Saving Ukrainian refugees in Poland; Israel is buzzing; More startups doing good work; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Researchers at Tel Aviv University found that a mutation in genes ADNP and SHANK3 causes conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, and neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. They also found that an experimental therapy Davunetide can counter the effects of the mutation.
Gene therapy can treat AHDS
A team of international scientists, led by Dr. Gad Vatine of Ben Gurion University, discovered a thyroid hormone MCT8 mutation causes Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome (AHDS). Sufferers cannot walk or talk. They developed a gene therapy AAV9-MCT8 to restore the hormone’s function.
Less than 100 serious Covid-19 cases
According to new data from Israel’s Health Ministry, the number of serious coronavirus cases in Israel has dipped below 100 for the first time since end Dec 2021. On 15th May there were only some 15,500 active Covid-19 infections in Israel.
Rare heart valve transplant saves heart patient
Surgeons at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital performed a “first time in Israel” aortic valve transplant to save a patient unsuitable for open-heart surgery. The hybrid team of catheterization specialists and cardiac surgeons used the carotid artery as the point of entry.
How to avoid 400,000 US deaths a year
Excellent article about Israel’s DecideVR (see here previously) – the most advanced Virtual Reality simulator for reducing errors and saving lives in Intensive Care Units. It was developed by Prof Alex Mintz, Director of the Computerized Decision-Making Lab at Reichman University.
Israel’s first mental health expo
Some 1,000 people registered to attend Israel’s first mental health expo. It was conducted entirely in English and tailored to the needs of English-speaking immigrants. Its aim was to give a sense of what’s available in Israel to help and treat people facing mental health challenges.
Medical incubator launches in the north
Israel’s MEDX Xelerator (see here previously) has partnered with the Portland Trust to launch an incubator branch in the Sakhnin Valley region in northern Israel. It will support health and medical startups in the Galilee and northern Arab and Jewish regions.
Saving Ukrainian refugees in Poland
Since March, volunteer doctors (Jews & Arabs) from the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, have been running the medical clinic at the Przemyśl Humanitarian Aid Center, near the Medyka border crossing in southeastern Poland. Also, at a refugee center in nearby Korczowa.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s Safe School Analytics is a content streaming platform that works with some 600 Israeli schools to combat and reduce bullying and cyberbullying. The company produces videos about online safety, empowerment, empathy, teamwork, and more. Israeli actress Gal Gadot and her husband are recent investors.
Thousands of Gazans enter Israel to work
Israel opened the Erez crossing allowing 4,600 Palestinian Arabs workers from Gaza to enter Israel – the highest single day number at the border crossing in 15 years.
Impact for Good
The “Impact for Good” conference in Jerusalem on May 30 is a joint initiative of the Society for International Development (SID) Israel and the parliamentary lobby for Israel’s positive impact in the developing world. It focuses on how Israeli innovation and world Jewry can address global challenges.
Jerusalem – city of innovation
1000+ people attended the 2022 Arutz Sheva-Israel National News Jerusalem Conference in Manhattan. See all the ceremonies and speeches here, especially the discussion about Business Development in the city.
Innovation conference in Casablanca
Israeli non-profit Startup Nation Central launched “Connect to Innovate” – an historic conference attended by 150 Israeli and Moroccan government and business leaders in Casablanca. 13 agreements were signed, especially in food tech & agriculture tech.
Israel at Davos
Israel’s President Herzog spoke at the World Economic Forum – “I call on all countries and nations from near and far to join these winds of change, partner with Israel, lead the future & make history! By working with all countries and nations in the region, we can build a future of peace, prosperity, and progress.”
Israeli food tech at the UN
On Israel’s Independence Day, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan presented, to dozens of UN ambassadors, food produced by Israeli sustainable food tech. They included vegan milk, protein from chickpeas and cultivated meat.
Ukrainian sings to help MDA relief efforts
Ukrainian-born singer Viktoria Leléka lives in Berlin and was able to help rescue all her family from Ukraine. Leléka made her first visit to Israel to perform with her band and Israel singer Ivri Lider in a concert that benefited Magen David Adom’s emergency efforts in Ukraine.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Education for energy and sustainability
Israel’s Bar-Ilan University has inaugurated a Center for Energy and Sustainability and launched a Multidisciplinary School for Sustainability and the Environment. It plans to invest hundreds of millions of shekels in research and environmental projects in Israel and around the world.
Israel is buzzing!
