Indian Jews celebrate Bar Mitzva at Kotel; A special swimmer; Ethiopian Book of Psalms rescued; and much more!
By: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Rebooting the immune system
Israel’s NeoTX (see here previously) is now conducting a Phase 2 trial of its naptumomab estafenatox (NAP) bacteria-coated, immunotherapy cancer treatment on 30 patients in the US. It is also enhancing an AstraZeneca checkpoint inhibitor. NeoTX has 3 Nobel prizewinners in its team.
How we fight fungal infections
Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have made a vital discovery in how Candida infections are countered in healthy humans. Until the immune system’s TH17 T-Cell lymphocytes turn up, rare lymphoid cells (Aire-ILC3s) spring into action to hold back the potentially dangerous fungal infection.
Dr. Elad Jacoby – Head of cell therapy, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center talks at Talpiot xmed 2022 about how they re-educate T-cells in the immune system to destroy cancers that used to take the lives of young children.
Bacteria may help cancer patients
Israel’s Biomica (see here previously) has given 12 cancer patients, who had poor responses to immunotherapy, pills containing bacteria missing from their gut microbiome. In 2020, doctors at Sheba hospital used fecal bacteria to shrink the tumors of three cancer patients.
Smart fabric accelerates repair of nerves
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed an ultra-thin silicon-based membrane that speeds up the repair of damaged nerves. The material is wrapped around the nerve while the wound is open. When the wound is closed, the material is stimulated using near-infrared light.
Diagnosing diseases in space
Scientists at Tel Aviv University and Israel’s Volcani Institute developed the kit that Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe tested on his mission on the International Space Station. It proved that even under zero gravity, diagnosis known as CRISPR-Cas can identify viruses and bacteria infecting crew members.
Warning of patients at risk of hospitalization
Suboptimal polypharmacy is when medication for two or more chromic conditions clash. Israel’s FeelBetter has been deployed by Israel’s Leumit Healthcare and preliminary results show it can identify 70% of elderly patients at risk of hospitalization in the next 3 to 9 months.
Joint medical research with UAE
Israel’s Maccabi Healthcare Services HMO and health organizations in the United Arab Emirates have signed several deals to promote joint medical research and tech innovation. They focus on advancing personalized medicine and includes building a genomic research registry for the UAE.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Rescuing food for the poor
The 4th annual Leket Live 2-day tour of Israel took volunteers to a moshav farm, to prepare food parcels near Haifa, to an IDF training base, to see South Tel Aviv, to pick vegetables in Rishon LeZion, and to pack parcels in Jerusalem, and more. Spaces are available for next year’s Leket Live mission.
A special swimmer
Ayelet was among 424 other women from Israel and abroad who took part in the 2km Kinneret swimathon in May to raise funds for the special-needs adult workshop at Gevaot in the Gush. Ayelet herself has Downs Syndrome yet has swum the Kinneret for the past 9 years, holding hands of other swimmers.
Bringing peace to the region
Article about the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation provides information on its collaborative programs between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. They include the Saving Children program, the Training Doctors program, and its mentoring events.
Jews and Arabs bring baby formula to US
Israel’s Jonathan Feldstein personally transported 119 containers of Israeli baby formula to churches in the US for distribution to needy families. He enlisted help from his own Genesis 123 Foundation and the Palestinian Arab branch manager of his local Rami Levy supermarket.
Global training in Agriculture
The Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) trains 1,200 people annually from 16 countries in methods that raise their yield and their income. The students pay tuition fees from the money they earn while gaining practical work experience on local farms.
A solar water pump for Ethiopian farmers
Scientists from Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a unique water pump powered solely by solar energy. It can deliver water from wells to crops, to give farmers a second annual harvest and increased yields in Ethiopia and remote areas across Africa.
Fighting locust infestation in Sardinia
President of Sardinia, Christian Salinas, asked for help to eradicate the locust infestation plaguing his country for the last 3 years. Israeli agro-tech companies in the field were quick to respond with advice. Israel’s last plague of locusts in the Arava region was dealt with in under two weeks.
Still healing Ukrainians
It may no longer be making headlines, but physicians from Hadassah Medical Center are still performing surgery for sick and injured Ukrainians at the Przemysl refugee camp on the Ukraine-Poland border. This article describes one doctor who operated on 10-year-old Alexandra to cure her foot pain.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Israel’s first conference on carbon removal
There are 20+ Israel companies involved in carbon capture and removal. Many of them, and others, presented at Israel’s first conference on carbon sequestration. Projects included deep-sea seaweed to capture CO2 for photosynthesis and converting organic waste into biochar.
