Earthquake prediction is 80% accurate; Israeli students win UK BAFTA award; Summer camp for bereaved children; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
It started here
This article gives more details about the fecal microbial transfer (FMT) trial at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center in 2020 to treat terminally ill melanoma patients (see here previously). FMT trials are now underway in at least 30 global locations. The “gut feeling” is that one day it could save millions.
Making leukemia cells harmless
Scientists from Tel Aviv University were key members of a team led by University of Barcelona scientists, that reverted malignant blood cancer cells back into “normal” cells in the laboratory. They used messenger RNA to convert acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells to macrophages.
Startups partner to detect ALS
Israel’s NeuraLight (see here) and NeuroSense Therapeutics (see here) are partnering to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). They will study patients using NeuroSense’s biological markers, together with Neuralight’s digital oculometric biomarkers.
The world’s largest ER facility
Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital has inaugurated the Sylvan Adams Emergency Hospital (see here previously). The 8,000sqm Emergency Room is the largest in the world. Technology includes facial recognition registration, self-triage, alerts for abnormal results, navigation robots and an app.
The patient revealed
Israel’s Navina has made great strides since it was reported here in Nov 2020. Its AI technology filters now organizes and presents patient data to 1,500 physicians in the U.S. The founders’ IDF 8200-unit know-how now helps doctors assess patients more effectively, with less misdiagnoses.
Teenager’s online mental first aid course
When Maayan Cohen finished a regular first aid course she realized there was no psychological component, so she created one. Some 3,000 people are currently taking part in the pilot phase of the free online course. It focuses on detecting distress and taking initial action.
Attracting doctors to the periphery
Israel’s Aliyah and Integration Ministry is to provide a grant package for physicians who emigrated to Israel and live outside of the center of the country. They will be eligible to receive 50,000 shekels per family. Lower value grants are available for other health care and engineering professionals.
Maccabiah athletes register their bone-marrow
Israeli medical charity Ezer Mizion are offering Maccabiah athletes the opportunity to join the world’s largest Jewish bone-marrow donor registry. They volunteer to submit saliva samples which are then checked against the DNA of blood cancer sufferers.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
The first female border protection battalion commander
The IDF has appointed the first woman to serve as commanding officer of the Caracal infantry battalion, a part of the Border Protection Corps. Major Or Livni will be promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Free public transport for over-75s
As of Aug 1st, public transportation in Israel, including local and national buses, trains (and new Haifa cable car), will be completely free for people over the age of 75. With 450,000+ citizens over the age of 75, Israel has one of the world’s highest life expectancies.
Israeli tourists save entertainer in Morocco
A Moroccan man performing in a riding and shooting exhibition was nearly crushed when his horse fell on him. An Israeli tourist in the audience was a doctor and she stabilized the rider, who was taken to hospital as the rest of the audience applauded.
Saudi magazine praises Arabs in IDF
The cover story in the latest edition of the Saudi magazine Al Majalla, published from London, was a positive feature about Moslem Arab Israelis who serve in the IDF. It quoted one who had the “great honor” to hold both a weapon and the Quran to defend his homeland, Israel.
Colombia celebrates National Day in Tel Aviv
Colombian Ambassador Margarita E. Manjarrez Herrera hosted her country’s National Day reception at the Tel Aviv Hilton. The event included musical presentations and amazing Salsa dancers from the Ensálsate Company.
Make them notice Israel!
This article by David Suissa ironically states “Israeli innovators are so busy solving problems, to make the world a better place, that they’re oblivious to the fact that much of the world hasn’t noticed.” This newsletter editor pleads to its readers to “MAKE THEM NOTICE!”
Mental health training for Ukrainian therapists
20 Ukrainian psychologists have spent two weeks in Israel receiving training on how to treat trauma cases. Ukraine cannot cope with the massive numbers of people affected by the conflict with Russia. A key goal of the course was how to help traumatized children.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The city of Haifa has opened its Rakavlit cable car (aerial tramway). The cars transport mostly students 2.7 miles, from the HaMifratz Bus Terminal to the Haifa Technion in 10 minutes, plus another 9 mins to the University of Haifa. A car with 10 passengers departs every 15 seconds. Ride it on the Youtube video!
Why corals glow
Tel Aviv University researchers have shown that the reason why some undersea corals glow is to attract prey. Plankton, the food of predatory mesophotic (fluorescent) corals, was significantly more attracted to a fluorescent target than a clear “control” target.
Earthquake prediction is 80% accurate
Researchers from Israel’s Ariel University can predict a strong earthquake and its location with at least 80% accuracy some 48 hours ahead. They detect changes in the ionosphere layer caused by both acoustic and gravity waves.
