This Weeks Sanity Report from Israel – May 31, 2015
Thanks to our friend and colleague : Michael Ordman-Good News from Israel
The highlights include:
- A cancer survivor had twins after Israeli doctors transplanted her frozen ovary tissue.
- A Jordanian is the first citizen of an Arab country to receive a PhD in Israel.
- An Israeli digital ceramic ink printer is in the Guinness Book of Records.
- Israeli unemployment is at an all-time low.
- Visa has opened an Israeli Research & Development center for Israeli startups.
- Top US group One Republic performed to 20,000 fans in Tel Aviv.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Twins after surviving cancer. An Israeli woman has given birth to twins five years after cancer treatment made her infertile. Prior to the treatment, Israeli doctors froze some of her ovarian tissue, which was later transplanted back. It is only the second time in the world that this procedure has been successfully performed.
Hope for millions of diabetics. Israel’s Oramed is shortly to commence Phase IIb trials of its oral insulin treatment for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. ORMD-0801 will benefit diabetics currently using injections.
Uncovering the mysteries of brain diseases. Israel Technion’s Professor Reut Shalgi has been learning the language of proteins in her mission to discover the cause of diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Her career at Tel Aviv University, Weizmann, MIT and the Technion has proved invaluable.
JACIE recognizes Israeli hospitals. The Joint Accreditation Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy & European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (AKA JACIE) has recognized the Bone Marrow Transplantation departments of Hadassah and Schneider hospitals. It will increase opportunities for international research. http://www.hadassah-med.com/about/news/hadassahs-dept-of-bone-marrow-transplantation-receives-prestigious-international-recognition.aspx http://www.schneider.org.il/Eng/Index.asp?ArticleID=966&CategoryID=119&Page=1
Shira is back on her feet. Shira Klein, daughter of Dr Klein who works at our local Netanya hospital, was discharged from Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital. She had been critically injured in a terrorist attack on Apr 15, which killed her boyfriend. Staff from Neurosurgery, ICU, Orthopedics (and more) helped Shira recover.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Israel’s Center for Accessible Learning. The Kibbutzim College of Education is opening the Center for Accessible Learning, to promote education, training, and employment for people with disabilities. It will not only help acquire a profession but also improve skills via a range of tailored and accessible training programs
National Hearing Day. For national hearing day, Shlomi Bracha of the legendary Israeli rock band Mashina – performed a unique performance of the song “Someone Hears Me” by the rock band Eifo Hayeled with children suffering from hearing disabilities. It was a joint project with the NGO MICHA.
The women from iAngels. (TY Michelle) Shelly Hod Moyal and Mor Assia are founding partners of iAngels, a crowdfunding platform that focuses exclusively on Israeli startups. Two of their startups are also founded by women – Liat Hertanu of 24.me and Maayan Cohen of Hello Heart – both now available on the Apple Watch.
Syrians treated in Israel: Two wounded Syrians were taken to the Baruch Padeh Medical Center–Poriya Hospital in Tiberias. One of the injured was 27 years old and had shrapnel in his upper body. The other was 26 and had a bullet lodged in his spine. So far the hospital has treated 176 wounded from the war in Syria.
The first Jordanian to get an Israeli PhD. Jordan’s Amer Sweity recently became the first Jordanian citizen (and probably the first from an Arab country) to earn a doctoral degree from an Israeli university. He studied desalination as part of his PhD at Ben Gurion University and wants to bring peace through water.
Israeli doctors in Nepal. Four of Haifa’s Rambam hospital doctors have been saving lives in Nepal. Dr Itai Shavit took care of premature babies; Dr Arik Shechter helped set up field hospitals in Northern Nepal. The other doctors were cardiologist Dr Oved Cohen and anesthesiologist Dr Amit Lehavi. Meanwhile, Sheba (Tel Hashomer sent three doctors and two nurses, including Professor Eli Schwartz, director of Sheba’s Travel Clinic. http://www.rambam.org.il/EnglishSite/AboutRambam/Publications/NewsandEvents/Pages/The-Rambam-Nepal-Connection.aspx http://eng.sheba.co.il/Sheba_News/444.htm
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
An app to manage your event. Israel’s Bizzabo provides event managers (of shows, seminars, demonstrations, projects, marathons etc.) full website building facilities to organize their event. Including advertising, sales, ticketing, registration, networking, feedback and analysis – all to make the event a success.
Biodegradable plastics for Savannah. Israel’s Bram Plastics Industries is building a new “green” factory in Savannah, Georgia USA. The facility will produce 100% biodegradable plastic products, such as food packaging, tableware, storage tools and shopping bags for its US customers, which include Walmart.
Record-breaking printer. Israel’s Dip-Tech has been awarded the Guinness world record for the largest digital flatbed printer. 18 meters long, it can print on a single pane of glass with an area of 64 sq meters. It is reported that the printer is being used on the curved glass “spaceship” project for Apple’s new California HQ.
$125,000 desalination prize. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the $125,000 Desal Prize to a joint research project of Israel’s Technion and the University of North Texas as part of the Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge. The project uses wind and solar energy to power desalination.
