good_news_archives_890x100

by: Michael Ordman

POSITIVE NEWS DURING A WAR

Gap-year students mentor displaced kids

Israeli high school graduates in a pre-army volunteer program are supporting children evacuated due to the war. 60 joined NGO Bakehila (see here previously) mentoring Jewish and Arab kids relocated from Kiryat Shmona to Haifa. Others helped at Bakehila’s Jerusalem’s communes.
https://www.israel21c.org/gap-year-israelis-mentor-kids-impacted-or-displaced-by-war/

Son of Chabad emissary surprises parents

Chabad emissaries, who thought that their son was fighting in Gaza, were overjoyed when he was invited to join them on stage at a dinner in Florida.  Join Israel Good News Only WhatsApp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/LH48ij0tIvFHnxg0hL8f8T
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/386270

Residents of Shlomit return

Residents have returned to the Israeli village of Shlomit, just a few kilometers from Gaza, five months after having been evacuated following Oct 7. They are building a daycare center, funded by JNF-USA., to show that life has restarted and give strength to all the families in the region.
https://israfan.com/2024/02/29/homecoming-to-shlomit-a-communitys-resilient-return-amidst-ongoing-struggle/  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPMs4yIcrwU

Regrowing Israel

Prior to Oct 7, the 40,000 hectares of western Negev agricultural land supplied 70 percent of Israel’s fresh produce. Regrow Israel (see here previously) intends to help farmers rehabilitate the land. It has support from the VIP non-profit, Israel’s Volcani Center, Ben Gurion University. and the MIGAL Institute.
https://www.israel21c.org/farms-deliberately-destroyed-by-hamas-to-get-long-term-rehab/

Aid for the war wounded

After Oct 7, Israel’s largest volunteer organization Yad Sarah went into war mode. It filled container loads of equipment and relocated them outside hospitals where Yad Sarah didn’t have a branch. It then opened “The Soldier Rehabilitation Unit” to aid disabled soldiers physically and socially.
https://www.israel21c.org/war-testing-israels-biggest-medical-aid-volunteer-group/

Massive land purchase discounts to IDF veterans

IDF soldiers leaving the war can qualify for a discount on the land in the Galilee or Negev regions to build a home.  A soldier who does not own an apartment will receive a 90% discount and a combat veteran will receive a 95% discount – making it almost free.
https://worldisraelnews.com/idf-vets-to-receive-massive-land-purchasing-discounts/

Ohad goes to Wembley

Freed hostage Ohad Munder (see here previously), who spent his 9th birthday in Gaza, travelled to Wembley to watch his favorite UK team, Liverpool, play Chelsea in the cup final. He also met Israeli international and Tottenham striker Manor Soloman.
https://www.thejc.com/community/released-hostage-ohad-munder-gets-to-watch-his-football-heroes-yvne4rgh

So many heroes

The Middle East forum mission to Israel met a country of heroes. They included Nova massacre survivors who were in uniform a week later to help clean up houses, feed pet fish, find missing cats and dogs, and empty refrigerators and freezers of rotting food. And the resilience of Israelis was everywhere.
https://www.jns.org/israels-heroes-will-ensure-victory/

Saved by paramedic who trained in his methods

Yonati is CEO at Extreme Solutions that trains elite units and emergency organizations to handle extreme emergency situations. On Jan 8, in Gaza, he was hit by six bullets, one piercing his lung. Luckily, IDF medic Litav had taken an Extreme course and saved Yonati’s life.
https://5townscentral.com/2024/02/26/ceo-saved-by-idf-paramedic-who-trained-in-his-own-lifesaving-methods/

ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Predicting response to cancer therapy

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors (ICIs) are successful in 40% of cancer patients but are invasive and time-consuming. Scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute have developed a tool that predicts the response based on the metabolic activity in the immune system cells. (See also here previously)
https://technionuk.org/news-post/new-tool-determines-cancer-patient-response-to-immunotherapy/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37965137/

Lowering the cost of treatments

The US FDA has approved SIMLANDI – a biosimilar to (and less costly than) Humira for the treatment of adult rheumatoid arthritis and many other autoimmune diseases including IBD. SIMLANDI is a product of the partnership between Israel’s Teva and the multinational Alvotech.
https://www.tevapharm.com/news-and-media/latest-news/alvotech-and-teva-announce-u.s.-approval-of-simlandi-adalimumab-ryvk-injection-the-first-interchangea/

