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by: Michael Ordman

POSITIVE NEWS DURING A WAR

Ari leaves the ICU

Ari Spitz, a Givati Brigade soldier, has regained full consciousness one and a half months after being severely injured in Gaza. He is considered one of the most severe casualties of the war.
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/388392

From battleground to bakery

Yedidya Harush has literally fought his way through combining IDF reserve duty with running a matzah-baking factory. Using personal loans, crowdfunding, and a generous JNF grant, he provides a livelihood to his 50 employees, and hand-baked matzah to IDF soldiers and evacuees.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/from-battleground-to-bakery-one-mans-mission-to-support-his-community-with-matzah/

Helping a community to heal

The Jewish National Fund-USA’s Build Together plan has brought volunteers from around the world to help rebuild communities following Oct 7. One such is Moshav Mivtachim where some two-thirds of the 450 residents have now returned home to the pleasant surprise of a refreshed town.
https://www.jns.org/wire/a-community-heals-together-with-american-volunteers/

Look who helped Israel against Iranian attack

Saudi Arabia acknowledged that it had helped the newly forged regional military coalition – Israel, the United States, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and France – repel an Iranian attack against the Jewish State. They intercepted dozens of drones heading for Israel.
https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/middle-east/artc-saudi-arabia-publicly-acknowledges-role-in-defending-israel-against-iranian-attack

https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/middle-east/the-gulf/artc-uae-saudi-arabia-privately-shared-intelligence-with-u-s-on-iranian-attack-report

https://www.ynetnews.com/article/h1jlzltga

Thanking our friends

Some non-Israeli whose post Oct 7 support for Israel has been no less than heroic. This article thanks Douglas Murray, Sen John Fetterman, Rep Mike Johnson, Rep Richie Torres, Rep. Claudia Tenney, Sid Rosenberg, Floyd Mayweather, John Spencer, Richard Kemp, Pete Hegseth, and many others.
https://www.jns.org/hats-off-to-the-heroes-and-heroines-in-israels-existential-battle/

Sylvan Adams talks about rebuilding the South

Philanthropist Sylvan Adams is interviewed on I24 News  a few weeks ago about how his $100 million transformational donation to Ben Gurion University (see here previously) to rebuild Israel’s south devastated on Oct 7.

 

 

ISRAEL’S  MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Robotic cataract surgery demonstrated

Top cataract surgeon David Chang performed the first-of-its-kind robotic cataract procedure on a porcine eye, using the ORYOM platform from Israel’s ForSight Robotics (see here previously) at the annual ASCRS Ophthalmology Conference in Boston.
https://www.firstwordhealthtech.com/story/5846609

 

 

Using AI in neurological therapy

Tel Aviv’s Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center has partnered with Israel’s NeuroBrave to develop brain-computer interface (BCI) solutions for both complex neurological conditions and patient care. One example is to translate a non-communicative patient’s brainwaves into speech.
https://nocamels.com/2024/04/top-tel-aviv-hospital-using-ai-in-neurological-therapy/

https://neurobrave.com/

AI for mental health care

A new platform, called LIV, developed at Israel’s Sheba Hospital in the wake of Oct 7, streamlines intake of patients for mental healthcare. LIV’s GenAI (generative artificial intelligence) “converses” with a prospective patient to generate possible diagnoses and treatment recommendations.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/as-anxiety-surges-during-war-israeli-genai-platform-can-ease-psychiatrists-workload/

Successful trial to grow your own bones

Israel’s Bonus Bio (see here previously) has completed Phase II clinical trials of its BonoFill for facial reconstructions, with a 90-percent success rate. The company is now entering phase three trials in the US. Read how BonoFill uses fat cells from your body to grow new bones.
https://nocamels.com/2024/04/biotech-firm-grows-bone-from-your-own-tissue-for-seamless-healing/

European project to cure muscular dystrophy

Technion Professor Shenhav Shemer has joined DREAMS ((Drug REpurposing and Artificial intelligence for Muscular disorderS), a European Union-funded project to discover treatments for rare neuromuscular disorders such as muscular dystrophy, suffered by some 400,000.
https://ats.org/our-impact/technion-researchers-awarded-prestigious-grants-for-brain-research/

Healthier fish

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have proved that breeding disease-resistant carp can make fish farming more sustainable and profitable. It can even keep non-resistant fish healthier. The study bred fish with built-in immunity to the common cyrpinid herpes virus that kills 60-80% of infected fish.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/researchers-study-how-to-keep-our-gefilte-fish-healthy/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-024-55133-2#Sec2

ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Spring camp for special needs children

KKL-JNF held a 5-day spring camp in Eilat, in collaboration with Simcha Layeled, for some 850 children and staff. Activities included water sports, beach parties, and a sunrise trip. At the finale, evacuees residing in Eilat joined campers for a performance by singer Benaia Barabi.
https://www.jns.org/wire/keren-shemesh-offers-a-spring-break-for-children-with-special-needs/

Women in the IDF

Brig.-Gen. Yael Grossman is commander of the IDF intelligence division LOTEM, and one of the highest-ranked women in the IDF. LOTEM is the army’s largest software house. There are six other Israeli women with the same rank.
https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/defense-news/article-797711

Heading R&D at Rafael

Judith Hocherman-Frommer received three degrees at Israel’s Technion Institute in electrical engineering and control systems. She then joined Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and 27 years later she is the executive vice president for research and development (R&D).
https://ats.org/our-impact/judith-hocherman-frommer-leading-defense-innovation-for-israel/

The first Arab rector of an Israeli university

Haifa University has appointed Professor Mouna Maron (see here previously) as its rector, making her the first Israeli Arab to be appointed to that position in an Israeli university. See here for previous newsletter articles about some of the many Israeli Arab professors.
https://tps.co.il/articles/prof-mona-maron-appointed-first-arab-rector-of-an-israeli-university/

The first female Arab IDF airborne mechanic

IAF Captain B., a Christian Arab, became the first Arab female airborne mechanic in the IDF after she completed the training course with distinction. She said, “I grew up in a home that was always Zionist and always taught us to love the state that provides for us.”
https://www.ynetnews.com/magazine/article/skx117f00xr

Israeli police save Arab baby

Israeli police patrolling the Arab village of Muqeible in northern Israel were called to save the life of an 8-month-old baby who was choking. With paramedics they removed a piece of chewing gum from the baby’s mouth. The police said, “a great privilege to save a life”.
https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/388520

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Fund for deep-tech incubators

The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) has launched a new NIS 40 million fund to create three new incubators for Deep Tech (innovation in science or engineering) startups. They will focus on health, climate, bio-convergence, agritech and foodtech and complement other recent venture funds (see here).
https://nocamels.com/2024/04/israel-launches-fund-for-3-new-deep-tech-incubators/
https://nocamels.com/2024/03/new-vc-fund-set-up-in-israel-for-dual-use-technologies/

CyberTech 2024

Cybersecurity leaders from more than 60 countries gathered for CyberTech Global Tel Aviv 2024. Founder Amir Rapaport said, “cyber companies represent the resilience of Israeli high-tech, and even in a tense security and political situation, they serve as a secure anchor for Israeli innovation.”
https://www.jns.org/middle-east-2-0-cybertech-global-tel-aviv-2024/

UK approves Israeli anti-drone system

The Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) solution from Israel’s Sentrycs has been included in the UK National Protective Security Authority Catalogue of Security Equipment (NPSA CSE). Sentrycs detects, tracks and disables unauthorized drones entering protected zones.
https://nocamels.com/category/news-briefs/#post-127972

https://sentrycs.com/

 

14 Israeli professors win EU research awards

Fourteen Professors from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, the Technion Institute, Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute will each receive prestigious €2.5 million Advanced Grants from the European Research Council to fund potential significant scientific breakthroughs.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/three-hebrew-university-professors-awarded-top-eu-research-grants/

Israeli mathematician wins Turing Prize

Israel’s Avi Wigderson has been awarded the 2023 Turing Award for Outstanding Contributions in Computer Science. The $1 million “Nobel Prize for computing” was given for his work on understanding how randomness can improve and shape computer algorithms.
https://www.calcalistech.com/ctechnews/article/sygqtkela
https://www.israel21c.org/turing-prize-awarded-to-israeli-specialising-in-randomness/

Israeli foodtech hits London

10 Israeli foodtech companies visited London to meet leading British retailers. New to this newsletter is Melt & Jet, which combines freeze-dried fruits and veg with dietary supplements);
https://nocamels.com/2024/04/israel-foodtech-firms-meet-uk-retailers-investors-in-london/
https://www.meltandjet.com/

Is it fresh?

