, Citibank, Disney, Intel, and Samsung to build IT systems much faster than using traditional methods. Incredibuild redistributes idle computer resources to accelerate all development processes.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3899614,00.html  https://www.incredibuild.com/


Hi-tech truffles. Israel’s Ilsar Truffles grows its truffles in a solar-powered, eco-friendly nursery in the Golan Heights. Ilsar inoculates every seedling root system with pre-qualified truffle spores and tags each with a unique data tracking ID code. A truffle takes 7-10 years to mature. No truffle-sniffing pigs or dogs required.



Ice batteries. (TY WIN & I24 News) Israel’s Nostromo has developed IceBrick – water-based energy storage cells as an environmentally friendly alternative to Lithium-based storage for renewable energy. Excess solar energy is converted into ice, which is then used to cool offices, hospitals etc. when the sun goes down.

https://www.israel21c.org/6-million-flows-to-joint-israel-us-clean-energy-projects/  https://nostromo.energy/  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx3PAPTaOtM  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrTebbadifM





$4 million for more clean-energy projects. The Binational Industrial Research & Development (BIRD) Energy program is making available an additional $4 million to fund joint US-Israeli clean innovative energy technology initiatives. Candidate projects can be submitted until Aug 2021.



Bringing expat techies back to Israel. The Israel Innovation Authority has initiated the Back2Tech project. Its aim is to reduce Israel’s hi-tech employee shortage by attracting the 10,000 expats working in that area. Israeli companies will guarantee positions to returning citizens, and even let them work remotely, before they return.



Business opportunities from Israel. The Federation of the Israeli Chambers of Commerce (FICC) is promoting business matchmaking for Israeli companies.  Here is March’s edition of its members' business offers. All are looking for new business partners, distributors, representation or suppliers.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pu6oxtb6pbywltc/Business%20Opportunities%20From%20Israel%20-March%202021.pdf?dl=0    https://www.chamber.org.il/37679/post-your-offer/


Why to invest in Israel. You’ve probably read many articles here about Israeli companies successfully raising funds. This article explains why so many companies and individuals choose to invest in the Startup Nation.



Via makes $100 million acquisition. Israeli ride-sharing firm Via Transportation is acquiring US-based Remix for $100 million. Remix is used to design city transportation systems for more than 350 local governments. Its systems impact more than 240 million people in 22 countries.



An all-Israeli security takeover. Israeli cybersecurity Kape Technologies (reported here previously) is acquiring Israel-based consumer focused privacy and security content startup Webselenese for $149.1 million. Webselenese produces content on security and privacy issues and has 105 million readers.




Wiz becomes a Unicorn. Israel-based cloud security company Wiz (reported here previously) was founded only nine months ago. Three months ago, it raised $100 million in funds and now another $130 million gives it a market valuation of $1.7 billion and the financial status of a “Unicorn”.



Investment in Israeli startups: Fireblocks raised $133 million; Wiz raised $100 million; Viz.ai raised $71 million; Overwolf raised $52 million; EyeYon Medical raised $25 million; Stor.ai raised $21 million; Vulcan Cyber raised $21 million; Datagen raised $15 million; Ravin raised $15 million; Noogata raised $12 million; Teramount raised $8 million;





The rise of Mizrahi music. Excellent new video explaining Mizrahi (Middle Eastern Jewish pop) music from its origins to the modern day.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nKFsLYqf6Y   https://unpacked.media/


Israel vaccinates South Park. A special one-off episode of the popular South Park animation comedy series featured an El Al plane landing in South Park with supplies of vaccine for all the residents. “South ParQ Vaccination Special” also gave Israel a separate compliment for its cool, efficient vaccination process.



Kosher comedy. (TY JNS) Efi Skakovsky and Meni Wakshtock, two ultra-Orthodox comedians, are proving that being Haredi and not using profanity doesn't mean you can't be funny. The duo, known as Bardak, are incredibly popular among secular Israelis with 4.7 million views of their 25 Youtube videos.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1Ovu-5xFsw (no English subtitles but easy to interpret)


Fully booked. Israelis have flocked back to restaurants, bars and cafes in huge numbers as vaccinated diners celebrated the re-opening of Israel’s culinary and leisure facilities. Some restaurants reported non-stop requests for bookings with a 10-day waiting list for tables.



New sights at Jerusalem’s sites. (TY Sharon) The new Hebrew month (Rosh Codesh) of Nisan coincided with the opening of many of Jerusalem’s sites, entertainment venues, hotels and businesses. A large number had been renovated and upgraded since the beginning of the lockdown. Just in time for the festival of Passover.



Israel opens nature parks. The Nature & Parks Authority has renovated many of Israel’s nature and heritage sites ahead of Election Day, a national holiday. Jerusalem has also opened four nature park activity centers - Cedar Valley, Saker Park, Ein Kerem and Nahal Refaim Park.




Fans return to stadiums. For the first time in over a year, Soccer supporters are back in Israel’s stadiums. A maximum of 1,500 vaccinated or Covid-19 recovered fans over the age of 16 were permitted to attend matches in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Netanya and Kiryat Shmona.




Israel to host French Champions Trophy. (TY Hazel) Bloomfield Stadium Tel Aviv will stage the French Champions Trophy soccer match on 1st Aug. The opening match of the French soccer season, between the Ligue 1 champions and the winners of the French Cup, is traditionally held outside of France.






Kosovo opens its embassy in Jerusalem. Kosovo is the third country with an embassy in Jerusalem.  Kosovar Ambassador Ines Demiri tweeted "A truly proud and historic moment for Kosovo-Israel relations. The greatest honor of my life is to have this opportunity to open the embassy and proudly serve my country in Israel."



Czech diplomatic office opens in Jerusalem. Czech PM Andrej Babiš opened a new diplomatic mission in Jerusalem - the second EU member state to do so, following Hungary, whose PM also attended the opening.  There is already a Czech cultural and trade center in Jerusalem. Both PMs then had a summit with Israel’s PM.



Thousands of Israelis clean up beaches. (TY WIN) The Israeli government issued a call for help in cleaning Israel’s beaches from the tar dumped by an oil tanker into the Mediterranean. Over ll,000 volunteers joined IDF soldiers and paid workers in removing tar and rescuing injured wildlife from Rosh Hanikra to Ashkelon.



Bar Kochba discovery. Israeli archaeologists have discovered scroll fragments from ancient writings of Biblical prophets, coins and other relics in a cave near the Dead Sea. The Israelis rappelled down to the cave, where Jewish refugees from the Bar Kochba revolt against the Roman occupation hid almost 1900 years ago.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/bible-scroll-fragments-among-dazzling-artifacts-found-in-dead-sea-cave-of-horror/  https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/298577




In the 14th Mar 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         Israel re-opens to millions of vaccinated and recovered Israelis.

·         Israeli researchers have successfully implemented an alternative to animal testing.

·         An IDF medical team is on its way to treat victims of explosion in Equatorial Guinea.

·         An Israeli diaper cleaning system protects the environment.

·         Israeli cultured beef will help Brazil cut greenhouse gas emissions.

·         After a century, Israel’s Moshav farms are still going strong.


·         Click here to see the 7th Mar newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours and United With Israel.  Also (TY Sandra) her 200th translation into German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here.  Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (18,000+ 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





5 million vaccinated. Israel’s five millionth recipient of the Covid-19 vaccine was a pregnant 34-year-old from the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva, Restaurants, cafes, attractions, hotels, event venues, places of worship, most school grades 7-10, and more, have opened. Only 3% of serious Covid-19 cases had received a 2nd shot.





Learning from our mistakes. One of Israel’s Health Medical Organizations (HMOs) accidentally used a half-sized needle to apply the first Pfizer vaccine into 1,000 Israelis. But when 60% of them were tested three weeks later, they were all found to have high levels of antibodies. The US CDC was pleased to hear the outcome.



SARS-Cov-2 treatment subsidiary. Israeli biotech Pepticom (reported here previously) has raised $2.6 million to establish a company that can treat SARS-Cov-2 and its mutations. It will implement AI technology to design, discover and develop novel peptide molecules.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3897696,00.html  https://pepticom.com/


Helping Covid patients to breathe. Israel's Sheba Medical Center is partnering Israel’s Inspira Technologies in trials of its new respiratory treatment for Covid-19 patients suffering from acute breathing difficulties. The Augmented Respiration Treatment (ART) directly oxygenates blood while the patient remains conscious.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3894246,00.html   https://inspira-technologies.com/


A natural treatment for Covid? IDC Herzliya researchers at Israel’s MIGAL laboratory, with Icelandic scientists, have identified that spirulina algae can reduce the cytokine storm that kills Covid-19 patients. The algae was supplied by Israel’s VAXA (Iceland based) who have EU funding to find natural cures for Covid-19.

https://www.newsrael.com/post/-MUZUMu2rI9dtUFz07He   https://www.vaxa.life/

https://www.jpost.com/health-science/israeli-researchers-say-spirulina-algae-could-stop-covid-19-deaths-660064   https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10126-021-10020-z    


Breakthrough in protein synthesis. Arab-Israeli Professor Ashraf Brik (see here previously) of Israel’s Technion and his team have overcome a 60-year technical problem to synthesize plectasin, a peptide with promising antibiotic results against multi-resistant bacteria, and linaclotide, to treat irritable bowel syndrome.




New way to diagnose neurological conditions. Scientists at Ben Gurion University have confirmed the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and stroke from electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns. Analysis of changes in brain blood vessel pathology can provide fast diagnosis of those conditions.



Eliminating animal testing. Hebrew University researchers have developed a chip containing human tissue with microscopic sensors to precisely monitor the response of the kidney, liver and heart to specific treatments. It is believed to be the first treatment to be submitted to the US FDA for human trials without animal testing.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israelis-create-cancer-drug-using-human-simulating-chip-instead-of-animal-tests/  https://stm.sciencemag.org/content/13/582/eabd6299


Fast glaucoma treatment in trials. Israel’s Belkin Laser (reported here previously) is conducting a large-scale clinical study of its Eagle laser glaucoma treatment in Europe and Israel. Patients at more than 10 sites are testing the computer-guided device that uses healing lasers far less intrusively than currently approved devices.



Transforming ophthalmic surgery. Israeli startup ForSight Robotics is developing a microsurgical robotic platform for eye surgery. The platform will exceed human surgical capabilities with unprecedented dexterity and maneuverability to within only a few microns.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3897656,00.html   https://www.forsightrobotics.com/


Minimally invasive hysterectomies. (TY Nevet) Some 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the US. The US FDA has just approved the Hominis Surgical System, developed by Israel’s Memic. The surgeon operates using the Robotically Assisted Surgical Device (RASD) via tiny incisions in the patient’s body.




Israeli women saving lives.  Four women from Israel’s diverse, inclusive society enthusiastically speak about their life-saving work as volunteer paramedics with Israeli emergency service United Hatzalah. 



Ask me anything. (TY Nevet) Tel Aviv University Professor Neta Erez made the unusual offer on Reddit.com to answer any questions in one day, about her specialty of cancer research. She answered 61 tough questions.






Helping Israeli women get technology jobs. “AI for Women” is a project set up by Bella Abrahams, director at Intel Israel. It uses artificial intelligence tools to analyze and group career advice. A vital resource to help Israeli women launch or boost their tech career and get better paid employment.  In Hebrew only.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1qbfsrEMN4  https://aiforwomen.supersonas.com/


The women that harvest the land. (TY JNS) This article highlights some of Israel’s female agricultural pioneers, plus those that currently grow vegetables, milk cows and make artisanal olive oil, cheese and wine.



Giving back to their communities. (TY UWI & TML) Former Vogue cover model Israel’s Michaela Bercu helped develop the app Tribu to optimize the world of volunteering. The App matches 800,000+ Israelis with hundreds of local projects all over Israel on days and hours that are convenient for each volunteer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAVMZP0U05c   https://www.we-tribu.com/?lang=en


National library exhibit of Bedouin culture. The National Library of Israel is displaying the Clinton Bailey Archive of Arab Bedouin Culture. It includes 350 hours of interviews, digitized in English, Arabic and Hebrew, plus hundreds of images, slides and video clips documenting Bedouin tribal culture over the past half-century.



