So how is your health?; Covid-19 Shield updated; Monitoring construction sites; and much more!

by: Michael Ordman


Pre-clinical success for Covid-19 ARDS treatment

Israel’s BrainStorm (reported here previously) reported promising results of pre-clinical trials for its Nurown treatment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) brought about by Covid-19. The NurOwn cells reduced the cytokine storm and lung damage.

Vitamin D impacts Covid-19 infection and severity

Scientists at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University have identified low plasma vitamin D level to be an independent risk factor for COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. They studied 782 Israeli COVID-19 positive patients and 7,807 COVID-19 negative patients.

You’ve got Covid – is that bad news?

Two recent Jewish immigrants to Israel from France have developed an algorithm named PhysioZoo. Using data from a pulse oximeter (that measures oxygen in blood) the algorithm can determine if a Covid-19 patient is going to develop pneumonia long before symptoms appear.

VeryGoodNewsIsrael on TV

Barry Shaw of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies and The View from Israel interviewed me last week about the projects that Israel is working on to help combat the coronavirus infection. We hope to produce a monthly video featuring positive Israeli news.  Please pass it on. (Please ensure the sound is on.)

US approval for AI mammography

Israel’s Zebra Medical Vision (reported here previously) that uses artificial intelligence technology to help read medical scans, has received US FDA clearance for use of its algorithm to read mammograms. It already received European (CE) approval for its “HealthMammo” solution.

Two-hour analysis of a biopsy

Technion Professor Daphne Weihs has developed a fast test to analyze cancer cells. Biopsies are placed into a special gel and measured. Two hours later the extent that the cells have embedded denotes whether they are benign, non-metastatic or metastatic (potential or actual).

So how is your health?

Another exciting webinar (see previous) from Technion UK featuring Technion Professor Shai Shen-Orr, one of the leading Israeli researchers into the mysteries of the immune system. Also featured is Professor Ester Sager who is developing biosensors to diagnose diseases within minutes.

Sleep and Dream

Professor Peretz Lavie (ex-President of Israel’s Technion Institute) founded the Technion Sleep Medicine Center and authored several books on sleep disorders. Thanks to Technion UK, he is giving a free (donations welcome) webinar on Weds 5th Aug at 6pm UK time – 1pm EST.  Register below to view live.

Sharing stuff that works

An Israeli startup has launched an online platform where people suffering from chronic diseases can share information to learn which treatments work best for their specific condition, based on the experience of their peers. The crowdsourcing site is appropriately called StuffThatWorks.,7340,L-3841285,00.html  (personal survey for specific conditions)


Haredi women surge into hi-tech

The number of ultra-Orthodox tech employees jumped by 52% in 2014-2018; 71% of them are women. The report was compiled by the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), together with non-profit KamaTech, that seeks to integrate Haredi Jews into the country’s high-tech industry.

Another Special in Uniform

Daniel Defour was born very premature and at the age of 15 he went blind. At 17 he met the Prime Minister and spoke of his desire to join the IDF. Last week, aged 21, Daniel’s wish came true.

Baseless love in Jerusalem

Rabbi Matanya Yadid, teacher at Bar-Ilan University, and Sheikh Eyad Amer, imam of the central mosque in Kafr Kassem, held a Zoom session this week. The topic was “baseless love” in the context of the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av and the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Battling Covid-19 together

Israelis and Palestinian Arabs are partnering to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. From early in the crisis, Israeli doctors have shared their expertise and given aid. Senior staff at Israel’s Sheba hospital brought equipment to PA hospitals and trained medics.

Water generators for Gaza

Israel’s Watergen and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies have now donated three water generators to Gaza. The latest will produce (from humidity in the air) up to 5,000 liters of drinking water a day for the Nasser Medical Center in Khan Younis, Gaza’s second largest hospital.

The digital quality of life

Israel ranked 8th in a “quality of digital life” study conducted by VPN provider Surfshark. According to the index, Israel has the most affordable Internet in the world. The study measured the Internet in 85 countries as to its affordability, quality, infrastructure, government, and security.,7340,L-3842555,00.html

Testing mass-testing technology in India

Delegations from Israeli businesses and the Government are in India testing four new Israeli technologies for rapid diagnosis of coronavirus. These include from Vocalis (see here), and Tera Group (see here). The names of the other companies are being verified. (see here)

Israeli drone saves endangered vulture chick

UK Television station ITV featured this amazing positive story of the Israeli army using a UAV (drone) to feed a griffon vulture chick. The baby chick’s mother died when she flew into overhead cables and the father could not rear the chick alone.




