Praise for Israeli health system; Re-wilding the wetlands; Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel for Ukrainian orphans; and much more!
By Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
How a Covid-19 variant is created
Most research related to Coronavirus mutations looks at the virus and how it infects a vaccinated individual. But researchers at Israel’s Technion have been analyzing how the mutation is formed. This provides a new opportunity for spotting weaknesses in the virus that can be exploited.
Curing blood flow blockages
Israel’s BioGenCell (see here previously) has completed Phase 1 clinical trials at Israel’s Laniado Medical Center, of its stem cell therapy to cure chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLI). Nine patients have had their legs saved from amputation. BioGenCell will now proceed to Phase 2 trials.
A biopsy in two minutes
Israel’s Imagene AI develops fast AI-based cancer diagnostics to help identify personalized treatment. Using a digitized biopsy image, Imagene delivers real-time precision-based molecular analysis, increased accuracy and reducing the time required for results, from several weeks to just two minutes.
More than just a thermometer
Israel’s OmnySense has upgraded its telemedicine thermometer (see here previously) into a health-tracking device that measures respiratory rate, pulse rate, ECG, and blood oxygen. It is currently undergoing clinical trials with doctors at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, to detect lung conditions.
Three mothers saved
Volunteer EMTs from Israel’s United Hatzalah saved three Israelis thanks to their 3-minute response. Firstly, a 105-year-old Haifa woman who choked on her breakfast. Then a kindergarten teacher in Ashdod who collapsed in front of her class. Finally, an 86-year-old grandmother on Mother’s Day.
Doctors fix hole in preemie’s heart
A cardiac catheterization, the first of its kind in Israel, was successfully performed at Hadassah Ein Kerem to close the aorta of a 4-week-old baby born 14 weeks premature. The Hadassah team had trained for precisely this kind of operation at several hospitals and conferences worldwide.
The 20th annual 3-day Biomed Israel summit has 10 different tracks including infectious diseases, robotics in the medical field, AI and machine learning, precision cancer diagnostics and therapies, and “bio food”. Some 6,000 scientists, healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors will attend.
Documentary celebrates Israeli paramedics
A new documentary, Tel Aviv 911, is a firsthand, behind-the-scenes account of Martin Himel’s 22-year experience as a volunteer senior medic with Israel’s elite paramedic organization Magen David Adom (MDA). Tel Aviv 911 debuts on May 16 at 9pm ET on Vision TV in Canada.
Praise for Israeli health system
UK Member of Parliament and Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Wes Streeting visited Israel as a member of Labour Friends of Israel. He praised Israel’s “remarkable advances in medical technology” and how they could be used to improve NHS care in Britain.
Israel’s new Russian & Ukrainian doctors
A few months before the start of the war in Ukraine, a group of medical students immigrated to Israel from Eastern Europe. This video shows how the young doctors, now qualified, were able to study together despite the anxiety about the conflict in the lands of their birth.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Cooking Shabbat meals for the elderly
Israeli charity Heart to Plate was launched in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, delivering Shabbat meals to 60 needy elderly people. The NGO now has 400 volunteers, regularly cooking meals for hundreds of elderly people in five Israeli cities.
Training Israeli mayors
Tel Aviv University has launched the Bloomberg-Sagol Center for City Leadership program to develop the leadership skills of Israeli mayors. Up to 20 mayors and their key municipal aids will be enrolled in each annual class.
World class universities
Four Israeli institutions are included in the world’s 100 best universities, compiled by academicinfluence.com. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (18), Tel Aviv Uni (29), Weizmann Institute (96) and the Technion Institute (97).
Muslim Supreme Court judge inducted
Khaled Kabub (see here previously) has now been sworn in as Israeli Supreme Court’s first Muslim Justice. In June 2003, he was appointed a judge of the Tel Aviv District Court, and in September 2017 was appointed its vice president.
Medical treatment for Palestinian Arabs
New video of how Israel’s Sheba Medical Center provides life-saving surgery, including heart transplants, for Palestinian Arabs – even from Gaza. Hear the parents of sick children express surprise and gratitude to Israel.
Ukrainian students begin arriving
As part of the donor-funded emergency aid program at Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ), 18 refugees have been accepted to continue their studies and 10 have already begun. And at Bar-Ilan University, 10 Ukrainian high-school math prodigies are now starting a specially created program.
Water from the air to Syrian refugees
Israel’s Watergen (see here previously) has installed the first of nine Water-from-Air Generators to displaced Syrians camp in Raqqa province. The solar-powered generator offers a clean water alternative to the unsafe wells that the refugees have been using.