Predicting epileptic seizures

Israel’s NeuroHelp (see here previously) has developed a brain scanner that gives a one-hour warning of an upcoming epileptic seizure. It is working on a more compact device that can be worn during the day and a system called Neurofeedback that can help prevent the seizures.
https://nocamels.com/2024/02/predicting-epileptic-seizures-an-hour-before-they-happen/

Sleep on it

James Leinhardt at Levitex Sleep knows how to get the best night’s sleep. It’s all about posture. Protect your spine and neck, reduce back and shoulder pain, prevent snoring, and increase lung capacity by reading his advice. His specialist mattresses and pillows can also help. James is relocating from UK to Israel.
https://www.israel21c.org/this-man-knows-the-secret-of-how-not-to-wake-up-grumpy/
https://www.levitexsleep.com/

US approves smart skin patches

The US FDA has approved the Smart Skin product from Israel’s X-trodes (see here previously). The patches have embedded electrodes and can be attached anywhere on the body, to measure brain activity (EEG), heart activity (EKG), eye movements, muscular activity, and other signs.
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-fda-approves-x-trodes-monitoring-patch-1001472240

Sheba again at number 9

American magazine Newsweek in together with global data company Statista has again ranked Israel’s Sheba Medical Center as the nineth best hospital in the world. Key factors were the 98% survival rate for battlefield injuries, plus Sheba’s leading role in integrated physical and mental rehabilitation.
https://israfan.com/2024/02/29/sheba-medical-center-a-beacon-of-excellence-and-innovation-in-global-healthcare/

https://www.newsweek.com/rankings/worlds-best-hospitals-2024

And Hadassah is one of the smartest

Newsweek magazine also named Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center as one of the world’s leading hospitals in oncology, cardiology, and smart technologies. It is the sixth consecutive year that Hadassah has been recognized.
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/386136

Rehab with VR

Tel Aviv’s Reuth Rehabilitation Hospital uses virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) to rehabilitate patients after injury or debilitating illness, even PTSD. It displays a VR or AR scenario, so that the patient performs exercises while immersed in a game or other enjoyable activity or experience.
https://nocamels.com/2024/02/rehab-reality-using-vr-to-overcome-injury-illness-even-ptsd/

ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Israeli women

International Women’s Day is a farce at the UN, but in Israel it is a time to be proud. Fleur Hasson Nahoum (ex-deputy mayor of Jerusalem); the Presidents of Hadassah, Naamat & AZF; leaders of WZO, Health-tech, scientists, patent lawyers, One Family, survivors, MKs, athletes and soldiers.
https://rjstreets.com/2024/03/07/photos-of-special-israeli-women-for-international-womens-day/

The first female Airforce base commander

Lieutenant Colonel “Gimmel” is to lead the Ovda Airbase – the first woman to command an Israeli Air Force base. She enlisted in the IAF pilot training course in 2003 and will now be promoted to the rank of Colonel. See also here previously.
https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel-at-war/1709576108-historic-appointment-idf-names-woman-as-commander-of-air-force-base  https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/386215

The woman at the top of Harman

Michal Geva is the general manager of Harman Automotive Israel (a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics) and the general manager for OTA (over the air) and cybersecurity at Harman International. 30% of her employees are women in an industry that is predominantly male.
https://www.israel21c.org/michal-geva-the-woman-steering-herself-to-the-top-of-the-male-led-car-industry/

Girls in hard hats

David Biggio and his daughters Shirel, Lael, Selah, and Sara, are construction workers from Shvut Rachel in Samaria. They specialize in plastering. Their religious employers were originally concerned about modesty, but now they are impressed with how hard the girls work.
https://tps.co.il/articles/hard-hats-and-high-heels-shirel-biggio-builds-a-new-future-in-construction/

Ukrainian healthcare workers train in Israel

Israeli NGO One Heart has facilitated the training of surgeons, physiotherapists, mental health professionals, and ocularists at leading Israeli medical centers.
https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/ukraine-russia-war/1708353833-solidarity-in-the-face-of-adversity-ukrainian-doctors-train-in-israel-amidst-wars