Covid-19 Shield updated

Israel’s Health Ministry has launched version 2 of the Israeli app HaMagen (the Shield). The Covid-19 tracking app can now identify when a smartphone user approaches a Covid-19 infected individual provided both have Bluetooth enabled. Several errors that caused false positives were also fixed.

Purifying the air

Israel’s ProtectAir uses tiny amounts of Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) to safely deactivate Covid-19. The device contains granules that activate on opening and protects a room for weeks.  Meanwhile trials at Sheba hospital show Israel’s Aura Smart Air can eliminate 99.9% of the virus from the air.,7340,L-3842434,00.html

UAV flies non-stop for 2 days

Israel Aerospace Industries has built and tested a new drone for the German Air Force. The Heron TP UAV can remain in the air for 2 days. Previous models of the Heron have been sold to Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Greece, India, Singapore, South Korea and even Turkey and Morocco.

Ultra-fast charging for drones

Israel’s StoreDot (reported here previously) has announced that its ultra-fast battery charging technology can now be used to charge commercial drones in just five minutes. Current charge times are typically 90 minutes for a 30-minute flight time.

Monitoring construction sites

The technology of Israel’s Buildots allows construction companies to keep a close eye on the processes at a construction site. It includes artificial intelligence and 360-degree cameras worn by site supervisors. Buildots’ clients include some of the biggest construction companies in Europe and Israel.,7340,L-3842566,00.html

Ethanol from melon waste

Similar to the Tel Aviv University article last week (see here), researchers at Haifa University have turned agricultural waste into alcohol. It can save 56,000 tons of pulp waste and 8,200 tons of CO2 emissions from the Malali watermelon, which is grown primarily for its seeds.

Testing a faster emergency response

Israel’s Autotalks (reported here previously) is partnering US Applied Information in Alpharetta, Georgia to test the Autotalks V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) system. The system sends a signal from the emergency responder’s vehicle to the traffic-lights so the signals automatically change.

Stopping targeted ads

It can be very annoying – a friend asks you to search online for something and within a few hours you receive dozens of unsolicited advertisements for items that you have no desire whatsoever. Now Israel’s CodeFuel has a launched a private search engine that keeps away Facebook, Amazon, Google etc.,7340,L-3841930,00.html

Hunting for cyber threats

Israel’s Liat Hayun has formed a team of Israeli cybersecurity experts to build the first ever “Managed Threat Hunting” service for US giant Palo Alto Networks. Aiming to counter cybercrime, it was launched at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and is vital to many of Palo Alto’s customers.,7340,L-3841000,00.html

The Path of Least Resistance

Israeli cybersecurity startup CyCognito eliminates a company’s most critical areas of exposure and shuts doors that would otherwise lead to stolen data or compromised systems. CyCognito leverages the concept of POLaR, the Path of Least Resistance – the easiest entry points which attackers target.,7340,L-3841283,00.html

A search engine for data

Israeli-founded Explorium has built an end-to-end data automation service that uses machine learning to searches and extracts data from thousands of external sources relevant to a client. It then connects this to the customer’s internal database to build a predictive model that answers a specific query.,7340,L-3842276,00.html


Take the ferry to work in Tel Aviv

Israeli Transportation Minister Miri Regev has approved establishing a commuter ferry line that would reduce highway traffic in the center of the country. It would link Tel Aviv with Netanya and Hadera to its north, and Ashdod to its south. Netanya to Tel Aviv (e.g.) would take 20 minutes.

Cellular connectivity for rural Kazakhstan

Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks has won a cellular backhaul project for Kcell, Kazakhstan’s largest Mobile Network Operator. Gilat will provide connectivity starting with hundreds of rural villages as part of the “Digital Kazakhstan” government program.

Reaching out further

Israel’s Fiverr International (reported here previously) is continuing its international expansion by launching its freelance network in two new languages – Dutch and Italian.  The move follows the opening of similar sites in Germany, France and Spain, now serving 5.5 million businesses in 160 countries.

