Israelis live longer; Your personal electric plane; Digital Media Warriors; and much more!

by: Michael Ordman


The next booster could be Israeli

The CEO of NRx – the US company in charge of trials of Israel’s BriLife coronavirus vaccine – said NRx is designing a Phase II study of BriLife as a booster to protect against COVID-19 variants. The study will be led by the research heads of Israel’s Hadassah and Sourasky (Ichilov) hospitals.

92% recovery after 3 days

Israel’s Maccabi Healthcare has treated 850 of its high-risk coronavirus-infected customers with the new Pfizer Paxlovid pills. 60% significantly improved on the first day, rising to 92% within 3 days.  All recovered.

Pancreatic cancer breakthrough

Researchers at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center studied the data of 17,000 pancreatic cancer patients. They discovered that a mutation resulting in the absence of two proteins P15 and P16 allows the cancer to spread to the liver. The findings can help treat such patients.

Non-invasive test for IBD

Israel’s Weizmann Institute, working together with Israel’s Sheba Medical Center can detect inflammation in the intestines by analyzing a fecal sample for the genes expressed in the cells. It can help diagnose gastric disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and monitor their treatment.

Look into my eyes

A great article about Israel’s Neurolight (see here previously) and its amazing ocular technology that extracts microscopic eye movement measurements to help diagnose neurological disorders. The platform aims to help developers of treatments for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis patients.

AI management approved for type 2 diabetes

Israel’s DreaMed (see here previously) has now received US FDA approval for use with Type 2 diabetes sufferers as well as Type 1. It will relieve the strain on endocrinologist who each have on average some 46,000 patients.

Israelis live longer

The latest report of life expectancy for Israeli men is 81 years – 8th in the OECD. For Israeli women it’s 84.8 – 11th in the OECD (see here for previous years). Both exceed the OECD average. Israel’s birth rate is by far the highest in the OECD and infant mortality is well below the OECD average.


Empowering the blind on public transport

Israel’s Moovit (see here previously) has partnered UK’s WeWALK to enable blind and partially sighted users to navigate public transportation independently. It provides step-by-step guidance to bus and train stops, real-time arrival info, and audio / text “get off” alerts.

Promoting tech in the Arab sector

Israel’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Israel Innovation Authority have launched an economic program to encourage Israeli Arabs and minorities to enter the hi-tech sector. It includes NIS 225 million over 5 years for incubators, tech centers and local tech startups.,7340,L-3928008,00.html

Peace through olive oil

A new video featuring Israeli non-profit Sindyanna of Galilee (see here previously) in which Arab and Jewish women work together to produce and market fair trade olive oil. Instead of labels stating, “Extra Virgin olive oil”, they read “Extra Peaceful”, “Unified”, “Hopeful”, and “Positive”.

Afghan refugees meet their rescuers

87 Afghan refugees, rescued by Israel’s IsraAID in October, finally got the chance to meet their rescuers in Albania, as they prepared to begin the process of resettlement in Canada. The refugees include judges, journalists, cyclists, families of diplomats, artists, police and scientists.

Teaching tech to girls in Ghana

World ORT’s Israeli Kadima Mada implements technology curriculums for disadvantaged populations in Israel and in more than 30 other countries.  The Ghana program, first piloted in 2020, uses female instructors to teach young girls coding skills, game design and animation.

Indonesian delegation visits Israel

A delegation from Indonesia recently visited Israel to learn about its COVID-19 response. It included National Board for Disaster Management and National COVID Task Force head Suharyanto. Indonesia’s Defense minister previously said talks with Israel were in the national interest.


Israel shines at CES

Over 22 Israeli startups exhibited at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. New to me (see below) were Cecilia, Iromascents, Moodo Air, Oorym, and Tikbag, Others include Imagery (car awareness), Indoor Robotics (drone security), Resight (metaverse), and VBox (TV streaming).

Shaken not stirred

Israel’s GKI has launched Cecilia – the world’s first robotic bartender. The first youtube video is totally true.  The second one is just humorous (hopefully you will appreciate it). A very amusing team.

They make scents!

Israel’s Iromascents has developed a scent delivery mechanism that allows movie goers to experience odors connected with the action on the screen. The system also can also be used inside shops and even installed at home to enhance TV movies. Moodo Air is similar, controlled by smartphone, Alexa or Siri.

Seeing is believing

Israel’s Oorym has perfected smart glasses for viewing Artificial Reality (AR).  The best visual quality, lightweight, low-cost, and simple manufacture. Based on the research of Yaakov Amitai, a graduate of Israel’s Weizmann, who invented the “waveguide” technology used in most of today’s AR systems.



