Israel's Good News Newsletter to 31st Mar 24

In the 31st Mar 24 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·       Israeli cocoa plants could save the global cocoa industry.

·       Israeli scientists can fix spinal cord injuries through the nose.

·       Israelis make medical advances to counteract Oct 7 impact and the war.

·       Israeli children with disabilities enjoyed Purim in their fancy dress wheelchairs.

·       Israel marks World Water Day.

·       Mobileye’s Jerusalem employees are transported to new high-tech premises.

·       A Pakistani Muslim launched his new book in Jerusalem.

·       See how Israelis celebrated Purim during a war.


·       Click here to see the 31st Mar newsletter on (TY Steve) IsraelSeen, (TY Ruth) Ruthfully Yours, and (TY Aviva) United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) for translating it into German here, and (TY Barbara) into Spanish here, and Hebrew here, and (with TY Claude) into French here. Please forward this newsletter to German-speaking, Spanish-speaking, French-speaking and Hebrew-speaking contacts. Also please visit my Facebook page


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Reserve IDF commander has life-changing surgery. (TY OurCrowd) 57-year-old Motti Ben-Lulu served 4 months reserve duty as a platoon commander in Gaza. But he was unable to hold a weapon due to tremor. Now, after MRI-guided focused ultrasound treatment from Israel’s Insightec (see here previously) he is a new person.


“Superhero” cocoa seedlings. Ellen Graber, a soil chemistry expert at Israel’s Volcani Center expected her experimental cocoa seedlings growing near Gaza had perished after 3 months of neglect. But 20 plants survived and flourished. A recent NIS 20 million government investment could make Israel a cocoa plant global supplier.


Brothers for Life. (TY Sam Kramer) The BFL Medical Project was created to address the needs of IDF soldiers suffering from complex injuries and chronic pain. It invited two highly skilled and specialized doctors from the USA to come to Israel to perform complex reconstructive surgery on many injured soldiers. See video.


Remarkable Resilience – BGU Webinar. Register for this free May 8th webinar from Israel’s Ben Gurion University. BGU was heavily impacted by the Oct 7 events but now stands as a beacon of hope for the future of Israel and a vital part of Israel’s rebuilding and recovery efforts. See how BGU is leading the Way Forward.





Repairing the spine via the nose. Some 500,000 spinal cord injuries are sustained annually. Israel’s NurExone takes exosomes (nanoscopic particles released by cells to pass messages to one another) from bone marrow, adds siRNA to help regenerate cells, and delivers them via the nose and blood brain barrier to heal the spine.


Artificial veins for successful transplants. Israel’s Bonus Biogroup (see here previously) has developed microscopic biodegradable tubes that run through an engineered transplant organ, supplying a steady flow of blood. This vastly increases the viability of artificial organs and the success rate of transplant operations.


War of yeast infections. Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered a benign species of yeast named “Kazachstania weizmannii” in homage to Chaim Weizmann. It prevents the spread of Candida albicans, a strain of yeast which causes candidiasis, a fungal infection responsible for around 200,000 deaths per year.


AI-driven cell therapy. Israeli-founded can revolutionize stem cell therapy. Its first target is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. When muscle stem cells are injected into an existing muscle, the muscles can rebuild and regain function. Somite will then move on to creating brown fat cells for the treatment of diabetes.


Developing treatments since 1949. (TY Atid-EDI) Rafa Laboratories is one of Israel’s oldest pharmaceutical companies. For example, it has been supplying autoinjectors for over 30 years, for global medical conditions including seizures and now (partnering USA’s BARDA) to counter nerve agent and pesticide poisoning.


Better than before. (TY Nevet) Scientists at Israel’s Technion have developed a robotic hand that allows the wearer to play the piano and type on a keyboard. The device is intended to be used as a prosthetic for those who have lost limbs, e.g., in the War, and can give the wearer skills that they never had before.


Wearable devices to fix mobility problems. (TY Nevet) Zuckerman Faculty Scholar Dr. Arielle Fischer runs the Fischer Biomechanics and Wearable Technology Lab at Israel’s Technion Institute. Her lab develops biomechanical tools and wearable devices to detect, prevent, and correct musculoskeletal movement disorders.