Extending the reach of your videos

Israel’s offers to increase revenue and user engagement by using its AI technology to “amplify the impact of your video content”. is partnering Infront – part of Wanda Sports – to identify peak moments in sporting videos and increase audiences in Europe and the U.S.,7340,L-3842019,00.html

Facebook & Intel expand Tel Aviv offices

Social media giant Facebook says its Israeli R&D center is a significant growth engine and is taking over two more floors in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Sarona Tower (It already leases 10 floors). Meanwhile, Intel Israel is to rent four more floors in Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Triangular Tower.,7340,L-3842201,00.html,7340,L-3842545,00.html

An app offering short-term jobs

Israel’s Nano Business has developed an application connecting employees seeking a daily income with employers in need of temporary workers. Those laid off by the Covid-19 crisis can use Nano to convert from waiters and event laborers into removers, plumbers and building workers.,7340,L-3842490,00.html

Investment in Israeli startups:

Nanox raised $110 millionSight Diagnostics raised $71 raised $45 million; Explorium raised $31 million; CyCognito raised $30 millionClimaCell raised $23 millionErmetic raised $17 million; Buildots raised $12.5 millionCybellum raised $12 million; SavorEat raised $3 millionAura Smart Air raised $3 million;


US supporters’ donation to reopen Israel museum

The American Friends of the Israel Museum has donated $4 million to help Jerusalem’s culture and art museum to reopen. The museum has been closed since the start of the coronavirus crisis and without visitor income could only pay essential maintenance and conservation staff.

Friends of the IDF events

Here are links to two events of the Friends of the IDF (FIDF). Today’s (Aug 2 at 2pm & 6pm EDT) celebrates 18 years of FIDF’s Impact scholarship fund. It features Israel’s President, Israeli singer Idan Amedi and actors from Fauda. Then on Sep 13 at 7pm EDT is the FIDF 2020 National Virtual Gala.

1000 videos and 6 billion hits

Israeli-Arab Nas Yassin (reported here previously) is the founder of Nas Daily – a Facebook page with 25 million followers in which he documents his travels and experiences around the world. Nas has produced 1000 videos in 1000 days, receiving some 6 billion hits.

40 years of Marvel’s first Israeli superheroine

Marvel comics celebrates 40 years of Israeli superheroine, Sabra (alias Ruth Bat-Seraph). The Israeli policewoman with special powers first appeared in “Incredible Hulk” on 4th Aug 1980. She flies and fires metal quills, resembling the Israeli “sabra” (cactus).

Thanks for the fish

A pod of 15 bottlenose dolphins has been observed swimming in Israel’s Evtach sea preserve, which extends up to 13 miles off the Ashkelon coastline.


Israeli gymnast wins silver medal – virtually

Israel’s top Olympic hopeful Linoy Ashram won second place in the International Online Rhythmic Gymnastics Competition organized by Russia’s Gymnastics Association.  The first online competition of its kind, it was limited to teams from Israel, Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Israeli cycling has come a long way

The Wheels of Love event (reported here previously) began with only nine riders. It now attracts over 400 riders, raising millions of dollars annually for Jerusalem’s Alyn hospital. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem now have hundreds of kilometers of bike paths.  Read also how Israel has changed.


Scholarships for Ethiopian Israelis

The Morris and Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation, based in Montreal, Canada, has launched a scholarship program to support Israeli graduate students of Ethiopian descent, in partnership with Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Gap year programs to restart

Israel is approving entry visas for foreign students planning to study in gap-year programs, including at yeshivahs and seminaries. In a typical year, more than 12,000 yeshivah and seminary students arrive in Israel from aboard to study individually or to take part in organized programs.

More Brazilians make Aliya

Since March, 140 Brazilian Jews have immigrated to Israel. Another 2,400 recently attended an online Aliya fair, organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel. In June, the Jewish Agency opened files for 632 Jews in Latin America – twice the number of June 2019.

Antithesis to Wiley

Thanks to Hazel and our friend, Israel’s Samuel Green (a.k.a. Antithesis) for this excellent blog and rap in response to Wiley, the “Godfather of Grime”, who went on a wild antisemitic rant on Twitter.

From coma to donor

Eli Beer, CEO of Israeli NGO United Hatzalah has just donated blood plasma to help Covid-19 patients recover. Eli almost died after contracting Covid-19. The doctors at Hadassah Medical Center said that his blood was particularly high in antibodies. Eli is also running to raise funds on Aug 16 (see video).


Readers may remember that last week I asked for suggestions for expanding the Abbreviation for the Jewish State. The winner is:
Innovation, Survival, Righteousness, Antiquities, Eternity and Loyalty