Israel's Good News Newsletter to 29/1/23

In the 29th Jan 23 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:


·       Israeli women are the 9th healthiest of 122 countries surveyed.

·       Israel has good news for IBD sufferers.

·       Israel added a record value of new medical benefits into its 2023 health basket.

·       For 60 years a Jerusalem charity has quietly supported the elderly in need.

·       A new Israeli natural sweetener has 70% less sugar for the same taste.

·       Israelis enjoy the world's best value Internet service.

·       A new Israeli factory is to mass-produce flexible solar panels.

·       An ancient site being excavated in Judea has three Biblical sources.


·       Click here to see the 22nd Jan newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours with a spectacular intro, IsraPundit and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German here and (TY Stuart Palmer) here. Also (TY Zachy) in Hebrew here and (TY Stuart Palmer) here. Please pass on this newsletter to German and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also (TY Esty) please visit the 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 (over 22,000 articles).


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Israeli women are world’s 9th healthiest. (TY Hazel) In the 2021 Hologic Global Women’s Health Index (measured by Gallup) published this week, Israel is 9th overall and 2nd for life expectancy. The report aims to heighten awareness and guide actions that increase the life expectancy and quality of life for women globally.


Medication to prevent antibiotic toxicity. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israel’s Tissue Dynamics again used their “sensors on a chip” to bypass animal testing in developing a new treatment. They proved that the diabetic drug empagliflozin blocks the toxicity of aminoglycoside antibiotics in kidney disease patients.


New anti-microbial compound. Scientists at Israel’s Ben Gurion University have created a new compound by combining copper with a polysaccharide derived from the marine red microalga Porphyridium sp. The long, dense spikes on the surface of the compound kills bacteria and fungus by poking holes in their membranes.


A natural remedy for IBD. Israel’s Sheba Medical Center has developed CurQD – a botanical combination of Curcumin (Tumeric) and QingDai for treating Ulcerative Colitis. Phase 1 and 2 human trials were successful and a spin-off company Evinature is now marketing the product.


Smart partnership to find IBD treatments. Israel’s CytoReason (see here previously) is partnering France’s Sanofi to identify novel therapies to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Sanofi will pay CytoReason millions of dollars to use the Israeli startup’s computational AI-discovery disease model platform.


More research about healthy aging. Ben Gurion University’s Dr Debra Toiber and her international colleagues have made more discoveries about the role of the protein SIRT6 in the aging process (see here previously). They have now found that SIRT6 prevents mitochondrial disfunction that causes brain diseases.


Treating Autism and Alzheimer’s. The American Friends of the Hebrew University is hosting an evening with the University’s Dr Haitham Amal on 31 Jan in Florida. Dr Amal will discuss the groundbreaking development of therapies for Autism and Alzheimer’s disease.


Solutions for today’s medical challenges. The Tel Aviv University MedTech Hackathon attracted 200 students and 120 mentors. The winner OReye utilizes cutting-edge computer vision technology for a safer operating room. Runner up was a wellness app for the early diagnosis and treatment of peripartum depression.


Using the mind to benefit the body. Dr. Amit Abraham of Ariel University’s Department of Physiotherapy uses Dynamic Neurocognitive Imagery (DNI) to improve the lives of amputees and Parkinson’s sufferers. DNI also improves the performance of dancers and athletes such as Israel’s Olympic rhythmic gymnastic team.


Gala raises $1.1 million for HU medical center. The 2023 Palm Beach Scopus Award Gala raised over a million dollars for the Hebrew University’s Center for Computational Medicine in Jerusalem. The center will develop data-driven personalized health solutions, to replace “one size fits all” medical treatment.


CNN features Israeli medical company, but….  How CNN can publish a detailed article featuring Israel’s Insightec without mentioning the word “Israel” is quite revealing. It describes the company as “a leading maker of focused ultrasound machines”.  Here in the IsraelActive archives are the full facts about Insightec.


Largest increase to health basket. Israel has increased its health basket of Government-provided services, medications, supplies, and medical equipment by a record NIS 650 million. More than 120 new medications and treatments were added, benefiting 350,000 citizens and permanent residents.  





Lifeline to the elderly. For 60 years, Israeli charity Yad LaKashish (Lifeline to the Elderly) helps Jerusalem’s needy seniors find work and sustenance with dignity. Some 200 mostly immigrants, make beautiful Judaica for sale, receiving a wage, a winter heating bonus, healthcare, a nutritious lunch, and food packages for holidays.


El Al restarts Ambassadors’ program. (TY Dr Salem) Israeli airline El Al has restarted its 2011 program to inform people about Israel with the personal stories of flight attendants, pilots etc. They include Dimitriy – a Ukrainian-born flight attendant who recently flew on El Al flights to rescue Ukrainian refugees.


Sderot resilience center goes global. The Israeli town of Sderot is growing and thriving thanks to its resilience center that treats residents traumatized by thousands of missiles fired by Gaza terrorists. Sderot is now building a Resilience Incubator hub for developing resilience tech and training medics in high-risk international cities.