Don’t go vegan but eat less meat
Israel’s Mush Foods has developed “hybrid meat” – 50% meat, 50% edible mushroom known as mycelium. 50% less cholesterol but same meaty taste. Mush Foods plan to launch the product in Tel Aviv restaurants during August.
Preventing beverages from spoiling
Israel’s Gat Foods and Israeli biotech Resorcix have developed a natural botanical ingredient – Flavorwatch that prevents clear, fruit-based beverages spoiling from Thermophillic Acidophilic Bacteria (TAB). Flavorwatch eliminates TAB spore outgrowth by disintegrating the cells.
Israel’s WeFill is helping the environment by delivering groceries in reusable packaging. Subscribers order regularly, receive their shopping delivered in glass jars and canvas bags and return the empties. These are sterilized and used for future shipments. No plastic waste and lower costs.
Walk-in electric van with motorized wheels
Israel’s REE Automotive (see here previously) has unveiled its first UK & US-built production vehicle. The Proxima is a 120kW, 200km urban delivery vehicle for the U.S. market. Its motorized all-wheel drive includes reversing rear wheels for ultimate all-weather maneuverability.
A smart robot packer
Israel’s Pickommerce AI Robotics won Calcalist and Poalim 2022 Hi-Tech’s StartUp+ competition. Its AI robot, called Dumbo, can pick up, hold, analyze, and pack an item efficiently in a box – at a rate of 500 to 600 items per hour.
Rise and shine
A team from Netivot in Southern Israeli won the Unistream “Project of the Year 2022” prize. Their EasyWake smart mattress wakes the sleeper with pleasant sounds and gentle vibration. It interfaces with IoT-enabled devices e.g., window shades, lights, and heaters. The Israeli company Polyron “rose” to take it up.
Multi-diverse Young Entrepreneurs
Over 100 projects were presented at Unistream’s Young Entrepreneur competition from nearly all regions, religions, and sectors across Israel. The runners up included accessible smart closet shelves; a forest fire detection system using sensors; and a sticker that helps prevent dehydration.
Ben Gurion Airport to run on solar power
Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport has had an advanced solar energy system installed. The system has a capacity of about four megawatts and includes the innovative technology of Israel’s SolarEdge. The technology was installed by Electra Energy.
How busy is Ben Gurion Airport?
Frequent traveler Tzahi Zilbershtein has set up a site, which predicts how crowded Ben Gurion airport is likely to be. The site (in Hebrew) assesses the arrivals hall, check-in, and security checks in both Terminal 1 & 3. It has five ratings: deserted, light, medium, heavy, and peak.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
The first Israeli-Saudi deal
Israeli-founded SolarEdge has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Ajlan & Bros Holding Group Abilitii. The two companies are to “explore investment in renewable energy,” according to the Saudi ministry. SolarEdge’s $14.7 billion market cap makes it one of Israel’s most valuable companies.
Hotels back to 2019 occupancy levels
The Israel Hotel Association reports June occupancy levels near those of 2019, before the pandemic. In fact, Eilat hotels are even busier than in 2019, as both domestic and foreign tourism are booming. Overall, June 2022 saw 2.1 million hotel overnights, just 5% less than in June 2019.
Air travel takes off
El Al have reintroduced six Boeing 777-200ER planes to meet rising travel demand this summer. It also plans to begin direct flights to Japan and Australia now that Saudi Arabia has opened its airspace to Israeli airlines. Meanwhile, International flights from Eilat’s Ramon Airport will begin in August.
Israel21c visits Legends
Good to see that Legends – the Israeli distillery producing the unique Slingshot Kentucky whiskey (see here previously) – is getting wider publicity.
Apple’s 3rd Israeli R&D center
Apple is expanding its Israel operations, with a new development center in Jerusalem. The U.S. technology giant already has 2,000 employees in Herzliya and Haifa. Its new site will reportedly focus on hardware and Mac chip development. Apple’s M1 chip was mostly developed in Israel.
Yahoo! to expand Israeli R&D
Multinational Yahoo! is expanding its Israel operations and its sales relationships with Israeli advertisers. It is currently recruiting positions both Ramat Gan (Tel Aviv) and Haifa centers. Yahoo! has been operating in Israel for nearly two decades, acquiring several Israeli startups.
ElliQ is launched
After five years of development, Israel’s Intuition Robotics officially released the ElliQ system (see here previously) in the US. The AI robotic companion helps the elderly stay active, connected, and engaged. A study showed lonely 60-year-olds to live 3-5 years less than “never lonely” ones.