Vaccine rollout to Palestinian Arab workers. (TY Hazel) Israel’s vaccination program was successfully trialed last week by 700 grateful Palestinian Arab workers. The program will now be rolled out to the 87,000 PA Arabs with Israeli work permits, plus another 35,000 that work for Israelis in Judea and Samaria.




Israeli-Arab social hackathon. Tel Aviv non-profit “Israel-Is” is co-sponsoring the first Abraham Accords Virtual Social Hackathon to be held March 23-25.  25 mixed teams of four, each from Israel, Bahrain, Morocco and the UAE, will develop social products focusing on peacebuilding at a societal and grassroots level.



Helping Africa develop a vaccination strategy. (TY IsraPundit) Israeli charity IsraAID has launched the first of several missions to help African countries build their COVID-19 vaccination program. Seven IsraAID volunteers are in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) on invitation from the Eswatini government.



Medics to treat injured in Equatorial Guinea. (TY Hazel) An Israeli medical team has landed in Equatorial Guinea, following blasts at a military camp that killed over a hundred and injured more than 600. The team of 50 IDF medics and 10 civilians includes intensive care physicians, pediatricians and other specialists.






Microsoft Israel Ignites interest. At its annual Ignite Conference, Microsoft revealed many of the developments emanating from its Israeli R&D center. They include digital tools that integrate into Microsoft Teams; comprehensive organizational data snapshots and a Data Loss protection service.



New head of Israel’s IBM Research.  IBM has announced that its new Director of the IBM Haifa Research Lab is Aya Soffer. She also continues in her role as IBM's VP of AI. Soffer is one of the most influential people in Israeli tech because of her positive impact on the local and global AI ecosystem.




Out of this world. Israel’s Ramon.Space develops small, low-power, high-capacity space super-computers and systems. Their remotely programmable radiation-hardened microchips can withstand extreme temperatures and have been deployed in over 50 international missions, including to the Sun, Mars and Jupiter, with zero failures.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3894650,00.html   https://www.ramon.space/


Reaching remote communities. Israel’s Spacecom (reported here previously) has partnered with Ignite Power, to provide remote telehealth and educational services across Africa, using its Amos-17 satellite. The platform can function as a “school” in the morning, a “clinic” in the afternoon, and as an “internet cafe” in the evening.



An electric train on wheels. The Israeli city of Ashdod is the first city outside China to test a new electric land train that could revolutionize the world of public transportation. The train can carry up to 500 passengers, and travel semi-autonomously, following road markings - the “driver” just controls the speed.




Foretellix partners Volvo for autonomous testing. Volvo Autonomous Solutions is partnering Israel’s Foretellix (reported here previously) to develop the testing of self-driving solutions that operate on public roads and in confined areas. The system will be adapted to test scenarios from highways to mines and quarries.



3D printing from dentistry to car parts. Israel’s Nexa3D prints dental accessories without lab work and multiple teeth molds. Nexa3D’s printers produce car parts, protective face shields, drones and more. Its clients include BMW, Subaru Lexmark, Motorola, Keystone, BASF and Siemens. TED talk from Nexa3D’s founder.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/spotlight/israeli-startup-takes-3d-printing-out-of-the-workshop-and-into-the-factory/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TITuM3_yeF4   https://nexa3d.com/



Your personal digital photo album. Israel’s Pomvom uses AI image recognition technology to enable event operators in the entertainment and attractions industry to offer guests the chance to capture images that would have previously been impossible. They can then view and order content from a personalized digital album.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3896690,00.html   https://pomvom.com/#home  



An AI automated camera. Israel’s Pixellot has launched Air, an AI-automated camera co-developed with FC Barcelona. Portable and lightweight it provides performance analytics to players and coaches. 12 hours of play can be recorded and instantly uploaded without the need for a camera operator, electricity, or even Internet.



Next-gen video analytics. Israeli AI chipmaker Hailo (reported here previously) has partnered Amazon Web Services, Leopard Imaging and Socionext to launch EdgeTuring - a next-generation AI processing solution for video analytics. Applications include smart retail, smart devices, industrial automation, and more.



A safe shower. Israel’s Safe Shower has developed a shower head with a continuous disinfection unit that minimizes the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other bacteria-born diseases. Safe Shower’s device was chosen as one of 50 promising inventions in the 2020 Blue Tulip Awards.




A mini diaper washing machine. Some 258 billion used diapers are sent to landfills every year. Now Israel’s Alon Cohen has invented a cleaning and storing system for reusable diapers. PIKA doubles as a diaper bin and can wash and sanitize 1-10 diapers. No pre-cleaning or soaking necessary. Also provides a nutrition analysis.


https://www.pikadiapers.com/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulLPyZxOR_s





Another rise in currency reserves. Israel’s reserves of foreign currency reached another record level at the end of February. The total of just over $185 billion was $5.59 billion more than the total at the end of January.



Israel’s robust tech ecosystem. The recent IVC report on the Israeli tech ecosystem from 2015 to 2020 reveals that Covid-19 hit the Startup Nation hard in the first half of 2020. But investments bounced back in the second half, so that 2020 investment in Israel exceeded 2019 by 31%.  And the key reasons were very encouraging.




The skies begin re-opening. El Al’s 8th March flight from Tel Aviv to New York carried 280 passengers of which 168 were fully vaccinated. The others, mostly children under 16, took a rapid Covid-19 test developed by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center that gave the results 15-20 minutes later.  Everyone passed the test.



The Next takeover. Just three months after acquiring Denver-based Juniper Labs, Israel’s Next Insurance is buying another US company - digital insurance agency AP Intego. The acquisition will double Next’s annual revenue to some $400 million, add 160 employees to its current 400 payroll and bring in 75,000 new customers.




Bringing cultured beef to Brazil. (TY WIN) Aleph Farms (reported here previously) is partnering Brazil’s BRF, one of the largest meat producers in the world, to jointly develop cultivated meat and bring it to Brazilian tables. Livestock production causes high emissions of greenhouse gas, which Brazil must cut by 43% by 2030.



PayPal acquires Curv. PayPal is to acquire Israeli crypto security Curv (reported here previously) for nearly $200 million. Curv will join PayPal's newly formed blockchain, crypto and digital currencies business unit.



Another Unicorn. Israel’s Aqua Security (reported here previously) has just raised $135 million at a market valuation of $1 billion.  This makes it another Israeli company with the financial status of a “Unicorn”.



Investment in Israeli startups: Snyk raised $300 million; Aqua Security raised $135 million; Optibus raised $107 million; Xsight Labs raised around $100 million; Massivit raised $50 million; Identiq raised $47 million; Ibex Medical raised $38 million; Demostack raised $13.3 million; Forsight Robotics raised $10 million; retrain.ai raised $9 million;  Pepticom raised $2.6 million;





Take a zoom photo walk of Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) Contact Sharon to enjoy a guided tour on zoom of the lesser-known Jerusalem sites in the comfort of your home. Available for family groups of up to 10 people. Plus, you can see venues and hear about events not usually open to the public. Choose History, Nature or Tailored.

http://rjstreets.com/jerusalem-photo-walks/   Contact sharon@rjstreets.com


Israel Women Museum. Later this year, curator, art historian and TV producer Yael Nitzan plans to open Israel’s first museum dedicated to women in a former Haifa private school building. It will showcase at least 100 women who played - and continue to play - important roles in the history and culture of Israel.



Top culinary destination. Prestigious American magazine Food and Travel chose Tel Aviv in its six most recommended culinary destinations around the globe. It said, “The difference between Tel Aviv and the other cities is the seriousness and depth with which the chefs treat the dishes and the richness of the local flavors.”



International Jazz award. Israeli trumpeter Itamar Borochov’s blend of Mideast-North African & classic jazz has won him a 2020 LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award, ahead of 700+ candidates. When festivals resume, he will receive the services of a professional team to arrange his appearance at seven top international jazz events.



Israeli joins NBA Rising Stars World Team. (TY JNS) The US National Basketball Association has selected the Washington Wizards' Israeli rookie forward Deni Avdija (reported here previously) to the 2020-21 NBA Rising Stars World Team roster.   https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/03/04/respect-israeli-rookie-deni-avdija-selected-to-nba-rising-stars-world-team-squad/






Honoring the builder. The late American philanthropist Dr Irving Moskowitz was responsible for hundreds of projects to return Jewish life to Israel’s capital city. He also established the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism. The Jerusalem municipality is naming a city square after him in the Ma’aleh Zeitim neighborhood of Jerusalem.




We are family. Twins Gili and Nadav Dekel have just together completed the commander's course in the IDF Artillery Corps. Twins Ben and Tom Sorer also completed the course together. Ben and Tom’s parents both served in the Corps. Finally, the Corps’ Lieutenant Ben Kitzoni awarded his sister Liel her Sergeant’s rank.



100th anniversary of the Moshav. Israel celebrated the centenary of the founding of the first moshav (Nahalal) in 1921. There are now 450 moshavim (cooperative agricultural villages and communities) in Israel. President Rivlin told of his late wife, Nechama’s mother who ran a moshav farm alone with her daughters.



Greetings from the Pope. Pope Francis sent a warm message to Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin during his flyover of Israel on the way from Rome to Iraq. In the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, the Pope met with representatives of the three Abrahamic religions in Ur of the Chaldeans, the city where Abraham originated.



Mum, look what I found. Ancient artifacts can be discovered all over Israel. 11-year-old Zvi was hiking with his family when he stumbled upon a pottery figurine at Nahal Habesor in southern Israel. The Israel Antiquities Authority identified it as a 2,500-year-old iron-age amulet and awarded Zvi a certificate of appreciation.





In the 7th Mar 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         90% of Israel’s high-risk citizens are now protected against Covid-19.

·         The first woman-led billion-dollar Israeli company.

·         The UAE’s first Ambassador to Israel arrived in the Jewish State.

·         An Israeli kit transforms tractors into self-driving vehicles.

·         Israel is one of the world’s leaders in telecommuting.

·         An Israeli chess competition attracted players from many Muslim countries including Iran.

·         Israeli superheroes brought joy to sick children on the Jewish festival of Purim.


·         Click here to see the 28th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours and United With Israel with extra feature on Medical.  Also (TY Sandra) in German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here.  Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (18,000+ 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





90% of over-50s vaccinated or recovered. Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has announced that 90% of Israelis over the age of 50 have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. 75% of them are eligible for a “Green Pass,” as they had their second vaccine over a week ago or have antibodies after virus recovery.




Israeli vaccine study answers global question. Researchers at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center have published the results of their study on medical staff, showing the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to be 75% effective two to four weeks after a single shot. Many countries were pleased to know that they were right to prioritize the first shot.




Racing to a Covid-19 cure. Excellent summary of Israel’s involvement in five highly promising treatments for coronavirus. Also, separate news of Phase 2 trials of the two Covid-19 treatments from Israel’s Redhill.




Vaccines for animals from microalgae. Israel’s TransAlgae has developed microalgae to deliver oral vaccine powder for animals. Current tests include against diseases affecting fish. Eventually the technology could produce oral vaccines for humans. TransAlgae has signed an agreement with giant French-based Virbac.



Using the microbiome to fight infections. Israel’s MyBiotics has partnered Swiss multinational Ferring to use MyBiotics’ microbiome-based treatments for women’s health. The aim of the alliance is to reduce the need for antibiotic use and provide a long-term treatment solution. https://mybiotics-pharma.com/



Pandemic research center opens. (TY UWI) Tel Aviv University has now launched its new Center for Combating Pandemics (plans reported here previously). Thought to be the first of its kind, the center connects hospitals, government and academic institutions in Israel and around the world to prepare for future epidemics.



Femtech monitoring in hospital. Israel’s Sheba Medical Center says it is the first hospital in the world to introduce patient-operated devices for hospitalized Covid-infected pregnant mothers to self-monitor their unborn babies. Israel’s HeraBEAT and PulseNmore devices are supported remotely by hospital medics.




Heart attack patient saved with minimal invasive surgery. Doctors at Beilinson Medical Center performed the first cardiac accessory implant surgery in Israel. A patient had suffered heart failure during heart valve replacement. Doctors avoided open heart surgery by using a subcutaneous (beneath the skin) procedure.



