Eat healthy in Israel; Why Gazans prefer Israeli products; Shared taxis are a vehicle for kindness; and much more!

By Michael Ordman


Eat healthy in Israel

The Israel Ministry of Health has been running a TV and social media campaign against processed food. It recommends alternatives such as fresh chicken, legumes, and fresh vegetables. Jacob has created a page of the videos with English translations.,7340,L-3757091,00.html

Predicting sports injuries

Israeli-founded startup Zone7 (InPlay Ltd) has developed software that analyzes data from wearables and video, tracks medical condition and performance and forecasts injuries. It is used by soccer clubs in the UK, Israel, and Spain. Zone7 has just raised $2.5 million including from top sportsmen.,7340,L-3756158,00.html

Hotline saves Israeli lives

ERAN is Israel’s only crisis intervention hotline, with 1,200 vetted and highly-trained volunteers, plus 25 full and part-time staff.  They handled nearly 200,000 calls in 2018 and prevented some 800 likely suicides. ERAN has also trained 25 ex-pat Israelis in Canada to help cover overnight shifts.

Identifying the early signs of heart failure

Israel’s Technion has partnered with Israeli startup Cordio Medical to develop a smartphone app to identify the first signs of heart failure. The app detects changes in a person’s voice due to lung fluid – an early warning of congestive heart failure. Clinical trials are in progress.

AI system for diabetes treatment

I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s DreaMed Diabetes monitors. DreaMed has just partnered with French company BioCorp to create an Artificially Intelligent system that integrates BioCorp’s Mallya smart cap for pen injectors with DreaMed’s Advisor Pro insulin analysis system.

Artificial Intelligence to benefit humanity

A brief introduction to Israel’s Weizmann Institute’s new Artificial Intelligence Center for Scientific Exploration.  It highlights Professor Yaron Lipman’s recent AI breakthrough in developing the On-Sight algorithm to automate heart function measurement from ultrasound.

Early pregnancy blood test for genetic disorders

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a new blood test to detect genetic disorders in fetuses as early as 11 weeks into pregnancy. DNA in the mother and father’s blood is sequenced. Then fetal DNA fragments in the mother’s blood is checked for any mutations.

Progress in hair loss study

A 7-year international study led by Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Professor Eli Sprecher, has revealed that a defect in the protein gene PAD13 is responsible for hair loss due to Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia [CCCA]. The condition affects 5% of African-American women.

Hotline saves Israeli lives

ERAN is Israel’s only crisis intervention hotline, with 1,200 vetted and highly-trained volunteers, plus 25 full and part-time staff.  They handled nearly 200,000 calls in 2018 and prevented some 800 likely suicides. ERAN has also trained 25 ex-pat Israelis in Canada to help cover overnight shifts.

Stem cell transplant restored vision

Surgeons at Haifa’s Rambam hospital have restored vision to a woman suffering from chemical burns on her eyes. They took amniotic membrane from a mother who had undergone a Caesarian section and sewed it underneath the patient’s eyelids. After a short recovery, she could see!

A center for stem cell donations

Israel has just opened the Ezer Mizion Stem Cell Harvesting Center – the first Israeli medical center specially designed to collect stem cells for bone marrow transplants. It will enable the public to donate stem cells in a dedicated environment, without having to spend up to 7 hours in hospital.


Why Gazans prefer Israeli products

There is no boycott of Israeli goods in Gaza. According to the Gaza Economy Ministry, 65% of all Gaza’s imports are made in Israel. Products made in Gaza are unpopular due lack of supervision, poor quality control, forged expiry dates and poor safety standards in Gazan factories.

Ugandan President explains Israel to Jewish leaders

Before visiting Israel, the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations visited Africa. The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, gave them a lecture on why the Jews have an historic right to be in Israel, even citing biblical references.

Australia marks 70 years of friendship with Israel

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison marked 70 years of Australia-Israel relations with a moving speech in Australia’s Parliament. He praised Israel as a beacon of democracy in the Middle East; its multicultural character, science, research, innovation and free press.

All Israelis can get close to nature

Over the past 10 years, progressive legislation has improved access for the disabled to enjoy Israel’s parks and forests. Accessibility facilities have been installed in some 70 sites administered by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) and in 300 forests managed by KKL-JNF.

US honors Knesset for integrating disabled

A special delegation from the US presented Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein with the Champion of the People Award for his efforts to integrate persons with disabilities and special needs into society. It specifically cited the Knesset’s workforce of which 5% are classified as disabled.

The first Druze hi-tech accelerator program

The Israeli Government together with the Druze Veterans Association have launched the first Druze hi-tech accelerator program in Daliyat al-Karmel. It aims to extend the leadership roles of Israeli Druze when they finish their IDF service and return to civilian life.

