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Did You Know?

Israel engineers are behind the development of the largest communications router in the world, launched by Cisco.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Israel 6th, Canada 14th healthiest country according to Bloomberg magazine

The top 20 list is led by Singapore followed by Italy and Australia. Canada is in 14th place.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chicken & Biscuits: Birthright Chefs Cook for IDF Soldiers

Life as a soldier is hard — but sometimes, you get a lucky break. These Oketz soldiers got the best of southern-style cooking today, thanks to a visiting Birthright group.
On the final day of their 10-day adventure in Israel, more than 40 participants of a recent Birthright group arrived at an IDF base in central Israel. As soon as they got off the bus, they went straight to the kitchen, where they had three hours to prepare lunch for the more than 200 soldiers in the Oketz unit.
Birthright Participants Prepare a Home-Made Meal for Oketz Soldiers
One of the three Birthright elected leaders divides the group into stations: cooking, chopping or baking.
Most of the Birthright participants were culinary students or current chefs at universities or restaurants across the United States. Some, however, just really liked to cook.
Birthright Participants Prepare a Home-Made Meal for Oketz Soldiers
One participant mans the fryer. There were over 200 hungry soldiers expected.
While all Birthright trips visit key sites — the Western Wall, Masada and the Dead Sea — thisIsraelExperts group added a special focus on Israeli cuisine.
Birthright Participants Prepare a Home-Made Meal for Oketz Soldiers
“Quick, what is 375 degrees Fahrenheit in Celsius?!”
They visited olive oil factories, dined in restaurants in Jaffa and toured the greenhouses of the Ein Shemer kibbutz. They were also treated to a question-and-answer session with the editor of anIsraeli culinary magazine Al Hashulchan (‘On the Table’), who discussed seven different Mediterranean and Israeli dishes such as shakshoukajachnunhalvah and hummus.
Birthright Participants Prepare a Home-Made Meal for Oketz Soldiers
Don’t forget the biscuits!
When they finished cooking in the kitchen, the participants moved to the cafeteria to help serve the soldiers. Only after every soldier was eating did the chefs sit down and enjoy the fruits of their labor. The soldiers and tourists sat together and discussed Israel, Zionism and their shared interests.
Birthright Participants Prepare a Home-Made Meal for Oketz Soldiers
The group relaxes briefly before the soldiers arrive.
Following the lunch, it was back on the bus. The group stopped briefly at an automated cowshed, where they learned about the Israeli dairy industry. Then it was straight to Ben-Gurion Airport for their return flight home.

Happy 89th Birthday, Mr. President!

President of Israel, Shimon Peres, with IDF Soldiers
The Israeli president, Shimon Peres, and the IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, posing with IDF soldiers. Happy birthday, Mr. Peres!
Peres has long supported the IDF and its soldiers. Every year, on the Israeli Independence Day, he meets with the army’s excelling soldiers (traditionally called “the president’s finest”). Recently he even wrote a piece about the IDF:
I love the army. The IDF is still the people’s army, not too pretentious, full of volunteering spirit and devotion. Israel should be measured not through discipline, but through its volunteers. The IDF is the biggest volunteering organization in Israel, with people even volunteering to risk their lives and physical well-being.
I had the privilege to serve for many years in the Ministry of Defense and witness the army in its first days. Today when I look at the soldiers, at the faces of their commanders and at our technological superiority, I can’t help but be excited and proud at our work.

Israeli crowned world champion storyteller

Shachar Lavi recalls traumatic Bar Mitzvah to captivate jury in 24 Hour storytelling marathon at Edinburgh Festival

We may not be top notch sportsmen but if there’s one thing Israelis are good at, it’s talking.
And to prove the point Shachar Lavi, a 28 year old music producer from Tel Aviv, won first prize at the Grant’s True Tales 24 Hour Storytelling Marathon hosted by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The contest ,hosted by Grant’s whiskey, pitted dozens of storytellers from all over the world against each other in a grueling contest to pick the best storyteller in the world.
For 15 minutes Shachar Lavi moved the audience as he recanted his traumatic Bar Mitzvah when as part of the ceremony to celebrate his transition from child to adult he saw a lamb he used to play with as a child slaughtered by his grandfather, in his honor.
Shachar says he was afraid the audience wouldn’t go for a Jewish story especially ‘an inhumane one’ but at the end of the day Shachar won the contest and was awarded a 25 year old rare bottle of Grant’s whiskey.
On Sunday he delivered a summarized version of the winning tale.

