by: Michael Ordman


He lied to his wife to rescue survivors

On Oct 7, IDF veteran Eran Masas, from Haifa lied to his wife that he had been called up by the army. He put on a uniform, took his sidearm and drove 220km to the Gaza border. He then coordinated multiple search and rescue operations as survivors thought he was an on-duty IDF officer.

Have a nice flight

IDF reservist Itay returned to Israel on an overbooked El Al flight from Bangkok with a seat in a washroom. The other 14 washrooms also seated IDF reservists, plus 10 in the cockpit and elsewhere. Luckily, he had a pre-flight massage. Two days later he was dodging terrorist bullets in Huwara, near Nablus.

US mission for volunteer doctors in Israel

Israeli Doctors in America, together with the Israeli Ministry of Health and Israel’s Economic Mission to the USA – East Coast, have launched the IL-USDocAID Initiative. It brings US medical professionals to work either in Israeli hospitals or with Magen David Adom.

1,000 hugs

Operation Hug (see here previously) has now brought over 1,000 parents from over 50 different countries to visit their children who are lone soldiers serving in the IDF. Thanks to Nefesh B’Nefesh, JNF-USA, and FIDF (Friends of the IDF).  Watch some of the recent reunions here.

Former US Envoy donated an ambulance

Former US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and his family donated a mini-lance (mini-ambulance) emergency response vehicle to Israel’s United Hatzalah. He requested that will be specifically driven by a female Arab volunteer and deployed in eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

Displaced Israeli kids learn and play in mobile tech lab

More about the work of the charity Machshava Tova (see here previously), which uses funds from CJP in Boston to purchase computers, projectors, 3D printers, VR goggles and other equipment for children evacuated from Sderot.

Displaced boy finds 2,000-year-old coin

11-year-old Nati Tokiyar from Kibbutz Magen was evacuated to the Dead Sea to avoid Hamas rockets from Gaza. As he was exploring the area, he found a coin of Hasmonean king and high priest Alexander Jannaeus (104-76 BCE). The Israel Antiquities Authority gave him a certificate.

We will still sing

Some 7,000 Netanya children came to the city stadium to demonstrate unity and solidarity and express their desire to see the return of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. See other videos of adults and children displaying that Israelis will never surrender to those that hate us.

“I survived for a reason”

Watch an example of the incredible spirit of Israeli soldiers.


110 new medications and technologies

Israel’s 2024 subsidized health basket will see an expansion of genetic testing, treatment for adult ADHD, innovative diabetes management, and new treatments for cancer and chronic and rare diseases. The 110 additions will help 317,000 more people at a cost of NIS 650 million to the State.

Hope for Huntington’s disease patients

Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have identified two small molecules capable, in the laboratory, of penetrating the blood-brain barrier and reducing the levels of a defective protein that causes Huntington’s disease.

Hi-tech medical analysis

Tel Aviv University Prof Noam Shomron digitizes human DNA and uses AI to discover genetic diseases. That’s his day job – in evenings and weekends he helps the IDF identify fallen soldiers. He explains how functional genomics and AI can help make better medical decisions.

Israeli sunshine increases fertility

Women wishing to expand their family might consider making Aliyah. Researchers at Tel Aviv University have found for the first time that exposure to the sun in women aged 30-40 can increase fertility. Their ovaries secrete more Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) due to higher UV levels.


You’re covered. US non-profit health insurer Highmark has added, to the items covered by its insurance policies, the Nerivio Remote Electrical Neuromodulation (REN) migraine band, developed by Israel’s Theranica (see here previously). Highmark covers around 7 million people in the Pennsylvania area.

New rehab center

Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has approved the construction of the Reuth TLV Rehabilitation Hospital – the largest and most advanced rehabilitation facility in Israel. It will take 7 years to build, contain 450 beds, clinics, hydrotherapy pool, hyperbaric chamber, etc., and cost some NIS 850 million.

Walk-in, walk-out surgery

Tel Aviv Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center has opened 10 underground operating rooms for ambulatory surgeries. Costing NIS 100 million, they are expected to shorten the waiting periods for operations that do not require general anesthetic, or pre- or post-operative overnight hospital stays.


Easier admissions policy

Students who serve in the IDF reserves may be able to study for a bachelor’s degree at Tel Aviv University (excluding medicine) without a psychometric exam. Only high school matriculation grades will be considered. The policy may be extended for other students adversely impacted by the war.