See the unseen

Israel’s applies computer vision, artificial intelligence, and algorithms to improve the quality of images and videos taken from any camera. It removes blur, provides true night vision, and facial recognition. has just partnered with Israel’s Inuitive to integrate with its cutting-edge AI processor.

Smart school bags

Israel’s Tikbag has developed interactive “smart bags” that monitor and notify the wearer via an app if the backpack is too heavy in relation to body weight. It can also check if the bag is unbalanced. Tikbag was developed to help schoolchildren avoid back pain and protect against future damage to their spine.

Environmental tech projects

Israel has awarded a total of NIS 5.3 million to five projects that benefit the environment. They are Agrint (pesticides), Daika Wood (wall cladding), (mosquitoes), Clean Flare (burning gases) and Emma Sensing (corrosion in pipes).

Would you believe it?

3 billion tons of wood is wasted every year, but now it can be avoided.  Israel’s Daika Wood recycles waste wood, molding or 3D-printing it into shapes that would be impossible to carve, even with machines. Imagine your computer keyboard made of 100% natural wood – now it can, with Israeli technology.

Vegan fish

Israel’s Plantish, unveiled the prototype of a plant-based whole-cut salmon fillet, announcing that it was developing a e for 3D printing – to make plant-based fish alternatives at a low cost and at scale. The structured, boneless salmon fillet has the same nutritional value as the actual fish.


Israel’s TopGum launched its sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan line of “gummiceuticals” in 2021. It is investing $30 million in a new production facility to triple its essential vitamins, minerals, natural extracts, pre and probiotics, and superfood supplements to strengthen the immune system, vision, urinary health and more.

Precision agriculture

Israel’s Alta provides agricultural solutions for farmers using drone / UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology. These include crop surveillance, safe and cost-effective spraying, eradication of pests and rodents while reducing the use of toxic pesticides, etc.

Your personal electric plane

The CEO of Israeli start-up AIR describes its AIR ONE electric plane. It will be so safe and simple to operate that you don’t have to be a pilot to fly it.


Preparing to land on the Moon again

SpaceIL co-founder Kfir Damari discusses the Beresheet 1 mission, his hopes to spark children’s interest in space and plans for Beresheet 2 to launch in 2024 or 2025. Also, SpaceIL and the Parasol Foundation Women just co-launched a NIS 1 million program promoting women in space tech.,7340,L-3927873,00.html

Israeli astronaut’s 35 experiments

During his mission on the International Space Station in February, Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe (see here previously) will perform 35 experiments, designed by schools, leading Israeli institutions, companies, universities, and hospitals. He will also give science lectures to Israeli schoolchildren.,7340,L-3927811,00.html

Israel joins NASA’s human mission to the Moon

Israel is the 15th country to join the NASA-led Artemis space program. Artemis aims to land astronauts on the lunar surface in 2025 and establish a long-term human presence on the moon as a warm-up for future missions to Mars.  A test flight is expected this summer.


Israeli investment keeps getting better

Israeli venture capital firm Viola has just published its report “Israel Tech Ecosystem 2021: Breaking Records in a Record-Breaking Year”. It highlights that the $8.1 billion of funding in startups in the last 3 months of 2021 was the highest investment quarter of all time.,7340,L-3927712,00.html

Boosting food security startups

Israel has awarded a total of NIS 8.6 million to six agro-tech startups engaged in ensuring the regular supply of fresh food (food security). They are BioFishencyAgrint Sensing Solutions, Tosaf Compounds, ALTA drones, FruitSpec and Salicrop.,7340,L-3927980,00.html

Direct flights from Philippines

Philippine Airlines is to launch a direct route to Israel in April and has already started selling tickets. Initially, it will operate two weekly flights between Tel Aviv and Manila. The expected flight time is about 11 and a half hours on the Airbus A350 aircraft.

Nvidia to expand Israeli R&D

US giant Nvidia, which acquired Israel’s Mellanox in 2020 for $7 billion, is to establish a new Israel-based design and engineering group. Its aim is to develop the next-gen Nvidia CPUs for powering the revolution in AI, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and virtual world simulations.

More partners to remove CO2

Israel’s Albo (see here previously) has now partnered with Israel’s Taranis to help farmers in the US, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, and Australia prove they are CO2 “sinks” and can receive carbon credits. Another partner is Tembo Climate of Mauritius, which works with Sub-Saharan farmers.

