Israel's Good News Newsletter to 24th July 16



In the 24th July 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         An Israeli cream stimulates the immune system to regrow damaged skin.
·         Israeli aid workers are helping flood victims in Virginia.
·         Israel has restored diplomatic relations with Guinea.
·         An Israeli startup is to produce meat without harming animals.
·         An Israeli device lets you tap computer text on any surface.
·         40 years after Entebbe, Israelis are planning Uganda’s new airport.
·         Over 400 new immigrants to Israel have arrived from France and North America.
·         Biblical history is revealed at a huge Philistine cemetery in Southern Israel.

·         Click here to see the 10th July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, Janglo and United With Israel with extra features on Health, Global impact. Technology and Culture.  Also (TY Sandra) available in German and TY Karen who has translated the 3rd July and 10th July newsletters into Portuguese – please promote the terrific work of these volunteers by passing their links onto German and Portuguese readers.

Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel.  Thank You to all who have sent me links to many of these positive news articles.  Due to high volumes, some have been held over until next week.
Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

More positive trials in ALS treatment.  (TY Nevet) Phase 2 US trials of a single dose of Nurown stem cell treatment from Israel’s Brainstorm on 48 patients suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) showed over 90% efficacy with no adverse effects. Multi-dosage trials can now take place.  (see results of Israeli trials here)

A molecule to protect the brain.  I reported previously (Feb 2014) about Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists’ development of TXM peptides that can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia in diabetics.  Latest HUJ research shows that TXM peptides can also protect the brain after mild traumatic brain injury.

Cream to heal wounds.  (TY Karen) Israeli startup Biotreat 21 has invented what it calls a miracle cream, claiming it could completely regrow damaged skin by utilizing one’s own immune system. Initial trials have erased scars and even healed severe diabetic ulcers. It is also anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and kills pain.

Regenerative medicine award for HU scientist.  Dr. Yosef Buganim, a research scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been honored with the Boyalife Science & Science Translational Medicine Award in Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine.  http://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/31872

Outreach award for neuroscience.  (TY Dan) The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies awarded the EDAB-FENS Brain Awareness Week Excellence Award for 2016 to The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  FENS President Prof. Monica di Luca praised the HUJ for the imaginative ways it combines neuroscience research with the arts.  http://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/31700

Boosting immunity to fight cancer.  (TY Dan) Dr. Pinchas Tsukerman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has won a prestigious Kaye Innovation Award for developing novel monoclonal antibodies that can boost the immune system’s ability to destroy tumors.  http://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/31197

Rebuilding lives – with Lego and art.  The weekly Lego Workshop is an important part of Israeli charity Ezer Mizion’s extensive cancer support services for cancer patients (children and adults) and their families.  It is held at Ezer Mizion’s “Oranit” cancer patient guest home - a home away for home during outpatient treatment.  Also Ezer Mizion’s “Good Morning” visual art workshop that relieves some of the trauma from mothers with cancer.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Technology training for all.  In 2003 non-profit organization Machshava Tova opened a tech room for low-income Ethiopian children in Jerusalem.  Today it has over 12 centers spanning the country, providing 30,000 children, teenagers, job seekers and special needs with computer literacy skills, irrespective of ethnicity.

A winning formula for coexistence.  “The Equalizer” is a national educational and sports organization that brings 2,300 children from 152 Israeli schools together through their love of soccer.  They include Muslims, Bedouins, Jewish immigrants, Druze, and even children of Eritrean refugees.

Druze women attract tourist trade.  (TY Steve) Dozens of Druze women are opening home-based businesses, in embroidery and in Druze traditional cuisine. In some cases, the women are the sole breadwinners in the family.  Israel’s Tourism Ministry provides courses in entrepreneurship and helps with advertising.

The first Israeli-Palestinian Arab mall.  Israeli developer and business guru Rami Levy is building the first Israeli-Palestinian Arab mall along the road between Jerusalem and Ramallah. His existing shopping centers and supermarkets in Judea and Samaria have become points of friendly interaction between Jews and Arabs.

Israeli female paramedics treating Syrian wounded.  The IDF treats hundreds of Syrians wounded in the ongoing civil war in that country; Two of the women who treat them when they first arrive at the border - Sgt. Rotem Einav and 2nd Lt. Leshem Shirgaouker describe the wounded they've seen, and the thrill of saving a life.

