Growing cells to kill cancer; Einstein manuscripts exhibited; New coral beach in Eilat; and much more!

By Michael Ordman


Growing cells to kill cancer

Israel’s Sheba hospital is partnering with Switzerland’s Lonza Group to fast-track production of the CAR-T cancer immunotherapy invented by Israeli scientists. Sheba is the first hospital to trial and refine Lonza’s Cocoon manufacturing platform for growing cells to treat hundreds of oncology patients.

Fast cancer diagnosis

Israel’s Ibex Medical Analytics develops a diagnostic system that uses computer vision, machine learning, and electronic medical records to confirm cancer diagnoses of tissue biopsies. Ibex’s technology helps minimize the risk of misdiagnosis. Ibex has just received $11 million of funding.,7340,L-3758538,00.html

Manufacturing center for tumor lasers

I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s HIL Applied Medical and its focused proton beam lasers to treat tumors.  HIL is spending $5 million to set-up a research and development and manufacturing center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.,7340,L-3758448,00.html

Treatment for iron overload

Israel’s Teva has launched a generic version of EXJADE (deferasirox) in the US. It treats patients two years of age and older for chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions. Currently, one in eight generic prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. is filled with a Teva generic product.

Marseille base for Israeli infusion pumps

I reported previously (Feb 2013) that Israel’s Q-core Medical was expanding the distribution of its infusion pumps to the US and Europe.  Due to the increased demand for IV infusion systems in France, Q-Core has opened a new regional hub in Marseille.

Another Israeli fetal heart monitor

Israel’s HeraMED is partnering with Israeli-owned device manufacturer Quasar to mass-produce its HeraBEAT ultrasound smartphone-based fetal heartbeat monitor in Shenzhen, China. HeraBEAT uses amplified ultrasound doppler technology. (also PulseNmore)

The gift of life

Heart transplants for children are rare. And when the cardiac condition of 13-year-old Dov from Arad deteriorated, it looked bleak. Then on the Jewish festival of Purim, surgeons at Israel’s Schneider children’s hospital gave him a new heart. And on the same day, they gave a 5-year-old girl a new kidney.


The first co-working space for women

Panthera in Tel Aviv is Israel’s first coworking space for women. Panthera (Hebrew for a female panther) admits female entrepreneurs and companies run by women. It also offers cultural events, lectures, and courses including on artificial intelligence and stock exchange investing.,7340,L-3758512,00.html

Ethiopian-Israeli women trailblazers

The annual Yerusalem Forum convention celebrates women who made important contributions to Israeli society. This year’s event was devoted to 11 inspiring young women, academics, mothers and artists from the Ethiopian Women Trailblazers Forum.,7340,L-5478539,00.html

Three NGOs join to help minorities into Israeli tech

Israeli non-profits KamaTech, Tech-Career and Tsofen are joining forces to integrate ultra-Orthodox Jews, Ethiopian Israelis and Arab Israelis into the tech industry. They will jointly pilot tech courses and develop a comprehensive recruitment-training-placement program.

Rescued sea turtles returned to the sea

Inspectors of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority released to the Mediterranean two sea turtles after several they had received months of medical care. The rescue center repaired one turtle’s broken shell and the other was given a CT scan after treatment for head and shell injuries.

Israelis save Gazan parrot

Abdullah Sharaf from Gaza requested help for his African grey parrot, Koki, that had drunk bleach which burned a hole in its throat. Israeli veterinarians from an Israeli wildlife center coordinated with Israel’s COGAT Gaza liaison body and successfully treated the bird at the Erez crossing.

Israeli rescuers in Brazil – the inside story

This video describes the work of Israeli firefighters who flew out to Brazil three days after the 25th Jan dam collapse and subsequent deadly mudslide. The traumatic recovery activities created strong bonds and today Brazil and Israel see each other as true friends.

World’s longest salt cave

80 cave explorers from nine countries have mapped Israel’s Malcham cave near the Dead Sea and declared it to be the longest salt cave in the world.  At 10km it dwarfs Iran’s 6.5km 3N cave – the previous longest. Malcham is in Mount Sdom – where, in the Bible, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt.

Dutch BDS supporter triggers huge Israeli wine sales

An anti-Israel supporter’s tweet to boycott Israeli wines at the Dutch Hema supermarket was turned by pro-Israel supporters into a social media buying frenzy. Within hours, Efrat Wines were sold out from Hema’s online store and branch stocks were running out fast.


