Israel's Good News Newsletter to 24th Dec 23


In the 24th Dec 23 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·       Tears flow on film of Israeli children being reunited with their families.

·       An IDF soldier’s journey from battlefield to delivery room.

·       An Israeli 3D-printer helps surgeons remove tumors.

·       The first science accelerator for Israeli Arab entrepreneurs.

·       Two Israeli innovations win international awards.

·       Signs of recovery for Israeli travel and retail businesses.

·       Great support from Israel’s American and Christian friends.


·       Click here to see the 17th Dec newsletter on IsraelSeen and Ruthfully Yours. Also (TY Sandra) for translating it into German here. Please forward this newsletter to German-speaking contacts. Also (TY Malka) for translating the 3rd Dec newsletter into Hebrew here. Please forward this newsletter to Hebrew-speaking contacts.  Also (TY Esty) please visit the Facebook page.


·       My Hebrew translator is currently unavailable as he is a reservist in the IDF.  If anyone can volunteer to translate the main sections of my newsletter into Hebrew or another language (e.g., Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, etc.,) even as a one-off, please email me at I have a Google Translate widget on my blogsite, but it does not produce consistently accurate translations.


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Done but not completed. (TY Zena & Cynthia) Emotional scenes in this newly released film from Israel’s Schneider Children’s Hospital, where many (but not all) young hostages released from Gaza have been reunited with their families.


Another Oct 7 hero. Rami Davidian received a phone call on Oct 7 asking him to rescue someone from the Nova party. In his first rescue mission he crammed 15 youngsters into his car and took them back to his house. In another he pretended to be a Muslim from Gaza and convinced a terrorist to hand him a female captive.


IDF dog detects bomb and saves soldiers. An IDF canine is saving lives in Gaza, sniffing out explosives and hidden terrorists.


Young immigrants making an impact. Aliyah organization Nefesh b’Nefesh has awarded its Maor Youth Prize to ten outstanding young olim (immigrants to Israel) ages 11 to 18, from English-speaking countries, for their exceptional contributions to the State of Israel during current war.


Support for rehabilitation. (TY Ian F) The English-speaking branch of AWIS (Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers) has raised funds (see here) for the IDF’s Rehabilitation Unit, where 100+ brave wounded soldiers are receiving general medical care, physiotherapy and counseling to help them recover and recuperate.  


Fighting on two fronts. In civilian life, Tal is lead R&D engineer at Synchrony Medical (see here previously) developing LibAirty to treat chronic lung disease. Since Oct 7, she has been working 12-hour shifts several days a week as chief sergeant of a control unit that coordinates helicopter evacuations of wounded soldiers.


Volunteers build tech to protect. Israel Tech Guard is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit initiative building tech solutions to help protect Israelis during and after the war. They include Blood Donation Bot (donor eligibility), Rehab Track (locating patients in hospital), and Guardian X (social media identity verification) and more.


They couldn’t wait. (TY Laura) A young couple had intended to fly to America to plan their wedding. But Oct 7 changed their plans into a quiet wedding in Israel. Jake was then called up into the IDF and so the wedding ceremony took place next to the Syrian border, with nearly 100 celebrants – the majority in army uniform.


From frontlines to fatherhood. When Avi’s wife went into labor early, Avi’s unit pulled out all the stops to get him from Khan Yunis in Gaza to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital. Avi had been in Kfar Aza on Oct 7 when Hamas attacked.  Avi said their new baby confounded those intent on destroying the Jewish people.


100 Evangelicals in IDF. Juergen Buehler, president of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem says there are around 100 Evangelical Christian volunteers in the IDF, including two of his sons. As one of the Christian soldiers said, “We are willing to give our lives for Israel.”





US approves fiber implants for children. (TY OurCrowd) The US FDA has cleared the bio-integrative technology from Israel’s Ossio (see here previously) to be used in orthopedic surgery for children and adolescents needing bone realignments, fusions or fracture fixation.


Treatment for asthma. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Teva has bought the rights to complete the development of BD9 - an antibody-based therapy for the treatment of asthma and atopic dermatitis from Israel’s Biolojic Design (see here previously). Biolojic’s AI platform generates antibodies that have predictable functions.


3D printer helps remove tumors. UK’s University Hospital Birmingham has reduced the time taken to remove tumors by up to three hours thanks to 3D-printed cutting guides produced on a J5 MedJet printer from Israel’s Stratasys. It is transforming the way tumors are removed from head and neck cancer patients.


Successful trial for plaque psoriasis treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Scinai Immunotherapeutics has announced successful preclinical trial results of its innovative anti‑IL‑17 VHH antibody (‘NanoAb’) as a local treatment for the large and underserved population of patients with mild to moderate plaque psoriasis.