The female force behind David’s Sling

For the last 3 years, Anat (no surname, no photo) has been Rafael’s head of the launch and interceptor system project for Israel’s David’s Sling. She also updates it for constantly evolving threats. Anat has been 20 years at Rafael; she has 3 children including an IDF combat unit daughter.

Giving voice to speechless Australians

Israeli speech recognition startup Voiceitt (see here previously) has teamed up with Australia’s Superyou Tech, which helps people with disabilities access innovative assistive technologies. Voiceitt’s powerful AI addresses a diverse linguistic landscape, including accents and dialects.

Safer trucking in South Carolina

Israel’s SaverOne (see here previously) is to run a pilot program with South Carolina trucking company Motor Supply. SaverOne prevents drivers from accessing distracting apps such as instant messaging, while allowing others (such as those for navigation) to run without user intervention.

Christian parliamentarians visit Israel

More than 20 parliamentarians from around the world are gathering in Jerusalem in the largest political solidarity mission to Israel since Oct 7. They will be attending the annual Israel Allies Foundation Chairman’s Conference.

Israeli NGOs working in Africa

Israel21c’s latest article lists 30 Israeli-linked NGOs saving or improving lives in Africa. Nine of them are new to this newsletter, including GYE Nyame Mobile Clinics in Ghana, Bilu Uganda, CultivAid, Africa 2030, HelpUp, Shanita, HalevAfrica, Brit Olam, and CoCuD.


More patents than Europe

Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology registered 48 patents in the US last year – more than any European university. The Technion was ranked 66th on the National Academy of Inventors list of Worldwide universities. It highlights the important role that the Technion plays in the innovation ecosystem.

What’s happened to gummies?

Israel’s TopGum was last reported here in Dec 2022. It has since launched Gummiccino, coffee flavored gummies shaped like espresso pods; also, three “Gummiceuticals” – calcium and magnesium, full-spectrum, and high-dose calcium. TopGum is building a second factory to cope with demand.

Extending the shelf life of strawberries

Bar-Ilan PhD student Belal Abu Salha’s family owns a strawberry farm.  So, it was in his interest to develop an edible nano-coating that extends the shelf life of strawberries by 15 days. He uses sonification (ultrasound in liquid) to create the nano-coated particles from natural polymers.

Destroying weeds with kindness

Israel’s WeedOut (see here previously) is eliminating the Palmer amaranth weed, which poses a serious threat to crops in the United States, Brazil, (yes!) and Argentina, including corn, cotton, soybean, and sugar beet. WeedOut’s innovative pollen makes the weed infertile.

Climate-tech startups win funding

The Climate Solutions Prize Organization has awarded $1.3 million to 7 Israeli climate-tech startups. New to this newsletter include BaTTeRi (robotic EV charging) and Filo Systems (data compression). Previously reported here: ElectriqBioticNemo NanomaterialsEnvomed, and TIGI.

The EV battery of the future

Israel’s StoreDot (see here previously) has unveiled its concept battery pack for Electric Vehicles (EVs). Its new I-BEAM XFC resolves the main problem with car batteries – cooling! Each cell has its own cooling system – so no hotspots, and a 5-minute charge will get you 100 miles.

Eco-friendly aviation fuel

The CarboNGV Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF – see here previously) from BGN Technologies and Israel’s Ralco Energy is far more environmentally friendly than SAF produced elsewhere. The process converts more waste into fuel and generates less pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Israeli flying car to get an engine

Israel’s AIR together with US-based Nidec Motors are designing a motor for the new AIR ONE eVTOL (electric Vertical TakeOff and Landing) vehicle.

Israeli startups launch more AI products

Israeli AI products launched recently include Lightricks’ LTX Studio; AI21 Labs’ Summarize Conversation solution; and D-ID’s Agents AI avatars (see here previously).


A great time to invest

Michael Eisenberg, VC fund Aleph co-founder, said on CNBC that now is “one of the greatest opportunities to invest in Israel. Israeli companies deliver.”  Israeli tech startups are undervalued and offer significant upside potential.  Hamilton Lane CEO Juan Delgado-Moreira gave similar advice to CTECH.

Founding new companies during a war

Being evacuated or having a spouse in the reserves hasn’t stopped Israeli entrepreneurs from starting new companies. Gal Admati launched two (Qortein and HarvestR) from his hotel room. Dr. Hadas Ziso founded EndoCure despite her husband and a key employee being called up.

Pitching up in Florida

The State of Florida recently hosted 30 Israeli tech companies for a “pitch day” in the state’s capital Tallahassee. The Israeli companies represented areas such as healthcare, water treatment, energy, and cybersecurity. Each presented ideas to help strengthen Florida’s resources and capabilities.