Hebrew University Trauma Institute. A new Trauma Institute has been established at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It will design new clinical approaches to and train therapists to deal with the nationwide traumas following the Oct 7 Hamas attacks. The new Institute has raised 25% of its budget and is seeking support.  (US donors)


Innovative trauma treatment. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Madrigal Mental Care is based in Kibbutz Reim – one of the communities devasted by Hamas on Oct 7.  So, it is remarkable that it has just announced the successful completion of its pivotal nanotechnology research on using Ketamine as a treatment for PTSD & depression.


New treatment for depression.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s PsyRx has developed a radically new treatment for depression. It combines an approved medicine from the SSRI family with a low dosage of ibogaine. PsyRx has just completed a successful lab toxicological safety study for the treatment to help it progress to human trials.


Addressing women’s health. Israeli-founded Impact.51 is the first startup studio in the world to focus solely on women’s health. 51% of the world receives insufficient funding, research, & support. Impact.51 aims to create inventive solutions addressing critical gaps in women’s health. After Oct 7, the priority is trauma.





Purim fun for kids in wheelchairs. (TY Rachel) 30 children with disabilities at Israel’s Beit Issie Shapiro in Ra’anana were able to enjoy the Purim festivities as they were transformed into their favorite characters. Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) students customized their costumes to seamlessly incorporate their mobility aids.


Disability-focused travel. Israel’s accessibleGo is the world's first full-service, disability-focused travel site. It provides the booking of accessible travel options, with services and amenities verified and hand-picked for travelers with diverse needs.  AccessibleGo is a one-stop shop for all disability travel needs.


A woman of many firsts. (TY Nevet) Technion alumna Neta Blum heads the Cyber Section of Israel’s Defense Ministry. Before that, she was the first woman and youngest person to lead Aviation Sciences in the Defense Ministry’s Directorate of Defense Research & Development (DDR&D). And much more (see link).


Making a global impact. Israel’s Impact Nation helps startups with the potential for global impact to promote themselves and drive their technology forward. These companies can change the world in the areas of food security, climate, health, water, equality, and economic empowerment.   


Sign up for the IAC Summit. Save the date Sep 19-21 for the IAC National Summit in Washington DC.  Sign up for updates and be first in line for early registration.





New reservoir to help revive Southern Israel. As the world marked World Water Day on Mar 22, thousands of displaced residents returning to Israel’s Gaza border communities are benefiting from the recently completed 14 million cubic foot Holit Reservoir made possible by Jewish National Fund-USA and its donors.


Preventing overwatering. The water sensors developed by Israel’s Treetoscope (see here previously) can reduce water consumption in agriculture by to 40 percent. Overwatering can also flush fertilizer before it has finished benefiting the crop. Treetoscope is working with water industry leaders including Israel’s Netafim.


Beware the bloom. (TY OurCrowd) On World Water Day (Mar 22) Israel’s BlueGreen Water Technologies (see here previously) launched its “Beware the Bloom!” campaign to raise awareness of algal blooms from. cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. BlueGreen removes the algae and its dangerous toxins.


Using AI to check program code. Israel’s Codium (see here previously) has developed an AI “team member” to test and review computer code to make sure it is all working as it should, rooting out any potentially catastrophic missteps. Codium’s plugins have been installed by over half a million global developers.


Greener construction material. Israel’s EVA Greentech has developed a novel building material using demolition waste. It is designed to partially substitute non-environmentally friendly cement in concrete, significantly reducing its carbon footprint while preserving concrete’s essential physical properties.


Sustainable aquaculture. Israel’s AquaculTech (see here) promotes sustainable technologies to produce fish, algae, and other products from the sea, making Eilat into a national and international knowledge center. It aims to help Israel’s 160 aquaculture startups, combat overfishing, and preserve the ecological balance and diversity.


