Good News Israel

The Jewish State in its true light.
In the 9th Sept 2012 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:
·        Israeli discovery of mutant gene could lead to a cure for fatty liver disease.
·        A revolutionary new Israeli keyboard includes a display screen to boost productivity.
·        The 3D technology from Israel’s PrimeSense has the potential to transform the future.
·        The European Central Bank has invested in Israel’s Better Place electric car infrastructure.
·        A unique museum in Holon brings visitors face to face with the reality of aging.
·        1200 brave Swedish Zionists demonstrated in support of Israel in the centre of Stockholm.
·        Last week’s JPost Israel Good News descriptive summary
·        And please read this write-up about my work
Page Down for more details on these and other good news stories from Israel.
Israeli researchers discover defective liver gene.  Doctors at Schneider Children’s medical centre noticed 10 children and infants from four families in a single Arab village, all with liver abnormalities.  The discovery of the mutant gene could lead to a treatment for fatty liver disease and screening for the gene.
FDA approves Israeli neutropenia treatment.  Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are at risk of infection due to reduced white blood cell counts.  Teva’s Tbo-filgrastim stimulates the bone marrow to produce white bloods cells.  The US Food and Drug Administration has given the go-ahead for commercial production.
10 Israeli treatments for Alzheimer’s.  (Thanks to Israel21c)  To mark World Alzheimer’s Month, here is a great summary of all the main brain science, medication and memory enhancement innovations that Israeli scientists have contributed to fighting this devastating and fatal condition.
Key to brain disease is in the bones.  Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have discovered how the brain controls bone development.  With previous research on protein interleukin-1 it explains why depression, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy often accompany osteoporosis and has huge potential for new therapies.
Israel trains young Japanese leaders.  (Thanks to Israel21c) IsraAID, the Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid, has been training Japanese students from the Tohoku earthquake region.  The leadership program empowers youth from Tohoku to take responsibility for their future as individuals and as a community.
Israeli bank donates backpacks to Ethiopian kids.  The Tel Aviv branch of Citibank made the first day of school much easier for Ethiopian-Israeli students, by donating 200 backpacks and school supplies.  They were distributed to the students by the organisation Ethiopian National Project (ENP).
Cleaning up Lake Victoria.  Following on from the project initiated in April 2011, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon signed a cooperation agreement with Kenya and Germany to promote fish farming techniques and desalinate and purify the waters of Lake Victoria.
No need to look up.  Smart keyboard company KeyView has unveiled Smartype – a new kind of keyboard with a sophisticated built-in display.  Users no longer need to split their focus between a keyboard and computer screen, helping minimize typing errors, reducing neck strain and maximize productivity.
Turning pollution into bio-fuel.  Excellent article explaining how Israel’s Seambiotic takes the Carbon Dioxide (greenhouse gas) directly from smokestacks and uses it to feed algae for bio-fuel projects in Ohio and Italy and for the vitamin industry in China.  It’s still early days, but shows much promise.
Robot teacher.  Watch this film clip of RoboThespian teaching a class of Israeli children how to work with weights and levers.  Plus some Shakespeare verse and a song.  Lessons were never like this in my time.
Happy New Year.  Israel’s Technion has put together this short film of its robots and staff wishing everyone a very hi-tech and happy 5773.
Transforming the future.  Israel’s PrimeSense provides the 3D sensing technology for Microsoft’s Kinect for XBox 360.  PrimeSense has been selected as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and one of the world’s most innovative technology start-ups that can transform the future of business and society.
Jerusalem gets environmental studies centre.  One week after Tel Aviv announced a new Environmental school, now Israel’s capital is to get one.  Ex deputy mayor of New York, Robert Price has donated NIS 30 million to build the 2,000-square-meter facility overlooking Sacher Park on the Hebrew University campus.
Inspiring US innovation.  The Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership selected Needham-based Automated Medical Instruments to participate in its Accelerator program. AMI develops the CircumBlator which destroys faulty heart tissue that causes irregular heart-beats.
Learn whilst asleep.  Great news, for those students who find it hard to stay awake in lectures; it is possible to sleep-learn.  Weizmann researchers have proved that the wakened brain can be conditioned into responding to triggers that were given when the subject was asleep.  Don’t use this, however, as a method to cram for exams.
EIB supports Israeli electric cars.  Israel’s Better Place has secured a €40 million loan from the European Investment Bank.  Better Place will use the money to finance its operations in Denmark and Israel.
Unemployment drops; workforce rises.  Despite Israel being hit by the world economic downturn and having to layoff thousands of staff, unemployment actually dipped in July to 6.5% from 7.1% in June.  Additionally, the workforce increased from 59% to 59.8% of the population.  So there is still a demand for Israeli workers.
