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10 Israeli companies scouring digital data to save our lives

(Photo: Metamorworks via Shutterstock.com)

(Photo: Metamorworks via Shutterstock.com)

By Brian Blum - February 11, 2019

Making sense of the vast amount of data stored in our medical records and coming from the growing number of medical devices we use at home or in the hospital is a hot area for technological advances.

Running artificial intelligence algorithms on health data collected via HMOs, wearable devices or hospitals can aid with diagnoses, suggest unexpected ailments and prevent fatal complications.

Israel has a cluster of startups doing exactly that. ISRAEL21c looks at 10 of the most promising.

1. MonitHer

Jerusalem-based startup MonitHer doesn’t have a website yet, but we suspect it won’t be long: The company, founded by American immigrant to Israel Yehudit Abrams, won the $360,000 grand prize at the WeWork Creator Awards in Jerusalem in June 2018.

Read More: Israel21c

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As Africa grapples with demographics on a grand scale, Israel is ready with its expertise

(Photo: GPO/Kobi Gideon)

(Photo: GPO/Kobi Gideon)

By Israel Kasnett - February 6, 2019

With its fast-growing population and enormous resources, Africa is poised to dominate the global conversation in the 21st century. Yet this vast continent is not without its equally large environmental and demographic challenges as it continues to rapidly develop.

“Things are changing dramatically in Africa. And Africa is an increasingly important continent for the future stability of the world. Africa is the largest exporter of human refugees and has enormous, awesome resources. For that reason, there has been a new scramble for influence in Africa,” Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told JNS.

And Israel, with its world-renowned expertise in areas such as technology, agriculture, water management and security, is poised to lend assistance to these African nations as they seek to grow.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent trip to Chad, during which the two countries re-established diplomatic ties, highlighted the enormous strides Israel has made in Africa. The trip also broke a record for the Jewish state. This is the first time in Israel’s history that, out of the 193 or so recognized countries in the world, Israel now has diplomatic relations with 160 of them. That is a solid diplomatic achievement, and it is one that Israel will continue to improve upon.

Read More: JNS.org

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Israel's Elite Military Divers Must Be Ready For Every Scenario

(Photo: IDF)

(Photo: IDF)

By Seth J. Frantzman - January 31, 2019

Israel’s coastal waters once swarmed with life. Dolphins, octopuses, turtles and types of rays still prowl the Mediterranean, but they are rarely seen. Recently Israel decided, in cooperation with the Society for Protection of Nature, to let soldiers help nature and in the process, be better civilians. On terra firma, that means making the huge reserves of land held by the military more friendly, but at sea, it means something more exotic.

“We work a lot with cement because the buoys on the border are anchored with it,” says commander Ido Kaufman of the IDF’s YALTAM underwater mission unit. “The cement is not good for animals, so we changed the material with [a different type of] cement so it won’t be bad to for the environment, and we made shapes on it so that when we throw an anchor, life will develop on that anchor.”

Now Israel’s elite military naval divers can take a few moments to catalogue what kind of animal life they might see when doing routine maintenance work. It makes soldiers better citizens, the IDF says. It makes Israel a better place – and the dolphins, seahorses and jellyfish benefit.

Read More: Jerusalem Post

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Two Americans Honored by Israel for Helping Police Officer During Jerusalem Terror Attack

(Photo: Press Office of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.)

(Photo: Press Office of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.)

By Barney Breen-Portnoy - February 1, 2019

Two American men were honored at a ceremony at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, on Thursday for the aid they provided to a police officer during a May 2017 terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

After praying at the Western Wall in the Old City, Simche Czin and Mordechai Lichtenstadter — both Jewish residents of Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood — came upon an assailant stabbing policeman Naaman Fares.

Lichtenstadter jumped into action, pulling the terrorist off of Fares, who, despite being wounded, managed to shoot the attacker dead.

As they waited for emergency responders to arrive, Czin used his tallit to stem Fares’ bleeding.

The terrorist was a 57-year-old Jordanian national who had entered Israel several days earlier.

Read More: The Algemeiner

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A Cure for Cancer? Israeli Scientists Say They Think They Found One

(Photo: Pixabay)

(Photo: Pixabay)

By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman - January 28, 2019

A small team of Israeli scientists think they might have found the first complete cure for cancer.

“We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator in the Weizmann Science Park. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets.

“Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market,” Aridor said. “Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

It sounds fantastical, especially considering that an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases are diagnosed worldwide each year, according to reports by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Further, every sixth death in the world is due to cancer, making it the second leading cause of death (second only to cardiovascular disease).

Aridor, chairman of the board of AEBi and CEO Dr. Ilan Morad, say their treatment, which they call MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) is essentially on the scale of a cancer antibiotic – a disruption technology of the highest order.

Read More: The Jerusalem Post

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Refundit, an Israeli Startup Wins First Place in U.N. Competition

(Photo: Refundit)

(Photo: Refundit)

By Alon Einhorn - January 24, 2019

Refundit, an Israeli startup which revolutionizes the field of tax-free shopping for tourists, has won the first place prize in the World Tourism Organization travel-tech competition on Thursday.

The global travel-tech competition, held for the first time, by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, sought innovative startups capable of transforming the way people travel and experience tourism, while adhering closely to the principles of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental).

A total of 2,771 companies from 132 countries submitted their candidacy for the competition, while out of the ten finalists, four of them were Israeli, but there can only be one winner.

Read More: Jerusalem Post

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Israel ranked world's fifth most innovative economy in Bloomberg index

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By i24NEWS - January 22, 2019

Israel is the fifth most innovative economy in the world, according to Bloomberg’s annual Innovation Index which was published on Tuesday.

Bloomberg’s Index, in its seventh year, ranked Israel fifth on its list of 60 economies, bumping up the Jewish state five spots from last year where it was ranked 10th.

Seven metrics are used to rank the economies, including research and development spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies.

South Korea came in first, Germany second, followed by Finland and Switzerland.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the ranking as another of sign of his country's rising global status.

Read More: i24News

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After Chad ties restored, Israel set to host Mali’s PM in coming weeks

(Photo: BRAHIM ADJI / AFP)

(Photo: BRAHIM ADJI / AFP)

By Times of Israel Staff - January 21, 2019

Israel is preparing for an historic visit by Mali’s Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, officials said on Monday, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cemented the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Chad during the first visit of an Israeli premier to the Muslim-majority country.

Maiga will visit Israel “in the coming weeks,” and Netanyahu hopes the trip will take place before the April 9 elections, according to reports by Channel 13 and the Kan public broadcaster.

Read More: Times of Israel

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Israeli experts train first-responders in India, Sri Lanka

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By Abigail Klein Leichman - January 14, 2019

Five experts from United Hatzalah of Israel are running a 12-day training session teaching first-responders in various areas of India and Sri Lanka how to respond to mass casualty incidents and manage disasters.

The mission, funded by the AJC, is preparing local participants from the Indian Red Cross, 108 emergency system, fire and rescue and emergency medical service (EMS) crews. The trainings include frontal lectures and a combined training drill for all participants, guiding them through the procedures used in Israel.

“We were asked to come by local officials after they toured our Dispatch and Command Center in Jerusalem last year,” said Vice President of Operations for United Hatzalah Dov Maisel, leader of the mission that began December 23 in Gurugram and moved on to New Delhi, Mumbai, Agra in Uttar Pradesh, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, and Colombo in Sri Lanka.

“We are adding to their already existing knowledge base numerous styles of emergency triage and disaster management from a number of different angles as our team is comprised of EMS experts and well as some of Israel’s elite search-and-rescue professionals who have been at disasters all over the globe.”

Read More: Israel21c

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How Israel swims against tide of worldwide water crisis

(Photo: Abigail Klein Leichman)

(Photo: Abigail Klein Leichman)

By Abigail Klein Leichman - January 6, 2019

Israel has solved its water crisis! That’s a typical headline about Israel’s world-leading smart water management and advanced water technology.

As I sipped freshly desalinated Mediterranean water at the world’s largest seawater desalination plant, the brilliance of Israel’s many-pronged approach was as clear as the H2O in my paper cup.

But if residents, farmers and tourists in the Holy Land never worry about the tap running dry, that’s only because Israel invests huge amounts of money and brainpower to stay one step ahead of a worsening worldwide water crisis.

Five years into a severe drought, it’s more accurate to say that Israel is constantly inventing and implementing practical solutions to a problem that is not entirely solvable.

“It is a never-ending story,” says Yossi Yaacoby, chief of staff to the CEO of Mekorot, Israel’s national water carrier. Yaacoby formerly headed WaTech, Mekorot’s innovation arm.