To coincide with World Bee Day on May 20, here is the latest news on the Beehome from Israel’s Beewise that is reversing the decline of one of the most important species on the planet. Each Beehome houses 2 million bees and some one hundred of these high-tech hives are already functioning in Israel.
Transforming the desert
How is it possible that the deserts of Israel are producing high-quality produce for global export? Watch as Moshav Hatzeva’s CEO Nadav Eylon explains how Israelis use hi-tech to harness the land’s rich farming potential. Israel is also exporting the technology and knowhow to the rest of the world.
More startups doing good work
Microsoft for Startups Israel has selected 15 startups for the third round of its AI For Good Accelerator Program (see here previously). Trellis, Strasa.tech, BioShade, QRGenetics, Hexa3D, Agrinoze, BeeFreeAgro, GeoX, HAAT, Maolac, Emnotion, Neolithics, Viridian, OtailO and Brightmerge.
Accelerator is out of this world
Starburst Aerospace has just launched its ASTRA Israel-focused accelerator with three startups that develop innovative technologies for space applications. They are Tehiru (sustainable propulsion), CrystalEn (electronics & energy storage), and CSpace (nanosatellite telescopes).
Brain Science in Space
Ben Gurion University is hosting a Zoom webinar entitled “BGU’s Brain Science Launches into Space” on June 8th. BGU’s Dr. Oren Shriki will discuss his neuro-wellness monitoring experiment that Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe tested on his mission to the International Space Station.
AI user interface for Dell laptops
The WizeEye low-power user sensing AI technology from Israel’s Emza (see here previously) has now been installed in Dell Latitude, Inspiron, and Precision laptops. Features include dimming the screen when no one is looking at it; and blurring display of sensitive data if a user is unauthorized.
All-robotic assembly for hi-tech wheels
Israel’s REE Automotive (see here previously) is to build a 130,000 sq ft UK manufacturing center for its revolutionary wheel chassis for electric vehicles. It features a commercial assembly line operated by autonomous robots and will supply REE’s European customers.
DNA protection for vehicles
Enigmatos is another Israeli startup that stops cyber-attacks on a vehicle’s computer systems. Enigmatos creates a “deep car identity profile” of a vehicle and recognizes any changes to that “DNA”. It is working with Israeli mobile operator Pelephone and is already protecting vehicle fleets.
All round vision
A detailed description of the innovative technology of Israel’s Addon Optics (see here previously) that can produce multifocal spectacles in just six minutes at a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing processes.
Professor Haim Sompolinsky of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the first Israeli to win the prestigious Gruber Neuroscience Prize. He shares the $500,000 prize with 3 other scientists. Prof Sompolinsky’s research helps scientists understand the behavior of complex neural circuits in the brain.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
600,000+ Israeli working parents will benefit from increased tax credits worth nearly NIS 2,800 for each child – some NIS 2.1 billion in total. An additional NIS 500 million will be distributed to low-income working families.
NIS 2 billion for the disabled
The Israeli government is allocating 2 billion shekels to help integrate the disabled into the wider community. It will finance a range of new services including assistance from social workers, guidance in running a household, stenographic and translation services into sign language and more.
Funds to train haredim in hi-tech
The Israeli government is investing NIS 10 million to fund up to 70 percent of the cost of new innovative high-tech training and placement programs designed to encourage Israel’s haredi population to join the high-tech industry.
1,600+ European funded Israeli projects
Israeli companies and researchers received 1,666 grants totaling over $1.35 billion from Europe’s Horizon 2020 seven-year research and innovation program. Startups mentioned in the article include Optima Design, Triox Nano, Vectorious, NanoPack, and the SniffPhone.
Re-charging deal for more Israeli buses
Israel’s Electreon (see here previously) has signed a $1.9 million agreement with Israel’s fourth-largest bus operator Electra Afikim, to supply its wireless, dynamic charging infrastructure to simultaneously charge 30 buses. Electreon already signed with Israel’s Dan Buses (see here).
Investing in mobile ultrasound
GE Healthcare is to invest up to $50 million in mobile ultrasound products of Israel’s Pulsenmore (see here previously). GE will also distribute Pulsenmore’s home pregnancy monitors. Pulsenmore is now developing monitors for chronic heart failure, end-stage renal disease and more.
From TV medical drama to startup
Israeli Emily Levi discovered the reason for her chronic pain while watching the TV drama Greys Anatomy. It inspired her to launch her own medical startup Prolo Cure which uses prolotherapy (injections into a joint) to treat chronic pain.
