A happy return; An app to get you off the couch; Other things to do in May; and much more!
by: Michael Ordman
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Field hospital treated 6,000
Israel’s Kochav Meir (Shining Star) field hospital in Ukraine has closed after six weeks, having treated 6,000 patients. The hospital was originally planned to operate for one month. The initial 100 staff (80 doctors & nurses) were then replaced by new staff from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center.
Life-saving heart treatment for Ukrainian girl
Israeli NGO Save A Child’s Heart brought 5-year-old Karina from Ukraine to Israel for surgery to fix her atrial septal (hole in the heart) defect. Following the catheterization operation, Karina is expected to enjoy a normal life.
Gene in “junk” DNA protects against ALS
Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have found a gene in the non-coding (“junk”) part of the genome that reduces five-fold the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The gene IL18RAP can contain mutations that reduce inflammation in the brain.
Breakthrough brain research
Israeli scientists have published a peer-reviewed paper that identifies the dendrites in the brain’s neurons as the learning center of the brain, rather than currently regarded synapses. It could help develop new types of treatments for degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Phase 3 trial of oral insulin begins
Israel’s Oramed (see here previously) has completed enrollment of patients for the Phase 3 trial of its oral insulin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Topline results of the trial are expected early 2023.
The world’s most protected blood bank
After 4 years’ construction, Magen David Adom has opened its new $135 million Marcus National Blood Services Center (see here previously). The underground facility doubles current capacity and is shielded from terrorism, rocket attacks, earthquakes, and cyber-attack.
Israeli space medical experiments
Enlightening article about some of the ground-breaking medical experiments performed by Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe aboard the International Space Station. It features the miniaturized, remotely controlled lab on a chip developed by Israel’s SpacePharma (see here previously).
Plastic surgeons at Israel’s Galilee Medical Center attached a 3D-printed prosthetic ear to a six-year-old boy, born with microtia, to correct his birth defect. Although the ear will never be functional, the landmark operation will reduce pain, prevent future complications and is socially, aesthetically important.
A happy return
When United Hatzalah paramedic Leah helped deliver a baby girl in Jerusalem, she remembered the address. Three years previously it had taken 40 minutes of CPR and several shocks from a defibrillator, to restore the pulse of the baby’s father after he had suffered cardiac arrest.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Teddy bear treatment
Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine complex in Safed was transformed into a Teddy Bear Hospital when some 500 children brought their teddy bears and dolls in for “treatment”. The annual event included ER, surgery, pharmacy, cardiology, ENT, MDA, Israeli police, the IDF and more.
Joint feast to mark end of Passover and Ramadan
More than 300 Jews and Arabs in Beersheba celebrated at a joint Iftar and Mimouna feast to mark the end of the daily Ramadan fast and the traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration at the conclusion of Passover. It was organized by Beersheba’s Hagar Association.
Over 100 Israeli Arabs visit Auschwitz.
03 Arab-Israeli teenagers from across the country marched alongside Holocaust survivors and their progeny in the March of the Living. Before leaving Israel, they visited Yad Vashem and the Ghetto-fighters Museum, prior to flying to Poland and touring the Auschwitz site.
Druze commander of Israel’s Fire Control Center
Lt.-Col. A., the first Druze to complete the Israel Air Force flight school, now serves as commander of Israel’s Southern Command’s Fire Center. Ironically, his grandfather served in the Syrian Arab Army forces that invaded Israel in 1948, before switching sides.
The world’s top healing spot
International travel magazine Travel + Leisure’s put the Dead Sea top of its 2022 list of 10 recommended global healing destinations. Benefits include as a remedy for asthma, arthritis, and osteoporosis; its mud alleviates psoriasis, and the UV-filtered sun as a safe source of vitamin D.
The world’s most live kidney donors
Israel is the country with the most living kidney donors worldwide per capita, according to a recent World Health Organization report of 2020 data. Israeli non-profit Matnat Chaim (see here) facilitated the donation of 1,170 kidneys – two thirds of all Israeli donations.
http://www.transplant-observatory.org/2020-international-activities-report/ (see yellow bar on page 13)
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The end is in sight to “range anxiety”
Israel’s StoreDot (see here previously, and a BloombergNEF award winner in 2020) is well on the way to creating a future where drivers of electric vehicles can fully charge a flat battery in 5 minutes. It will initiate huge benefits to global transportation and a cleaner planet.