30 years of friendship with India
India and Israel are celebrating 30 years of full diplomatic relations. The two countries have active governmental, corporate, and academic cooperation in fields including health, agriculture, water, trade, scientific research, security, and technology. This article highlights much more.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Free hi-tech training for prospective new immigrants
Birthright Israel is launching Brightcode – a free, six-month, 40-hours-a-week, in-depth programming training course, worth $15,000, for eligible Jewish adults aged 18 to 32. It is followed by two-years paid work experience in Israel with a high-tech company.
Using AI to create art
Israel’s ART AI has developed an interface that allows users to create art, in seconds. It uses a “text-to-art” generator that uses AI to create new designs based on the users’ texts. ART AI’s algorithms produce unique otherworldly images that are sold and printed only once.
The world’s first pilotless flying robo-taxi
Israel’s Pentaxi is developing an electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. Available in cargo and 4-passenger models, they will be able to carry up to 880lbs for nearly 200 miles at around 150 mph. It has 5 engines (hence Pentaxi) for safety purposes.
What Robo-taxis will look like
Mobileye announced that its autonomous vehicles are on track to launch in Israel and Germany later this year. the company released a 40-minute video showing its Robotaxi driving around Jerusalem at night.
Successful test of Iron Beam
Israel’s Defense Ministry reported that its laser air defense system under development successfully shot down drones, rockets, mortars, and anti-tank missiles in its latest trials. Iron Beam is “effective, accurate, easy-to-operate” and significantly cheaper than current protective measures.
Cyberweek – Jun 27 – 30
Cyber Week at Tel Aviv University is internationally acclaimed as one of the top cybersecurity events in the world, with 9,000+ attendees from more than 80 countries. South California organizations wishing to participate or join a delegation, should contact SCICC asap.
Green tech competition
To mark International Earth Day 2022, this ILTV video describes the Climate Solutions Prize competition. Created by Startup Nation Central with KKL-JNF and the Peres Peace Center, it promotes the development of Israeli technology and innovations to address environmental challenges.
Patent for CO2 capturing balloons
A detailed report about Israel’s High Hopes Lab (see here previously). The US Patent and Trademark Office has just informed the lab that its innovative carbon-capture balloon technology will be receiving a patent.
Vegan smoked salmon from algae
Israel’s SimpliiGood (see here previously) has partnered International food conglomerate IFF to develop the first commercial smoked salmon analog made entirely from a single ingredient: whole fresh spirulina – a high-protein sustainable algae “superfood”, grown in Israel’s Negev desert.
3D printing to save coral reefs
Researchers from four of Israel’s leading universities have developed a process to preserve coral reefs. It involves taking thousands of photos, collecting genetic data, generating a 3D model, and printing a ceramic reef. The lifelike model attracts fish and corals to re-generate the natural reef.
Israel’s SoSense aims to save lives and prevent harm to swimmers, especially children, in private and public pools. SOSense’s FLOW constantly “listens” to underwater pool sounds, learning each pool’s unique environmental noises (e.g. pumps) in order to filter out those sounds for better human detection.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
More gas discovered
A new natural gas reservoir has recently been discovered at the Athena exploration well off Israel’s coast. It will provide another 58 billion cubic meters of natural gas, giving another significant boost to Israel’s rapidly developing energy industry.
Easier to visit Israel
From May 20, Israel has dropped the time-consuming mandatory PCR test for passengers arriving at Ben Gurion airport. Also, non-Israelis will be allowed to take a rapid (antigen) test at an authorized site in the 24 hours before boarding their incoming flight as an alternative to a PCR test within 72 hours.
Demolition for Jerusalem’s “ugliest building”
The Amir Center in Jerusalem’s King George St, dubbed “the ugliest building in the city”, is set for demolition later this year. Innovative when built in 1961, the prize-winning design integrated prefabricated building parts, allowing an entire floor to be finished in a day.
Putting Yeruham on the tourism map
Yeruham and its first woman mayor (see here previously) are keen to put the once neglected Negev town on the hospitality map. One of the initiatives is Culinary Queens in which non-profit Atid BaMidbar (Future of the desert) empowers women to run home-based food businesses.
Re-wilding the wetlands
Israeli NGO Terra is partnering the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) to rehabilitate Israel’s wetlands by re-wilding many of its fishponds. It has major environmental and business benefits, creating a nature-based, carbon removal credit project, saving wild fowl and financing kibbutzim.
