Two lives saved; Success story of an Israeli female CEO; More funding for hi-tech training; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
AI to diagnose cancerous biopsies
Many tumors express the protein PD-L1, which allows them to circumvent the immune system. Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed neural networks that use “deep learning” AI to recognize PD-L1 in biopsies, alerting oncologists to apply appropriate immunotherapy.
Reducing stress pre-surgery reduces spread of cancer
Confirming a previous study (see here) Tel Aviv researchers revisited patients five years after cancer surgery and found only 12.5% of the patients who received pre-surgery anti-anxiety therapy developed cancer metastases, compared to 50% in the control group.
Depression treatment for bipolar disorder
20% of some 7 million US patients with bipolar disorder commit suicide. US-Israeli company NRx is currently undergoing a US trial on 72 bipolar patients involving the simultaneous administering of two anti-depression treatments that do not have hallucinogenic side effects.
A new kind of facemask
Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have invented the Air-screen fluidic facemask. It blocks virus-laden aerosols and droplets by use of a tiny fan to produce a rectangular air jet, or screen, in front of the wearer’s face. An Israeli startup Wisdom Wearables will commercialize the mask.
Help an Israeli hospital save babies’ lives
Israel’s Sheba Medical Center has developed a realistic baby simulator for advanced medical training that will help medical professionals save babies’ lives. They are now asking for funds to help pay for the cost of the equipment needed.
Two lives saved
A Jerusalem woman in her ninth month of pregnancy suffered a stroke while giving a public presentation. Luckily, a member of the audience recognized the stroke symptoms. Seven doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center saved the mother’s life and delivered her healthy baby by Caesarian section.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
$2 million+ for children with serious illnesses
The SeriousFun Children’s Network gala in New York raised $2.2 million for Israel’s Jordan River Village (see here previously). The village, one of 30 camps and programs founded by the actor Paul Newman, has hosted 22,000 children with serious illnesses during the past 10 years.
A children’s museum in the Galilee
The Children’s Museum of the Galilee has just been allocated land to build an exciting place where all Israeli kids can interact, play, all while developing skills and opening their minds to learning. You can help them by donating – in dollars, sterling, or shekels.
Disability is not disabling
December is Israel’s Disabilities Awareness month and the town of Kfar Saba made it special by hosting a fashion event featuring 15 special fashion models – residents of all ages with disabilities. Each had their moment to shine on the catwalk, cheered by family, friends and neighbors.
Helping people with disabilities to make Aliya
A new initiative will enable Olim with disabilities to better understand their rights, services, and resources available to them immediately upon their Aliyah and ease their acclimation accordingly. They will register with the Ministry of Welfare in their country of origin.
Success story of an Israeli female CEO
Great article telling the journey of Kira Radinsky from Kiev during the Chernobyl disaster, to Aliya during the Gulf war, obtaining a PhD, working for Microsoft and eBay, then founding Diagnostic Robotics (see here previously) in order to save patients’ lives.
Meet Shadi – an Arab in the IDF
Israeli Arab Yoseph Haddad talks to another Arab who volunteered to serve in Israel’s army. It provides an important message about the Jewish State.
Solar energy and income for Bedouins
Israel’s Marom Energy is to build Israel’s first solar power plant on Bedouin-owned land. The Bedouin will be involved in the development, construction, and running of the plant and receive on-going revenue for its operation.
Building bridges with Morocco
Jerusalem’s Shalem College hosted Professor Driss Bouyahya of Morocco’s Moulay Ismail University and many of his students. They expressed their enjoyment at their visit and their enthusiasm for the new friendships that they had formed.
Saving the leopard
Israel’s Ramat Gan Safari is participating in a project aiming to populate European zoos with 200 leopards and to release some into the wild. It has just received a 2-year-old Persian leopard from France, who will hopefully be a successful mate for Coresh, Ramat Gan’s resident leopard.
Israel’s Iron Beam gets a US partner
Israeli defense company Rafael is partnering Lockheed Martin to develop an American version of Israel’s Iron Beam high-powered laser, rocket-interception system. Lockheed was “honored” by the opportunity to expand its role as a security teammate for the State of Israel.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Tech education for 2,500 kids on Gaza border
The JNF-USA-funded GrooveTech Center, just two miles from Gaza shares a campus with schools that educate 2,500 students. The reinforced two-story building is the largest technology center in Israel. It teaches cybertech, space-tech, robotics, VR, hydroponics and much more.