Millions can benefit from synthetic cornea. (TY David F) Israel’s CorNeat KPro synthetic cornea, which was successfully implanted into Jamal Furani in February (see here), is now to be trialed in Israel, Canada, France, the US and the Netherlands. 30 million people are blind in at least one eye, due to corneal injury or disease.



Training nurses and pharmacists. Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) has launched an MA course to train nurses in internal medicine to assess and care for those with complicated illnesses. JCT has also launched 4-year Pharmacy degree in association with the Hebrew University to resolve an acute shortage of pharmacists.






Israeli exit benefits charities. The recent exit of Israel’s MyHeritage for $600 million, benefited Israeli youth charities. MyHeritage donated share options in 2013 to the nonprofit Tmura (reported here previously) which distributes the proceeds. 718 Israel startups have donated options to Tmura since 2002 – 62 new ones in 2020.



Massive economic support program. Israel has approved a NIS 700 million project to help 200,000 families most in need due to the coronavirus crisis. Colel Chabad and Pitchon Lev will manage the program which involves distribution of debit cards for purchasing critical food supplies in a way that protects family dignity.



Israel’s first woman-led Unicorn. Israel’s Papaya Global (reported here previously) whose CEO is Eynat Guez, has just raised $100 million of funds at a market valuation of $1 billion. It makes Papaya the first female-led company with the financial status of a “Unicorn”. Eynat concluded the finance deal late in her pregnancy.



Life-saving married couples. Beautiful video of four married couples where both partners are United Hatzalah paramedics. They manage to achieve a work-life balance, despite being called on at any moment to save lives.



Zaka founder wins Israel Prize. Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, co-founder and chairman of the Zaka volunteer emergency response group (see here), was declared a winner of the Israel Prize. He won the life achievement award for his contributions to Israeli society and for being a role model for the spirit of volunteering.



App to keep women safe. (TY WIN+I24) Israel’s SafeUP app has been downloaded by approximately 12,000 Israeli women. Any woman at risk of attack can initiate a video call to summon help from women nearby. Eight Israeli municipalities have partnered with SafeUP and a community has even been launched in Boston USA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvvnoA_kepY   https://www.safeup.co/


The first UAE Ambassador to Israel. (TY WIN) In mid-Feb, Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Khaja was sworn in as the first Ambassador to Israel from the United Arab Emirates. He had to wait two weeks before he could arrive in Israel, due to Covid-19 restrictions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d1k5Ewvs4Q





Israel Summit. (TY UWI) 5,000 students from 100 global universities attended the on-line Israel Summit. Tal Zaks, the Israeli Chief Medical Officer at Moderna said, “The productive exchange of ideas in medicine and technology between the US and Israel is based on “alignment of fundamental values about the sanctity of life,”.



The 10th best hospital in the world (again). For the third year in a row, Newsweek magazine ranked Israel’s Sheba Medical Center in its “Top 10 Best Hospitals in the World” Its 10th place was due to superior care, innovation and pioneering research. Newsweek surveyed 2,000 hospitals globally in 2021 – twice that in 2019.






Joint AI program with UAE. Following September’s agreement (see here), Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) and the UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the two institutions have now established the WIS-MBZUAI Joint Program for Artificial Intelligence Research.



New BGU Chemistry building dedicated. Ben Gurion University has held a dedication ceremony for its new five-story 6,300 square meter Lorry I. Lokey Chemistry Building. Its modular, state-of-the-art laboratories and workspaces allow all BGU research groups to be located close together for the first time in 40 years.



Reducing paper waste.  Israel’s ePaper has developed technology to reduce the environmental footprint of office work. It uses tighter security and control printing systems to reduce paper usage by up to 35% and over 40% of office power consumption. Other impacts include far less pollution, CO2 and deforestation.



Zapping malaria-spreading mosquitos. Israel’s zzappmalaria uses topographical analysis to determine the formation of bodies of water. It helps professionals scan the fields, find these bodies of water where mosquitos may breed, and upload them to the system so that the spraying team can go in and apply treatment.


https://www.zzappmalaria.com/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr1g2IdSD-k


Green ammonia. Israel’s GenCell (reported here previously) has partnered Japan’s TDK to manufacture environmentally friendly ammonia at low cost. The patented electrochemical process uses solar energy to make ammonia without emitting CO2. The next stage is to develop a proof of concept.



Signaling the end to empty buses. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Opertti is developing a smart public transportation app that will send vehicles of just the right size to pick up travelers on set routes, on demand. It saves fuel, reduces pollution and ensures the most efficient use of drivers.  Pilots are planned in Israel and in the Czech Republic.



New UK center for Israeli wheels. Israel’s integrated wheel system developer REE Automotive (reported here previously) has opened a new Center of Excellence at the UK’s MIRA Technology Park - Europe’s mobility R&D center. It will help REE’s plans to bring its REEcorner technology to production by 2022.



Put your tractors into automatic. Israel’s Blue White Robotics (reported here previously) has launched a kit that can convert any tractor into a fully autonomous unit or fleet with the flick of a switch. Its sensors, obstacle detection and AI allow multiple tractors to work 24 x 7, whilst monitored by a single human operator.


https://bluewhiterobotics.com/agriculture/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpFxTCr7uhk


Smart farming in the Caribbean. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Volcani International Partnerships and the Caribbean Israel Leadership Coalition have launched a series of free webinars. In them, Israeli experts explain smart farming to government officials, farmers and entrepreneurs in the Bahamas, Anguilla, Aruba and Barbados.



Converting animal waste into odorless fertilizer. Intensive livestock farming has led to immense problems disposing of dung. Israel’s Paulee CleanTec (reported here previously) has developed the BioLizer to convert animal waste into odorless organic fertilizer. A demonstration system is on display at a kibbutz dairy farm.



Israeli software for top UK bus company. Stagecoach, UK’s largest bus operator, is partnering Israel’s Optibus to help plan the bus networks of the future as people emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Optibus' AI-based software platform is already used in over 450 cities to deliver smarter timetables and networks.







More UAE alliances. The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has established ties with Invest in Israel and the Israel Innovation Authority - government entities that help accelerate investment and innovation. Also, Gulf-Israel Green Ventures and the UAE’s United Stars Group are partnering for sustainable development.




World number 2 for home working. Israel’s Labor and Welfare Ministry reports that due to the high number of workers in education and technology, 47% of Israel’s employees can perform their jobs from home. Israel is second only to Luxembourg for telecommuting and far ahead of the OECD average of 38%.



Israeli-based vaccine factories. Israel is in talks with Covid-19 vaccine developers Pfizer and Moderna regarding setting up vaccine production in Israel. Austria and Denmark have expressed interest in Israel’s plan to enhance Pfizer vaccines to handle virus mutations, as they do not want to rely on the EU’s vaccine strategy.




Takeover expands testing. Israel’s Qualitest (reported here previously) has just acquired India’s QA InfoTech India. InfoTech’s 1,000 employees will triple Qualitest’s existing offshore automation testing capacity.



Fresh packaging reaches San Diego. Divine Flavor, a San Diego-based grower-owned distributor of fruits and vegetables and part of Grupo Alta, have adopted the new Xgo standing pouches from Israel’s StePac (reported here previously). Customers were really happy with the extended freshness and sustainability of the packaging.



Wix is worth $20 billion. Website construction tools company Wix.com has become Israel’s most valuable company. Its market value of nearly $20 million tops that of Check Point, Solar Edge, Novocure, Nice Systems and Teva. Wix earned almost $1 billion in revenue in 2020 and, due to expansion, it is still not making a profit!



Another Unicorn. Fintech startup Earnix develops artificial intelligence software that allows banks and insurers to personalize offerings to customers. It has just raised $75 million at a company valuation of $1 billion giving it the financial status of a “Unicorn”. Earnix has won recognition from both CB Insights and P&C 360.


https://earnix.com/   https://earnix.com/press/earnix-announces-75m-growth-funding/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P31MiZzmo0A  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DltmoZGxA4


Yet another Unicorn. Israel’s Axonius (reported here previously) gives organizations a comprehensive cybersecurity asset inventory, uncovers security solution coverage gaps, and automatically validates and enforces security policies. Axonius has just raised $100 million for a $1 billion valuation and “Unicorn” status.



Lumenis’ surgical business sold for $1 billion. US medical devices maker Boston Scientific has bought the surgical business of Israel-based Lumenis (reported here previously) from Barings PE Asia for $1.07 billion. The unit will remain in Israel and become Boston Scientific’s global center of excellence in laser technologies.



Medi-Tate exits for $300 million. Israel’s Medi-Tate (reported here previously) has been acquired by Japanese medical corporation Olympus for $300 million. Olympus invested in Medi-Tate in 2018 and has been distributing Medi-Tate’s solutions for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).




Investment in Israeli startups: Yotpo raised $200 million; Axonius raised $100 million; Papaya Global raised $100 million; Earnix raised $75 million; TytoCare raised $50 million; Pomvom raised $40 million; Medisafe raised $30 million; Rewire raised $20 million; Seebo raised $15 million; Blend raised $10 million; Torii raised $10 million; X-trodes raised $1 million;





Covid-friendly cultural events. Thanks to the new Green Pass issued to fully vaccinated citizens, Israel has launched several cultural and entertainment activities. They included Jerusalem’s “Follow the Lights”, a Nurit Galron concert in Tel Aviv, the Tower of David’s Banai exhibit and a show at the Khan Theater in Jerusalem.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUYtDnkUt_Y (TY WIN & ILTV)


Environmental protection! (TY Hazel) Israel’s Magen David Adom took a mobile vaccination unit to a forest in the south of Israel, where thousands were visiting to see the spring flowers. The emergency service said that dozens of visitors to the Shokeda Forest were vaccinated in the operation in the national park.



We are sailing. Royal Caribbean is re-starting cruises from Israel. Its newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, will make its sailing debut from Haifa in June with vaccinated Israeli passengers. Royal Caribbean said it will be the first cruise line operator to offer “fully vaccinated sailings”. The cruise will visit Greece and Cyprus.





Iranian and Israeli chess players compete together. (TY UWI) For the first time, Iranian chess players took part in the Chess4Solidarity competition – an Israeli initiative. They joined chess players from over 40 countries, including Indonesia, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan and Yemen. Prizes totaled 1000 Euros.







Hear O Israel. Yehoshua Soudakoff, Israel’s only deaf rabbi, is bringing the entire Torah to life for Israel’s 15,000 hearing impaired. He and his team are translating the Tanach (Five Books of Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings) into visual format using Israeli sign language.



Herzl 125. The American Zionist Movement (AZM) has launched a Herzl 125 initiative to highlight important Zionist anniversaries in 2021-22. The 14th of February was the 125th anniversary of Herzl’s 1896 publication of Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) - the Zionist leader’s vision for a modern Jewish state in the land of Israel.



Rolling stones. (TY WIN) The Israel Antiquities Authority discovered under the Western Wall plaza the single largest collection of ancient dice in Israel, and they’re identical to modern dice. It seems the Romans also cheated - one die contained two four-spot sides but no side with three spots.



Cancer survivor now defends his country. Nathan always dreamed of joining the IDF, but at age 6, he was diagnosed with cancer. Years later, after recovering, he was barred from the IDF due to his medical history. But he persevered and Sgt. Nathan has just completed his training in the IDF Nahal Brigade's elite battalion.



Superheroes return. Coronavirus was not going to prevent Israeli superheroes from bringing Purim cheer to hospitalized Israeli children. Real life superheroes from elite units of the Border Police and Firefighters abseiled from the roof of Haifa’s Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital to deliver sweets to the delighted young patients.

https://www.newsrael.com/post/-MUJyu8iEZoEEkDfs19x  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diki4LVjaVE



Purim in Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) Because of Shabbat, Purim this year in Jerusalem was spread over 3 days and residents celebrated for a whole week. The pandemic meant multiple, socially distanced readings of the Megillah of Esther, listening on cell phones with outdoor meals & music, while wearing spectacular costumes.





In the 28th Feb 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         Fully vaccinated Israelis are more than 95% protected against Covid-19 infection.

·         Another African country is moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

·         An Israeli University nanosatellite has been launched into Space.

·         Watch a VeryGoodNewsIsrael presentation on Zoom.

