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Jerusalem Life

| Good News From Israel This Week

Zev Stub    
Sunday, 10 March 8:22 PM


·         An Israeli device is the first wireless, battery-less heart monitoring implant.
·         Israel’s spaceship goes into higher orbit after taking a selfie.
·         Israel’s Ramon Airport has opened to International flights.
·         Two Israeli companies earned over a billion dollars last year.
·         Israeli “special” band Shalva will play at Eurovision semi-finals.
·         An Israeli won 3 gold medals at an international gymnastic grand-prix.
·         Israel Railways staff returned a lost property item worth 234,000 shekels.

·         Click here to see the 3rd Mar newsletter on IsraelSeenRuthfully YoursIsraPunditJanglo, and United With Israel with extra feature on Inclusive & Global (with 1,100  likes).  Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Zachy) in HebrewAlso, 24th Feb and 3rd MarHebrew translations by students of Reali School in Haifa.   Please pass on these links to German and Hebrew-reading contacts. 

·         Also (TY Esty) please visit (“like” and “follow”) the www.facebook.com/VerygoodnewsILFacebook page.

·         Please click here, to donate (a small or large amount) to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of over 14,000 previous news articles.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should either clickhere or send a request (with their name) to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Freezing bladder tumors. Israeli startup Vessi Medical has developed unique bladder-specific cryotherapy technology for treating surface cancer on the inside lining of the bladder. Existing therapies are invasive and have a high recurrence rate. Vessi has conducted clinical trials and hopes to begin human trials shortly.

A computer in your heart. (TY Atid-EDI) I reported 3 years ago (see here) when Israel’s Vectorious Medical raised funds to trial its V-LAPTM microcomputer that monitors for imminent heart failure. The device has just been successfully implanted in the first human trials in a six-minute procedure, under local anesthesia. It is said to be the world’s first digital, wireless, battery-less device that can communicate from deep within the body.

ReWalk’s soft suit completes trials. I reported previously (see here) about ReStore, the soft suit exoskeleton from Israel’s ReWalk that enables stroke patients to walk. ReStore recently completed successful trials at five US rehabilitation centers and ReWalk has now applied for US FDA and European CE approval.

Treatment for refractory seizures. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Teva has launched a generic version of Sabril (vigabatrin) in the US for the treatment of refractory Complex Partial Seizures (CPS). It is meant for adults and children over 10 with this form of epilepsy who have failed to respond to several alternative treatments.

Unique way to mend a broken heart. A 29-year-old Israeli staggered into Sheba Medical Center with a left ventricle aneurysm (ruptured heart artery). Cardiologist Professor Victor Guetta performed a “first in the world” procedure using a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) occlude (normally used to open arteries) to plug the hole.

Lab-grown bone patient competes in triathlon. Danny Yaakobson suffered a serious leg injury in a car accident and risked losing his leg. He was the first patient to receive a transplant using bone grown from his own fat cells by Israel’s Bonus Bio. Danny completed the 112-mile cycle race of Eilat’s 2019 Israman triathlon.

Predicting the spread of melanoma. Scientists at Ben Gurion University, working with others at the University of Texas, have used microscopic cameras to film live cancer cells. They then used artificial intelligence to identify cells with metastatic potential that were likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Finding the cause of genetic diseases. Israeli biotech Emedgene has developed a platform that can pinpoint the genetic mutation(s) responsible for rare genetic diseases. Emedgene gets cases from healthcare organizations and uses Artificial Intelligence and information databases to help geneticists uncover the underlying problem.

Hope for safer skin grafts. It’s early days, but Shahar Ben-Shaul from Israel’s Technion Institute looks to have improved the success rate for skin grafts. In laboratory trials, she and her team were able to connect blood vessels faster and safer using more mature (14-day-old) cells grown in the lab, in combination with real skin.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Muslim and Jewish medics train together in Jerusalem. (TY Hazel) Many Arab (Muslim and Christian) volunteer first responders participated in an emergency drill in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Zur Bahr. They trained together with Israeli security forces, firefighters and Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service.

Jaffa startup program for Arabs and Jews.  (TY Hazel) 45 budding entrepreneurs from all over Israel, took part in a pre-accelerator program in Jaffa, aptly named Starting Up Together. Around 50% were Jews and 50% Arabs (Muslim including Bedouin, Christian and Druze). They formed groups to work on “smart city” projects.

Israeli school for migrants on Greek island. (TY Hazel) For nearly 4 years (see here)Israelis have been helping migrants from Syria, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan on the Greek island of Lesbos. There is no other foreign support. IsraAID runs a school for the migrants, some of whom even became teachers themselves.

Israel opens Rwandan embassy. Israel’s new embassy in Rwanda is its 11th in Africa. The new Ambassador, Ronny Adam presented his credentials to Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Beresheet takes a selfie and fires up. Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft to the moon, took a selfie of itself and the Earth some 37,600 km above our planet. The photo shows the Israeli flag, “Small Country Big Dreams” and “Am Yisrael Chai” (the Nation of Israel Lives). Beresheet then blasted into a new 270,000km maximum orbit.