Israel’s Biotip has developed a sticker that can tell whether meat products in the fridge are still fresh and fit for consumption. It measures the amount of microbes (which include viruses, parasites and bacteria) in a food product. The sticker turns from blue to white when the meat is no longer safe to eat.
https://nocamels.com/2024/04/sensor-shows-whether-meat-is-fresh-regardless-of-best-before-date/
https://biotip.co.il/

 

 

Sustainable pesticides

Israel’s Platypus has developed a process that makes pesticides more environmentally friendly, longer lasting, and gets the active ingredients to the crops without toxic sprays. The pesticide is mixed with Platyform gel, whose essential oils and pheromones release the chemicals over an average 10 – 12 weeks.
https://nocamels.com/2024/04/gel-supplement-makes-pesticides-last-longer-and-more-sustainable/
https://platypus-ecodesign.com/

Helping renewable energy projects succeed

Currently 80% of renewable energy projects fail due to land ownership, infrastructure problems, permits etc. Israeli startup REplace (Renewable Energy Place) uses AI and public database checks to enable companies to locate an optimal site to build facilities.
https://nocamels.com/2024/04/mixing-real-estate-renewable-energy-to-help-build-greener-world/
https://www.renewableenergy.place/

Can (Israeli) science save the planet?

This webinar featured four Professors from Israel’s Technion Institute who explained their research that could have a major positive impact on our environment. In the Q&As I asked Prof Diesendruck if Israeli startups (e.g., UBQ) had solved the problem of sorting “dirty” plastics for recycling.

 

A robot to help at home and work

Mobileye founder Prof Amnon Shashua also founded Israel’s Mentee Robotics. He has just unveiled Menteebot – an AI-powered humanoid robot that is being developed to do washing and cleaning tasks at home and lift heavy objects in industry. See videos (simple & more complex).
https://nocamels.com/category/news-briefs/#post-127934

https://www.menteebot.com/

 

 

https://www.calcalistech.com/ctechnews/article/ryo11vqtxc

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

A good quarterly report

Startup Nation Central’s report for the first 3 months of 2024 highlighted that Private funding in Q1 2024 was $1.8 billion, up 8.5% compared to the final quarter of 2023. Mergers & acquisitions were over $2 billion – up 40% from the previous quarter and the highest quarterly total in the last two years.
https://finder.startupnationcentral.org/reports/snc-q1-2024-report/

Funds flow in for startups

Startup investment for April 2024 was over $1 billion – the highest since Aug 2022. It follows March investment total of some $800 million.
https://www.calcalistech.com/ctechnews/article/syvacqkzc

$3 billion of Israel Bonds

Since Oct 7, Israel Bonds has sold a record $3 billion. It includes a significant increase in the investments by financial institutions mainly from US states and municipal governments. It highlights massive direct support during the war for Israel from cities and individuals all over the world.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/bucking-boycotts-israel-bonds-sells-record-3b-since-start-of-hamas-war/

A new milestone in Israel-India relations

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is establishing a new aerospace defense company in India, named the Aerospace Service India (ASI). It marks a new level of collaboration between the two countries as the Indian government promotes its vision of self-reliance.
https://www.jpost.com/business-and-innovation/article-794351

Low-sugar juice is safe

Israel’s BlueTree Technologies (see here previously) has secured self-GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status for its patented process to selectively remove sugars from juice. It is now seeking approval to begin marketing, with Israeli manufacturer Priniv, 33% less sugar juice.
https://agfundernews.com/oj-with-30-less-sugar-blue-tree-technologies-scales-up-with-leading-juice-co-secures-self-affirmed-gras

Pollinating pistachios in California

If you buy Californian pistachios, there is a good chance that they were produced thanks to Israel’s Edete Precision Technologies for Agriculture (see here previously). The agri-tech startup now helps Californian farmers pollinate 3,000 acres of almond trees.
https://farming.co.uk/news/edete-expands-precision-pollination-services-in-california

Security screening Cypriot airports

Israel’s SeeTrue (see here previously) has improved passenger throughput and streamlined the screening process at Cyprus’s Larnaca airport. SeeTrue’s AI security screening platform will now be introduced in Pafos – both airports managed by Hermes Airports.
https://nocamels.com/2024/04/israeli-ai-security-platform-expands-to-second-cyprus-airport/

Exits, takeovers and mergers – to 5/5/24:

Nvidia acquired Israel’s Run.ai for $700 million. US Armis has acquired Israel’s Silk Security for $150 million; US BeyondTrust has acquired Israel’s Entitle.io for $100-150 million.

Startup investment – to 5/5/24: Island.io raised $175 millionMagnus Metal raised $74 millionOasis Security raised another $35 millionSnappy raised $25 millionNagomi Security raised $23 millionBridgewise raised $21 million; Greeneye Technology raised $20 millionDot Compliance raised $17.5 millionVorlon Security raised $15.7 millionRemepy raised $10 millionSomite.ai raised $5.3 millionKnostic raised $3.3 million.

CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Yom Hazikaron & Hatzmaut ceremonies

On May 12 and 13 the annual IDF Memorial Day (Yom Ha’Zikaron) and Independence Day (Yom Ha’Atzmaut events will take place all over Israel.  Here are two examples.   https://www.nbn.org.il/events/yom-hazikaron-memorial-ceremony/
https://www.masaisrael.org/yom-hazikaron-2024/

https://www.nbn.org.il/events/independence-day-concert/

Jiu-Jitsu gold for Nova survivor

Israel’s Yarin Shriki, a Nova music festival survivor, won gold at the Paris Jiu Jitsu 2024 Grand Prix in the under-69kg Gi category. He dedicated the win to his best friend, Yohai Ben Zechariah, killed on Oct 7.  Yarin also won gold at the European Championships in Nov (see here).
https://unitedwithisrael.org/israeli-jiu-jitsu-champion-and-nova-festival-survivor-honors-slain-friend-with-gold-medal/

https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/article-799076

https://ajptour.com/en/profile/112792

European gold for female judoka

Israel’s Raz Hershko won her first European Championships judoka gold medal in Zagreb. Israel also won 3 bronze medals. Raz dedicated her medal in the +78kg category to Yonatan Goutin, “without whom the victory is not whole,” Yonatan was killed in Kibbutz Be’eri on Oct 7.  .
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-judoka-raz-hershko-wins-gold-in-european-championships-team-snags-3-bronze/

https://www.timesofisrael.com/lt-yonatan-goutin-20-star-judoka-who-chose-combat-in-idf/

Formula 4 winner

Israel’s Ariel Elkin (17 – see here previously) won first place in the second round of the Formula 4 USF Juniors Championship held in Alabama. Ariel studies at the Reali School in Haifa. He has been competing in karting since the age of five.
https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/sports/article-799370

THE JEWISH STATE

We saw a miracle

Many Israelis were awe-struck by the amazing 99% interception rate of Iran’s 300+ drone and missile attack on 13 / 14 Apr.  It was certainly an opportunity to give thanks.  https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/388636

Seder plate found in Gaza

IDF soldiers have found a seder plate in Khan Younis that they believe was looted from a home in southern Israel on Oct 7. They have been traveling with the plate, while releasing photographs of it to social media in the hope of finding its owner.
https://worldisraelnews.com/idf-soldier-finds-seder-plate-in-khan-younis/

Making matzah in Sderot

Watch the OU matzah factory baking the bread of freedom in the city that was invaded by Hamas terrorists on Oct 7.  Am Yisrael Chai!

 

https://www.ouisrael.org/donate/teenlifeline/

122 orphans have Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel

Thanks to Colel Chabad, 122 Israeli orphans celebrated their Bar Mitzvah together at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Each boy received his own set of tefillin (phylacteries) as well as new clothing and afterwards enjoyed a gala celebration in Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.
https://worldisraelnews.com/undeterred-by-iranian-attack-122-israeli-orphans-celebrate-bar-mitzvah-together-at-western-wall/

Help discover history

The Temple Mount Sifting Project’s latest 1st century BCE finds include clay tokens probably used on Passover. The project runs out of funds in June. Please support them, or sign up to join the sifting.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/intriguing-greek-inscribed-token-likely-traded-for-feast-offerings-at-second-temple/

https://tmsifting.org/en/

https://www.half-shekel.org/

Thousands receive priestly blessings

According to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which administers the holy site, more than 30,000 people came to the Kotel in Jerusalem for the morning priestly blessings on Apr 25 – one of the intermediate days of the festival of Pesach / Passover.
https://unitedwithisrael.org/thousands-of-jews-flock-to-western-wall-for-priestly-blessings/

$150 billion

An Israeli Arab purchased the entire stock of chametz (leavened products) owned by the State of Israel before the start of Passover. The chametz value was $150 billion, but Hussein Jabar only had to pay a NIS 20,000 deposit. He “passed over” the option to keep the chametz after Pesach and his deposit was refunded.
https://www.jns.org/arab-israeli-purchases-states-150b-of-chametz-ahead-of-passover/

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)

Rambam Medical Center (Haifa) https://aforam.org/ways-to-give/  (US)
https://www.rambam.org.il/en/support_rambam/donate_now/ (Rest of the World)

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/

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/