Zeekr installs Mobileye software
Israeli-founded Mobileye has updated tens of thousands of Zeekr electric cars in China with what it calls “one of the world’s most advanced highway assist packages”. It uses Zeekr’s seven cameras to react to sudden braking ahead, a parked car door opening or a pedestrian.
Exits, takeovers & mergers
Israel’s PerimeterX is merging with US HUMAN Security for a combined value of $1.5 billion. Israel’s Tremor International has bought Israeli-founded Amobee from Singapore Telecom for $239 million. Saudi Arabia’s Mithaq Capital now has over 20% of the shares of Israel’s Otonomo Technologies.
Investment in Israeli startups to 31/7/22:
Balance (GetBalance.com) raised $56 million; Diagnostic Robotics raised $45 million; Frontegg raised $40 million; Viably raised $21 million; Cisco invested $10 million in Island.io; INCRMNTAL raised $4.1 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Uncovering “lost” art
Three previously unknown (and unfinished) sketches by celebrated 20th-century artist Amadeo Modigliani were discovered at the University of Haifa’s Hecht Museum, hidden beneath the surface of one of his paintings. His works were X-rayed prior to an upcoming exhibit in Philadelphia.
Israeli Jazz in Barcelona
This year’s JAZZ IM festival in Barcelona was dedicated to Israel. The Israeli embassy supported two Israeli jazz ensembles in the festival – the Tal Gamlieli Trio, and the Guy Mintos Trio. The organizers streamed the shows since all their concerts were sold out.
Israeli culture in Czech Republic
Střelecký Island, in the heart of Prague, recently became an island of Israeli culture in a unique open-air festival organized by the Israeli Embassy. Some 15,000 people enjoyed Israeli bands, soloists, folk-dancing, Krav Maga (self-defense), pita baking, poetry, children’s activities and more.
Unique deep-sea wonderland off Tel Aviv
Just off the coast near Tel Aviv is the Palmahim Slide – a geological phenomenon, home to a biodiversity of unique creatures and other underwater wonders. It is the first Israeli “Hope Spot” – designated by International NGO Mission Blue as critical to the health of the ocean.
Israeli students win UK BAFTA award
Israeli film students Shulamit Lifshitz and Oriel Berkovits from the Ma’aleh School in Jerusalem won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) student award. Their film “Girl No. 60427” features a young girl who discovers her survivor grandmother’s Holocaust diary.
Israel to host ATP Tour 250 tournament
Israel is to host an ATP tennis tournament for the first time in 26 years. Starting Sep 25, the Tel Aviv Watergen Open 2022 will take place at the Expo Tel Aviv Complex. Breaking for Rosh Hashana, finals take place on Oct 2nd.
The Maccabiah was more than medals
A good (JNS) article and an I24 interview that emphasizes that sporting success was only one aspect of the recent Maccabiah Games in Israel. It was an opportunity for thousands of Jewish athletes to connect and celebrate with their peers from all over the world.
Sports and more on Jerusalem’s streets
The recent excitement on Jerusalem’s streets has been mainly because of the Maccabiah Games, the Jerusalem Night Run, the Paul Anka concert, and the Jerusalem Film Festival. Meanwhile preparations are underway for August’s International Jerusalem Puppet festival.
THE JEWISH STATE
Coin of benevolent Roman Emperor found
An 1,850-year-old bronze coin depicting the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius has been found in the sea, near Haifa. Antonius repealed the cruel edicts of Emperor Hadrian, which encouraged Jews to return to their homeland and establish post-Temple Judaism.
Restoring the River Jordan
The Israeli government has approved an “historic” plan to develop the southern section of Jordan River. It will increase water levels and eliminate pollution. A new desalination plant will ensure a constant flow of water, turning the area into a diverse biological ecosystem and a tourist destination.
The youngest protected heritage site
The Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center on the campus of Tel Aviv University has been designated a protected historic site by the Council for the Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel. Built in 1998, the building is currently the “youngest” in the country to hold this status.
From war in Ukraine to home in Jerusalem
Detailed account of the “miraculous” journey of 100 children and 50 adult carers from Zhytomyr, Ukraine (see here previously) to the beautiful JNF-KKL Ness Harim forest school that is now their home and the help from Israelis everywhere.
Summer camp for bereaved children
The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) took 21 children and siblings of fallen IDF soldiers on its 17th annual Legacy Summer Camp in the USA. They included Arab and Druze participants, all benefiting from the opportunity to feel normalcy among other similarly affected children.