Massive deal to revitalize biotech. Israel’s Compugen (see here previously) only had six months’ cash left when it was rescued by Gilead Sciences in a deal worth up to $848 million. Gilead will license Compugen’s pre-clinical cancer antibody COM503 that frees up the peptide InterLeukin 18 (IL-18) to destroy tumors.




Jews & Arabs help Arab Israeli farmers. (TY Hazel) Arabs and Israelis from Haifa have united during their leisure time to help Arab Israeli farmers bring in the harvest. The farmers were short-staffed due to the lack of Palestinian Arab workers and the temporary absence of Thai workers.  


Israeli Arabs work with IDF on mass-casualty simulations. Volunteers from the Israeli Arab city of Kfar Kassem, east of Tel Aviv, joined with the IDF to simulate emergency responses to mass casualty incidents. The comprehensive drill involved local United Hatzalah Arab volunteers and the IDF’s Home Front Command.


An accelerator for Arab science entrepreneurs. Ahmad Sheikh Muhammad is head of the Galilee Society – the Arab National Society for Health Research and Services. He now has established ScienTech, the first Israeli accelerator targeted to help Arab PhD STEM graduates turn their scientific research knowledge into businesses.


Arab woman head of ScienTech. Ola Baker Salameh (see here previously) is the Israeli-Arab manager of the new ScienTech accelerator for Arab science entrepreneurs (see above).  She previously founded GrowOn – a consultancy to help Arab healthcare startups. She also lectures at Israel’s Technion and Tel Aviv University.


Trees for Jerusalem’s Christians. (TY Hazel) As for the past 25 years, the Jerusalem Municipality has been giving out hundreds of free trees to Christian residents. Getting trees this year was more difficult because they come from southern Israel. Many of the farms where the trees are harvested were destroyed by Hamas.


More dates for volunteering. JNF-USA has added new dates for its volunteering missions to Israel.


Singapore’s first Ambassador to Israel. Singapore’s first ambassador to Israel, Ian Mack, presented his credentials to Israeli President Isaac Herzog. The two countries have had diplomatic relations since 1969, but Singapore has never posted an ambassador to Israel. Singapore’s embassy in Tel Aviv, opened in 2022.


Over 12,000 foreign workers have arrived. (TY Hazel) 12,000+ foreign workers have arrived or returned to Israel since Oct. 7 including 2,218 in agriculture - half of them from Thailand; 100 are from Sri Lanka out of an eventual total of 10,000. 400+ of 5,000 Malawians arrived last month, and 1,500 are expected from Kenya.





AI that turns ideas into prototypes. (TY OurCrowd) Welcome to the future of engineering. Israel’s Leo AI turns ideas into products in seconds. It’s the world's first engineering design copilot powered by generative AI. It transforms mechanical language into 3D models, adhering to the latest industry standards and best practices.


AI-powered digital agents. (TY OurCrowd) Israel’s D-ID (see here previously) has launched “Agents” - interactive digital humans for customer-facing businesses. They apparently respond intelligently to customer questions and provide personalized advice, meeting the customers' need for prompt and effective interaction.


Safer UAVs. Israel’s ParaZero (see here previously) has partnered with US- based KULR Technology to reduce excess vibration that can lead to mechanical damage and UAV failure.


Award-winning sunglasses. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Deep Optics (see here previously) won the Dezeen Award for Product design (consumer design and wearables) of the year 2023. Deep Optics’ 32°N Sunglasses are the first and only adaptive focus sunglasses. The liquid crystal (LC) lenses mimic human eye behavior.


Award-winning autonomous driving software. Israel’s Imagry (see here previously) won Frost & Sullivan’s best-in-class award in Europe's autonomous driving industry for enabling technology leadership. The map-less software correctly assesses the current driving environment and acts the same way as a skilled human driver.




Inflation and unemployment fall. Israel’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell by 0.3% in Nov. In the year to the end of Nov 2023, the index rose by 3.3%, down from 3.7% from the 12 months to the end Oct. Unemployment in Israel fell to 2.8% in Nov from 3.1% in Oct.


Debt clemency for war-affected Israelis. Israeli President Herzog is to pardon monetary fines for war-affected families who face severe financial hardship. The scheme was advanced in response to Druze leader Sheikh Muafak Tarif’s request during Herzog’s visit to bereaved families in the Druze and Bedouin communities.