Top nano-scientist recognized. Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Ehud Gazit has won a 60,000 Euro Meitner-Humboldt Research Award for his extensive academic achievements. The award is given to international researchers who have had, and are expected to achieve in the future, a substantial impact on their domains.


Detecting nanoparticles. (TY WIN) Researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have developed a nano filter that can detect harmful molecular residue in water. The device, the size of a small coin, is based on an ion microscope with tiny holes that amplify the electromagnetic field to detect low concentrations of molecules.


Intercepting multiple drones. Israel’s Elbit has unveiled its 3G ReDrone anti-drone system. It uses Actively Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) DAiR 3D multi mission radar with advanced capabilities, sensors for detecting communications signals and COAPS-L advanced electro-optics systems.


The first to analyze a supernova. Astronomers from Israel’s Weizmann Institute are the first scientists to chronicle the earliest stages of a supernova. A star in nearby galaxy Messier 101 exploded 30 million years ago but the light only reached Earth in January. And the Israelis got NASA to reposition the Hubble telescope.





Saving the harvest. (TY Atid-EDI) The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has approved the FieldProtect pre-harvest treatment from Israel’s Save Foods (see here previously). It should help California reduce food waste, plus it paves the way for Save Food’s commercial expansion in the State.


Learn about Israeli business culture. ESRA (English Speaking Residents Association) is hosting a free Zoom lecture by Arona Maskil entitled “Understanding the Israeli Business Culture”. Apr 1 at 8pm Israel time.  Registration required. Part of the series of fully subsidized zoom lectures by “Get it Right in Israel”.

For other events:


El Al buys 3 more dreamliners. Israel’s El Al airlines has raised $100 million to help it finance the purchase of 3 new Boeing 787 “dreamliners). El Al plans to expand its 16-plane 787 fleet to a total of 28 by 2030.


Mobileye is on the move. Mobileye’s 2,700 Jerusalem employees are moving to a new NIS 1 billion low-energy campus at the Har-Hotzavim Hi-Tech Park. In addition to the usual high-tech perks such as a gym, it will also include a convenience store, running track, hair salon, and nursing rooms.


Maintaining Czech radar for 20 years. The Czech Ministry of Defense has awarded a 20-year contract to Israel Aerospace Industries to maintain the Czech MMR radars. The MMR radar is the ‘brain’ behind the Barak, Iron Dome, and David’s Sling. To date, over 200 systems have been sold to customers around the world.


Hi-tech funding up. Investment in Israeli startups in the first quarter of 2024 is $1.6 billion so far.  That is 10% higher than the fourth quarter of 2023. Also, there was a 34% increase in the number of funding rounds.


Exits, takeovers and mergers – to 31/3/24: Israel’s Nexa3D has acquired US-based 3D-Fuel.


Startup investment – to 31/3/244: raised $100 million; FundGuard raised $100 million; Zafran raised $30 million; Nominal raised $9.2 million; Foundational raised $8 million;





Pakistani Muslim holds book launch in Jerusalem. (TY Nevet) Peer Syed Mudassir Nazar Shah launched his new book, “Whispers in The Stones, A Sufi’s Quest Through Time” via Zoom at Jerusalem’s Center for Public Affairs research institute. It is about holy sites in Pakistan and includes a chapter on Pakistan’s Jewish history.


How archeologists date the Tower of David. An in-depth description of the renovated Tower of David in Jerusalem. It includes a video (see 2nd link) of how modern Israeli archaeologists use the latest technology to date the various sections of the tower, compared to the techniques used during the British Mandate.





Celebrating Purim in Gaza. There are many videos circulating showing IDF soldiers in Gaza reading the Megillat Esther.  Here are a few. The command to obliterate the name of the evil Haman was carried out with much enthusiasm, noting the close association between the names of Haman and Hamas.  


Purim parade in Jerusalem. The Purim Unity Parade in Jerusalem was led by families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and featured a giant yellow ribbon, representing the call for their safe return. The procession included displays designed by Jerusalem cultural institutions, local children, and children of evacuees.



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)


Rambam Medical Center (Haifa)  (US) (Rest of the World)


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 -