Aid orgs share $1 million

Israel’s answer to the Nobel Prize, the $1 million Genesis Prize, has been jointly awarded to five organizations helping the Hamas-held hostages in Gaza and their families. They are JAFI, Lev Echad, Natal, One Family, and the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.
https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-hostage-aid-orgs-win-1-million-genesis-prize/
https://www.jewishagency.org/fund-for-victims-of-terror/

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Revealing the earliest galaxies

International scientists including those at Israel’s Ben Gurion University, have analyzed spectra from the James Webb Telescope that reveal very low-mass galaxies less than a billion years after the Big Bang. The discovery represents a breakthrough in human knowledge of the cosmos.
https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1035923

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-024-07043-6

A great story

Israel’s Storywizard.ai has evolved, in one year, from an app intended for the personal use of parents telling bedtime stories, into a teaching tool used in 1,500 schools worldwide, winning a Global EdTech Startup Award. It makes use of generative AI and supports English, Hebrew, Arabic and six other languages.
https://www.israel21c.org/storywizard-turns-bedtime-stories-into-english-teaching-tool/
https://www.storywizard.ai/

https://www.globaledtechawards.org/2023-winners

 

Climate-friendly construction material

A video about the 3D-printed cyanobacteria-derived building material developed by scientists at Israel’s Technion Institute (see here previously). Not only does it avoid the polluting manufacture process of concrete, but the new bio-based material removes carbon dioxide from the air.

 

Plastic waste has been sent packing

Israel’s Oceansix (see here previously) has just patented its revolutionary packaging material made from recycled plastic waste that can be reused up to 100 times.
https://cdn.getmood.io/warehouse/dynamic/457052.pdf

https://www.oceansix.com/

Fighting fires with drones

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has a two-drone solution for fighting wildfires, for presenting at the XPRIZE Wildfire Competition in the US. One UAV sees through the smoke to locate the source of the fire before it gets out of control. The other UAV sprays a flame retardant at that source.
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-aerospace-develops-wildfire-drone-solution-1001473135

Micro screens for AR/VR

Israel’s Tower Semiconductor has partnered with China’s Tianyi Micro to develop the next generation OLED micro displays for Augmented and Virtual Reality systems.
https://towersemi.com/2024/02/26/02262024/

https://towersemi.com/technology/cmos_image_sensor/
https://towersemi.com/technology/cmos_image_sensor/3d-gesture-control-face-recognition/

The next Israeli university

Israel has announced the establishment of the University of the Galilee. It will transform Tel-Hai College into the University of the Galilee in the city of Kiryat Shmona, based on Tel-Hai College and the Migal – Galilee Research Institute.
https://www.telhai.ac.il/en/news/3499

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Things are looking better

OurCrowd’s Jon Medved discusses Israel’s economy on “Wall Street Week” daily. It helps that many of Israel’s hi-tech workers have returned from the IDF. Israel is good value for investors.  Meanwhile, Israel’s annual inflation rate fell to 2.6% from 3% and job vacancies have soared.

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israels-annual-inflation-rate-falls-to-26-1001471422
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-job-vacancies-on-the-rise-1001471444

Israel raises $8bn in overseas bonds

In a staggering show of support for Israel’s economy Israel raised $8 billion in its first sale of bonds since Oct 7. Demand was so high that the issue was oversubscribed by 4.75 times – Israel could have sold $38 billion. 400 different investors took part, from 36 different countries.
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israel-raises-8b-in-overseas-bonds-1001473007

Shekel needs no support

After Oct 7, the Bank of Israel planned to sell up to $30 billion in foreign currency to support the Shekel if Israel’s currency came under pressure. Confidence in Israel is so high that no sales have been necessary for several months and Israel’s currency reserves increased by over $700 million last month.
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israels-foreign-exchange-reserves-rise-again-1001473140
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-shekel-gains-to-strongest-for-9-months-against-dollar-1001472492

Record gas revenues

Israel’s revenue from natural gas royalties reached NIS 2 billion in 2023, over 23% higher than 2022. Production increased as the Karish field came online. Israel also benefited from a strong Shekel, plus a 25% increase in exports to Egypt and Jordan.
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-govt-collects-record-gas-royalties-in-2023-1001472399

A record avocado harvest

Despite the war in Gaza and the difficulties in farming in certain areas, Israel’s avocado yield is expected to reach 250,000 tons this season compared to about 150,000 tons in 2023, according to the Agriculture Ministry. The previous record was about 210,000 tons in 2022.
https://www.ynetnews.com/culture/article/h18pf2fnp