Holy land of opportunity.  Jews across America are scanning the Internet for job opportunities that will enable them to make the leap toward life in Israel.  Nefesh B’Nefesh’s LinkedIn aliyah board and Janglo’s Jobs classified site are attracting much recent interest.
Jerusalem: Israel’s next Silicon Valley?  Israel’s capital combines business with culture and has the potential to become a hi-tech international hub.  CNN interviewed Jerusalem Venture Partner’s Erel Margalit, who sees Jerusalem as a gateway to Israel’s business future.
Gaza has 600 millionaires.  Just in case anyone still thought that the terrorist state was a humanitarian disaster.
Dates and pomegranates for the New Year.  Lovely video from the Veffers of Villa Rimona in Yavne.
Talent in the family. The religious all-women dance company Nehara has been making exciting news in the Israeli press.  Nehara was founded by Daniella Bloch, who studied dance at Bat Dor (which was co-founded by my cousin Jeanette Ordman z”l).  Details sent to me by newsletter subscriber (and Daniella’s mother) Ilene.
“Dialogue with Time”.  The Children’s Museum in Holon redefines the concept of aging. Guides aged 70 and above help visitors relate to the elderly and old age.  Using role-playing and games, visitors enter the world of the aged. The concept is similar to experiential museums “Dialogue in the Dark” and “Invitation to Silence”.
Did aliens land on the Knesset?  (Thanks to Sharon of Real Jerusalem Streets.) The annual Jerusalem Kite festival at the Israel Museum gave much pleasure to residents of Israel’s capital.  At one point, people thought we had been visited by extraterrestrials. Mind, if you’ve seen what goes on sometimes in the Knesset ……
Swedish band gets heavy with Israel.  The heavy metal band Sabaton is really into Israel.  The band toured Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem and met with IDF soldiers guarding the site.  The Grammy-nominated band is famous for their 2006 song “Counterstrike,” recounting Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War.
From the depths I call to you.  Cavers from the cave research unit of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have just returned from exploring Krubera-Voronya in Russia – the deepest cave in the world.  They broke records for the deepest that an Israeli has ever reached, plus the longest an Israeli has spent underground.  (Not sure if Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai would have disputed the latter!)
Paralympic medals.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israeli swimmers Inbal Pezaro and Itzhak Mamistvalov achieved in the London 2012 Paralympics what no Israeli athlete could in the main Olympics.  They won bronze medals – Inbal in the 50-meter and 200-meter freestyle. Izhak beat another Israeli in his 200-meter freestyle final.
30 years of Sar-El.  Sar-El (Hebrew for “Service for Israel) is the national project for volunteers for the Jewish State.  In May it celebrated its 30th anniversary and I thought it appropriate to share some of the many comments of Sar-El volunteers over the past year. Also the history of the organisation and its achievements.
Israel Advocacy Gets a Boost as Students Train to Fight Bias.  The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) brought nearly 40 students from across the United States and Canada to participate in its second annual Student Leadership and Advocacy Training Conference.
Over 1200 at Stockholm pro-Israel rally.  A central location ensured the most prominent rally in Sweden for the past ten years.  Organised by Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, it featured on IBA TV and radio Kol Yisrael and in most of the Israeli English and Hebrew press. However, the Swedish media seemed to want to keep it quiet.
Jerusalem’s Montifiore windmill works again.  For the first time in 150 years, the blades of the restored windmill in Yemin Moshe were turning once more.  Although an electric motor replaces the wind as the source of power, the iconic machine will soon be grinding grain once more for the citizens of Israel’s capital city.
Are people seeing the light?  I found this lovely article on Israel National News.  Go’el Jasper is so fed up of reading bad news that he is now writing about optimistic topics, and leaving the negative stuff aside.  His first article describes the 10 wonders of the land of Israel. Maybe he was inspired by this newsletter?
1,500-Year-Old Jewish Town Near Be’er Sheva.  Archaeologists have discovered remains of a large 1,500-year-old Jewish town near Be’er Sheva, including two public ritual pools (mikvehs) and a synagogue or Torah study centre.  The town was uncovered while extending the southern leg of Israel’s north-south super highway.
Aliya at 96.  Lily Hyde is believed to the oldest Australian ever to immigrate to Israel.  Lily left the Sir Moses Montefiore Jewish Home in Sydney bound for Tel Aviv, where she will be reunited with her family.  It’s a dream come true,” she said. “It will be comforting to have so many of my family by my side.”
September 10, 2012 | 1 Comment »

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  1. I tried to post a letter on Michael Ordman’s letter but was unable to do so without joining Facebook. I value my privacy so I refuse to become a Facebook ‘friend’.

    So here is my short note. I hope he gets it.
    “Thank you Michael Ordman.
    You are filling an enormous gap.
    The tragically inadequate Israeli PR now has a much needed champion.

    Mickey Oberman”