Aid for West Virginia flood victims.  (TY Karen) Israeli international relief organization IsraAid has been helping West Virginia homeowners with the tremendous amount of damage caused by flash floods in June that killed 23 people and destroyed hundreds of houses.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko7kUFJeWQQ

Israeli AIDS solution extended to adolescents.  (TY Dan) The World Health Organization has expanded the use of the PrePex device made by Israel-based Circ MedTech, to all males over 13 years of age. Prepex allows medical workers in Africa to perform painless circumcisions to help stop the spread of AIDS. (see here)

Israel-Ghana friendship society.  Israel has launched a society that stresses mutual friendship between the Israeli Knesset and the parliament of Ghana. MK Avraham Nagosa will act as head of the society.  Inauguration guests included members of Ghana's parliament, Ghana’s ambassador to Israel and members of the Israel-Africa Chamber of Commerce.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/214847

Renewed ties with Guinea.  Israel has renewed diplomatic relations with the Republic of Guinea that were severed in 1967 after Israel’s Six-day War with the Arabs.  The West African state has 10.5 million citizens, over 85% of whom are Muslim.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/215285

First contact.  It has been reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of the African state of Somalia in the first high-level contact between the two countries.  http://www.timesofisrael.com/somalias-president-recently-held-first-ever-meeting-with-israeli-pm/

First visit by President of Paraguay.  Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday in Jerusalem during a three-day visit.  Paraguay is one of Israel’s best allies in international forums.    http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Paraguayan-President-rare-ally-in-South-America-arrives-for-visit-460635 http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=35071


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Vegan-friendly kosher meat to save the planet.  Israeli startup SuperMeat is developing a method for bio-engineering “cultured meat” from animal cells. Its tagline: “Real meat, without harming animals.”  Vegan CEO Koby Barak says it will be kosher, vegan-friendly, prevent world hunger and stop global warming.  Wow!

Saving the world from hunger.  This NoCamels article features nine Israeli companies who are making major contributions to agriculture through their innovative technology.  These are Sensilize, BioBee, miRobot, Roots, Tal-Ya, Morflora, Netafim, GreenWall and EdenShield.

Farming in the Arava desert.  In southern Israel's Arava desert, thanks to innovative Israeli technology, strawberries, argan trees and sustainable fish thrive in some of the harshest environments.

Preventing accidents. (TY Dan & Atid-EDI) I featured previously (Oct 4) the dashcam app from Israel’s Nexar which records and reports bad driving.  App users have automatically profiled the driving behavior of over 7 million cars in San Francisco, New York, and Tel Aviv.  Nexar has just raised $10.5 million of funding.

Kwik delivery at the press of a button.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli starup Kwik has developed smart buttons, which let consumers order products from their home by pressing a button.  Kwik is working with Domino’s, Budweiser, Huggie’s and others.  Kwik has just raised $3 million to expand to the US.

Drone camera sees like a human.  (TY Dan) I reported previously (3rd Jan) on the RealSense camera technology developed by Intel Haifa.  Now Intel has installed the human-like depth perception technology into Typhoon H - a new drone developed by the Shanghai-based aerospace company Yuneec International.

Virtual Reality for the Chinese.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli startup WakingApp announced a full Mandarin language version of its successful ENTiTi Virtual Reality software for the Chinese market.  ENTiTi enables any company or individual to create interactive virtual and augmented reality content without any developer skills.

Protection from the Dark Web.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israeli cybersecurity startup Sixgill analyzes the mysterious Dark Web for information regarding upcoming hack attacks.  It enables organizations to prevent attacks against them and their employees.  Sixgill has just raised $5 million of new funding.

A keyboard on any surface.  (TY SDM) Israeli tech entrepreneur Ran Poliakine has developed the Tap Strap – a wearable device that senses finger movements and translates them into text from any surface to any smart device.  The Tap Strap sends a character or command to a device based on which fingers touched the surface.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

$15 million agtech fund.  I reported previously (Apr 24) that International giant Bayer invested $10 million in a new fund to support Israeli agro-tech start-ups.  Now it has joined with Israel’s OurCrowd and DuPont to set up a new accelerator fund to finance early stage agricultural technology start-ups.

YotPo increases your business (and theirs).  (TY Atid-EDI) The latest news on Israeli company promotion startup YotPo since my Dec 2012 article (see here) – is that it tripled its revenue and customers last year, opened a New York office and is hiring 250 more employees.  It has also just raised $22 million of funding.

LightCyber enters Europe.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported on Israeli award-winning cybersecurity startup LightCyber previously (this year) . The behavior attack detection solutions company has expanded its sales team by 150% and opened offices in the UK and mainland Europe.  It has also raised $20 million of funds.

The vast potential of Israel-Africa.  (TY IsraPundit) Barak Raz was in the business delegation accompanying Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit of East African countries. Developing infrastructure, fighting desertification, telecommunications, agriculture, water, energy, homeland security - opportunities are endless.

Israeli company to plan the new Uganda.  (TY Dan) The Ugandan government has chosen Israel’s Tzamir Architects and City Planning to plan the massive reconstruction of Uganda’s infrastructure.  It includes the building of a new International airport.  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4823576,00.html

New US-Israeli medical incubator.  (TY Dan) Cleveland Clinic, together with Israel’s Maccabi Healthcare Services, have been awarded an incubator franchise from the Israel Innovation Authority.  It will invest $40 million (including $25 million from the Israeli government) in Israeli startups over eight years.

Israeli startups head for Japan.  A delegation of 11 Israeli companies from the field of the Internet of Things will be part of an investors’ roadshow that will take place in Tokyo and Osaka. More than 200 meetings have been set up for the startups, including with Japanese conglomerates Fujitsu, NEC and Hitachi.