Canada and Israel to “join up” in space. (TY Michelle) Israeli-Canadian cooperation is literally “out of this world”. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) have agreed to develop advanced applications in satellite communications. Two research projects have already been initiated.
Saving money at the pump. Israeli app Fulltank gives you the location of gas stations nearest to your current location. While the app works worldwide, in Israel it also provides up-to-date gas prices from over 1200 gas stations across the country. It also helps you navigate to your chosen station.
Israeli tech for Indian state. (TY Michelle) Israel and the Indian state of Rajasthan are discussing the expansion of their partnership in areas of water management, post harvesting and tourism. State authorities have been invited to Watec Israel-2015 in October to see Israel’s irrigation, desalination and wastewater technology.
Keep an eye on your home. The new FLIR FX home security camera comes with Recap software from Israel’s BriefCam. So you can easily see what’s going on that relates to your property or loved ones.
Making technology hands-on. More than 60 makers exhibited their work at the 2015 Jerusalem Mini-Maker Faire. There were also five workshops and two performances. There were many robots, plus a 3D printer that makes pancakes. (My printer makes pancakes even when I don’t want it to!)
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Unemployment hits historic low. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported that Israel’s unemployment rate fell from 5.2% in March to a historic low of 4.9% in April. The number employed rose 1.3% to 3,636,000. Participation in the labor force also rose – from 60.2% in March to 60.9% in April.
Economy is good shape. (TY Michelle) Moody’s chief economist Dr Mark Zandi reckons that Israel has one of the world’s best economies. It’s fiscal situation is better than ever, the debt-to-GDP ratio is low and continues to fall, its economy has been growing for 15 straight years, and there’s almost no unemployment.
Why Israel’s energy matters to the EU. (TY Michelle) According to the Greek Energy Forum, Israel’s potential source of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) would be of major benefit to Europe. It could also have some diplomatic benefits.
Israel and China agree trusted companies. Israel and China have signed an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Agreement, which approves importers and exporters who adhere to all international labeling and shipping regulations. The AEO agreement fast-tracks the customs process and will increase trade volumes.
More investment in startups. (TY Michelle) Investment in Israeli startups continues unabated. In the first 3 months of 2015, 46 Israeli startups raised a total of $54 million. This compares to the last quarter of 2014 when 44 startups raised only $41 million.
Visa set-up new Israeli startup hub. (TY Michelle) Visa Europe has opened a start-up center in Tel Aviv, taking at least 20 ideas through its 100-day innovation program. Visa will bring the most commercially viable to market. Zooz, Prontoly, Payitsimple and MyCheck have already entered the Visa Europe Collab pipeline.
Shared taxi service for Manhattan. Israel’s Daniel Ramot realized that the Israeli monit sherut (service taxi) model could work in New York City. For $7 (or $5 prepaid) passengers can share a ride with 3 others in a luxury SUV from 110th Street down to 14th Street.
Stay at an Israeli hotel in Europe. Israel’s Fattal Holdings has purchased 18 European hotels for 200 million Euros. Fattal Hotels already has 35 European hotels, plus another 30 in Israel (see 15th Mar 2015 newsletter).
It pays to pay for good customer services staff. Israeli digital ad agency Web3 employs only top customer service people to promote its services. Web3 and its Maple and Positive Media subsidiaries operate in 15 countries. Customers include L’Oreal, Microsoft, Proctor and Gamble, Heineken, Unilever, Ford and Citroen
A different kind of safari. (TY Michelle) A businessman is offering Australian entrepreneurs a unique tour of Israel’s Silicon Wadi this October.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Tel Aviv restaurants are “open” again. Tel Aviv’s unique “Open Restaurants” event is now in its second year. It’s an opportunity for chefs, journalists and just foodies to enjoy behind the scenes tours of over 70 restaurants, meeting Tel Aviv’s most intriguing chefs and taste their finest dishes.
Foodography – combining food and photography. This video follows last week’s article about using smartphones to capture pictures of your plate of food. It’s becoming a whole new form of entertainment.
13-year-olds unearth ancient Jerusalem wine press. A group of ultra-orthodox boys have exposed a 1400-year-old wine press in the woods near Jerusalem. The press measures 5m by 5m and is carved into the rock.
One Republic plays Yarkon Park. The American group One Republic made their first-ever visit to Israel, appearing at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv in front of 20,000 fans as part of their “Native” world tour.
Dragon boat races raise funds for disease research. This year’s Dragon Boat Israel Festival on the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is raising funds for medical research by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Also on sale are paddles decorated by famous Israeli artists and students at the Hadassah School for Hospitalized Children.
THE JEWISH STATE
Friends of Zion museum is open. The Friends of Zion Museum has opened in Jerusalem. It uniquely portrays the story of the support for the Jewish people and Israel by non-Jews; from the first Christian Zionists of the 19th century who encouraged Theodor Herzl, to those who helped to establish the State of Israel in 1948.
1500 French Jews on Birthright tour. A record 1500 young French Jews will be arriving to Israel this summer on the Taglit-Birthright Israel program to learn about the Jewish state and their Jewish heritage. This compares to only 83 in 2013 and 940 in 2014.
This Weeks Sanity Report from Israel – May 31, 2015