·         A record 22 Israeli startups each raised millions of funds in just one week.

·         Gold for an Israeli judoka and silver for an Iranian in Tel Aviv event.

·         Even the Western Wall has received vaccinations.


·         Click here to see the 14th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours and United With Israel with extra feature on Medical.  Also (TY Sandra) in German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here.  Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (18,000+ 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





Astonishing vaccination results. (TY WIN) Over 50% of all Israeli citizens have now received at least one Covid-19 vaccination, with 3 million (nearly one-third) having had both. The Pfizer vaccine is shown to be 95.8% effective in preventing new Covid-19 infections and nearly 99% effective in preventing serious illness.



Breakthrough in fighting resistant myeloma. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have overcome the resistance of the most aggressive forms of multiple myeloma. In a trial of 41 patients at 15 Israeli hospitals they discovered that Cyclosporin A neutralizes the disease’s resistance to cancer-killing proteasome inhibitors.



Blood cancer treatment trial succeeds. (TY Nevet) Israel’s Gamida Cell (reported here previously) published the results of its Phase 3 trial of omidubicel (previously NiCord) in blood-based cancer patients. The treatment resulted in faster blood count recovery, fewer bacterial and viral infections, and fewer days in the hospital.



Innovations in Life Sciences. On 2nd Mar, the JNF is hosting a webinar featuring Israeli and US innovations in the Life Sciences. It includes the Chief Scientific & Medical Officer Prof. Dror Mevorach of Israel’s Enlivex Therapeutics - developer of COVID-19 “cure” Allocetra.  Registration required; donations are welcome.



A healthier alternative to antibiotics. Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a biological antibiotic derived from human monoclonal antibodies, as an alternative to traditional chemical antibiotics. The antibodies were taken from a recovered tuberculosis patient and were shown to kill TB bacteria – still a major global issue.



Just one drop of blood. (TY UWI) Ben Gurion University researchers have invented a miniaturized micro-electrode sensor that accurately checks clozapine levels in a tiny sample of blood obtained by a simple finger prick. Clozapine treats schizophrenia but the sensor is the basis for monitoring many other chemical levels.



Unique medical approval for a wristwatch. Israel’s CardiacSense has received the European CE Mark for its medical-grade wristwatch that continually measures heart rate and arrhythmias. It is the first time an official regulator has approved such a device. CardiacSense has distribution agreements worth some $100 million.

https://www.cardiacsense.com/news/cardiacsense-medical-grade-watch-receives-ce-mark-for-continuous-detection-of-atrial-fibrillation/  https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3892750,00.html


Calm in a pandemic. Israeli-founded Dendro Technolgies and its Calmigo handheld device (reported here previously) are helping to make life less stressful for those struggling to cope in a coronavirus world.  The US Veterans Administration is giving Calmigo free to veterans and the IRS have even approved it as tax deductible.




Off the hook. Surgeons at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center near Tiberias saved the eye of a fisherman who accidentally speared himself with his own fishhook. The delicate operation included cutting the hook, releasing the eye tissue and repairing the eyeball. The doctors were optimistic of restoring full visual function to the eye.






Free food with your vaccination. (TY WIN & ILTV) Tel Aviv municipality is providing pizza, hummus and cholent as incentives for vaccinating. Other offers included a voucher for a free drink at the bar for those showing proof of vaccination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRvWXkHCk48



Vaccinating all survivors. The Claims Conference is partnering United Hatzalah to ensure that all of Israel’s 11,000 homebound Holocaust survivors receive their Covid-19 vaccine. The Claims Conference is investing NIS 5 million in the project to pay for the transport of all survivors to and from the vaccination centers.




Keeping an ear on the vulnerable. Israel’s Sensi.ai offers “fly on the wall” security monitoring for the elderly and vulnerable who are looked after by caregivers. In the event of a mishap, Sensi delivers a voices-only record of care sessions, ensuring oversight for care agencies and peace-of-mind for family members.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3894056,00.html  https://www.sensi.ai/


Arab medics find love at corona testing site. Several months ago, Magen David Adom volunteers Walla Tamimi and Ahmad Qarut began working shifts together at the corona testing center in Jerusalem. Last week, Qarut proposed to Tamimi at the precise spot where the two met. Qarut thanked MDA for its role in the match.



Cyber training to protect India.  Israel's Cybint (reported here previously) has partnered IIT Jodhpur WhizHack Technologies to help Indian students earn an Advanced Certification in Cyber Defense. The new 480-hour, six-month course just launched will help India combat a huge increase in cyber-attacks during 2020.



Pipeline to Egypt. Egyptian Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tarek El Molla came to Jerusalem to sign an agreement to connect Israel’s Leviathan gas field to the Liquefied Natural Gas facilities in Egypt. He discussed joint energy projects with Israel’s Prime Minister and visited Leviathan with Israel’s Energy Minister.

https://worldisraelnews.com/new-era-of-peace-and-prosperity-egyptian-minister-visits-jerusalem-for-talks-on-joint-energy-ventures/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dSVzNltPmA



Global sustainable award in UAE. (TY JNS) Swedish-Israeli wave energy developer Eco Wave Power (see here previously) won the public voting for the Global Innovation Award in the "Life Under Water" category at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Eco Wave Power generates clean electricity from ocean and sea waves.



Equatorial Guinea to move embassy to Jerusalem. President Teodoro Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to say it is moving its embassy to Israel’s capital where it will join the USA and Guatemala. Kosovo and Malawi have also announced plans to open embassies in Jerusalem.






Campus satellite launches into space. TAU-SAT1, Tel Aviv University's first nanosatellite, launched into space from Virginia, USA on its way to the International Space Station. When placed into orbit TAU-SAT1 will conduct several experiments, including measurement of the cosmic radiation around the Earth.


https://youtu.be/ztLxqAAezyw?t=3130   (actual launch)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztLxqAAezyw (lecture about the satellite, followed by launch)


Center for Artificial Intelligence. Tel Aviv University has launched its new Multidisciplinary Center for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science (DS) to train the next generation of researchers and industrialists in the sophisticated and complex world of deep science. The center was launched during TAU's annual AI Week.



Dispensing sterile gloves. Israel’s IGIN Tech (part of AIDOR International) has launched a smart machine that automatically fits disposable sterile gloves onto your hands in less than 5 seconds with no waste. Designed by Israel’s Geomatrix, it is suitable for hospitals, food preparation facilities and more. Many smart control features.


https://www.aidorinternational.com/  https://www.igintech.com/  https://www.geomatrix-eng.com/case_study/



Dispensing full PPE uniforms. Israel’s Polytex dispenses clean uniforms and collects used ones in a fully automated, hands-free system. More than 3,000 Polytex machines have been installed in 20 countries.


https://polytex-technologies.com/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t2yAjoWKm8


Vaccine delivery by drone. (TY Stuart Pa) Israel’s Gadfin (reported here previously) is preparing its drones for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines by fitting them with a vaccine delivery-compliant compartment that can maintain minus 80° centigrade for up to three hours. Gadfin’s goal is an all-weather “railroad in the sky”.



Light up your workout. Israel’s Blazepod (reported here previously) is now being used by some 300,000 athletes in 120 countries since its launch in mid-2019. Ideal for home workouts, BlazePod’s “Flash Reflex Training,” uses small LED “pods” that blink in eight colors to guide your exercise routine.




Preventing Avian flu. Israel’s eggXYt uses a gene-editing platform to develop genetic resistance in chickens against avian influenza. eggXYt (reported here previously) has also developed an ultrasound egg check that spares male chicks from being hatched. MIT selected eggXYt for its Sustainable Food Systems Challenge.



Simulating physical stores online. Israel’s ByondXR is helping Coca-Cola, Target, Lancôme and other major brands and retailers to re-create the physical shopping experience for customers, but on the Internet. It immerses the customer and brings stores to life virtually.  https://www.timesofisrael.com/spotlight/israeli-startup-helps-coca-cola-lancome-and-big-brands-recreate-shops-online/  https://www.byondxr.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=417sNdCxuNo  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzK_NJkh6Ic


Beating bad bots. (TY JBN) Israel’s PerimeterX defends web businesses with Bot Defender, Code Defender, and Page Defender. It says it proactively managed threats to $100 billion of e-commerce revenue in 2020.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2okUkK0A2A   https://www.perimeterx.com/


VeryGoodNewsIsrael on zoom. (TY Ilana) This newsletter editor gave his first-ever zoom presentation “Good Times, Better Times” last week, focusing on some of Israel’s groundbreaking technological innovations.  Luckily, the recording doesn’t reveal his shaking legs!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqO4dEybrdo





Huge surge in job openings. The OurCrowd jobs index at the end of 2020 shows its Israeli portfolio of companies has seen a 400% increase in vacancies from six months earlier. Software engineers are most in demand. https://blog.ourcrowd.com/ourcrowd-job-index-q4-2020/


Innovation cities. Israel’s Interior Ministry and Peres Center for Peace and Innovation has selected Eilat, Beit Shemesh, Netanya and Sakhnin to join the Hazira innovation program to benefit municipal economies. They join Bat Yam, Ashdod, Acre and the Western Negev Regional Cluster, which have already launched projects.



European VC giant makes first Israeli investment. EQT Private Equity, the giant European Venture Capital fund, has invested in its first Israeli company - cybersecurity startup EVC. EVC’s flagship product, Hyver, uses advanced algorithms and graph modeling to assess an organization’s security, as well as third-party vendors.



Fashion retailer launches tech accelerator. Israeli retailer Fox-Wizel has launched Fox Labs, an accelerator for companies and entrepreneurs that are active in the retail-tech sector. It is seeking startups to invest in, partner with and that can test and implement technology, solutions and products in the chain’s 800 stores.



Milk and Honey is a winner. Israeli single malt whisky distiller Milk and Honey (reported here previously) has won Whisky Magazine’s Craft Producer of the Year in the category Icons of Whiskies Rest of World 2021.

https://whiskymag.com/story/icons-of-whisky-row-2021-winners-announced   https://mh-distillery.com/


The first Israeli bank digital wallet. Israel’s Bank Hapoalim has launched its new digital wallet, allowing customers to pay at stores by simply touching their smartphone to the checkout device. Bank Leumi and Israel Discount Bank, plus supermarket chains Shufersal and Rami Levy are also said to be developing digital wallets.



7th Israeli acquisition for Palo Alto Networks. Silicon Valley cyber powerhouse Palo Alto Networks has bought its seventh Israeli company. It is paying $156 million for Israeli cybersecurity startup Bridgecrew (reported here previously) which only emerged from stealth (secret development) in June.



More protection for Europe. Germany has signed an agreement to protect its fleet of Leopard 2 tanks with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Trophy active protection system. The system (called me’il ruach, or “windbreaker,” in Hebrew) is designed to protect armored vehicles from anti-tank missiles and rocket fire.



Investment in Israeli startups: CYE raised $120 million; Gamida Cell raised $75 million; Personetics raised $75 million; Pliops raised $65 million; PerimeterX raised $57 million; Lusha raised $40 million; Redefine Meat raised $29 million; Atera raised $25 million; Nanit raised $25 million; EquityBee raised $20 million; Galmed raised $18 million; accessiBe raised $16 million; Oribi raised $15.5 million; Theator raised $15.5 million; SecuriThings raised $14 million; FundGuard raised $12 million; SuperSmart raised $10 million; Mirato raised $9 million; Acumen raised $7 million; anecdotes raised $5 million; Bio-Fence raised $3.8 million; GOTO Global raised $3.5 million;





The museums are open again. (TY Margaret) Many of Israel’s world-famous museums have just re-launched. The Israel Museum had activities for Purim with free entrance for children. See links below for other exhibitions. https://www.imj.org.il/en/content/visitor-information

https://www.imj.org.il/en/exhibitions/maharajas-court  https://www.imj.org.il/en/exhibitions/1001-characters


Israel’s eco-friendly Fashion Week. (TY Jacques) For the first time ever, Israeli Fashion Week (28 Mar – 1 Apr) will spotlight designers who focus on sustainable manufacturing and production processes. It will feature 40 of the top designers who use recycled textiles and have a sustainable vision.