The Earth and Israeli flag from 265,000 km

Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft selfie camera continues to click away, as the satellite performs its final and largest elliptical orbit around Earth ahead of planned lunar capture on April 4 and hopefully a moon landing on April 11. Beresheet has also now deployed its landing gear.

Einstein manuscripts exhibited

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has unveiled 110 Einstein manuscript pages from a private collection – most on display for the first time. They include a hand-written appendix to Einstein’s Unified Theory, previously thought lost, and join the HUJ’s 80,000 item Einstein archive.

Radiation vest is going to the Moon

I reported previously (30th Apr) that the radiation protection vest from Israel’s StemRad will be tested on NASA’s first Orion deep space mission.  The date for that has now been set for June 2020 and its destination will be the moon.,7340,L-3758037,00.html

Most innovative

I reported previously (16th Mar) that there were six Israeli companies on Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies (MIC) for 2019. There is now a seventh – Wisdo is a self-care platform that provides users with wisdom from those with similar experiences.

Datacenter accelerator emerges

As one Israeli datacenter accelerator (Mellanox) exits for $6.9 billion, one more appears. Israel’s Lightbits has developed software that can be installed on existing servers to connect flash storage with applications at high speed. Lightbits just raised $50 million of funds from Dell, Cisco and others.,7340,L-3758101,00.html

Real-time transcription

I reported previously (21st May) that Israel’s Verbit provided a 4-hour turnaround for its transcription service.  , Verbit has now launched a pay per minute, real-time service that automatically transcribes speech instantly at a high accuracy rate.,7340,L-3758415,00.html

Window-cleaning robots

I reported briefly previously (23rd Oct) on Israel’s Skyline Robotics. Its automated cleaning system, called OZMO, uses computer vision and machine learning to clean windows at any height. It can clean (safely) a 40-storey building in 7 days – less than a third of the time that 3 human cleaners would take.

Don’t waste, innovate

I reported previously (1st July) on Israel’s Wine Water Ltd that uses waste products from the wine industry to make O.Vine – infused spring water.  Israel’s Practical Innovations came up with the idea. They advise companies how to generate innovative products from previously discarded materials.


Protecting crops

More information about the imaging and analysis platform of Israel’s Taranis, which is used by some 19,000 farmers in eight countries help prevent disease and pest infestation in crops. It protects about 20 million acres of fields in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Russia, United States and Ukraine.

Transferring data by sound

Israel’s Sonarax has developed a new connectivity protocol that transfers data using soundwaves. Sonarax states that it operates on any device that has a built-in speaker or microphone and its uses include mobile payments, authentication, IoT connectivity and indoor navigation


Israel has thousands of hi-tech companies

Israel had 6,673 active high-tech companies and startups as of the end of 2018, according to a report published by the Start-Up Nation Central organization.  Of those, over one thousand operated in the area of Artificial Intelligence.

More Israeli investment opportunities

Two more initiatives have just been launched to attract funds for Israeli startups. First, Israel Infrastructure Partners (IIP) announced a debut fund targeting $350 million. Meanwhile, Arizona’s Grayhawk Capital has launched a $75 million early growth fund.,7340,L-3758576,00.html,7340,L-3758586,00.html

El Al to fly to Chicago

El Al will be offering direct flights between Tel Aviv and Chicago starting in 2020.

Ryanair’s Lauda to fly Tel Aviv to Vienna

rish low-cost airline Ryanair’s Austrian subsidiary Lauda will launch Tel Aviv – Vienna daily flights in October. El Al, Austrian Airlines and Wizz Air also fly from Tel Aviv to Vienna.

Phenomenal growth

I reported previously (see here) on Israeli cybersecurity startup Morphisec and its growth in protecting over one million endpoints.  Its revenue has also grown – by 1620% over the past year.

Drip irrigation across India

I reported previously (2nd Dec) that Israel’s Netafim was deploying its drip-irrigation systems to 6,000 farmers in Hungund, India. It has since won a $100 million contract to install its systems in 100 villages, benefiting 60,000 farmers across India.

The search for more Israeli gas

Several companies, including Exxon Mobil, have acquired Israeli government tender documents pertaining to oil and gas exploration rights off the coast of Israel. The ongoing auction closes in June. Seabed estimates are 75 trillion cubic feet of gas and 6.6 billion barrels of oil.