Proud to be at mobile congress

The Startup Nation was well received at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The 32 Israeli companies arranged some 2,000 business meetings. Israeli innovations included infrastructure, network IOT (Internet of Things), Cloud solutions and AI.
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/386344

Nvidia’s success in Israel

US tech giant Nvidia has 3,300 employees in Israel – 13% of its global workforce. In 2019 Nvidia acquired Israel’s Mellanox, now with annual sales of $13 billion, plus Israel-1, the world’s strongest supercomputer. Some 1,000 Israeli AI tech companies participate in Nvidia’s startup program.
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-nvidias-path-to-stunning-success-runs-through-israel-1001472214

Vegan “meat” for Mexico

Israel’s Chunk Foods (see here previously) is partnering Spanish/Mexican Better Balance, bringing the co-branded Chunk plant-based products to Mexico. Chunk Foods will also launch new products that cater to the vibrant tastes and lifestyles of Mexicans.
https://www.israel21c.org/in-mexico-help-yourself-to-some-israeli-plant-based-meat/

Get ready for the foldable car

The CT2 from Israel’s City Transformer (see here previously) is scheduled to hit the roads in July. The foldable Electric Vehicle can seat two adults or one adult plus two children and will cost $17,400.

 

https://www.timesofisrael.com/a-game-changer-israeli-based-firms-foldable-ev-to-hit-roads-in-july/

Team8’s new half-a-billion-dollar fund

Israeli fund Team8 has announced the closing of new funds totaling $500 million. Team8 has built 20 companies, invested in an additional 21, and achieved eight exits (including the recent cyber exits of Dig and Talon for a total of around one billion dollars.
https://www.calcalistech.com/ctechnews/article/sjdxaqmpp

Castor seeds for Africa and Brazil

Casterra (see here previously) a subsidiary of Israel’s Evogen, has signed strategic agreements with existing and new seed producers in Brazil and Africa to increase its production of high-yielding, high-oil castor seeds.  Casterra’s seeds are a vital source of biofuels and animal feeds.
https://evogene.com/press_release/casterra-announces-new-agreements-with-seed-producers-in-brazil-and-africa-to-meet-growing-demand-for-its-elite-castor-seed-varieties/

https://casterra.co/

Retirement?  Maybe not now

Investment advisor Doug Goldstein reports that since Oct 7, Israeli Anglos may wish to re-assess their retirement strategy.  Like younger Israelis, many have been invigorated and have no intention to put their feet up. Volunteering, charity, supporting family, travelling; it’s a whole new world now.
https://profile-financial.com/2024/03/06/redefining-retirement/

Exits, takeovers and mergers – to 10/3/24:

Israel’s Deel is acquiring Africa’s PaySpace for around $100 million. US giant CrowdStrike, which already has acquired several Israeli startups has just acquired Israel’s Flow Security for around $200 million. Israeli phage therapy company BiomX is to merge with US-based Adaptive Phage Therapeutics.

Startup investment – to 10/3/24:

Axonius raised $200 millionClaroty raised $100 millionSweet Security raised $33 millionHealthee raised $33 millionVessi Medical raised $16.5 millionFreezeM raised $14.2 millionUtila raised $11.5 million;

CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Film festivals mark International Women’s Day

LiaFEST at the Jerusalem Cinematheque honors Lia van Leer, the founder of that cinematheque, the Haifa Cinematheque, the film festivals in Jerusalem and Haifa, as well as the Israel Film Archive. The Tel Aviv Cinematheque is also featuring a women’s film festival.
https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/culture/article-790384

Jerusalem marathon’s Bar Mitzvah

The 13th edition of the race featured a record 40,000 participants, including 15,000 IDF soldiers and 1,800 international runners from more than 70 countries. Many runners participated in full IDF uniform, or with Israel flags, and shirts supporting the hostages.
https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/sports/article-790950

Gymnastic successes

At the Gymnastic International 2024 in Germany, Israel’s Daniella Munits won the gold medal in hoop and bronze with ball. In the juniors’ competition, Israel’s Alona Tal Franco won gold in hoop and clubs, while Meital Sumkin won gold in the ball and the ribbon.
https://twitter.com/nachal_giyus86/status/1764334079246225661

 