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/fashion-week-in-tel-aviv-2021-to-promote-sustainable-production-consumption-658915  https://israelbetweenthelines.com/2021/02/18/israeli-fashion-week-gets-sustainable/


Bringing Israel home.  Israeli-born chef and restauranteur Michael Solomonov is famous for the Israeli cuisine at his award-winning Philadelphia restaurant Zahav. He has now launched “Bringing Israel Home,” a new 16-part web series on Vimeo where he chats about Israeli cuisine, plus what he misses about his home country.

https://nocamels.com/2021/02/israel-chef-usa-philadelphia-taste-web-series/ http://www.zahavrestaurant.com/

https://www.fox29.com/video/891464  https://vimeo.com/showcase/bringingisraelhome

https://vimeo.com/495251159 (Episode 1 - skip to beginning at 5mins:30)


A red carpet of flowers. (TY Jacques) Every February, a burst of red anemones totally transforms the dusty landscape of the Negev Desert. Click on the video to see the brilliant red carpet of anemones spread out as far as the eye can see. https://israelbetweenthelines.com/2021/02/18/red-flowers-and-february-showers/




Snow and light in Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) A blanket of snow covered the Jerusalem streets in mid-Feb. The streets were full of sounds of excited children, many seeing and playing in the snow for the first time. Ironically at the beginning of that week it was warm enough to walk barefoot through the streets of Jerusalem.



One singer has all 8 top songs. For the first time all eight places on the Apple Music chart of most listened to songs in Israel are held by one Israeli singer - Omer Adam. He released a song each day from his new album, called simply “8”, with each gaining enormous popularity.



Russian-Israeli makes tennis history.  (TY UWI) Israeli-raised tennis player Aslan Karatsev reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in his first Grand Slam tennis tournament. He eventually lost to tournament winner Novak Djokovic, but his ranking soared to world number 42 (from 253) and he also won $850,000.




Gold for Israeli judoka. In an electrifying 20-second victory, Israeli judoka Timna Nelson Levy won the gold medal at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam in the women’s under 57-kg class.




Iranian judoka arrives to a hero’s welcome. Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei fled Iran after refusing to avoid Israeli opponents. Saeid represented Mongolia at the recent Tel Aviv Grand Slam and won a silver medal.








Israel’s 105-year-old Air Force Colonel. (TY WIN) 105-year-old Alex Ziloni was promoted to the rank of full Colonel in honor of his vital work to help establish Israel’s Air Force. In 1948 he secretly purchased 21 Auster planes from Britain, despite an embargo and the UK’s military support for the Arab forces.



Returning to their roots. A Holocaust survivor, her daughter and her grandchildren are formally returning to Judaism. The grandmother was born at the end of WW2 and brought to Israel at the age of two. In her teens she married an Arab, as did her daughter. All 3 generations went to a Rabbinical court to officially register as Jews.



302 Ethiopian immigrants and one sick boy. Israel briefly opened Ben Gurion Airport to welcome 302 new Ethiopian immigrants. All went into 14-day quarantine, apart from one six-year-old boy who was transferred to hospital for planned emergency heart surgery.



You know it’s time to make Aliya when... Emma was about to return home to the USA after having to cut short her yearlong Israel experience due to the pandemic. At the boarding gate at Ben Gurion Airport, she broke down crying. On Dec 30 she returned to Israel with 47 other Americans on the final Aliya flight of 2020.



Vaccination for the Kotel. The stones of Jerusalem’s Western Wall are receiving injections, with medical-like syringes. Each 2000-year-old stone is inspected six-monthly for signs of weathering. Those needing repair are delicately injected with a liquid, limestone-based grout to protect the wall for at least another 2000 years.




Unique megillah. A mid-15th century Megillah of Esther - one of the world’s oldest known scrolls from the Book of Esther has been donated to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. It originated in the pre-expulsion Iberian Peninsula and was gifted by Michael Jesselson and family just in time for the festival of Purim.





In the 14th Feb 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         Israel’s latest Covid-19 treatment has received worldwide acclaim.

·         Two Israeli innovations could see the end to invasive biopsies.

·         An Israeli hi-tech training NGO gives all its profits to Israeli charities.

·         Israel has built 39 homes for volcano victims in Guatemala.

·         An Israeli company can now 3D-print vegan rib-eye steaks.

·         Israeli startups have received “impossible” high levels of investment.

·         A global competition to help design Israel’s new World Zionist Village.


·         Click here to see the 7th Feb newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Jewish Business News and United With Israel.  Also (TY Sandra) in German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here.  Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (18,000+ 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





“This can change the fate of humanity”. Israel’s PM heralded the latest Israeli Covid-19 therapy, EXO-CD24, developed at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center. When given to 30 moderate to severe Covid-19 patients, 29 were discharged 3-5 days after having the treatment and one recovered a little later.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_8x2VOV3hA   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA56LCCeuMc



Fall in number of serious Covid-19 patients. The number of patients suffering from serious cases of Covid-19 has dropped below 1000, as more people over the age of 60 received their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.




Recovered patients volunteer at hospitals. Israel’s Ichilov and Sheba hospitals are employing volunteers who have recovered from the Covid-19 infection to help look after seriously ill coronavirus patients. They are tested for antibodies and then work in shifts on the Covid-19 wards, providing reassurance and practical support.



Treatment for deadly bacteria approved. (TY Atid-EDI) Following successful Phase 3 trials, the US FDA has approved Reltecimod from Israel’s Atox Bio (reported here previously) for the treatment of NSTI (Necrotizing  Soft  Tissue Infections), commonly referred to as flesh-eating bacteria. (fast-tracked in 2012!)



A mission to end food allergies. Israel’s Ukko is working to re-design gluten proteins so that they do not trigger an immune response in people with celiac and other gluten sensitivities. In addition, Ukko is developing an edible medicine that can promote immune tolerance for people with peanut allergy.

https://nocamels.com/2021/01/israeli-biotech-ukko-40m-food-allergies/   https://www.ukko.us/



The secret to reversing brain damage. (TY INN) Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers and Seattle scientists have demonstrated the restoration of communication between damaged nerve cells. They implanted artificial connections (synapses) in the nervous systems of tiny translucent C. elegans worms.




The human touch in healthcare. Patients often lapse their health improvement programs. Israel’s Well-Beat (reported here previously) recently completed a pilot at Sheba’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Center where it proved to triple adherence to recommended care. Well-Beat recently received its 3rd Israel Innovation Authority grant.


https://www.well-beat.com/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCFp-j0ZF1M


European prize for pediatric endocrinology. Professor Moshe Phillip of Israel’s Schneider Children's hospital was awarded the Andrea Prader Lifetime Achievement Prize by the European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) for his outstanding contribution towards pediatric endocrinology.



Safe testing for healthy babies. Israel’s AIVF has devised a method to test embryos in vitro in a noninvasive manner to detect possible genetic abnormalities. Its scanning device and an AI algorithm avoids the current riskier PGT (Preimplantation Genetic Testing) biopsies which remove cells from the embryo.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3892195,00.html   https://aivf.co/



An end in sight to medical biopsies. Hebrew University scientists have developed a blood test that they say could replace nearly all cancer screenings within a decade. It detects cancer cells and identifies the exact location of the tumor in the body. New Israeli startup Senseera will now perform clinical trials.

https://www.jpost.com/health-science/biopsies-can-be-replaced-with-simple-blood-tests-hebrew-u-research-finds-657971  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41587-020-00775-6





Give&Tech. Great name for an Israeli NGO that helps busy techies who wish to give back to communities in need. Give&Tech provides high tech courses for those in the sector looking to enrich their knowledge, and then donates the course proceeds to non-profits who need financial support. Everyone at Give&Tech is a volunteer.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3892155,00.html  https://giveandtech.org.il/


Mental health app for company employees. Israel’s Binah.ai (reported here previously) has added a mental health and wellness app to its vital-signs solutions. Binah Team helps organizations monitor the wellbeing of their employees, students, or any other member. It supports iOS, Android and Windows, plus 11 languages.




Israeli helps UK predict outbreaks. Epidemiologist Professor Michael Edelstein from Israel’s Bar-Ilan University has helped develop a complex algorithm that gives a 17-day early warning of any English towns that are at risk of Covid-19 outbreaks. It has already been tested in Italy, Australia and South Africa.      




Helping to build accessible systems. Evinced is another “socially-aware” Israeli hi-tech startup that aims to make on-line systems more accessible to the one billion+ people globally living with a disability. Evinced’s platform visually analyzes websites and applications to detect and fix potential accessibility issues.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3891331,00.html   https://www.evinced.com/


Food security conference to help UAE. 20 Israeli food-security and agri-tech companies attracted an audience of 1,000 to an Israeli-UAE online investment conference. The speakers addressed issues challenging the UAE in agriculture and food security, such as precision agriculture, desert farming, resilient species and food storage.



UAE trades with Judea and Samaria businesses. Yaakov and Naama Berg employ 40 - 50 Arab workers at their Psagot Winery near Ramallah, producing over 750,000 bottles of wine per year.  They are seeing the Abraham Accords initiate trade links between the Gulf and Judea & Samaria and opening a new era of peace.



New homes for Guatemala volcano victims.  (TY Hazel) Israel’s embassy in Guatemala has just finished its Guatelinda project in the town of Escuintla. It has built new homes for 39 families that lost their properties in the 2018 Fuego volcano eruption. The Guatemala Government named the street “Jerusalem Capital of Israel”.



From Startup Nation to VacciNation. Jon Medved is one of Israel’s leading high-tech venture capitalists and promoter of Israel’s achievements. He explains how Israel propelled its world-leading vaccination drive through its Startup Nation ethos, efficient health systems, medical expertise and desire to be a light to the nations.







Vehicle AC removes coronavirus. Auto Cool is Israel’s leading manufacturer of customized Air Conditioning (AC) systems for commercial vehicles and trucks since 1982.  It says its ADS3000 system will remove any virus from buses, trains, taxis, vehicle fleets, and ambulances in Israel and around the world.

https://jewishbusinessnews.com/2021/02/08/israels-auto-cool-offers-covid-19-disinfection-solution-for-public-transport/  http://www.autocool.co.il/?page_id=2  http://www.autocool.co.il/?page_id=1272 (Hebrew)


Speeding up websites. Israel’s Zaraz (formally known as Sweeps) helps reduce the time taken to load a website. It does this by optimizing the loading of third-party tools, connecting these using the website’s server instead of by the user’s browser. It claims a 40% improvement to company website loading times.




120 cyber companies on one page. Glilot Capital and IVC have published a map showing over 120 of Israel’s largest private cyber companies. They are split into 14 areas: access, application, blockchain, cloud, email, endpoint, fraud, IoT, network, ops & threats intelligence, privacy, vulnerability, web & workload protection.



AI machine is a mathematical genius. (TY Sandra) Professor Ido Kaminer of Israel’s Technion Institute has developed the Ramanujan Machine - an Artificial Intelligent device and program to generate new mathematical formulae. He has just published the 19 hardest to prove hypotheses it has generated over the last two years.




Higher steaks (animal-free). Israel’s Aleph Farms (reported here previously) has announced that it has 3D-printed the world’s first laboratory cultivated rib-eye steak, complete with all the flavor and texture of regular meat, minus the harm to animals. Previously, Aleph Farms only 3D-printed thin cuts of meat.



Safe herbicide controls resistant weeds. Israel’s AgPlenus (reported here previously) has developed APH1 - a new herbicide that effectively controlled weeds and grass known to have resistance to existing herbicides. APH1 had no harmful effect on agricultural crops such as corn and cereals.



Oracle opens cloud data center in Jerusalem. US tech giant Oracle, with Israeli systems integrator Bynet Data Communications, is launching an underground data center in Jerusalem. Oracle is the first global tech giant to open a cloud region in Israel and stated it constitutes “an unprecedented investment in Jerusalem”.




A virtual global SIM card. Israel’s Simtex provides a solution for travelers needing a low-cost Internet data-only package overseas for their smartphone, tablet or computer. No physical SIM is needed, just scan a QR Code. Most countries available. https://simtex.io/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgOJKQGwU_E


An iToF camera. Israel’s Tower Semiconductor (reported here previously) and China’s OPIX have developed a Time-of-Flight (iToF) technology platform where sensors accurately measure the distance to an object. Its applications include 3D imaging, face recognition, Augmented Reality, industrial inspection and robotics.