At the heart of a $2 billion revenue company
US digital printing giant Shutterfly acquired Haifa-based Photoccino, its 8 employees, and AI photographic algorithm in 2012. The Haifa operation now has 150 Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Druze employees and contributes much of Shutterfly’s $2.3 billion annual revenue.
No baby formula, try something Else
The safe, pure, plant-based baby food products of Israel’s Else Nutrition (see here previously) are reshaping the industry. It is filling a market gap caused by the shortage of baby formula, and a desperate need for products free of heavy metals.
Foreign owners flock back to Israel
Some 385,000 foreigners have visited Israel since Covid-19 entry rules were eased on 1st March. They include the overseas owners of some 83,000 Israeli properties, who last visited before March 2020. Many other “second home” owners made Aliyah, so they could visit during the pandemic.
Investment in Israeli startups to 29/5/22:
Semperis raised $200 million; StarkWare raised $100 million; Rivery raised $30 million; NeuraLight raised $25 million; Circles raised $16.5 million; buywith raised $9.5 million; Red Access raised $6 million;
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Cool places to see art in Jerusalem
Good article featuring several creative arts experiences and shops that should attract many of the visitors returning to Jerusalem’s Old City. They include The Jerusalem Scribe, Chabad Street, the Museum of Psalms, Hadaya, the Cardo Charm, Guitart, and Rina.
Tour Beit She’arim
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Beit She’arim has been updated. It is well worth visiting its remnants of an ancient city, mysterious inscriptions, caves and catacombs, and a six-feet high stone menorah. The city became the center of Torah study in 165 CE after the Romans quashed the Jewish revolt.
Sweet music in Egypt
Firqat Alnoor, an Israeli orchestra of Jewish, Muslim, Druze, and Christian musicians from across Israel, performed in Cairo – the first Israeli orchestra to perform in Egypt in 40 years. Under conductor Ariel Cohen, a Haredi Jew, the orchestra played classical Arabic and Middle Eastern music.
Israel’s largest food festival
“Tel Aviv Eats” is Israel’s largest food festival, showcasing top restaurants, chefs, and live performances. Admission was free, with dishes ranging from gourmet to street food at a maximum price of 40 shekels each. Tourists and locals came to enjoy the excitement and the food.
Dylan at 80 – a Bohemian Zionist
Interesting article celebrating the 80th birthday of singer/songwriter Bob Dylan – born Robert Zimmerman. It describes his 1983 song “Neighborhood Bully” as a Zionist anthem. “He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth, took sickness and disease and turned it into health.”
TV series is a massive hit
The popular 10-part Israeli TV series “The Girl from Oslo” has become the fourth most-watched series internationally on Netflix, soon after its April 11 debut. It ranked in the top 10 in 36 countries, including the United States, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
EuroLeague goes Israeli for a piece of the action
Europe’s top basketball league, EuroLeague, has selected Israel’s MindFly to install its live AI-powered bodycams on league players. Fans will, for first time, be able to watch, hear, and experience a first-person point of view (FPV) that captures everything the players do on court.
THE JEWISH STATE
Untold positive PR
Latest news about Marcella Rosen and her Untold News team which is launching a media campaign oriented toward college students. It will highlight positive stories about Israel to counter negative sentiment on campus. The previous campaign “Israel Is On It” attracted 3.5 million regular viewers.
20,000 new European immigrants
In the last 3 months, Israel’s Ministry of Immigration and Absorption has welcomed 20,000 Olim (new immigrants) from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. They include 678 Holocaust survivors who have been housed in sheltered accommodation throughout Israel.
Israel parade in New York City
The Celebrate Israel Parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue took place for the first time since 2019. Tens of thousands of spectators and participants included UN Ambassadors and diplomats from Australia, Bhutan, Nauru, Bulgaria, Guatemala, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Brazil.
See Jerusalem more clearly
There was much to see in the streets and buildings of Israel’s capital last week. Blue skies, flowers, Austrian diplomats, the Knesset, the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, the first Mental Health Expo, the Kraft Family Sports Campus, the International Writers’ Festival, and more.
Anniversary of Operation Solomon
During May 24-25, 1991, over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in 36 hours aboard 34 Israeli aircraft including Hercules C130s and Boeing 747s.
The untold story of Judea
This is the story of how a couple with six children, sold their home and most of their possessions to build the Arugot Farm – the flagship of Jewish settlement today in the land of Judea. And to coincide with the release of the video, a 2100-year-old Jewish farmstead has just been uncovered in Israel.