Jewish-Arab partnerships in Judea & Samaria

The Judea Samaria Regional Development Financing Initiative (RDFI) encourages joint entrepreneurship between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria. Initial projects include technology, industry, tourism, the environment, energy and infrastructure.

A connected people

Back in 2012 (see here) I reported that Israelis were avid users of the Internet. A new (Pew) study shows 77% of Israelis use social media – the most in the world. And 88% have smartphones, (second only to South Korea) making Israelis one of the most connected nations in the world.

Hungary & Slovakia to open Jerusalem centers

Slovakian PM Peter Pellegrini confirmed that Slovakia is to open a new information, cultural and innovation center in Jerusalem. Hungarian PM Viktor Orban promised to expand the Hungarian Embassy in Israel, and to open a trade representation in Jerusalem with diplomatic status.

Israel is Czech Republic’s strategic partner

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Czech Republic PM Andrek Babis to Jerusalem on his first visit to Israel. They plan to sign agreements for defense, technology and innovation, especially on water issues. Mr Babis said “Israel is our strategic partner in the Middle East.”


Israel’s moon mission is on course

SpaceIL’s Beresheet spacecraft completed a vital maneuver on 28 Feb to increase its maximum orbit distance from Earth. Despite two glitches, it is still on track to land on the moon on April 11. Website for more info on Beresheet – (TY Jacob Richman) Live data

New record for renewable energy

On 13th Feb a new Israeli record for electricity generated from renewable sources was set. The 1295 megawatts produced was 16.4% of Israel’s total production of energy on that day.  Annually, Israel generates 7% of its electricity from renewables, which is planned to grow to 10% in 2020.

UK students get the Technion perspective

Three professors from Israel’s Technion Institute gave lectures to large numbers of non-Jewish UK biology students at London’s Science Museum. Separately, Technion UK CEO Alan Aziz is organizing a trip for 60 students from Imperial College London to Israel in March.

Detecting water leaks from outer space

I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Utilis which detect leaks in water pipes using satellite data and technology developed to detect water on Mars and Venus.  Utilis now works with 120 water companies in 31 countries. (Of course, the BBC video doesn’t mention it’s Israeli.)

Preventing nuclear meltdown

Due to the enormous temperatures from nuclear fission, safety procedures for nuclear reactors previously could only be tested using computer simulations. Ben Gurion University and French scientists are now to build (in France) an experimental reactor named “ZEPHYR” to conduct actual tests.

Delivering pesticides drop by drop

Israeli drip irrigation specialists Netafim and Ben Gurion University’s BGN Technologies have signed a 3-year partnership with Bayer AG. The three will develop drip irrigation as a delivery system for Bayer’s pesticide to combat plant-parasitic worms and other crop protection products.,7340,L-3756111,00.html

The gym that you wear

The Israeli-developed Hyfit Wearable Gym comprises a system of resistance bands to enable the performance of 250 different exercises. Embedded sensors track progress, resistance and calories burned. The companion app provides feedback, motivation and helps plan exercise routines.

Your car can phone the emergency services

Thanks to a joint venture between Israeli startup MDGo and Magen David Adom (MDA), new cars involved in crashes in Israel are able to call for ambulances autonomously, using sensors to report the exact location as well as likely injuries to the driver and passengers.

Israel’s IoT revolution

Does your fridge know that you’re hungry? Does your shirt know how you feel?  Does your car talk to you?  The IoT (Internet of Things) can connect almost everything to the Internet. See here AutoTel (car rental), Prisma Photonics (fiber sensing) and Quickwy / Nexite (clothing tags).

One to watch

There are too many new Israeli cybersecurity startups for me to report on all of them. However, it is worth keeping an eye on nsKnox Technologies whose payment protection technology allows companies to validate payment authenticity. nsKnox’s founder Alon Cohen previously founded security giant CyberArk.,7340,L-3756660,00.html

See Quantum particles move

Tel Aviv University scientists have developed unique spatiotemporal imaging technology to capture the movement of excitons (tiny Quantum particles). They now hope to discover ways of manipulating and storing light for use in communications and photonics-based quantum computers.–technology?&storyid4702=2437&ncs4702=3

Sea squirts can measure pollution

Tel Aviv University researchers have found that ascidians (sea squirts) can help measure plastic pollution. They filter tiny particles from the ocean and store them in their soft tissue.–ecology?&storyid4703=2431&ncs4703=3


UK signs trade deal with Israel

I reported previously (26th Jan) that a post-Brexit free-trade deal between Britain and Israel had been agreed in principle. The detailed work has been now completed and the agreement has been formally signed.