Smart Israeli batteries to power smart Israeli scooters
The light, powerful AI-designed 3D electric batteries from Israel’s Addionics (see here previously) will soon (in 2023) power the smart electric scooters from Israel’s Blitz motors (see here previously). The partnership is a first for both companies.
Computer chips to protect road users
Israel’s autotalks (see here previously) has unveiled 3rd generation chipsets TEKTON3 and SECTON3, designed to support future V2X (vehicle to anything) requirements. They will enable automatic braking to help protect car users, two-wheelers, and pedestrians.
The age of Aquarius
Newsmax video provides an update on the latest progress of Israel’s Aquarius Engines (see here previously) and its replacement for the combustion engine. It weighs 22lb, can run on pollution-free hydrogen and can power a car for 750 miles on a single tank of gas.
Preventing overuse of pesticides
Article features three Israeli companies developing technology to combat agricultural diseases without harmful pesticides. Ecophage uses harmless bacteriophages; IBI-Ag uses insecticides tailored for a specific insect; and Projini AgChem uses AI to identify molecules that combat pests.
Humidity can heat and cool your house
Israel’s ThermoTerra (see here previously) uses the water vapor in the air to heat and cool. Humidity power involves using evaporation to cool and condensation to heat, via an absorbent material. It saves energy, money, and the environment.
AI to prevent falls from scaffolding
Israel’s Pangea IT (see here previously) has developed AI technology to solve the problem of construction workers’ falls from scaffolding. Pangea’s sensors, AI analytics and computer vision systems send immediate alerts if a dangerous load is detected, or if workers are not tied to the lifeline.
Extreme Tech Challenge winner
Israel’s “super-sweet” sugar replacement startup Amai Proteins (see here previously) was named overall global winner out of more than 2,000 entrants at the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) awards in Berkley, California. Amai was also judged best in the agtech and food sector.
Many companies use internal search engines as a critical part of their core technology. Israel’s Opster has developed AutoOps to prevent and resolve performance problems and other issues in real-time. It avoids the need for the company to waste time & money on search administration.
The factory of the future
Israel’s 3D Signals (see here previously) transforms industrial machines into ‘smart’ production facilities, boosting efficiency, cutting costs, and saving energy. IoT sensors are placed on the factory machines, connecting them via the Cloud. Samson AG saw productivity boosted by 30% in 3 months.
Create an app just by describing it
Israel’s Spiritt has launched a platform that allows the development of complex applications such as Tinder, Instagram, or Wolt, by merely describing them. This is achieved through conversation with a chat-bot which mimics a conversation with a professional.
Mapping the planet
Israel’s 4M Analytics (see here previously) uses remote sensing satellite technology, topographical maps, location data, and more, to map underground infrastructure. Its ability to identify power grids, oil and gas pipelines, and fiber optic cables underground is vital for construction companies.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
More and more trade with Arab states
Israel’s $200+ million trade with the UAE in May represents a 130% increase on May 2021. Trade with Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Bahrain also leaped by huge percentages.
Solving the airline chaos
OurCrowd hosted CEOs from Israeli startups SeeTrue, IntellAct, Freightos, and IBM’s digital transformation executive advisor to discuss how technology can improve our jet-lagged transportation networks.
Jefferies Bank opens Israeli branch
The prestigious American investment bank Jefferies is setting up an Israeli branch due to the recent the sharp rise in local activity – the most since the 1980s. Jefferies is currently working on seven deals and expects, by September, to bring 20 private funds to Israel.
Bayer to open Israeli cybersecurity center
German giant Bayer will open a cybersecurity development center at Bayer Israel’s existing Hod Hasharon offices in Israel, as part of the multinational’s global cybersecurity operation. Its aim is to engage and partner with the cybersecurity sector inside Israel’s tech ecosystem.
Helping Israeli cyber startups launch in US
Merlin (US) helps Israeli startups penetrate the U.S. federal market. Merlin Ventures arranges strategic investments in cybersecurity companies, Merlin Cyber helps with marketing strategies, and Merlin Labs brings the technology together. Merlin opened a Tel Aviv office in 2020.