Live in Israel, work in the USA
Some American Jewish tech workers won’t ever return to their US office. Instead, thanks to the new flexible policy that many firms have employed because of Covid-19, they’ve moved to Israel. Even a Facebook Vice President is among those taking the plunge.
Animal-free milk wins US patent
Israel’s Wilk (formerly Biomilk – see here previously) has received a US patent for its animal-free cultured milk and cell-based infant formula. The processes are based on a decade of proprietary research by Dr. Nurit Argov-Argaman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The largest cybersecurity seed fund
Israel’s YL Ventures has just launched a $400 million fund – YLV V, bringing its total capital under management to $800 million. The new fund is the largest cybersecurity-focused Seed stage fund ever raised. Of YLV’s 25 startups since 2007, 11 have exited and 13 are still active.
Cybersecurity company’s cybersecurity fund
Israel’s CyberArk (see here previously) is so big (valued at $4 billion) that it can afford to launch its own cybersecurity investment fund. CyberArk Ventures is to invest $30 million in early-stage cyber startups and already has funded Dig Security, Enso Security and Zero Networks.
Takeovers and mergers:
Investment in Israeli startups to 15/5/22:
Pyramid Analytics raised $120 million; Nexite raised $67 million; proteanTecs raised $45 million; Solidus Labs raised $45 million; Komodor raised $42 million; BookAway raised $35 million; BioGenCell raised $16 million; Oriient raised $11 million; Faye raised $8 million; Sequentify raised $7 million; Novu raised $6.6 million; BridgerPay raised $6 million; devOcean raised $6 million; SOSense raised $4 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Tel Aviv – read all about it
The easyJet magazine’s introduction to Tel Aviv: “Tel Aviv is a whirlwind. It’s a city that never relents, with friendly locals who love a good time. You can go from grazing over delicious mezze to drinking cocktails on a rooftop to partying at a pop-up beach club – and that’s all before sundown.”
Maroon 5 shows their love for Israel
It was a lovefest for Adam Levine and the crowd at the first of their two Tel Aviv concerts, with the Maroon 5 lead singer raving about his reception by the estimated 55,000 concertgoers. “I’ve never been in Tel Aviv and Israel and I have to tell you, this place is amazing.”
Elite Ukrainian athletes train in Israel
Seven elite Ukrainian athletes who fled their war-torn country with two coaches are continuing to train in Israel for competitions in Europe and South America. They are using facilities at Israel’s Neurim Youth Village, run by Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America.
Israel hosts Euro U17 soccer finals
6 European soccer teams including Israel are competing in the Under 17 European soccer finals in Israel. There will be 31 games involving 345 soccer players beginning May 16 at stadiums in Ness Ziona, Lod, Ramat Gan, Netanya, and Rishon LeZion.
10-year-old wins World Chess Championship
Eliran Shilon Rahav is considered the greatest Israeli promise in the field of chess, with a historic victory in the world championship up to the age of 10. His coach, Moshe Katzir, said of Eliran, “he is a chess player at a level that Israeli chess has never known”.
THE JEWISH STATE
Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel for Ukrainian orphans
Several of the 100 orphans evacuated to Israel from Zhytomyr, Ukraine, celebrated their B’nei Mitzvah at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem. They were given tefillin sets and gift certificates for presents and new clothing. The girls had a B’not Mitzvah event last month.
Seven Israelis received the 2021 Sylvan Adams Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize at a special ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. The prize honors English-speaking Olim who have made a notable impact on Israeli society.
Gal Shavi, 22, of Yavneh may have a disability, but he received the coveted President’s Award for Excellence for his outstanding contribution to the IDF and the State of Israel. Gal serves in the IDF’s “Special In Uniform” program, working at the warehouse department of Home Front Command’s Arad Base.
David Ben Gurion’s escape room
Imagine it’s May 14, 1948, and David Ben Gurion has sent you to his room to collect a very important speech he needs to give. You are then trapped and must open 9 locks by solving clues & doing quizzes. Already teaching about Israel’s history to students in NYC, Australia and the UK.
The best of Jerusalem, as Israel turns 74
Nowhere can the contrast between Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day) and Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day) be seen than on the streets and sites of Jerusalem.
Evidence of Jewish revolt against the Romans
Israeli archaeologists have discovered caves in the Tekoa valley that were refuge to Jewish rebels during the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in the 2nd century CE. They found pottery and a silver coin showing the Temple and Bar Kochba’s initials.