Other Israeli medalists

Elizabeth Tkachenko and Alexei Kiliakov won silver in the ice dance at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei. Judoka Baruch Shmailov won silver at the Tashkent Grand Slam event. And 2nd-placed go-karter Yam Pinto held up a poster at the CEE Rotax Max Championship.
https://wjc2024taipei.com/en/elizabeth-tkachenko-alexei-kiliakov-isr/
https://www.goldenskate.com/neset-and-markelov-secure-junior-world-gold-in-taipei/
https://www.judoinside.com/news/6449/Baruch_Shmailov_makes_remarkable_comeback_in_tashkent

THE JEWISH STATE

Rare Judean coin discovered

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have discovered a rare coin in the Judean desert from 132 CE with the name “Eleazar the Priest” in ancient Hebrew script. The reverse has the text “Year One of the Redemption of Israel,” again in ancient Hebrew script.
https://israfan.com/2024/03/05/echoes-of-bravery-unveiling-the-spirit-of-the-bar-kochba-revolt-through-a-newly-discovered-coin/  https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/archeology/1709545903-who-was-eleazar-the-priest-coin-found-in-judean-desert-unfurls-new-archaeological-mystery

Useful Aliya sites

Jacob Richman’s latest updates include Israel Traffic Signs, Customs, Etiquette and Behavior, Doing Business in Israel, Megavolt – Electrical Information in Israel, Aliyah FAQ, Lighting FAQ, Tips and Info.  https://jr.co.il/links/#aliyah

10 IDF couples wed in one wedding

In a remarkable display of unity ten IDF soldiers married their partners at a mass wedding in the Tel Aviv Port. It was part of Chabad of Savyon’s “Marrying the Warriors” initiative and included 10 wedding canopies. Each couple invited 100 guests. 10 glasses were simultaneously smashed.
https://www.jns.org/ten-idf-couples-wed-in-massive-tel-aviv-wedding/
https://unitedwithisrael.org/watch-celebration-idf-wedding-marries-10-soldiers-simultaneously/
https://matzav.com/ten-idf-couples-wed-in-massive-tel-aviv-wedding/

A gift from Heaven

This winter in Israel could be one of the wettest in the country’s meteorological history, reviving nature in the process. The Kinneret is less than 90cm from being full and the ancient reservoir at Tel Megiddo National Park is full. Jordan, despite its hostility to Israel post-Oct 7, has asked Israel for more water.
https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-wet-winter-sees-kinneret-nearing-maximum-level-1001472784
https://www.israel21c.org/nature-comes-alive-amid-israels-unusual-rain-streak/
https://www.jns.org/israel-may-reject-jordanian-request-to-extend-water-deal/

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): https://www.fidf.org/
or IDF Soldiers Fund in Israel: https://www.ufis.org.il/en/donation-en/  (select the English speakers’ option)

American Friends of Magen David Adom (US donors): https://afmda.org/
or Magen David Adom (Israel): https://www.mdais.org/en/donation

Zaka (US donors):  https://donate.zakatelaviv.org/give/525578/  or (Israeli donors): https://charidy.com/zaka
or (Canadian donors): https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/bellevue-foundation/

United Hatzalah: https://israelrescue.org/campaign/israel-at-war-2/  or Canada https://www.uhcanada.org/
Leket Food Israel: https://www.leket.org/en/
JNF USA – https://my.jnf.org/gaza-emergency/Donate  or Canada https://jnf.ca/
Orthodox Union – https://www.charidy.com/ouisraelcrisis

Schneider Children’s Hospital: https://www.fos.org.il/en/donate (Israelis)
https://system.smartgiving.org.uk/charities/8530/make-donation (UK)
https://chaischneider.org/donate/ (USA)

Hadassah Hospital Israel: https://www.hadassah.org/
Laniado Hospital (Netanya) https://my.israelgives.org/en/fundme/EmergencyLaniado

And many more charities here:
https://www.timesofisrael.com/where-people-abroad-can-donate-to-israels-hospitals-troops-survivors-and-more/  https://chesedtoday.com/campaigns/soldiers/ (Warm winter clothes for Israeli soldiers)

Buy Israel Bonds to support the Jewish State.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/state-of-israel-bonds
USA – https://www.israelbonds.com/
Europe – https://israelbondsintl.com/
Canada – https://www.israelbonds.ca/