Dutch to use Israeli water-based fuel. I reported previously (4th Nov) on Israeli-founded Electriq-Global which extracts hydrogen from water to power electric vehicles. Electriq-Global is partnering Dutch company Eleqtec to power an eMobility solution for trucks, barges and mobile generators in the Netherlands in 2020.

Helping you to get fit. Israel’s Matok V’Kal has launched Fit4style Energy Spray - a refreshing 6-calorie, zero-caffeine, quick-shot mint-flavored spray to help boost stamina during high-endurance workouts and sports activities. Lightweight and user-friendly, it gives both mind and body the motivation to continue exercising.

New kosher snack is out of this world. Israeli food and beverage manufacturer Strauss is developing a new snack “the Astro” with technology similar to that used by NASA to make food for astronauts. The nutritional cube is made from freeze-dried and pressed vegetables, fruits, and grains. It’s easy to store – not mushroom!

Protecting the nations. Israeli security companies CyberArk, Check Point and FST Biometrics are in hot demand as world leaders and national security and defense teams attempt to pre-empt cyber threats capable of compromising the safety of entire nations.

The cybersecurity system that sees all.  (TY Atid-EDI) Customers using the Cybersecurity Asset Management Platform from Israel’s Axonius get a single point of view of all IT devices, automatically. They can then answer the question: are my devices secure? Axonius has just raised $13 million of funds.

A database that everyone wants. Israeli-founded Redis Labs develops, and markets database management software based on the Redis open source database. Customers include Microsoft, American Express, Home Depot, MasterCard and Vodafone. Redis has just raised $60 million including from Goldman Sachs and Dell.

Automating repetitive tasks. Israel’s Kryon Systems helps businesses set up 'virtual workforces' comprised of software robots that can execute repetitive tasks on enterprise applications. Using Kryon’s unique Robotic Process Automation (RPA, the virtual workforce, becomes an integral part of an enterprise’s greater workforce.

Manufacturing apps transform operations. Israeli-founded Tulip Interfaces offers manufacturers a no-code platform for creating digital tools and applications. These provide user-friendly instructions to workers and vital data on how to improve efficiency. Tulip is one of over 200 Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts USA.

Mixed reality. Israeli startup Mixed Place develops mixed reality technology in which digital content is inserted into the physical world. Applications include tourism, shopping, entertainment and much more. Mixed Place’s clients include European retail giants Billa and Ahold-Delhaize.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS


Record level of tourism continues. In January and February combined, 683,000 visitors came to Israel, up 16% from the first two months of 2018.  Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said he expected that 2019 will continue the unprecedented surge in tourism.  https://worldisraelnews.com/tourism-to-israel-soars-to-record-levels/

Ramon airport receives first international flight. Ryanair had the honor of being the first international airline to land a plane at Israel’s Ramon Airport. The new airport opened to domestic traffic on 21st Jan. (see here)

Google acquires Alooma. (TY JewishPress & Nevet) Google Cloud has signed an agreement to acquire Israel-based Alooma. Alooma’s platform lets companies stream and migrate their organizational data from multiple locations and sources into one single location in the Cloud. 

JVP $220 million startup fund. Israeli venture capital fund Jerusalem Venture Partners has established a new $220 million fund to invest in early through mid-stage Israeli technologies. It will target healthcare, fintech, AI and cybersecurity, and has attracted investors from the US, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, the UK and Japan.

Top airline group seeks Israeli startups. International Airlines Group (IAG) is the sixth largest in the world. It owns British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, Vueling and LEVEL. IAG is teaming up with the UK Israel Tech Hub to host a pitch day for tech startups on 18th March in Tel Aviv.

Attracting foreign students to Israel.  Israel’s Council for Higher Education has earmarked $120 million through 2022 for university programs that appeal to overseas students. In addition, a delegation of senior members of the CHE are to visit Jewish institutions in the US to publicize the initiative.

Twiggle to challenge Amazon. More business and sales have been conducted online than ever before, but buyers have been missing the human element. Dr. Amir Konigsberg, CEO & Founder of Israel’s Twiggle, has created a platform to serve customers more accurately and allow smaller vendors to compete with Amazon.

Stories sell products.  I reported previously (Mar 2015) on Israel’s Playbuzz which converts static (boring) website content into interactive “storybook” dialogs to engage with users. Yael Shafrir, Playbuzz VP of International Partnerships explains more on ILTV.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38EYYSZmUGM

NICE little earner. Another big Israeli company NICE reported its 2018 revenue up 8% at a massive $1.445 billion.  https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3756384,00.html

Towering revenues. One of Israel’s big tech companies, Tower Semiconductors (TowerJazz) just reported an annual income of $1.3 billion. Tower manufactures wireless computer chips and camera sensors. Readers may remember I reported (14th Jan) that TowerJazz’s image sensors are on NASA’s sun probe.