Drone finds its way without GPS. Israel’s Sightec (reported here previously) has achieved the first-ever autonomous flight of a drone to its destination without GPS navigation. The drone flew five routes in southern Israel using Sightec’s NavSight software, that turns its cameras into smart “self-aware” sensors.






Even more reserves. Almost every month Israel hits a new record for its reserves of foreign currency deposits. In Jan 2021 they rose by another six billion dollars to almost $180 billion. The Bank of Israel is selling Shekels to encourage exports, but the value of the shekel keeps rising due to global confidence in the Israeli economy.



Record Japanese investment. In 2020 Japanese firms invested some $1.1 billion in Israel – 20% higher than in 2019. (In 2015 it was just £87 million.) Japan now accounts for more than 11% of all foreign investment in Israeli high-tech (compared to under 2% in 2016). Mitsubishi and Sumitomo were the largest investors.



Plenty of funds for new startups. A recent survey by US-Israel Ground Up Ventures debunks reports that there is a drought of funds for new Israeli startups. 37 of Israel’s leading venture funds they surveyed made 145 investments at the seed stage in 2020 (rising from 112 in 2019). The average investment also rose - by 20%.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3891311,00.html  https://www.groundup.vc/


An impossible year. Israeli VC firms JVP, Pitango and Qualcomm thought the coronavirus pandemic would sink many Israeli startups. But something crazy happened - the opposite occurred, and funds flooded in. They found that business can be done without face-to-face meetings and that (in Israel at least) anything is possible.



The crisis with a silver lining.  Caja Robotics (reported here previously) is another Israeli company that learned how to adapt to the new normal during the coronavirus pandemic. It used video in recruitment and communications but despite its robotics systems, Caja focused on the human aspects of employee relations.



The end of the exit. This article by newsletter supporter Zev Stub describes Israel as the Scale-Up Nation. Relatively few Israeli startups exit in takeover events, but rather expand to become billion-dollar “Unicorns” (nine new ones in the last three months). Another 80 Israeli companies are publicly traded in the US.



An index fund of the big 50. Israel’s Big-Tech 50 R&D Partnership has launched on the TASE, raising NIS 85 million to build a portfolio of the 50 largest private Israeli tech companies. In two years, the portfolio will hold NIS 1 billion worth of shares, resembling an index, and will allow investment in those companies.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3891571,00.html  https://www.bigtech50.com/


Miami to Tel Aviv. The skies could be open again soon. Starting in June, American Airlines will operate a 12-hour non-stop service, 3 times a week, from Miami to Tel Aviv. It follows the May start of its New York to Tel Aviv service and (later in September), its Dallas to Tel Aviv route (both reported here previously).



Know your customers. Israel’s Leadspace has developed a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help businesses manage their customers. Its clients include Salesforce, American Express, and Zoom. It has just raised $46 million of funds including from Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3891303,00.html   https://www.leadspace.com/


Card-less credit cards for businesses. Israel’s Mesh Payments (reported here previously) has developed a solution to replace business credit card transactions with an entirely card-less platform. Mesh issues virtual cards for both online and offline payments, linking with mobile wallets e.g., Apple Pay, Google Wallet etc.



Big deals for vegetable collagen. Israel’s Collplant (reported here previously) has closed big deals with Canada’s STEMCELL Technologies to supply plant-based collagen for STEMCELL’s cell culture media kits. Also with Allergan Aesthetics (worth $100+ million) for dermal and soft tissue filler products.




Protecting Europe. In addition to its recent massive contracts with Greece and UK navy, Israel’s Elbit Systems also recently won a $338 million contract with the Swiss Army; with the Netherlands ($65 million, $24 million) and $82 million, Romania ($27 million), UK army ($137 million) and also with Spain.


Investment in Israeli startups: Big-Tech 50 raised $26 million; Leadspace raised $46 million; Ukko raised $40 million; Granulate raised $30 million; Evinced raised $17 million; Mesh Payments raised $13 million; UNIPaaS raised $10 million; NeuReality raised $8 million;





US dramas made in Israel. Israel’s Keshet Studios has renewed its deal with media and entertainment company Universal Television for the third time.  The Israeli production studio will be developing two new dramas for NBC, “The A Word” and “Ties That Bind”. NBC also recently picked up Keshet drama “LaBrea”.



Israeli tech in Super Bowl ad. Israeli-founded Fuse.ar used its Alternate Reality filter in the Super Bowl ad for Dexcom – a diabetes management company. In the ad, actor Nick Jonas (who has Type 1 diabetes) becomes an old man, thanks to the special effects from Fuse.ar. His 30 million Instagram followers need not worry though!

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3892449,00.html   https://fuse.ar/


More endings and beginnings. On Sunday 28th Feb there is another opportunity to watch Center Stage Israel’s live production of Endings & Beginnings, previously performed in December. Enjoy songs from the stage and charts that celebrate the fact that with every ending there is a new beginning.  Smiles are returning to our faces.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89PH3PAXcsQ  (sneak preview)





Design the World Zionist Village. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is inviting ideas for its new World Zionist Village in Be’er Sheva (see here previously). Dormitories, classrooms, conference center space, cafés, houses of worship, gardens, and an iconic structure. The competition is now open, and entrants can win up to $8,600.




Helping vaccinate the vulnerable in 36 cities. In January, Israeli emergency NGO United Hatzalah volunteers began taking seniors in Mevaseret Zion to vaccination centers (reported here previously). It is now transporting the elderly, disabled and self-isolating for their life-saving inoculations in 36 Israeli municipalities.  



Different views of Jerusalem. Sharon took some unusual recent photos on The Real Streets of Jerusalem. They include a clear view of the Knesset menorah, street signs “Jerusalem is Giving a Shoulder” (vaccinating), Gan Sacher Park’s memorial candle, the green roof on Jerusalem’s Bird Observatory and a very strange fisherman.



Happy Purim. Purim, beginning on 26th Feb, is the happiest of all Jewish festivals and should be especially so in Israel as worries about the coronavirus pandemic begin to recede. Thank you Jacob Richman, who has updated his website of Purim resources to help everyone enjoy the festive occasion.





In the 7th Feb 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         In trials, an Israeli treatment cured 89% of severely ill Covid-19 patients in under a week.

·         Israeli scientists have discovered that camels can help fight cancer.

·         Kosovo and Israel have signed an agreement to normalize ties.

·         Israelis have won an Oscar for technology that benefits the movie industry.

·         January was the best-ever month for investments in Israeli startups.

·         Israeli discovery of the oldest symbols on earth.


·         Click here to see the 31st Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours with yet another great intro, IsraPundit, Jewish Business News and United With Israel with extra feature on Health.  Also (TY Sandra) in German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here.  Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (18,000+ 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





Vaccines for everyone over 16.  (TY WIN) Israel is the first country to offer vaccines to any citizen over the age of 16. It aims to vaccinate 90% of the over-50s within two weeks. Nearly two million Israelis (20% of the population) have now received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine with just 0.066% re-infections.



Good Phase 2 results of Covid-19 treatment. (TY Nevet) Allocetra from Israel’s Enlivex Therapeutics (reported here previously) has cured the majority of the 37 seriously and critically ill Covid-19 patients in its Phase 1b and 2 trials. 33 patients were discharged from hospital an average of under 6 days after treatment.



Preventing Covid-19 outbreaks in schools. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Thermoguard has developed special data-gathering thermometers that flag small-but-significant peaks in body temperature. It has been testing them in kindergartens to alert staff to take early action to prevent mass classroom outbreaks from unvaccinated children.



Remote tech for cardio care. (TY Stuart Pl) Israel’s Sheba Medical Center’s partnership with Israel’s Datos Health (reported here previously) is transforming the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation programs. Datos has also partnered Israel’s Vaica Medical to add patient management facilities into its remote cardiac telemedicine app.

https://cardiacrhythmnews.com/remote-technology-in-cardiac-care-is-here-to-stay/   https://www.vaica.com/



A Google map of brain RNA. Scientists from Bar Ilan University, Harvard and MIT have produced a detailed map of the genes inside the main memory center of a mouse brain. The researchers say the same technology will work in humans and could help treat diseases of the brain like Alzheimer’s, and others including cancer.




How stress moves through the body. Amazing new research in which scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have studied how the body responds to stress on a cell-by-cell basis. They have mapped the “stress axis” and the production of the hormone cortisol. The research opens up avenues to new treatments for chronic stress.



Migraine treatment device gets US approval. Israel’s Theranica (reported here previously) has received US FDA clearance to market its Nerivio therapeutic device for the acute treatment of episodic or chronic migraine in people 12 years and older. Theranica’s migraine patch was approved by the FDA in 2019.



Acne treatment gets FDA approval. Israel’s Sol-Gel (reported here previously) has had its Twyneo acne treatment US FDA-approved following successful Phase 3 testing.  https://ir.sol-gel.com/news-releases/news-release-details/sol-gel-technologies-announces-fda-acceptance-filing-new-drug-0


Stronger and safer than morphine. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Therapix Biosciences (reported here previously) is working with the University of Calgary to evaluate the pain relief effect of its THX-160 analgesic. In pre-clinical studies, THX-160 was in some instances even more effective than high-dose morphine.

http://therapix.investorroom.com/2020-12-02-Therapix-Biosciences-to-Collaborate-with-The-University-of-Calgary-to-Further-Examine-its-Proprietary-Drug-Candidate-THX-160-for-Pain   https://therapixbio.com/


The seasons of our hormones. Anonymous big data in the systems of Israel’s four medical companies (HMOs) is providing researchers with the information they need to solve medical problems. In the latest example, scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute used data from Clalit to document the seasonal pattern of hormones.




Cancer treatment from camels and sharks. Israel’s Ben Gurion University Professor Niv Papo discovered that tiny antibodies called nanobodies, found only in camels and sharks, can penetrate hard cancerous tissue to release chemotherapy treatments. BGU has bought a camel and have now begun trials on prostate cancer.

https://worldisraelnews.com/camels-and-sharks-may-help-kill-cancer-cells-israeli-scientist-says-in-startling-discovery/   https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00418





Israel - melting pot in the Middle East. (TY BIG & I24 News) Great video featuring Yoseph Haddad showing how Israel’s minorities live in the Jewish State.  



Time not wasted. Israel’s Welfare Ministry listed its achievements during the current government’s 11 months as disability benefits, early childhood legal reform, a historic social workers agreement, refuge centers for women, special needs centers for toddlers, safety nets for the welfare of older population, and much more.



Startup training across the Middle East. (TY UWI) Israel’s Starting Up Together weekly zoom program helps young entrepreneurs from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Gaza, and the PA. Its topics include market research, business plans and raising funds. 40% of participants are women.



Yad Sarah inspires US charity. American Elliot Sloyer was chaperoning an Israel trip for 8th-grade students in 2018. When one of the students suffered an injury, he borrowed a wheelchair from Israeli charity Yad Sarah. He was so impressed with the charity that in Oct 2020 he launched Wheel It Forward in Connecticut.



International cyber defense exercise. (TY UWI) In a cyber defense exercise, organized by the US Army's Cyber Center of Excellence, five IDF teams competed against nearly 60 teams from 13 countries. It was Israel’s first exercise coordinated by the IDF's Cyber Defense Directorate and proved to be a vital learning experience.



Kosovo establishes diplomatic relations. Israel and Kosovo officially signed an agreement to normalize ties. Kosovo’s Foreign Minister called the occasion “a golden page in the history of the people of Kosovo”. It will be the first Muslim-majority country and European nation to establish an embassy in Jerusalem.



World Cancer Day. To mark World Cancer Day 2021 on 4th Feb, Israel’s Ben Gurion University published a several articles about students and alumni who are working to eliminate cancer in Israel and across the world. Also, latest published (2018) figures show that Israel’s cancer mortality rates continue to drop.







Israeli astronaut reaches for the sky. When Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe launches into space in 2022, he will be aiming high. The Israel Space Agency and the Ramon Foundation announced that the name of the Israeli part of the mission would be “Rakia,” Hebrew for sky. It was chosen by 60% of Israelis in an online poll.