Converting movement into electricity
Israel’s Enervibe develops and produces lithium-free kinetic energy harvesters that convert movement into electrical energy. Its innovative, environmentally friendly technology can power wireless sensors and IoT devices in many industries, e.g., automotive, electronics and wearables.
Partnering Indian institute for hi-tech
Tel Aviv University and India’s Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology (TIET) are to build a joint research center – the Thapar-Tel Aviv University Center of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing. It will promote research including for biomedical, automotive, space and defense.
AI to forecast solar storms
Scientists at Israel’s Ariel University have invented a new solar storm forecasting method, dubbed the Convolutional Neural Network. It combines AI deep learning of past radiation bursts with X-ray measurements from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) satellites.
Magnetism on the edge
Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists studying nanomaterials just 100 atoms thick, discovered that they retain magnetism only some 10 nanometers from their edge. The discovery could lead to the development of low energy, high functioning nano-electronic devices.
Sonovia is dyeing
Israel’s Sonovia (see here previously), manufacturer of Coronavirus-killing facemasks, is diversifying. It is partnering Italian denim manufacturer PureDenim to develop an eco-friendly reduced energy, water, and chemical manufacturing dyeing process to transform the outdated, polluting, indigo dyeing industry.
A wheelchair for hiking
Omer Zur, founder of Israel’s Paratrek (see here previously) has developed the Trekker, so that his wheelchair-bound father can enjoy hiking. The slogan of the Paratrek is “Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way.”
An app to get you off the couch
Israel’s Sency uses AI, computer vision, and mobile technologies to target ways to “improve human body conditions.” Sency’s tech gets to know the person by tracking and charting his or her movements in real-time. The tracking is done via the use of a smartphone camera.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Economy at pre-Covid strength
With the end of the fifth morbidity wave (the Omicron wave) Israeli economic activity has returned to the strong level before the COVID-19 crisis. Industrial production, Imports of production inputs and Services revenues all increased and job vacancies remain at a record high.
Unemployment at 50-year low
Israel’s underlying unemployment rate dropped to 2.9% in April from 3.7% in March, the lowest in 50 years. There were 120,000 job seekers and 150,000 vacancies. The overall rate, including those affected by the pandemic, dropped to 4.4% in April from 4.8% in March, the lowest since 2020.
Volkswagen to test Israeli cooling tech
Israel’s SoCold (see here previously) is partnering Volkswagen to test its eco-friendly cooling technology and jointly develop a concept vehicle. At its demo site, SoCold’s product reduced the temperature of a Volkswagen Polo by 12-14 °C (53.6-57.2 °F).
Israeli on-demand buses on the BBC
BBC Radio 4’s Sangita Myska featured Israel’s Via ride-sharing taxis on her “Positive Thinking” program about key innovators on a mission to change our world for the better. Via redefines urban transportation by matching multiple passengers travelling in the same direction.
Innoviz lands $4 billion order
Israel’s Innoviz Technologies (see here previously) has won a $4 billion deal by one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world to become its direct LiDAR sensors supplier across multiple brands. The new Innoviz 360 sensors have improved resolution and 360-degree peripheral vision.
The world’s largest cow-free milk facility
Israel’s Remilk (see here previously) is to open a 750,000 square feet cow-free milk production facility in an eco-park in Kalundborg Denmark. Its proteins will make cheese, yogurt, ice cream etc., in volumes equivalent to that produced by 50,000 cows each year.
From NBA to VC
Israel’s Omri Casspi has transitioned from retired NBA basketball star to Venture Capital Fund manager. He has just launched “Sheva”, a new VC fund, raising $30 million of its $50 million target, for investing $1 – $2 million in each of 20 early-stage startups.
America’s Israeli Unicorns
California now hosts the global or U.S. headquarters for 32 Israeli-founded Unicorns – privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more. 17 of those companies became Unicorns in the last 12 months. Most are in Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, New York City hosts 26 Israeli Unicorns.
Investment in Israeli startups to 8/5/22:
Hello Heart raised $70 million; LinearB raised $50 million; Imagene raised $21.5 million; Salignostics raised $8 million; Kahoona raised $4.5 million; Enervibe raised $3.4 million; ART AI raised $1.8 million.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT`
Building a home for art in the Shomron
Ophra Shoshtari has founded the Mar’eh Center for the Art of Judea and Samaria. It aims to provide a permanent public art space for local artists, and an art education center for residents of the Shomron. Ophra works with the Ariel Development Fund and some 250 artists.