Israeli & UAE singers sing each other’s anthems. Israeli-Arab Yoseph Haddad (see here previously) hosted an International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Dubai. The event had Israel’s Nicole Raviv sing the UAE’s Anthem “Ishy Bilady” and Emirate’s Ahmed Al Hosani sang “Hatikvah” (see 2nd link).


Another Israel-India center of excellence. Israel and India inaugurated a Center of Excellence (CoE) for agriculture in the northern Indian city of Gignow. It brings the total of Israel-India CoEs to thirty (see here previously). Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon said the centers increase yield, quality and diversify crops.


Defense for NATO planes. Israel’s Elbit (see here previously) has signed a 5-year contract with NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to deliver anti-missile systems for NATO’s tanker transport plane fleet. Elbit’s laser-based J-Music protects against sophisticated heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles.


Real time signing for the deaf. Israel’s Sign Now helps millions of deaf people conduct activities previously unavailable to them. The on-demand sign language service allows companies and organizations to provide hearing-impaired customers with equal access and opportunity. See video on the Ukrainian deaf community.


IsraAID chief wins Bronfman Prize. Yotam Polizer, CEO of Israel’s leading humanitarian aid organization, IsraAID (see here previously) is the 2023 recipient of the Charles Bronfman Prize. The award is presented annually to a humanitarian whose work is informed by Jewish values and has significantly impacted the world.





Five of the best inventions of 2022. (TY UWI) Five products based on Israeli technology were cited in TIME magazine’s Best Inventions of 2022 among “200 inventions changing the way we live”. In the AI category - Ravin and Exodigo; in Accessibility - ElliQ; in Apps & Software - HiBob; and in Household - Epic Cleantec.


Recovering after an oil spill. Israel’s Harbo (see here previously) has now sold 2,000 units of its oil containment screens in the decade since it was founded. Its customers are in the US, Canada, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Far East. Harbo was used to contain Rotterdam Port’s huge oil spill in Jun 2018.


Transforming Eilat through Sea Tech and More. This Ben Gurion University webinar features BGU’s Eilat campus that transforms the city into an educational epicenter for Tourism & Hospitality and Marine Biology & Energy Sciences. It features innovative sea tech like 3D-printed coral that can save the world's reefs.


Enzymes for greener production. Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have used computers to design enzymes that can make industrial processes much more efficient. These enzymes can create better medicines, or safely break down pollutants, sewage, and agricultural waste, and then turn them into biofuel or animal feed.


Packaging reduces greenhouse gas emissions. A Dutch study of the companies using the Xtend Modified Atmosphere Packaging from Israel’s Stepac (see here previously) shows a dramatic reduction in the amount of food wasted and CO2 emissions produced compared to polyethylene packaging or zero packaging products.


70% less sugar and no aftertaste. Israel’s Resugar has developed a sweetener that contains just 30 percent sugar but looks and tastes the same as pure sugar. The sucrose is combined with dietary fibers, like chicory, and natural flavors that enhance the sweetness by almost three times. Used in Nestle-Froneri low-calorie ice cream.


Taste of the future. Israel’s Technion Institute hosted the “Taste of the Future” conference, which focused on the development of alternatives for animal proteins. It coincided with the establishment of Technion’s Carasso FoodTech Innovation Center. Lunch consisted of steaks from Israel’s Redefine Meat and eggs from Yo-egg.


Israeli wasabi. The wasabi served with your sushi is often just a mixture of mustard, horseradish and green coloring. Authentic wasabi is difficult to grow, mainly in Japan, and now in Israel too. Ran Ronen cultivates the plant in his greenhouses on Moshav Eliad in the Golan Heights, selling it to up-market restaurants and online.


A better black-eyed pea. Israel’s Better Seeds (see here previously) has now developed black-eyed peas (cowpeas) that can be mechanically harvested. The original hardy, high-protein cowpea grows haphazardly and can only be harvested by hand. BetterSeeds’ version grows upright and is much easier to harvest by machine.


Desalination saves Israel from water scarcity. (TY Ynet News) The entire Middle East is short of rain this winter. Thankfully, Israel delivers 75% of its drinking water from five desalination plants with two more being built. By 2030, Israel will desalinate 1.1 billion cubic meters of seawater – sufficient for all its projected needs.


Hopping around the lunar surface. One of the startups in Israel21c’s latest “9 companies to watch in Israeli space-tech” is WeSpace. It is developing thruster-propelled, wheeled flying “hopper” robots to help explore the surface of the Moon or Mars. WeSpace will sell “lunar exploration as a service,” to interested parties on Earth.





The best value Internet in the world. Israel’s internet is the world’s best value for money. So states the latest Global Internet Value index released by privacy protection toolset provider Surfshark (see here previously). The index ranks 117 countries based on speed-to-affordability ratios of fixed broadband and mobile internet.


Expanding tourism with Bulgaria. (TY TPS) The Tourism Ministers of Israel and Bulgaria have signed a cooperation agreement. 200,000 Israelis visited Bulgaria in 2019 and almost as many visited last year. Bulgaria Air currently operates four flights a week between Sofia and Tel Aviv while Israel’s El Al offers three.