The world’s largest local payments network

Israeli startup Rapyd Financial Networks has developed a service to transfer funds through cash, bank transfers, digital wallets, local cards and 300+ other payment methods. It supports 65 currencies, providing access to 2.3 billion consumers in over 100 countries.,7340,L-3756279,00.html

Philips accelerates Israeli sleep startup

I reported previously (2nd Sep) on Israel’s Dayzz and its app to help companies diagnose the sleep problems of their employees. Dutch multinational Philips has just selected Dayzz to participate in its inaugural 12-week Healthworks accelerator program for sleep-related startups.,7340,L-3756359,00.html

Orbotech’s $3.4 billion exit approved

I reported previously (8th Apr) that US giant KLA-Tencor was acquiring Israel’s Orbotech for $3.4 billion.  As the companies operate in Korea, Israel, the US, Taiwan, Japan and China, regulators in all these countries had to approve the deal.  China (the last) has finally done so.,7340,L-3756588,00.html

Demisto exits for $560 million

I reported previously (Feb 2017) when Israel’s Demisto raised $20 million to help develop its automated computer security incident management platform. Palo Alto Networks has now agreed to acquire Demisto for $560 million in cash and stock. It’s Palo Alto’s 3rd Israeli acquisition.,7340,L-3756664,00.html

Forever 21 integrates Israeli app

I reported previously (Aug 2015) on the artificially intelligent app from Israel’s Donde that trawls images of fashion products to help customers in their search. Donde has now been integrated into fashion retailer Forever 21’s website. It has also just raised $6.5 million of funds.,7340,L-3756645,00.html

Bamba is booming

Osem-Nestle has just opened a NIS 200 million new factory in Kiryat Gat that will double its production capacity and increase output of its iconic Bamba peanut snack to 1.5 million bags a day. Walmart has started stocking Bamba and other retail chains in the US and Europe are expected to follow.

Walmart’s first Israeli acquisition

Maybe it was all the Bamba bags in their stores that convinced Walmart to buy product review insight company Aspectiva – its first Israeli startup. Aspectiva’s artificial intelligence algorithms analyze product reviews and personalize the way that Walmart’s customers filter their searches.,7340,L-3757133,00.html


Fifty Shades of Fire

Israeli redheads gathered in Holon to mark the opening of the “Fifty Shades of Fire” photography exposition, featuring the work of Sharon Halabi. Three hundred Israeli redheads were photographed for the “ginger festival” exposition, after Halabi contacted local ‘gingers’ on Facebook.

Jerusalem – walk, run, ride, skate & eat

There’s plenty to enjoy in Jerusalem just now.  Red anemones have sprouted in the capital; Jerusalem is gearing up for its marathon on 15th Mar; Ice (skating) and Eat is the new concept in Mitchell Park and registration has opened for the first GFNY Jerusalem cycle race.

Israeli director wins Oscar for best Short

Israeli director Guy Nattiv won the Oscar for “Live Action Short Film” with his movie “Skin” at the Academy Awards. The 20-minute movie deals with a hate crime and its ramifications from the point of view of two children, one white and the other black.,7340,L-5469547,00.html

Bob Marley in Israel

With themes from the Jewish Bible playing a central role in reggae music for the past half century, Israel was the perfect place to celebrate the late Bob Marley on what would have been his 74th birthday.


Shared taxis are a vehicle for kindness

Israel’s monit sherut is a shared 10-seater taxi alternative to the bus. Fares and change are passed between passengers and the driver. Strangers converse, visitors receive directions, and the elderly give advice to the young. The sherut provides positive shared experiences.

How Israel got into space

In 1961 the US-Russian space race was in full swing. Meanwhile, German scientists were helping Egypt build missiles to attack Israel. So Israeli PM David Ben Gurion ordered Rafael (Israel’s armaments authority) to demonstrate Israel’s capabilities by building Israel’s first rocket into space.

Birthright is still growing

The Taglit-Birthright program in 2018 brought a record 48,000-plus young Jews from 67 countries to see Israel for the first time. In total 650,000 Jews have had the 10-day Birthright experience, and now Birthright is piloting 7-day tours for young adults aged 27 to 32.

Weird ways Israel won its Independence

While modern-day Israel is a force to be reckoned with, in its early days, its military might was pretty much non-existent. See the history of the Davidka, Soda bottle bombs and the Burma Road.  And Israeli chutzpah!

Chabad shul’s 3-minute lifesavers

When Eli Beer of Israeli Emergency Medical Service United Hatzalah spoke about his organization at the Village Shul (Chabad) of Hampstead, UK, he emphasized that a 3-minute response time was vital.  Three minutes later, the community had raised £54,000 for the paramedic service.

Israel railways finds wedding cash

When French tourists lost a bundle of 4,200 euros on Israel railways, staff launched an extensive search operation, locating the money at the station where the couple had boarded. The couple were delighted – the money being a wedding present for their grandson, a new Oleh living in Netanya.