Virginia trade mission to Israel.  (TY Dan) US Governor Terry McAuliffe led a two-day marketing and trade mission to Israel. Whilst there, Governor McAuliffe announced an agreement between Virginia Tech and Israel’s TESSA Dairy Machinery to bring the Israel-based company's Mini Dairy to the university and help grow Virginia’s dairy fermentation industry.  https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2016/07/cals-minidairy.html

Canadian firm raises money in Israel.  (TY Dan) Toronto’s Skyline Investments Inc - a leading developer of hospitality properties and destination communities – is seeking to raise up to 140 million Israeli Shekels (about $45 million Canadian dollars) in the Israeli bond market. 

An all-Israeli exit.  Israel-founded NNG – developer of the popular iGO navigation app – has acquired Israeli startup Arilou – developer of cybersecurity for vehicles.  A newsletter debut for both companies.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Is statue?  (TY SDM) It is the season of outdoor concerts and the Israel Museum’s sculpture garden is a magical spot for listening to music.  Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv some of the sculptures are not quite what they seem to be!  http://www.timesofisrael.com/singing-stars-come-out-at-night-among-israel-museum-sculptures/

Tel Aviv’s cool Yemeni village.  (TY SDM) The “Kerem”, the Yemenite village in the heart of Tel Aviv, is the most chilled, most authentic, and most easygoing area of town.

Israeli dance in the Galilee.  60 young dancers, from schools in the Misgav regional council of 35 small towns and communities in the Galilee, are performing at July’s three-day Carmiel Festival.  Misgav has some 340 dancers, from age 10 to adults, who entertain while dressed in distinctive, furry red hats.

Baby whale still in Israeli waters.  The 10m whale spotted off the Caesarea in June (see 19 June newsletter) has been visiting Tel Aviv and is now heading north to Haifa.  You can follow its progress on Facebook.

X-factor Israel star reaches new heights.  Over 665,000 Youtube viewers watched last year’s X-Factor Israel entry by Anna Timofei, who hit the top notes with her rendition of “The Phantom of the Opera”.  She achieved 3rd place in the Series 2 Final with “Memories”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wroXwn6zcHQ

European youth chess champions.  (TY Karen) Israel won the 2016 European Youth (under 18) Team Chess Championships in Slovenia. Team Israel headed nine other countries, defeating Austria in the final round.


THE JEWISH STATE

Look what became of the Philistines.  Archaeologists digging at the southern coastal city of Ashkelon have discovered the first cemetery belonging to the Israelites’ Biblical enemy, the Philistines.  The cemetery dates between the 11th and 8th centuries BCE, may contain thousands of graves, and reveal many Philistine customs.

Rare Bar Kochba coin for sale.  (TY SDM) Winner's auction house is offering a unique item for sale: a silver shekel from the 4th year of the Bar Kochba rebellion against the Roman occupation of Judea.  The coin is rare as silver for minting coins was in short supply then.  It is expected to fetch between $28,000 and $32,000.

Seeking Western Sephardim.  The Avotaynu DNA Project organized by Israel’s Technion, seeks males who are direct paternal line descendants of members of the historic Western Sephardi communities of Amsterdam, London, Livorno, Venice, Bordeaux, Southwest France, Curacao, Suriname, and North America for a study of Western Sephardi paternal DNA lineages.  http://www.avotaynuonline.com/2016/07/avotaynu-dna-seeks-sephardi-study-participants/?ct=t(Weekly_Avotaynu_Digest4_2_2015)

Hebron, a microcosm of Jewish history and survival.  The city of Hebron has been in the news recently for tragic reasons due to the recent terror wave.  Here is a short history of the city from Biblical times until now.

Hospital summer camps.  Colel Chabad’s summer camp program for hospitalized Israeli children includes 45 pediatric beds at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon and 80 pediatric beds at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot. The hospital camp activities revolve around arts and crafts and are fully funded by Colel Chabad. 

Scholarships for orphans.  (TY Sharon) Colel Chabad has also awarded 100 Israeli orphans with academic scholarships.  A special celebration was held at the Psagot Winery near Jerusalem.  The Chesed Menachem Mendel Awards help the child with tutoring, music lessons, summer camps and therapies in order to help them succeed in school and socially.  http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Helping-orphans-stay-in-school-460876

Saved by his dog tag.  Shrapnel from shots fired at an IDF post near Metulla on the northern border with Lebanon ricocheted off one the dog (identification) tags of a soldier guarding the post.  Military medics at the post inspected the soldier and found him unharmed.

The first Aliya flight of the Summer.  Israel welcomed 218 new immigrants (Olim) from North America as the summer season of Aliyah organized by Nefesh B'nefesh begins. 

French mass-Aliya flight arrives.  206 immigrants from France arrived in Israel in the largest-ever summer mass-aliyah from France.  They were met by Natan Sharansky – Head of the Jewish Agency, who danced with the new Olim.  Another 5,000 Jews from around the world plan to make Aliya this summer.