Remixed Israeli song by Asaf Avidan tops itunes downloads in Europe and leads the music charts in Germany

Asaf Avidan’s ‘One Day/Reckoning Song’ was remixed by a German DJ, and is now the most downloaded song in several European countries

One Day / Reckoning Song (Wankelmut Remix) - Radio Edit

The Fast and the Furious 6 Set Photo with Israeli Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson

The Fast and the Furious 6 set photos are coming in, well…Fast and Furious. Today, we get a first look at actress Gal Gadot, who is reprising her role as Gisele Harabo from the past two movies, and was last seen heading to Rio with Han Lue after the big heist climax of Fast Five. She is seen here posing with Dwayne Johnson, who is reprising his role as Special Agent Luke Hobbs, as introduced in the last sequel.

TWITTER: Do not mess with us.…— Gal Gadot (@galgadot1) August 21, 2012
The Fast and the Furious 6 comes to theaters May 24th, 2013 and stars Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Gina Carano, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans. The film is directed by Justin Lin.
Source: Movieweb

In the spirit of ‘Shark Week’ Facts about Sharks in Israel

1. In Israel, the only place you’re likely to see a shark is at the marine park in Eilat
2. Last confirmed shark attack was way back in 1974, and it only chose to try and attack a human because a problem with its spine meant it had trouble with its normal, speedy prey.
3. The average Israeli is more likely to win a Nobel prize as a shark biologist than ever get bit by one
4. Despite their menacing reputation, sharks are PROTECTED in Israel! Along the Mediterranean, 42 percent of the 70 shark species are threatened or endangered, so Israel outlaws all shark fishing
Source: Time Out Israel

Batsheva Dance Company dance their way to the Edinburgh International Festival

Hora is a thrilling spectacle of movement, an emotional rollercoaster that successfully highlights – in a company that deliberately works without soloists – the uniqueness of each one of the dancers. Set against a stark, luminous green background, the dancers’ athleticism, technique and energy take centre stage, showing beautiful asymmetrical shapes with immense grace and visceral physicality in hyper-definition.

Led by artistic director Ohad Naharin, one of the world’s most distinctive choreographers, Batsheva Dance Company makes a welcome return to the Festival following 2008’s sensational Deca Dance.
Isao Tomita’s alien soundtrack blends great classical works by Wagner, Ives and Debussy with the theme from Star Wars and music featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey, as the dancers twist, jerk and articulate their way through Naharin’s striking choreography with insect-like precision and grace. Sexy and elegant, Hora sees contemporary dance flirt with science fiction in a production that is out of this world.
Hora is a thrilling spectacle of movement, an emotional rollercoaster that successfully highlights the uniqueness of each one of the dancers. Thursday 30 August - Saturday 1 September

Set against a stark, luminous green background, the dancers' athleticism, technique and energy take centre stage, showing beautiful asymmetrical shapes with immense grace and visceral physicality in hyper-definition.

Bloomberg: Israeli women are bio-med stars

Report on Israel’s biotechnology sector stresses women’s dominance of the field with 60%-70% of the workforce

Women outnumber men in biology and related sciences in higher education in Israel, a report published by the Bloomberg news agency revealed on Tuesday.
This says the report, could give women an advantage as the government and private investors put increasing amounts of money into the life-sciences industry, one of the country’s fastest growing sectors, collecting the most venture capital money in the first half of this year.
The article quotes a number of Israeli women working in the field who share their thoughts on why women have the advantage.
Daniella Nistenpover 22, a bio-medical engineering major at the university in Haifa who plans to work in bio-mechanics or bio-materials research says that when she sits down in a lecture hall for one class in neurophysiology and another in biological processes, she sees a sea of women.
This is not the case when she takes courses in the theory of electrical circuits or differential equations at the predominantly male Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. She believes it is evidence that she has picked the right career.
“It makes you feel that in the life-sciences field, a woman can make a mark,” she adds.
“Women traditionally are not the main breadwinners in the family and can afford to pursue a PhD, whereas men have more pressure to go out and make a high salary,” says Anat Cohen- Dayag, president and CEO of Compugen Ltd., which was founded by members of an Israeli army intelligence unit that designed software to break codes.
The Tel Aviv-based company uses algorithms to trawl private and public databases to discover proteins that may have the ability to treat diseases.
According to Bloomberg, Cohen-Dayag is one of three female CEOs in the Tel Aviv Biomed index. The others areKinneret Livnat Savitsky of BioLineRx Ltd., which develops clinical stage therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs, and Pnina Fishman of Can Fite Biopharma Ltd., which is focusing on treatments for autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Cohen-Dayag adds that the industry is a good fit for working mothers like herself, ‘‘Because of its academic characteristics, the culture in the industry has traditionally been more permissive, enabling more flexible hours, which has enabled women to juggle career and family.’’