Read More: Israel21c

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Pittsburgh Steelers kick in $70,000 to synagogue attack recovery fund

(Photo: AP/Gene J. Puskar)

(Photo: AP/Gene J. Puskar)

By March Oster - January 2, 2019

JTA — The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Stronger Than Hate campaign inspired the city and the world to rally around the Jewish community in the wake of the shooting attack on a local synagogue building that left 11 dead.

On Sunday, the Steelers donated $70,000 to help the Jewish community and the families directly affected by the October 27 attack on Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation building while worshipers were gathered for Shabbat morning services.

Prior to the Steelers’ home game against the Cincinnati Bengals, President Art Rooney II presented a check to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Fund for Victims of Terror.

Read More: Times of Israel

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Israel’s tallest tower to be added to Tel Aviv landmark

(Photo: KPF)

(Photo: KPF)

By Naama Barak - December 27, 2018

Tel Aviv will soon have a very substantial addition to its skyline – a fourth Azrieli Center tower, this time in the shape of a spiral, to join the city’s landmark trio of buildings. Once completed, it is set to be the tallest tower in Israel.

The 91-story spiral tower will be almost 1,150 feet (350 meters) tall and will include commercial, office and residential areas as well as a hotel. The top floors are to house conference rooms, spaces for meetings and entertainment and a 360-degree lookout. A garden and chef restaurant will be on the roof.

Read More: Israel21c

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Woman’s lost ring found in Jerusalem after 2,000 years

ring.jpg

By Abigail Klein Leichman - December 27, 2018

A woman took off her gemstone ring before immersing in a ritual bath (mikveh) on Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem and apparently dropped it and never found it. That was about 2,000 years ago.

Now the ring has been recovered by archeologists excavating the ancient mikveh in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem.

“Just like today, it would appear that in the past, rings and jewelry were removed before bathing, and sometimes forgotten,” said Israel Antiquities Authority archeologists Nachshon Zenton, Moran Hajabi, Ari Levy and Joe Uziel.

“This phenomenon, perhaps, is behind the discovery of the ring in what appears to be a ritual bath. This ring allows us to personally connect with an individual’s personal story from 2,000 years ago. The ring, along with other finds, can shed light and expose the lives of people during the Second Temple period.”

The mikveh was found along the old paved road leading up from the Shiloach (Siloam) pool to the Temple Mount and is thought to have been the main thoroughfare taken by Jewish pilgrims to the Temple.

Read More: Israel21c

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Ten Things to Know about Christians in Israel

(Photo: Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

By Tovah Lazaroff - December 25, 2018

1. Christians in the Holy Land are a very small minority group of 175,000 comprising 2 percent of the population.

2. Christmas is a regular work day in Israel. Banks, government offices, stores are all open. So no problem doing last minute Christmas shopping, it’s just the wrapping paper that is scarce.

3. Most Holy Land Christians, 77%, are Arab. In 2017, 597 Falash Mura Christians immigrated from Ethiopia to Israel, juicing up the population numbers of 2.2 percent.

4. Some 71% of Christians live in northern Israel. The latest number of Christian Arab community, (22,100) is in Nazareth. The second largest is in Haifa, with some 15,00 people and the third, with 12,800 people, is in Jerusalem.

Read More: Jerusalem Post

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Israeli-American Conference Highlights Arab Innovation

(Photo: Matty Stern/US Embassy Jerusalem)

(Photo: Matty Stern/US Embassy Jerusalem)

By Eytan Halon - December 11, 2018

Thirty emerging Arab-led start-ups sought to impress dozens of Israeli and American investors on Tuesday as they pitched their innovative solutions at the inaugural Nazareth Hi-Tech Investor Conference.

The conference, co-sponsored by the US Embassy in Israel and the Social Equality Ministry, aimed to shine a spotlight on Nazareth’s vibrant hi-tech ecosystem. It also highlighted the need to advance integration of the Arab community into Israeli hi-tech society in order to promote economic growth and a more inclusive society.

While Arab-Israeli citizens represent more than 20% of the country’s population, they represent just 8% of Israel’s GDP and only 3% of the Israeli hi-tech workforce.

“In the long term, peace in this region depends on the economic development and cooperation of people like you – Arabs, Jews, secular, religious, Israelis and Palestinians,” United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the conference’s audience of innovators and investors.

“The more we work together, the more we strengthen the foundation for a lasting peace in a land that has longed for such peace for far too long.”