Israeli photos for US theme parks. Israel’s Pomvom (see here previously) has won a tender from US amusement park chain Six Flags to provide its digital photography solutions to eleven of its theme parks over the next five years. With over 13 million visitors in 2019, the deal is potentially worth around $21 million.


Vegan cream cheese for General Mills. (TY OurCrowd) US food giant General Mills is launching three types of vegan cream cheese in US supermarkets, all made with the non-animal proteins from Israel’s Remilk (see here previously). Remilk’s proteins are identical to those contained in cows’ milk.


Flexible solar film panels to be mass produced. Israel’s Apollo Power (see here previously) has built the “world’s first” factory for flexible solar film panels. The $30 million facility in Yoknean can produce enough solar film each year to power up to 40,000 homes. Apollo’s customers include Amazon, Volkswagen, and Audi.


Security for Singapore police agency. Israel’s Cellebrite (see here previously) has won a $14 million 5-year contract to provide its Premium Collect and Review Solution for Digital Evidence to Singapore’s national police agency to help reduce crime.


Seed investment in milk from lettuce. Israel’s Pigmentum (see here previously) has had “seed” funding from Israeli food companies Tnuva, Strauss, Tempo, and Kibbutz Yotvata, plus crowdfunding platform OurCrowd. They all see a “growth” market in Pigmentum’s milk from lettuce technology. Let us hope it “succeeds”!


Exits, mergers & acquisitions to 29/1/23: Global management consultancy firm has acquired Israel’s real-time data analytics startup Iguazio (see here previously) for $50 million.


Investment in Israeli startups to 29/1/23: PayEm raised $20 million; Electreon raised $11.8 million; Pigmentum raised $6 million;





Best student documentary. The documentary "Requiem for a Whale", by Tel Aviv University alumni Ido Weisman, won the best student film award at Los Angeles’ IDA Awards, considered the most prestigious award in the world of documentary films. The film also recently won the Israeli Documentary Forum Annual Awards.


Queen of the Desert. (TY UWI & I24 News) Israeli photographer Moshe Kotzen’s book “Queen of the Desert” is a unique combination of a fairy tale together and photo journal. It features many of his photos of unusual rock formations in Israel’s Negev desert.


Much to do in Holon. Nefesh b’Nefesh have arranged discounted entrance prices and guided tours in English at two of Holon’s exciting museums on Thu 2nd Feb.  First up is the Caricature/Cartoon (Comics) Museum and afterwards the Design Museum. Contact and registration details in the link below.


Where to experience live Jazz in Israel. Jazz festivals in Israel include the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival (May); New Orleans Jazz Festival (Jun); Summertime Jazz Festival (Aug); Jerusalem Jazz Festival (Sep); Jaffa Jazz Festival (Oct) and Red Sea Jazz Festival (Nov). Lyricist /Jazz pianist Joe Stilgoe and his band are currently here on tour.


What’s hot on Jerusalem’s Streets in Israel’s “winter”. (TY Sharon) Plenty of colorful sites and flowers to see on the Streets of Jerusalem.  The almond trees are in blossom more than two weeks before Tu B’Shvat – the Jewish New Year for Trees.





Another freedom coin unearthed. (TY WIN) Archeologists have discovered a 133CE bronze coin at the Nahal Darga Nature Reserve. One side has “Shimon” in ancient Hebrew, referring to Shimon Bar Kokhba, the leader of the Jewish revolt against Rome. On the reverse is the inscription “Year Two of the Freedom of Israel.”


Excavating Biblical Libnah. Video of the unearthing by archeologists from Ariel University of the remains of ancient Libnah at Tel Burna in Judea. The site is mentioned in the Biblical texts of Joshua (ch.10), King Rehoboam (Chronicles ch. 21) and King Hezekiah (II Kings ch.19).


Walk back in time. This video from NGO Stand With Us briefly features Jerusalem’s Western Wall Tunnels - a well-engineered system of ancient passageways and cisterns that reveal hidden parts of the Kotel. A longer visit provides a glimpse of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period and immediately afterwards.


Birthright trip from Ukraine. The first Birthright Israel group of Ukrainian Jews since the start of the war with Russia has arrived in Israel. 24 young Ukrainians were flown on the private jet of Miriam Adelson, Birthright’s largest donor. An additional Birthright group from Ukraine is planned to travel to Israel in March.


“Kosher” banknotes to bring mazel. Several Members of the Knesset have submitted a bill proposing that all banknotes issued by the Bank of Israel include the Hebrew phrase for “In Hashem we trust.” They claim that the phrase would be “a talisman for the economic success of Israel.”  A similar phrase is on all US banknotes.


Wearing tefillin can prevent heart attacks. Jews around the world, including Israel, will be interested in this. A recent follow-up to a 2018 pilot Cincinnati study has confirmed that people who wear tefillin (phylacteries) every weekday, are less likely to suffer heart attacks. Will tefillin be added to the Israeli health basket?