Exodus 91 in NYC & Chicago
Reserve a seat to see Exodus 91, the remarkable docu-drama about the mission to bring thousands Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Featuring a Q&A with the director and cast members, screenings will help raise funds to distribute the film to schools across the globe. (NYC May 19; Chicago May 23)
This month at Center Stage
May events at Israel’s permanent theater in Raanana for English-speakers include Eli & The Chocolate Factory (14th), Songtalk III Jokers & Thieves (23rd), Summer Nights Wine and Art Festival (26th), Cabaret Evening (28th), and Sorcerer’s Night (30th).
Other things to do in May
Some events on this month’s calendar include Maroon 5 Tel Aviv concert (9-10); Israel International Yoga Festival (12-14); Deep Purple Tel Aviv concert (22nd); Houses From Within, Batim Tel Aviv (26-28); Jerusalem Day (28-29) and Docaviv Film Festival Tel Aviv (May 26 – Jun 5).
Netflix to screen “Beauty Queen of Jerusalem”
The Netflix streaming platform is to air Israeli historical melodrama “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” (see here previously). The first 10 (of 20) episodes will be available on May 20 in selected locations, including the US, UK, France, and Spain.
8-year-old European chess champion
Israel’s Noam Sason has won the European school chess championship for under 9-year-olds in Rhodes, Greece. Playing for the club “Chess4All”, he won seven out of nine games against competitors from Turkey, Greece, Georgia, Romania, and Ukraine.
Israeli judoka Timna Nelson-Levy won a gold medal (under 57kg) at the European Judo Championships in Bulgaria, only the second Israeli female judoka ever to do so. Israel’s Raz Hershko (over 78kg) won a silver medal, while Gili Sharir (under 63kg) and Shira Rishony (under 48kg) won bronze medals.
Gold medal special needs judokas
Israel’s Nir Abelson, age 12, won gold at the Special Needs Judo World Games in The Netherlands. He won in the 12-15 age group, overcoming older opponents. Shilo Omer also won a gold plus two bronze medals, while Reem Freiberger and Or Hodeda both won a bronze.
THE JEWISH STATE
Jewish Jennifer Lopez has “miracle” baby in Jerusalem
After suffering a stroke, 29-year-old Jennifer Lopez (no not that one) was told by doctors that another pregnancy would be fatal. But thanks to Professor Jose Cohen, Director of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s Cerebral Catheterization Unit, Jennifer now has a son.
Mitzva heroes and non-profits
Arnie Draiman of Draiman Consulting has recorded his favorite charitable individuals and organizations that he ranks as among the most efficient and most effective Israeli non-profits. Essential for donors, philanthropists and anyone wishing to give tzedakah wisely. See also his home page.
Aliya at 20-year high
Depending on the source of information, the number of new Israeli Olim (immigrants) in the 12 months prior to Yom Ha’Atzmaut was 38,000 (Jewish Agency) or 42,675 (Ministry of Immigration and Absorption). Either way, it was the highest level for two decades. Most came from Russia and Ukraine.
NbN’s 74,000th Oleh Hadash
Just ahead of Israel’s 74th birthday, Aliyah organization Nefesh B’Nefesh welcomed its 74,000th new immigrant. Charley, from Florida, said “It is incredibly special to finally be here, and we are looking forward to beginning this new chapter in our lives and growing our family here,”
Look who’s visiting Israel
Taglit Birthright summer trips to Israel began on 1st May. Some 14,000 participants from 900 universities and colleges in North America are expected to arrive from May to Sep. For those under 32, it’s not too late to join them.
Revisiting the Egyptian exodus
While many of us were celebrating the Jewish festival of Pesach, a group of Israeli Jews were strictly observing the commandment “to view themself as though they personally left Egypt”. Led by Bar-Ilan Professor Joshua Berman, they literally retraced their steps from slavery some 3,300 years ago.
Growing the Negev
Israel is to build a new Jewish city in the Negev, with the working name of Tela, located near Lehavim, to the north of Beersheba along Route 25. This, plus plans for 5 other new communities and the expansion of Ir Ovot, would boost the Negev population by 80,000.
Declaring a State – The Quorum that changed Jewish History
A new video by World Mizrachi of the historic events that led to the declaration of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948, 5th Iyar 5708.
Enjoy the airshow
If you missed the Israel Air Force Yom Ha’Atzmaut display and fly-past, watch it here.
At 74, “no dream is out of reach”
This statement by Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe introduces several articles summarizing Israel’s positive future as a progressive, hi-tech, democratic, Jewish State.