Tnuva launches startup accelerator

Israel-based Tnuva Food Industries has launched a startup accelerator program focusing on retail technologies. Dubbed Capsule, the program will scout startups and entrepreneurs for strategic collaborations, offering them access to Tnuva’s facilities, business advisement, and mentorship.,7340,L-3758143,00.html

Two new Fattal hotels in Jerusalem

Israeli international hotel chain Fattal is building a new 168-room NYX Jerusalem Hotel near the Mahane Yehuda market. It is also expanding the former Alliance School into a 90-room boutique hotel. Fattal has 200 hotels in 18 countries including the Leonardo chain.

Pointer exits for $140 million

I reported previously (see here) on Israel’s Pointer Telelocation whose software tracks vehicles for fleet management, insurance purposes and stolen vehicle recovery. US based I.D. Systems is acquiring Pointer in a deal valued at some $140 million.

OrthoSpace exits for up to $220 million

I reported previously (Jan 2014) on Israel’s OrthoSpace which develops a biodegradable balloon that can be implanted into injured shoulders, preventing friction and alleviating pain. NYSE-listed Stryker Corp. is acquiring OrthoSpace for up to $220 million.,7340,L-3758301,00.html

McDonald’s buys Israeli AI startup

I mentioned previously (Jan 2018) Israeli startup Dynamic Yield, which uses Artificial Intelligence to deliver a personalized service to customers.  Fast food giant McDonald’s has recognized DY’s potential and has bought the innovative startup for $300 million.


New coral beach in Eilat

50 years ago, Israel started building a pipeline on an Eilat beach to take Iranian oil to Europe. When the Shah of Iran was deposed, the pipeline was abandoned. Nature took over and a new coral reef began to form. Now Israel is working hard to remove the pipeline debris, whilst preserving the coral.

When the smoke clears

700 Israeli soldiers badly wounded defending their country formed a self-help group to promote the healing process.  Jerusalem U has produced a film about these brave soldiers, which is available on amazon or for a small charge or free to Amazon Prime customers.  See the youtube trailer for more details.


Come and see the butterflies

This year’s butterfly migration from Arabia to Europe via Israel is probably the largest ever seen in Israel. The unusually wet winter has promoted the growth of plants that feed billions of new “painted lady” butterflies, also known as the “plain tiger” or “African Queen”. Viewing until mid-May.

Israel beats Austria in Euro soccer qualifier

In their European 2020 Cup soccer qualifying round, Israel beat Austria 4-2 in Haifa. It was their first victory over Austria in 20 years and it took them to second place in Group G.  Israel’s Eran Zahavi scored a hat-trick (3 goals) in a game hailed as one of Israel’s best in recent years.


Honduras and Romania to move embassies to Jerusalem

Honduras and Romania are to relocate their Israeli embassies to Israel’s capital. Both President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras and Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă announced their plans during the AIPAC conference in Washington.

US recognizes Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan

US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Hungary opens embassy branch in Jerusalem

As promised, Hungary has opened its diplomatic trade mission in Jerusalem, which is considered a branch of the Hungarian Embassy located in Tel Aviv. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto was in Jerusalem on Tuesday for the dedication ceremony of the new facility.

2000-year-old Jewish village in Eastern Jerusalem

Archaeologists are uncovering a Jewish village from the Hasmonean period in the Sharafat neighborhood of Jerusalem. It includes a wine and olive presses, a rock-cut dovecote, two large ritual baths, a water cistern and an extravagant burial cave.

This is not mythology

Another video showing the excavations at Shiloh – the site of the Biblical Jewish tabernacle some 3,500 years ago – and where archaeologists are today literally bringing the Bible to life.

Historic Burma road now hosts gas pipeline

In 1948, Israel broke the Arab siege of Jerusalem by building the “Burma” road to ferry supplies. Israel Natural Gas Lines has just inaugurated a pipeline along the Burma road to take natural gas from the coast to supply Jerusalem. The 34-km pipeline cost NIS 290 million to build.

Just a boy, but he saved a stranger’s life

Shulamit survived breast cancer, twice. Then she was diagnosed with leukemia and only a bone marrow transplant could save her.  No family matched but a teenager in the IDF did. He had just registered on Ezer Mizion’s database. 3 years after a successful stem cell transplant, they met.

The Kinneret is rising

I didn’t want to risk providence by reporting this previously, but winter rains have now raised the level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) to 78.5 cm above the lower red line – its highest level in over two years.  More rain is forecast – apologies to tourists, but we do need the water!

Nature behaves differently in Israel

I have noticed that in Israel, dogs don’t chase cats and cats don’t chase birds.  And in this video a herd of wild ibex / gazelles uses a zebra crossing to get across a busy Israeli road.