Growth for pure plant protein

Israel’s ChickP has doubled its annual production of concentrated allergen-free, non-GMO chickpea protein isolate. It has also opened a new R&D center, appointed Liat Lachish Levy as CEO, and raised $8 million of funds. It now plans to expand its marketing into the US, Europe, and Asia.,7340,L-3927870,00.html

DHL opens Israeli robotic sorting center

DHL has just made its biggest Middle East investment – opening an $80 million automated processing center in Israel. It can ship 20,000 packages every hour – vital, due to the growth in Israel’s economy since the beginning of the pandemic.


This week’s Unicorn

Israel’s Firebolt, developer of cloud data warehouses for engineering teams, has just raised $100 million ($1.4 billion valuation) to join the Unicorn club of private companies worth over $1 billion.,7340,L-3928013,00.html

Investment in Israeli startups:

Redefine Meat raised $135 millionImmpact Bio raised $111 millionFireBolt raised $100 raised $100 millionPersonetics raised $85 millionHunters cybersecurity raised $68 millionSayata raised $35 millionWalnut raised $35 millionAddionics raised $27 millionPortnex raised $22 millionDigitalOwl raised $20 millionVanti Analytics raised $16 millionHoneycomb insuretech raised $15.4 millionSiteAware raised $15 raised $14 millionRidge raised $12 millionRedefine security raised $11 millionGetApril raised $10 millionPolar Security raised $8.5 millionChickP raised $8 millionScribe Security raised $7 millionSpring Games raised $7 millionSupersmart has raised $5+ millionImpala raised $1 million;


Art to promote unity

The Mayor of Israeli city Beit Shemesh is using Jewish artwork to unite the city’s diverse population. Exhibits in the lobby of the local municipality buildings include the works of local artist Naama Goldberg and her husband Asher, portraying Rabbis from almost every branch of Jewish culture.

One of the earliest printed Hebrew books

The National Library of Israel (NLI) has acquired 90 pages from Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher’s “Arba’ah Turim”. The 1492 Soncino edition is from the earliest period of Hebrew printing. No complete copies have survived, and these 90 pages cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Snow in Jerusalem

Children in Israel’s capital enjoyed a brief morning playing in 10 inches of snow that fell during storm Elpis. Even President Herzog and his wife joined in.



Israel’s first paralympic skier

20-year-old downhill skier Sheina Vaspi will be Israel’s first and only competitor at the Winter Paralympics in Beijing, March 4-13. She is from a Lubavitch family in the Hula Valley and was the first Israeli to compete in the recent Para World Alpine Skiing Championships in Norway.


Dig for a day, at Maresha

Israeli licensed tour guide Nosson Shulman writes about Maresha, a city mentioned in the Book of Joshua, where visitors can help excavate houses that are millennia old. When they find an object, Nosson tells them that they are the first people to be holding it in over 2,000 years.

Ancient Hebrew amulet found at site of Joshua’s Altar

Israeli archeologists recently discovered an ancient Hebrew amulet on Mount Ebal, overlooking Shechem (Nablus), at the site of Joshua’s Altar. It is inscribed with the Hebrew letter Alef and a popular Egyptian motif. The Israelites may even have brought it from Egypt!

Digital Media Warriors

Episode 13 of the JNF’s Conversations on Zionism (Reclaiming the Narrative) will be shown on Tues 1st Feb at 7:30pm ET (4.30pm PT). Register today and then tune in on 1st Feb to hear 4 dynamic panelists who use social media to empower Jews to expose the world to the miraculous story of Israel.

NASA veteran makes Aliya

Jerry Wittenstein, the CEO of NASA’s International Space Systems who worked alongside US astronaut Neil Armstrong and developed half of Apollo 11’s trajectories, has just made Aliyah with his wife Carol. They regularly flew on Delta Airlines, which gave them an emotional on-board send-off.


Jewish woman escapes Iran for Israeli medical treatment

After Iranian doctors had given her no hope, Iranian Jew Zehava fled Iran, via Turkey, to get life-saving treatment in Israel.  One month later, Zehava can walk again, and is no longer constantly connected to an oxygen tank.

VeryGoodNews zooms to Massachusetts

Your editor gave a virtual presentation last week to members of Temple Israel of Natick and others, entitled “Israel – Beyond Imagination”.  Watch the recording here.

More publicity for Israeli good news

Student “Ambassadors” at Haifa’s Reali Hebrew School have been posting selected articles from the VeryGoodNewsIsrael newsletter onto their website.  Read them here.

Israel’s youngest lifesaver

At his recent Bar Mitzvah, Rafael was presented with a certificate of appreciation and excellence by Israel’s United Hatzalah. A week earlier, Rafael, the son of a UH volunteer, successfully performed the Heimlich Maneuver to save his 4-year-old sister when she choked on a piece of candy.