Read More: The Jerusalem Post

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Israeli archaeology class attracts students from Pakistan, Oman and UAE

(Photo: Yael Paz/Online Academe)

(Photo: Yael Paz/Online Academe)

By Naama Barak - December 12, 2018

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Israel has no diplomatic relations with most Arab and Muslim countries. But this minor detail didn’t stop students from Oman, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates from signing up for an online course being given by an Israeli university. It seems love of biblical archaeology truly knows no borders.

The course, “Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah,” is taught by an Israeli professor from Bar-Ilan University. It includes short video lectures, virtual “handling” of archaeological finds and on-site discussions at archaeological locations.

Read More: Israel21c

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Unprecedented EU poll finds 90% of European Jews feel anti-Semitism increasing

(AP Photo/Gil Michel)

(AP Photo/Gil Michel)

By Robert Philpot - December 10, 2018

LONDON — Nearly 90 percent of European Jews feel that anti-Semitism has increased in their home countries over the past five years, and almost 30% say they have been harassed at least once in the past year, reveals a major European Union report published on Monday.

The poll was carried out in 12 European Union member states, and was the largest ever of its kind worldwide.

Of the more than 16,000 Jews who participated in the online survey, 85% rated anti-Semitism the biggest social or political problem in the country where they live. Thirty-eight percent said they had considered emigrating because they did not feel safe as Jews.

Britain, Germany, and Sweden saw the sharpest increases in those saying anti-Semitism is a “very big” or “fairly big” problem. The highest level recorded was in France at 95%. Denmark saw the lowest level at 56%, while Jews in Hungary suggested that anti-Semitism was becoming less of a problem.

The UK results, experts suggest, may point to a “Corbyn factor” connected to the ongoing row over anti-Semitism in the British Labour party.

“Decades after the Holocaust, shocking and mounting levels of anti-Semitism continue to plague the EU,” said Michael O’Flaherty, director of the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), which published the research. “In many ways,” he suggested, anti-Semitism had become “disturbingly normalized.”

Read More: Times of Israel

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Jerusalem World's Fastest Growing Tourism Destination

(Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

(Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

By Eytan Halon - December 6, 2018

Jerusalem is the world’s fastest-growing tourism destination, a report by London-based market research company Euromonitor International revealed this week.

According to the report, incoming tourism to the Israeli capital is set to grow by 38% in 2018, courtesy of “relative stability and a strong marketing push.” Tourism in the city grew by 32% in 2017, the company said.

Read More: Jerusalem Post

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Trove of 11th century gold coins discovered in ancient Caesarea

(Photo: Yaniv Berman, courtesy of the Caesarea Development Corporation)

(Photo: Yaniv Berman, courtesy of the Caesarea Development Corporation)

By Amanda Borschel-Dan - December 3, 2018

A treasure trove of 24 gold coins and a gold earring was recently discovered in a well-hidden bronze pot during ongoing excavation and conservation work in the ancient harbor of Caesarea. Found among the hoard of Fatimid dinars are six extremely rare 11th century Byzantine coins, of which less than a handful have been discovered in Israel.

“On the whole they are very, very rare,” said Israel Antiquity Authority coin expert Dr. Robert Kool in conversation with The Times of Israel from the windy coastal city of Caesarea. “These coins usually did not travel beyond the political borders of the Byzantine Empire.”

According to IAA archaeologists, all indications point to a treasure that was hidden during flight from the bloody Crusader battle of 1101 at the seaside stronghold, in which the ruling Fatimid empire was routed and its people massacred or taken as slaves.

Read More: Times of Israel

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Newly discovered caves may hold more Dead Sea Scrolls

(Photo: Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld, Hebrew University)

(Photo: Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld, Hebrew University)

By TOI Staff - December 1, 2018

Archaeologists believe a pair of recently discovered caves at the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found may contain additional religious texts from antiquity.

Though no new manuscripts have yet been unearthed in the newly discovered caves at Qumran, archaeologists have discovered a number of objects indicating scrolls were stored there, among them jars, wrappings, and possible scroll fragments.

“This cave was robbed by Bedouins maybe 40 years ago,” archaeologist Randall Price explained to National Geographic, referring to one of two caves known as 53b and 53c.

“Fortunately for us, they didn’t dig very deep. Our hope is that if we keep digging, we hit the mother lode,” he added.

Read More: Times of Israel

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