Alt protein R&D for Tnuva
Following its success with alternative milk products, Israeli-based Tnuva has launched an R&D center for alternative protein products. It is investing NIS 5 million in the facility in Rehovot, which will be the first time Tnuva has dealt with meat, fish, and egg alternatives.
Another carmaker invests in UVeye
General Motors is the fifth multinational car manufacturer to invest in Israel’s UVeye (see here previously). The funds are “to help fund the development and commercialization of the company’s vehicle inspection technology.” The firms will explore using the tech at GM’s 4,000 dealerships.
Vegan on display
Several food businesses received popular acclaim at Tel Aviv’s Vegan Fest earlier in June (see here previously). They include The Dim Sum Shop, Green Roll Vegan Sushi, and EggZit.
Investment in Israeli startups to 10/7/22:
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Old and new streets of Jerusalem
Avi Abelow gives a 9-minute tour of some of the streets in Jerusalem, from the 18th-19th century to the modern day.
Ein Hardalit, found in the Western Galilee is a magical water hike which is suitable for the whole family. Ein Hardalit is completely shaded and great for a hot summer’s day. One can sit in the water or on the riverbanks, along the length of this gorgeous flowing stream.
Tourists filled Jerusalem’s streets in the past week, at the Machane Yehudah Market and Jerusalem Design Week’s “FOR NOW” event. Business was brisk at the Economic Conference and thousands more are expected at the forthcoming Jazz Festival, Paul Anka concert, and Maccabiah Games.
Israeli TV shows have gone global
Israel sells more scripted TV shows around the world than any other country besides the United Kingdom. Even more than the US. According to Dafna Prenner’s of Israel’s Artza Productions and producer of The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, it’s because Jews have much to tell.
Here come the Pixies
After their 2020 Tel Aviv concert was cancelled due to Covid-19, veteran American alt rock pioneers the Pixies will finally take the stage at the Tel Aviv Expo on Monday, July 11. It will be the band’s third visit to Israel, following sold-out shows in 2014 and 2017.
Tour de France stage winner
Australia’s Simon Clark, who cycles for Israel-Premier Tech, won the fifth stage of the Tour de France, the first-ever win for the Israeli team at the competition. “Israel is on the map at unbelievable levels today,” said team owner and philanthropist Sylvan Adams.
THE JEWISH STATE
A 3-min tour of the City of David
A short video of the excavations revealing 5,000 years of the Biblical history of Jerusalem.
150 more Ethiopians arrive
One hundred and fifty new immigrants from Ethiopia landed in Israel as part of Operation Tzur Israel. One of them said, “This is a very great privilege. We have been waiting for many years to make Aliyah and do not believe that this is happening. The first place I would like to see is Jerusalem.”
Ethiopian Book of Psalms rescued
After a separation of over thirty years, an Ethiopian family has finally been reunited with their precious Book of Psalms that they had to abandon when fleeing to Israel in Operation Solomon. The book, written in the ancient Ethiopian language of Ge’ez, is hundreds (if not more) years old.
Wandering Jewish wheat
The normally anti-Israel BBC made this video of Israeli wild wheat seeds. Just like the Jewish story, the seeds have learned to move to places where they can take root and thrive. The re-discovery of hardy Israeli wild wheat (see here) is now helping breed crops that can grow in harsh conditions.
Indian Jews celebrate Bar Mitzva at Kotel
At a moving bar mitzvah ceremony at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, dozens of young Indian Jews celebrated their Bnei Mitzvot. The group was on a trip with Birthright, an organization that brings Jewish youth to Israel to experience their ancestral homeland.
Ukrainian Jewish refugees to marry in Israel
Yakov and Malka, refugees from Ukraine, are to marry on July 10 in Tiberias, a city on the shore of Israel’s Lake Kinneret. Both headed dormitories at a Kyiv yeshiva but only became friends after the Russian invasion. Quiet Yakov transformed into a hero and Malka was smitten.
New mosaic center in Lod
Children from both Arab and Jewish kindergartens and a youth music ensemble of Arabs and Jews joined in the festivities at the dedication of the new Lod Mosaic Center. It houses a magnificent 1,700-year-old Roman-era mosaic that was discovered in Lod in 1996 and has just returned from a world tour.
Mosaics of biblical Deborah & Yael unearthed
Archeologists have unearthed nearly 1,600-year-old mosaics in an ancient Jewish synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Lower Galilee. They are the earliest known depictions of the biblical heroines Deborah and Yael as described in the book of Judges.