CyberArk sails full steam ahead. One of Israel’s biggest cybersecurity companies, CyberArk, has just reported 2018 revenues of $343 million - 31% higher than 2017.  Its forecast for 2019 was even higher.

Predicting a financial crisis. Israeli behavioral economist Dr Dan Geller, head of Analyticom, has developed a scientific tool, the Money Anxiety Index - an early-warning system for financial organizations. It includes a forecast model of loan defaults that gives an 8-month advance notice of a likely recession.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Upgrading the Old City.  The Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem is spending 200 million shekels improving the Jewish Quarter with better access, shade, lighting, recreation areas, seating and sign-posting. https://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/jerusalem/55-million-to-be-invested-in-jewish-quarter-of-old-city-of-jerusalem/2019/02/18/  

Jerusalem’s Winter Noise festival. (TY Sharon) To bring people to the city streets on winter nights, a street festival שאון חורף – Shaon Horef, or Winter Noise was started over seven years ago. The free cultural festival features varied and often “out of the box” entertainment. Music and bands perform in multiple locations.

Spring Journey. Erez Speiser of Israel By Foot has sent me news of Spring Journey 2019. 16 days of unique hiking journey, starting on 22nd March from Mount Hermon, all the way down to the Sea of Galilee. Via streams and springs. mountains, hills and meadows - far away from the noisy city and busy roads.

Shalva Band to perform at Eurovision. Israel’s “special” Shalva Band had to withdraw from the Eurovision competition (see here) but will instead perform during the interval at the second semi-final.  The band will also perform at the official state ceremony on Israel’s Independence Day on Mount Herzl.

Wrestling championship comes to Israel. Jay Lethal will defend his Ring of Honor (ROH) world wrestling title against David Starr on 21st Apr in Netanya – the first time in the Jewish State. Proceeds raised from the show will go to the Make A Wish Foundation in Israel, helping sick children to fulfill their dreams.

The Israeli who won 10 Olympic medals. Officially, Israel has only ever won one gold medal – Gal Fridman won it for the men’s sailboard at the 2004 Athens Olympics.  Few know about Ágnes Keleti who now lives in Herzliya. She won ten Olympic medals including five golds. At the time, however, she competed for Hungary.

Israeli rhythmic gymnast wins 3 Golds. (TY Hazel) Israeli rhythmic gymnast Linoy Ashram won three gold medals at the Grand Prix Marbella in Spain, coming top in the hoop, clubs, and ribbons competitions.  She is now a favorite to win a medal in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


THE JEWISH STATE

Israel’s quality of life improves. New figures from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics show that since 2017, Israelis’ material lives have improved. Quality of life has been enhanced even in the environment and personal security. Of the 70 parameters it measures, life improved in 35 of them.

Arguments for the sake of Heaven. The Bible Study meeting at the Jerusalem residence of Israel’s President was entitled “The Power of Disagreement and the Culture of Discourse”. President Rivlin said “I believe in the strength of the Jewish and democratic State of Israel, and so I have no doubt that argument will flourish.”

More lost property returned by Israel Railways.  Cleaning staff at Ra'anana West train station discovered a bag containing NIS 234,000 in checks on a train arriving from Be'er Sheva. After returning the checks to the owner, shift manager Alon Katriel was "happy that I managed to return such a valuable…it’s a great mitzvah.”

Shabbat Shalom, your new kidney awaits you. A life-saving kidney for a religious Jewish resident of Beit Shemesh became available on a Friday night. Israeli police officers rushed him to hospital in a patrol car for emergency transplant surgery. On Saturday night the police were informed that the operation was successful.

A land without people. A collector of ancient maps from Ramat Gan has an historical map prepared by a British survey mission at the end of the 19th Century. The map proves that prior to the first Aliyah the Land was meager and empty. It verifies the Zionist claim: "A people without a land to a land without people"

Palestinian Arab discovers he’s Jewish. A young Palestinian Arab was brought up as a Muslim and taught at an UNRWA school to despise Jews, but all of that changed when he took a closer look at his own family tree. Now he’s taken the name Mordechai Yosef and works to expose the incitement that UNRWA teaches.

Don’t let Hatzala run out of gas. (TY Jeannette) This campaign video from Hatzala Beit Shemesh shows what could happen if its funds dry up.  Please help if you can. (video features the son of one of VeryGoodNewsIsrael’s most loyal readers)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxs66f_e86U

Continuing Rabbi Eckstein’s mission. On 25th Feb, 243 new immigrants from the Ukraine landed in Israel on a flight organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). They were met by Yael Eckstein, President-elect of the IFCJ, succeeding her father Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein who passed away recently.

         
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