Middle East women in Tech
Since 2020, the 3-month mentoring program from Israel’s FemForward (see here previously) has helped 100+ Israeli women advance the hi-tech ladder. In Jan 2023, the bi-annual course in Jerusalem will comprise 30 women from Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco and conclude in Dubai.
Transforming the ports
Israel’s Conbo.ai has a mission to significantly improve port operational efficiency, safety, and security by utilizing existing camera systems. It aims to transform traditional marine terminals into smart facilities overnight.
Inspiring the next generation of farmers
More details about Eretz Noshevet (see here previously), which is helping seed innovations from a new crop of Israeli farmers. Each project receives an investment of up to half a million shekels. This article mentions Mata, GrowPonics, AlgaeNite, BiomicAgritech, Agrorim and Salicrop.
More protein-packed plants
Israel’s Equinom (see here previously) develops non-GMO ultra-high protein varieties of soy and pea. It is expanding its aptly named “Manna” plant-based protein production platform, plus developing new varieties of chickpea, fava, mung bean, and cowpea at its Kibbutz Givat Brenner R&D center.
Hens that produce only female chicks
Technology from Israel’s Huminn and Volcani Center prevents hens from developing eggs with male embryos. The European Union’s Director General for Health and Food Safety has just approved the technology, which can stop the global annual culling of billions of unwanted male chicks.
Israel’s Exodigo (see here previously) is one of Time Magazine’s Best inventions 2022. Its underground drone mapping platform is used by the California Department of Transportation, National Grid in New York, and 20+ clients on energy, utilities, and transportation projects in the US, Europe, and Israel.
Best HR invention
Another Israeli company in Time Magazine’s 2022 list of 200 Best Inventions is HiBob (see here previously). Time Magazine praised HiBob’s Instagram-like dashboard, automation features for remote and on-site scheduling, and tools to help strengthen employee engagement wherever they are working.
Cutting edge footwork
Israel’s Upstep is launching its new Artificial Intelligent system that halves the time taken to manufacture customized insoles. US customers order orthotics online via a smart questionnaire. A foot kit is delivered, the customer takes impressions, returns the kit and new insoles arrive a few days later.
Knowledge Management is the answer
Israel’s KMS Lighthouse provides Knowledge Management systems to answer queries for leading companies such as GE Healthcare, ZIM, and Bank of America. It won the KM Promise Award at the 2022 KMWorld Conference for its innovative AI Natural Language Processing system.
Four Technion videos
Israel’s Technion Institute’s UK arm has issued four videos. They are Defense and aerospace research, the Excellence program for gifted undergraduate students, the Technion energy program, and Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative disease research. Each has a separate fund for donations.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Free Trade Agreement with UAE is ratified
Israeli and United Arab Emirates parliaments have formally ratified the free trade agreement that they signed in May. The FTA eliminates or reduces tariffs on 96% of products traded between the two countries.
Increasing trade with Arab states
Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem came to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to promote its free trade zone to hundreds of Israeli entrepreneurs. 78 Israeli companies operate in the DMCC, able to trade with businesses in countries that do not recognize Israel.
UAE invites women-led Israeli agritech startups
Israel’s Dana Global is an investment platform for early-stage women-led start-ups in desert-related agritech, foodtech, water solutions and renewable energy. Dana has partnered Abu-Dhabi-based agritech investor Silal to attract Israeli women-led startups to the UAE ecosystem.
Israeli importers meet Turkish exporters in Istanbul
A delegation of some 100 Israeli importers visited Istanbul for B2B meetings with some 400 Turkish exporters. The aim is to reduce the cost to Israelis of food, cosmetics, construction materials, toys, baby products, furniture, textiles, household equipment and much more.
Construction of EuroAsia electricity highway begins
The EuroAsia Interconnector (see here previously) will connect the national electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus, and Greece. Israeli and Cypriot officials confirm that construction on the €2.5 billion first phase will now get underway, with 50% of the total cost secured.
Jerusalem old and new
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion took 80+ overseas officials including 52 mayors for a tour of Israel’s capital. From the Western Wall tunnels and historic Jerusalem to the construction of the new business park and hi-tech and bio-tech hubs. Preserving history while creating cutting-edge technologies.
An Israeli alternative to Twitter
Israel’s Noam Bardin, ex-CEO of Israeli-founded Waze, has now launched New Post. The social media platform does not rely on advertising or subscription but on digital publishers charging users. It has over 67,000 active accounts, with some 350,000 more on the waiting list.