Assess the damage

OPENLANE, a US-based international digital marketplace for wholesale used vehicles, is now using Israel’s Click-Ins to detect and assess vehicle damage. OPENLANE’s Visual Boost AI creates visual overlays of detected exterior damage directly within the vehicle condition report.

Saving billions in FX

Swiss-Israeli okoora (see here previously) says it has achieved cumulative savings of more than $3 billion for its customers through international foreign exchange transactions to date. Okoora’s Automated Business Currency Management (ABCM™) manages global payments, banking, and risk.

Safeguarding the Australian army

Despite waning support from the Australian government, it is still happy to purchase military protection systems from Israel.  Elbit has announced it was awarded a 5-year, $600 million contract, to supply mission-critical systems to Hanwha Defense Australia for use by the Australian army.

Increasing corn yields in the Mid-West

Agriculture giant Syngenta has an Israeli seeds R&D center (see here). Syngenta is deploying sensors from Israel’s CropX (see here previously) to improve its irrigated corn fields across Mid-West USA. In multi-vendor trials last season, Syngenta ranked CropX as the top performer.

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

Israel’s Deel has taken over Germany’s Zavvy for $20 million. US IT giant Workday has acquired Israel’s HiredScore for “hundreds of millions of dollars”. Ausralia’s Octopus Deploy has acquired Israel’s Codefresh for $40-50 million.

Startup investment – to 3/3/24: Exodigo raised $75 millionWeedOut raised $8.1 million;


Zubin Mehta returns

Although he retired in 2019 after 50 years of conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (see here previously), he has returned as guest conductor for eight concerts.  But be quick – the last one is on March 5.

White rainbow and green-horned gazelle

Employees of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel have reported seeing some rare phenomena. Nadav Israeli spotted a white rainbow in the Galilee on Feb 8, and then Amir Balaban noticed a green-antlered Dorcas gazelle in the Negev.  Both have logical explanations, but ..–a-white-rainbow-was-recorded-this-morning-in-the-north—voila!-tourism.Hy4VdyWfsa.html#google_vignette

Golda wins Dove award

Israeli director Guy Nattiv and British actor Helen Mirren received a Dove Award from the Cinema for Peace Foundation for their joint work in the 2023 biopic “Golda,” in which Mirren stars as Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel. Nattiv and Mirren received the awards in Berlin.

Singles and doubles tennis champion

Unseeded Israeli Lina Glushko won both the singles and doubles titles at the WIPHOLD International tennis tournament in Pretoria, South Africa. In the doubles Lina partnered Czechia’s Gabrielle Knutson and upset the number 3 seeds.

They hit the spot

Israeli archers won 2 individual golds, a team gold and 3 silvers at the European Indoor Archery Championships. Israel’s four young fencers won the Team Cadet European Championships in foil. And gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won silver in the floor exercise at the World Cup event in Germany.


Rescued hostage returns to IDF service

Ori Megidish, the IDF lookout kidnapped on Oct 7 and rescued 23 days later, will return to military service – at her own request. She told US donors, “I believe in G-d, I felt that He would save me. When I was kidnapped, I prayed every day.” (See also here about her family’s activity.)

Biblical Kings on display

The “King David and Solomon Discovered” exhibit currently in Oklahoma USA includes many items from Jerusalem excavations by the late Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University (see here previously). One of them, a Phoenician pendant, is the earliest gold artifact ever discovered in Jerusalem.

What’s new in Jerusalem

New events and sights in the timeless capital of Israel include the upcoming Jerusalem Marathon, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations National Leadership Mission, the Taub Center Conference at Shalva, and the Dome of the Tiferet Israel synagogue.

Aliyah Fair

Take the next steps of your Aliyah journey with Nefesh B’Nefesh at the NBN Aliyah Fair on Mon Mar 11 in New Jersey. Join the thousands of American Jews making Aliyah in 2024.

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):
or IDF Soldiers Fund in Israel:  (select the English speakers’ option)

American Friends of Magen David Adom (US donors):
or Magen David Adom (Israel):

Zaka (US donors):  or (Israeli donors):
or (Canadian donors):

United Hatzalah:  or Canada
Leket Food Israel:
JNF USA –  or Canada
Orthodox Union –

Schneider Children’s Hospital: (Israelis) (UK) (USA)

Hadassah Hospital Israel:
Laniado Hospital (Netanya)

And many more charities here: (Warm winter clothes for Israeli soldiers)

Buy Israel Bonds to support the Jewish State.
Europe –
Canada –