Click on real world objects. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s PointMe has developed technology that can transform any object in the world into a clickable one - billboards, buildings, statues, museums, trade shows, restaurants and much more. It could transform the way we interact with things around us in the physical world.



Chewing gum to help resist sugary foods. (TY UWI) Israelis Gitit Lahav and Shimrit Lev have developed Sweet Victory, a patented mint-flavored chewing gum that blocks the sugar receptors on the tongue for up to two hours. Based on the Indian Gymnema Sylvestre plant it is being sold in the Philippines and New Zealand.




Autonomous solar panel cleaning. Israeli startup Bladeranger is developing a robotic solar panel cleaning system.  It recently listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and rocketed to a valuation of $1.5 billion. It is also developing a cloud-based management system. (See also Israel’s Ecoppia, reported here previously)

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3890831,00.html   https://bladeranger.com/


3D-printing bones. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Stratasys has enhanced its J750 Digital Anatomy3D printer with advanced bone capabilities that are biomechanically realistic. The system mimics porous bone structures, fibrotic tissue, and ligaments for medical professionals to print models that behave just like human bone.



Fixing program bugs super-fast. (TY Atid-EDI) One for the real techies.  Israel’s Rookout has developed a solution for system developers to quickly pinpoint and diagnose the cause of problems with their software. They can do this without stopping the program or changing it in any way.  It makes fault analysis so simple.

https://www.rookout.com/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCQPeeJUBqg


Dyed fabrics with less water. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s NILIT (reported here previously) now offers clothing manufacturers its Sensil WaterCare pre-dyed fibers and fabrics, produced using sustainable, water-saving processes and environmentally- responsible pigments. Colors will not wash out, even at high temperatures.



Israeli scientists win an Oscar. Tel Aviv University Professor Meir Feder and Israeli startup Amimon have won a Scientific and Engineering award by the American Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Their wireless video technology plus Amimon's chipset have made a substantial impact on the global film industry.




Technology for top winery. Israel’s Trellis (reported here previously) has been chosen by Pernod Ricard Winemakers to support its operations across Australia and New Zealand. Trellis’ AI-powered platform predicts quality, yield, timing of harvest and associated expenses for fruit growers across USA, Europe and Australasia.




The flowering of wind energy. Dr. Daniel Farb is the inventor of the Israeli-developed Wind Tulip, now owned by Flower Turbines in the US with a Dutch subsidiary. Its main engineering team is still in Israel. The turbines are quiet, efficient and generate 50% more electricity when placed in clusters.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRIs6vmYVFk   https://flowerturbines.com/technology/


Recycling plastic and feed the world. Engineering students from Tel Aviv University have built self-watering micro farms from plastic waste. Their startup PotsFarms markets plant containers with a standalone hydroponic irrigation system made from recycled plastic bottles. They are looking to grow their budding green enterprise.




Growing saffron indoors.  Israel’s Saffron Tech (part of Seedo Corp) is testing a system for growing high-quality, high-yield saffron anywhere. One of most expensive spices in the world, 90% of the world’s saffron is currently grown in Iran. Saffron Tech have licensed the technology from Israel’s Growin Ltd.

https://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/israeli-groundbreaking-technology-by-saffron-tech-challenges-iranian-1000-year   https://growin.ag/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIPIB9wKR3A





Record month for investments. January 2021 saw an unprecedented record $1.2 billion invested in Israeli companies. It included the generating of five new Israeli Unicorns (value over $1 billion).



Trade with Dubai tops $270 million. The Dubai Media office reports that since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized ties in September, trade between the Jewish state and Dubai has reached 1 billion dirham ($272 million). Figures for the other seven states in the UAE were not yet available.



Another digital health fund. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s OTV (formally Olive Tree Ventures) has closed a new fund totaling $170 million. OTV focuses on digital health products that have the potential to work in different countries, make healthcare more affordable and fill gaps in overwhelmed healthcare systems.



Record exports for Intel Israel. Detailed accounts have just been released for Intel Israel. They show that the Israeli operation increased exports in 2020 by 14% to $8 billion. Intel is responsible for 14% of Israel’s hi-tech exports, and its 13,950 employees generate 2% of the country's GDP.



Saving the Australian almond crop. Israel’s Edete (reported here previously) is to trial its artificial pollination technology in the Australian state of Victoria. Its machinery that can be deployed both day and night, and at extreme temperatures. While Israel is busy saving the world’s honeybees, this is Plan B!




Tesla launches in Israel. Tesla officially launched its official sales in Israel for its electric vehicle on a new website. It is also building a sales agency at Ramat Aviv Mall in Tel Aviv.




A new sports partner. Israel’s Pixellot (reported here previously) is now partnering with NBC Sports Group company SportsEngine to launch Pixellot YOU. SportsEngine’s clubs can record their games via a virtual camera operator and receive highlights for each player. It will also help coaches improve team performance.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3890987,00.html  https://vimeo.com/498861670



India’s unofficial Israeli trade ambassador. Saket Agarwal of India’s Onnivation Ventures, markets the services of 15 Israeli hi-tech companies to India’s largest corporates. His “portfolio” of Israeli expertise in cloud, data science, AI, cybersecurity and marketing, attracts millions of dollars in annual business.



Investment in Israeli startups: Otonomo raised $280 million; Future Meat raised $26.75 million; vFunction raised $12.2 million;





120.000-year-old etchings. Archeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa have discovered what may be the earliest-known use of symbols on earth.  They were found on a bone fragment in the Ramle region in central Israel and are believed to be approximately 120,000 years old. 




The earliest edible olives. (TY WIN) Olives are one of the seven species, mentioned in the Bible as produce of the Land of Israel. Israeli researchers have discovered evidence of table olives from 6,600 years ago at a submerged site off the Haifa coast. They pre-date the earliest known edible olives by some 4,000 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xisR-cgOGQI  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-80772-6 .


Israel’s Olympic marathon hope. (TY UWI & I24 News) Ethiopian-Israeli Girmaw Amare runs the marathon in just over 2 hours 7 minutes and is aiming for a medal in the summer Olympics in Japan. Here he talks about his life, why he enjoys the sport, his training and his pride in representing Israel.






Wedding for Bnei Menashe couples. Eleven Bnei Menashe couples, who recently immigrated to Israel from India, were wed in a festive and emotional group ceremony at Shavei Israel’s absorption center in Nordia, near Netanya. They were remarried after their formal conversion to Judaism and return to the Jewish people.




Emotional hotline for new Olim. (TY IH) New immigrants can find coping in the pandemic more difficult than veteran Olim (Vatikim) and sabras (born in Israel). A new call center has now been setup, providing access 5 days a week to mental health professionals who speak English, French, Spanish, Amharic and Russian.



Warm weather kits for the elderly. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, plus Government agencies are to distribute 10,000 winter kits to elderly residents in public housing across the country. The kits, costing a total of $1 million, include a heated blanket and scarf, plus around $100 of vouchers for essentials.



Every Jew is responsible for one another. (TY UWI) When Covid-19 hit Israel, Tal Ohana, mayor of the southern town of Yerucham, personally saw to everyone’s needs, checked those tested, called those infected, and brought education to children’s homes. Yerucham has had only one Covid-19 case in the last month.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDd8FxfaHa0  (Great message at the end)




In the 31st Jan 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         Almost one third of Israelis have received their first vaccination against Covid-19.

·         Breakthrough Israeli alternative to antibiotics gets European funding.

·         Israeli voice technology gives independence to the disabled.

·         A new Israeli tomato resists a virus destroying half the world’s crops.

·         3 Israeli companies have just become worth a billion dollars.

·         With JNF-KKL you can now plant a tree in Israel and attend the ceremony on zoom.


·         Click here to see the 24th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours with another great intro, Jewish Business News and United With Israel.  Also (TY Sandra) in German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here.  Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (18,000+ 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





The Vaccination Nation. Nearly 3 million Israelis have now received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 1.7 million have now received the second.  Covid infections and serious illnesses of Israelis over the age of 60 are now 60% lower than before vaccinating started. An inspiring video.





From coffee to vaccines. Israel’s Youtiligent has developed an IoT (Internet of Things) solution for checking that a vaccine has been kept at the correct temperature. Youtiligent is piloting the system with two of Israel’s four Health Management Organizations. Before Covid, Youtiligent monitored coffee machines and ice cream!

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3888741,00.html  https://www.youtiligent.com/



A Breath of Health. Israel’s Breath of Health (BOH) has developed a breath test system that identifies Covid-19. Clinical trials at Israel’s Hadassah and Sheba Medical Centers have shown preliminary success rates of 98%.  BOH has signed an agreement with India's Reliance Group to distribute the system throughout India.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3889818,00.html  https://bohpharma.com/


New pathway for targeting cancer. Normal cells have 23 chromosomes from each parent. But cancer cells do not, and scientists have been trying for years to exploit that fact. Now Tel Aviv University scientists have deciphered the phenomena and can guide oncologists to the therapies most appropriate for each type of cancer.




Hope for Parkinson’s treatment. Ben Gurion University researchers have discovered that proteins called BMP5/7 are new promising potential therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease. In lab tests, the proteins prevented the accumulation of toxic alpha-synuclein clumps and loss of vital dopamine-producing brain cells.



Trial success for kidney monitor. Israel’s Serreno (reported here previously) reported over 96% accuracy in the trials of its Sentinel monitoring system for Acute Kidney Injury in three Israeli Intensive Care Units. The devices will now be manufactured by Israel’s Elcam Medical, which has also invested $1.5 million in Serreno.




AI to improve IV. Israel’s Embrionics is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the success rates of fertility treatments. Founded by Haredi female entrepreneur Dr.Yael Gold-Zamir, Embrionics is breaking new ground in embryo selection, genetic analysis and utilizing Big Data to help bring happiness to childless couples.



Tel Aviv is world’s 6th healthiest city. Tel Aviv, known for its vegan scene and vibrant culture, was ranked the 6th healthiest city in the world, according to a new report from UK’s Money.co.uk. It compared life expectancy, obesity levels, pollution levels, safety score, sunlight hours, and cost to be healthy.




EU funding for antibiotic alternative. Israel’s Omnix (reported here previously) has been awarded €10.8 million in EU funding under the EIC Accelerator Programme, part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding program. Omnix’s OMN6 peptide destroys the bacteria’s membrane, regardless of its resistance.




Europe approves skin tightening device. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Sofwave (reported here previously) has received Europe’s CE Mark plus Israeli approval for its revolutionary skin tightening and wrinkle reduction device. Sofware’s SUPERB (Synchronous Ultrasound Parallel Beam) has already received US FDA approval.



Working to prevent pre-cancerous colon polyps. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Digestix Bioscience is in the early stage of developing a medical device and treatment to prevent recurrence of certain colorectal polyps. These polyps occur in at least 25% of people over 50 and if not removed can develop into colon cancer.

https://cannabics.com/cannabics-pharmaceuticals-founds-digestix-bioscience-inc-a-subsidiary-for-treatment-of-precancerous-and-early-stage-neoplastic-local-tumors/  https://www.digestix.com/





Reducing the stigma of mental illness. The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) has partnered the McLean Hospital, the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School. 30 Haredi 4th year JCT nursing students will be the “agents of change” to deconstruct the stigma of mental illness in Jerusalem and throughout Israel.



Independence for the disabled. Israel’s VoiceITT (reported here previously) has enhanced its mobile speech recognition app to allow people with speech impairments to access and interact with Amazon's Alexa.  Now the disabled can control lights, aircon, TV, computers etc. without having to call for help. Great video!

https://www.prnewswire.com/il/news-releases/voiceitt-makes-alexa-accessible-for-people-with-disabilities-301185816.html   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmVCzeXPeWU  


Arab hi-tech integration. The number of Israeli-Arabs studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering has nearly doubled from 237 in 2016 to 459 in 2020. They include 150 Arab women - almost three times higher than in 2016. Small numbers but encouraging trend.



Helping Israel-Arabs MoveUp. Israeli non-profit PresenTense (reported here previously) has partnered with the British Embassy in Israel and others to launch MoveUp - an accelerator for Arab-Israeli tech entrepreneurs. 10 or 12 entrepreneurs will take part in a two-month virtual program led by Israeli and UK experts.