Microsoft Israel in 2023. Microsoft is one of 370 multinationals with development centers in Israel. It has some 2,700 employees and earned a whopping NIS 3.5 billion for Microsoft in 2023. The Israeli R&D team has just announced its new real time automatic attack disruption security platform that took two years to develop.


Airlines resume services. (TY Hazel & Atid EDI) German airline group Lufthansa plans to resume 20 weekly flights to & from Tel Aviv from Jan 8. Austrian Airlines and SWISS will also restart their services. Meanwhile, El Al and Delta have formalized a long-term codeshare agreement to combine frequent-flyer schemes.

Back in business. Businesses such as fashion store chain Castro had put 30% of its 4,500 employees on unpaid leave in October due to falling sales at the outbreak of the war. Castro has now re-engaged 90% of those furloughed staff, as shoppers have been coming back to its stores and online sales have also started to recover.


Resilience Fund beneficiaries (Dec). (TY OurCrowd) Global digital investment platform, OurCrowd, has approved the first 8 investments from its $50 million Resilience Fund (see here previously). The companies include BlueTree, Carrar, Edgybees, and Verobotics.

Creating 400 tech jobs in Western Negev. Israeli social impact high tech venture Place-IL (see here previously) is leading an $15 million initiative, along with Google, Nvidia and others  to create 400 high-tech jobs in war-affected Gaza border towns.  Hi-tech will be crucial for building resilience and hope.

Monitoring wastewater in Phoenix. (TY OurCrowd) Israel’s Kando (see here previously) has begun a six-month pilot project to monitor municipal wastewater systems and facilities in Phoenix Arizona. Kando’s sensors will detect irregularities caused mainly by illegal dumping at industrial sites.

Exits, takeovers, and mergers – to 24/12/23: US Okta is acquiring Israel’s Spera Security for $100 million;


Investment in Israeli startups – to 24/12/23: ScaleOps raised $15 million; Salvador Technologies raised $6 million;





When classical meets klezmer. The Jerusalem Street Orchestra Ensemble is performing on Dec 27 at the Menahem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem, as part of the Spectacular World of Jewish Music.


Party to aid orphaned kids. After escaping the Nova music rave, Arad, a young Israeli, and Ari, his “Dead Sea Revival” activist father, have organized “Echoes of Hope” - a fundraising event on Dec 31 to benefit the Israeli Children’s Fund. The Jaffa Hotel has donated its entire venue.


Soccer successes. (TY Hazel) Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Gent 3-1 to clinch first place in its Europa Conference League group and advance to the round of 16. Maccabi Haifa with a 2-1 win over Panathinaikos advanced to the Europa Conference League Playoffs.


Other sports results. (TY Hazel) Timna Nelson Levy won a silver medal at the European judo championships. Israel’s women’s goalball team have qualified for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. At the World Junior Sailing Championships in Brazil, Maayan Shemesh and Emilie Louviot won silver medals and Mika Kafri won bronze.






Birthright trips to restart. Birthright Israel is resuming its free, 10-day educational trips to Israel in the first week in January. 350 participants (mostly from the US) are anticipated. Summer trip registration will begin mid-Jan.


Jewish presence in the Land of Israel (part2) The second part of the very useful recent summary of the history of the Jews in the holy land. This episode is from the Ottoman conquest to the 18th century.  Part 1 can be read here.


Christians refurbish Israeli bomb shelters. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has paid $775,000 to renovate 140 underground bomb shelters in the Upper Galilee - 73 in Shlomi and 67 in Ma’alot-Tarshiha. The shelters, last used in the 2006 2nd Lebanon War, needed new lighting, ventilation, and plumbing.


$1 billion for Israel. American Jewry raised $1 billion for Israel in the first month of the war. Over $600 million of that was raised by the Jewish Federations of North America. In that same month, North American communities held 143 rallies in support of Israel.


How to help Israel.  Here are some sites where newsletter readers can donate to Israeli organizations that provide vital help to Israelis at this difficult time.  Many thanks to those who have already contributed and to those who are helping by donating their own valuable time and resources.


Friends of the IDF (US donors):

or IDF Soldiers Fund in Israel:  (select the English speakers’ option)


American Friends of Magen David Adom (US donors):

or Magen David Adom (Israel):


Zaka (US donors):  or (Israeli donors):  

or (Canadian donors):


United Hatzalah:  or Canada

Leket Food Israel:

JNF USA -  or Canada

Orthodox Union -


Schneider Children’s Hospital: (Israelis) (UK) (USA)


Hadassah Hospital Israel:

Laniado Hospital (Netanya)


And many more charities here: (Warm winter clothes for Israeli soldiers)


Buy Israel Bonds to support the Jewish State. (TY Larry B)


Europe -

Canada -