More funding for hi-tech training
The Israel Innovation Authority is providing NIS 17.6 million to train and place 2,550 people into Israel’s high-tech industry over the next two years. It has selected 15 schemes, targeted ex-pats and new immigrants and focused on areas such as bio-convergence, medical big data, and food tech.
Technical help for startups
Israel’s Hetz Ventures (see here previously) has launched Hetz Executive Network, 200+ industry experts to help early-stage Israeli technical startups. It offers access to management-level leadership across engineering, R&D, security, data, product, and finance departments at large companies.
Investment in Israeli startups to 18/12/22:
Snyk raised $196.5 million; Equinom raised $35 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Library of the Jewish People
Matthew Miller, owner of Jerusalem’s Koren Publishers, has launched a Library of the Jewish People to bring together the best writings from Jewish history in the fields of religion, the arts and politics. The first book to be included is “The Zionist Writings of Theodor Herzl” by Prof Gill Troy.
Piano competition winner
Israel’s Alona Caspit achieved the highest score in the Piano competition for ages 14-17 at the Danubia Talents international music festival and competition in Budapest. (Video is from 2021.)
The first Hebrew play in an Arab country
Actors from Israel’s national Habima Theater performed “Bustan Sephardi” (Spanish Orchard) in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. The play, in Hebrew with French captions, was written by Yitzhak Navon, Israel’s fifth president, whose mother immigrated to Israel from Salé, Morocco.
Jerusalem is magical in winter
Jerusalem’s Winter Lights Festival (Dec 12 – Jan 31) takes place every evening in the Botanical Gardens. 25km of cable connects 2.5 million ecologically friendly LED bulbs in the shapes of animals, butterflies, flowers and more. Also, see the colors on Jerusalem’s streets.
World Taekwondo silver
Israel’s Dana Azran won a silver medal in the +73kg category at the World Taekwondo Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. It was only Israel’s second medal ever in the international competition – Ilan Goldschmidt won a bronze medal in 2005.
THE JEWISH STATE
During Hanukkah, the Hasmonean Museum in Modi’in will display a box of 15 silver coins from the Maccabean revolt 2,200 years ago. They were discovered in May this year in caves in the Judean desert, probably the property of one of the Jews involved in overthrowing the Syrian-Greek rulers.
Their deities couldn’t save them
A rare ‘sling bullet’ from the Hasmonean period has been found in Yavne. It is inscribed with the names of two Greek deities Heracles and Cronus, intended to bring the Syrian-Greek army good fortune. As we know, from celebrating Hanukkah, it was the Jewish army that was victorious.
Giant Hanukkiah at the Kotel
As part of preparations for Hanukkah, the Western Wall Plaza is again to feature a giant Menorah for the public candle-lighting ceremonies. It is some two meters high and wide, made entirely of cast bronze, and weighs approximately one ton. The lighting ceremonies will be broadcast live.
Look what we found on our school trip
8th-grade pupils from the Rabin Middle School were on an Israel Antiquities Authority field tour in Azor, about 7 km southeast of Tel Aviv when they discovered a 3,000-year-old scarab. It likely depicts a local Canaanite receiving authority from an Egyptian ruler.
Irish-Jewish genealogy records make Aliya
Stuart Rosenblatt, head of the Irish Jewish Genealogical Society, is donating his treasure trove of records on Irish-Jewish families, spanning centuries, to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem. The records comprise over 70,000 names, including that of this newsletter editor.
Bar / Bat Mitzva for 30 deaf children
To celebrate their coming of age, 21 boys and nine girls came from all over Israel for a guided tour and Bat / Bar Mitzva ceremony at the Kotel. It was organized by Young Israel in Israel’s Judaic Heritage Program for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, the Jewish Agency and World Mizrachi.
A long walk to Jerusalem
29-year-old Carlota Valenzuela began a 6,000 km pilgrimage from Finisterre, Spain to Jerusalem, Israel on 2nd Jan 2022. 10 months later she was greeted at the Jaffa Gate by Israel’s Noga Sher-Greco, Director of Religious Tourism. On the way, Carlota met with the Pope in Rome.
From shepherd boy to Knesset Member
Here is a translated part of Moshe Solomon’s maiden Knesset speech, “The young boy who was once a shepherd in Shira, Ethiopia, stands here today in the Knesset of Israel, one of the 120 members of the Great Assembly of our time.” Please read the rest – it is most inspiring.