One of the world’s oldest mosques. Israeli archeologists had a surprise when they were unearthing an 8th century CE mosque in Tiberias. They discovered the foundations of a 7th century CE mosque underneath it!  They also found coins and pottery which helped to date the older mosque – the world’s oldest to be excavated.



Planning for after Covid. In a video conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the heads of Austria, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Greece and the Czech Republic to work together to promote scientific research into vaccines. It would provide future pandemic protection for governments against market forces.



Israel opens embassy in UAE. Israel has opened an embassy in the United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The new Ambassador, Eitan Naeh, and his staff will "expand ties with the Emirati government, financial bodies, and the private sector, universities, the media and more.” The UAE has approved having its embassy in Tel Aviv.







Young scientist awards. Tel Aviv Uni’s Professor Yossi Yovel, Technion Professor Ido Kaminer and Weizmann Professor Rafal Klajn have won international Blavatnik Young Scientist awards and $100,000 each for their breakthrough research in neuro-ecology, quantum physics and nanomaterials respectively.



Israel’s largest solar power plant. The Israeli government has issued a tender for the construction of the largest photo-voltaic solar power plant in Israel, near Dimona. It will cover 3,000 dunams (750 acres) and include battery storage. Already an unprecedented 27 consortia have submitted applications to build the plant.



Emergency WiFi. (TY Hazel) Israel’s SOS WiFi beams a signal that allows cellphones to freely connect to the Internet even in some of the most remote parts of Israel. It can send warnings of danger to hikers or give them a lifeline to the outside world if they need rescue or help.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/group-aims-to-give-hikers-emergency-wifi-no-matter-how-far-off-the-beaten-path/   http://soswifi.co.il/


Technology Emmy. Israel’s Beamr Imaging has won the Technology & Engineering Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Beamr has developed a technology which compresses video broadcasts on networks.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3889736,00.html   https://beamr.com/


AI construction. Israel’s Swapp provides real estate developers and construction companies with a single platform to build their entire construction planning project. It says it simplifies the fragmented planning process, allowing developers to create architectural plans within weeks instead of up to 12 months.

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3888995,00.html   https://www.swapp.net/


Saving 50% of the tomato crop. (TY TPS) The Israeli Vegetable Seeds R&D center of multinational Syngenta has developed a new tomato variety. It is the first to be resistant to the tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBFRV), which over the past six years has ruined more than 50% of the tomato crop in Israel and globally.




Flying pizza. (TY UWI & ILTV) Pizza Hut Israel is said to begin June trials for pizza delivery drones. Multiple orders will be delivered to approved landing zones – e.g. parking lots - where a driver will collect them and take them to individual customers. Israel-Australia Dragontail systems (see here previously) will manage the trials.




Protecting against digital fraud. (TY Atid-EDI) Peruvian bank Banco de Comercio has selected Israel’s Paygilant to bolster its newly established digital channel.  Paygilant secures digital and mobile banking services by intelligently analyzing transaction data for its risk of being fraudulent.

https://paygilant.com/news/israeli-anti-fraud-technology-powers-digital-banking-at-the-foothills-of-the-inca-empire/   https://paygilant.com/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDFXqhdfR28





Economic resilience is down to technology. Israel has been able to survive the Covid pandemic better than most OECD countries due to its hi-tech exports. Despite high unemployment, Israel’s hi-tech companies have attracted record levels of investment by both the government and global markets.



UAE-Israel tech fund. Israel’s Liquidity Capital and Dubai’s Vault Investments have formed a joint Venture Debt Investment fund with more than $100 million based in Dubai. It will finance tech companies across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe to create new growth in the region.



New gas pipeline to Egypt. (TY Hazel) Israel Natural Gas Lines Ltd. is to lay a new subsea pipeline to export Israeli natural gas to Egypt. The $228 million route will send as much as 7 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Egypt. Gas is expected to begin flowing down the pipeline by April 2023 at the latest.



New York to Tel Aviv flights. American Airlines has announced a 6th May start date for its direct flights between New York JFK and TLV Ben Gurion airports. Tickets went on sale on 25th Jan. American has also announced direct flights from Dallas, Texas and Tel Aviv starting in September.



Record year for Intel. Intel Israel’s 13,000 employees have just received huge bonuses as recognition of their contribution to Intel Corporation’s best-ever year. Despite (or because of) the pandemic, the global demand for technical products increased Intel’s revenue by 8% in 2020 to $78 billion.



A $5 billion travel company. Israeli-founded TripActions (reported here previously) has just raised $155 million, giving it a market value of $5 billion - despite the coronavirus pandemic! During the past year, TripActions has launched 40 new products, including a Covid-19 focused dashboard.



Vegan meat for Israel. Israeli meat distributor Best Meister is to distribute the plant-based meat alternatives of Israel’s Redefine Meat (reported here previously) to Israeli restaurants and high-end butchers in the first half of 2021. Trials of Redefine Meat products disguised as real meat, were extremely popular with Israeli customers.



A bridge so far. Israel’s Dynamic Infrastructure (reported here previously) has won its first contract on the Australasia continent. It will deploy its AI-driven technology to maintain dozens of bridges and infrastructure assets in Horsham Rural City Council in the Australian state of Victoria.



3 baby Unicorns. In just one week, three Israeli startups raised funds, to push their market value over $1 billion and gain the financial status of a “Unicorn”. They are Melio, OwnBackup and Drivenets, reported previously here, here and here.  https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3890213,00.html




Investment in Israeli startups: DriveNets raised $208 million; OwnBackup raised $167.5 million; TripActions raised $155 million; Melio raised $110 million; DarioHealth raised $70 million; Run.AI raised $30 million; Swapp raised $7 million; CardinalOps raised $6.5 million;





Tu BiShvat in the Land of Israel. Here is a link to the New Year for Trees edition of the Mizrachi magazine. Published in Jerusalem.  https://mizrachi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/HaMizrachi-Tu-BiShvat-5781.pdf


Tu Bishvat in Jerusalem. (TY Sharon) Some beautiful scenes of fruit and flora in Jerusalem.



Plant a vine for Tu BiShvat. An alternative to planting trees is to plant a vine.  With 10 vines you get a free bottle of wine from the winery of your choosing.  https://www.wineonthevine.org/


King David’s colors. Israeli researchers working in the Timna Valley near Eilat have found three textile scraps colored with the biblically described “argaman” royal purple dye. They have been dated to circa 1,000 BCE - the era of King David. They were found in the area known as “King Solomon’s Mines”.



Set Me Free. Eden Alene anticipates becoming first Israeli of Ethiopian descent to represent Israel at the Eurovision song contest in May 2021. Hopefully, this time the contest will go ahead as Eden was originally chosen for the cancelled 2020 event.



Chess unites new friends. Just six weeks since Israel and Bhutan agreed to formal diplomatic relations, the two countries are holding their first chess tournament. 170 participants are taking part, including 29 from Bhutan. Israel and Morocco have already held their first chess tournament, following new diplomatic relations in Dec.  






The fruits of Land. To celebrate the Jewish New Year for Trees, this article summarizes the annual harvest of the Jewish State. It includes 55,000 metric tons of grapes, 60,000 tons of pomegranates, 2400 tons of figs, 32,000 tons of dates, 4.5 million bottles of wine and 16,000 tons of olive oil. Read also about Israel’s trees.



Plant a tree by Zoom. No matter how far away you may be, KKL-JNF can plant a tree for you in the Tzora Forest near Beit Shemesh. You can fully participate in the ceremony online, together with members of your family anywhere. Visit the plantatree site, choose a date/time and get a link to the tree-planting ceremony.




Israel’s oldest Indian Jewish community. Hundreds of India’s Bnei Menashe community have just arrived in Israel. But Israel’s 8,000 Cochin Jews can trace their Indian roots all the way back to the times of the biblical King Solomon. The Cochin Jewish Heritage Center is situated in Nevatim, a moshav in the Negev Desert.



Reaching out to the Jewish world. Israeli Diaspora Minister Omer Yankelevich has been holding virtual Kabbalat Shabbat services with Jewish communities around the world. They include Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Warsaw, Lausanne, Baku and Helsinki. Zoom has made it possible to globally share live music and learning.



Unit for women EMTs. More than 1,000 of United Hatzalah’s volunteer paramedics are women. Around 100 of them serve in UH’s special unit for religiously orthodox women. They attend emergencies where the patient would be uncomfortable being attended to by a male EMT. And delivering babies is all part of the job.



Returning Jewish artifacts to Israel. Before Covid, Israeli Rabbi Eliahu Birnbaum traveled the world collecting Jewish relics found in junk shops and synagogue genizot (repositories for discarded holy items). Hundreds of objects telling the history of the diaspora are now displayed at Ohr Torah Stone in Eftat, Israel.



Jordan river unites faiths. (TY Sharon) Last week’s article on the Jordan River landmine clearance should have mentioned that the baptism site is also where the Children of Israel crossed into the Promised Land and where the prophet Elijah is said to have ascended to Heaven.  Photos are from last year’s Jewish tour.



Israeli Covid patients rescued from Nigeria. When 3 Israelis fell ill with Covid-19 in Lagos, Nigeria, the local Chabad went into action. They completed all the complex paperwork and organized the first ever El Al plane to land in Nigeria to take the Israel’s home before Ben Gurion Airport was closed to all flights.



The end of the pandemic? On Thursday, Jerusalem residents woke up to the sight of a huge rainbow stretched across the whole of Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. The director of Midreshet Kidmat Yerushalayim said, “... on this festive day of Tu B'Shvat may it symbolize the end of the deadly coronavirus…”





In the 24th Jan 21 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·         Nearly 10% of Israelis are now fully vaccinated and the infection rate is falling.

·         An Israeli 10-second breath test for Covid is more accurate than standard tests.

·         An Israeli company can fully charge an electric car in five minutes.

·         8 new joint US-Israeli projects to develop innovative technology.

·         The first Israeli novel to be translated into Moroccan Arabic.

·         A clay inscription has been authenticated as from the 7th century BCE Kingdom of Israel.


·         Click here to see the 17th Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours with another great intro and United With Israel with extra feature on Economy & Business.  We wish Don Harrison of San Diego Jewish World a speedy recovery. Thanks also (for 10th Jan) to Jewish Business News  and (new) Thesopranosblog and Zoopnews. Also (TY Sandra) in German here and here and (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and here.  Please pass on the following links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsIL Facebook page.


·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me publicize VeryGoodNewsIsrael.


·         Click here to keyword SEARCH almost any topic in the IsraelActive archives (nearly 18,000 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





Vaccination progress. 27% of Israelis (2.4 million) have had their first Covid vaccination and rollout to the over-40s has begun.  Numbers of seriously ill over-60s have fallen by a third and the reproduction rate is below one. Finally, Sheba hospital’s Professor Amnon Afek highlights how Israel’s experience can help the world.






AI monitors progress of Covid patients. (TY Hazel) Israel’s Zebra Medical (reported here previously) has previously adapted its AI imaging analysis platform to detect Covid-19 infection in the lungs. Now it can chart Covid-19 as it progresses in the lungs, to help decide if the patient needs ICU, ventilator, or can be discharged.



Two Covid webinars. (TY Myer & Geoff F) Two Israeli experts explain about the latest coronavirus vaccines and the pandemic. First, Professor Jonatan HaLevy, President of Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Second, Professor Manfeld Green, now Head of the National Public Health program at the University of Haifa.

https://vimeo.com/497554299   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6WVYTks9mA


Ventilators for California. Israel’s Inovytec (reported here previously) is to provide 1,500 of its advanced portable Ventway Sparrow turbine mobile ventilators to Californian hospitals. The ventilators are lightweight, durable, affordable, low maintenance and enable invasive and non-invasive ventilation for adults and children.



3D-printing to repair spinal cords. Israel’s Matricelf (reported here previously) has extended its 3D-printing platform for tissues and organs to producing spinal cord implants. The patient’s own cells are re-engineered into stem cells and eventually into a spinal tissue implant that isn’t rejected. Human trials are planned to begin 2023.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebox2Id4lnI   https://matricelf.com/solutions/spinal-cord/


Monitoring coma patients.