Thursday, August 23, 2012

BUYCOTT Israel Action Alert

ALERT: Help add Israel to the SXSW schedule

South By Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring in Austin, Texas. The festival began in 1987, and has continued to grow in size every year. In preparing for next year's festival (March 8-17, 2013), SXSW decided that the public should have the opportunity to vote on the panels they think should be in the program.

Please vote for the Israeli panelists and grant them the opportunity to take part in the events. Every vote counts!

Few things you should know:
- The voting is open till the end of August.
- You have to register to vote. It's an easy procedure.
- You can vote for 6 panels from a single account.

How to do it?
1. Go to:

2. Register

3. Find the panelists you wish to vote for. To do this you can search for "Israel" or just go to these links:
      Israeli Startups, Investing in People & More..
      Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll in the Age of Mobile
      The Rise of Re-commerce: Shop Used in a New Way 
      No, No, No, No, No, No, No, Yes
      September 11 - International Animation Project
      Blood Relations: Creativity's Unreasonable Power

4. Vote!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Israel to host ‘genius camp’ for aspiring scientists

Some of the top young minds from 22 countries in Asia will hear from Nobel winners and top science lecturers, as they get to know the ‘start-up nation’

Some 250 of Asia’s top scientific minds will be gathering in Jerusalem at the end of the month for one of the most prestigious youth science gatherings ever held in Israel — the Asian Science Camp, which, besides hosting promising young scientists from across the continent, will feature talks and workshops led by at least five Nobel Prize winners.
This will be the sixth ASC, a project developed by two Nobel Prize winners from Taiwan and South Korea. Students from high schools and colleges in 22 countries will be attending. Israel will supply the biggest contingent of young minds, with 35 students from around the country, followed by China with 34 participants, India with 33, and Japan with 24. Delegations from Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Georgia, Armenia, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar will also be participating.
ASC, set to open on August 26, is modeled on an annual meeting between young science researchers and Nobel laureates that takes place annually in Lindau, Germany. The format for ASC includes lectures and discussion for students by Nobel winners and top scientists in a variety of fields, including biology, physics, genetics, mathematics, space travel, and much more. Students will also be treated to trips showing off Israel’s sights, as well as excursions to university labs, high-tech companies, and social events. The five-day meeting will take place on the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus. While participants were not required to submit a project or paper in order to win a spot at the event — they went through an extensive interviewing and vetting process instead — the event will feature a creative poster competition.
So far, at least five Nobel Prize winners in the sciences have confirmed their attendance at ASC. Two of them — Robert J. Aumann (economics) and Aaron Ciechanover (chemistry) — are Israelis; the others include Japan’s Makoto Kobayashi (physics), Roger Kornberg (chemistry) of the U.S., and Yuan T. Lee (chemistry) from Taiwan. Organizers said that “surprise” visits from other Nobel laureates were likely. And, the entire event will be presided over by yet another Nobel winner — President Shimon Peres, who will give a speech welcoming participants.
Also speaking and holding discussions will be at least 30 top Israeli lecturers and professors, among them several winners of top awards, such as the Wolf Science Awards, Fields Mathematics Medals, and Turing Awards for theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
Israeli scientists young and old are understandably excited over ASC taking place here — as is the Foreign Ministry, which, a spokesperson said, sees Israel’s hosting of the event as “an important project, one that was one of our top goals for 2012, a special year in which Israel is emphasizing its relations with Asian countries.” According to Ministry sources, a diplomatic “surprise” is likely at the event as well; scheduled to attend are delegations from at least two countries with which Israel does not currently have diplomatic relations (but not Iran and Pakistan, the sources said, as those two countries announced that they would not attend).
The Ministry said that it had been working for months to ensure that Israel could sponsor the event, but that organizers showed a great deal of interest in holding ASC in Israel; many people in Asia, the Ministry said in a statement, are curious about Israel’s successes in high-tech and science, and are interested in getting to know more about what makes Israel “tick.”
Co-sponsoring the event with the Foreign Ministry are the Hebrew University and the ORT school network. Dr. Zvi Paltiel of ORT, a physicist who is managing the Israeli delegation, said that Israel’s hosting of ASC is “not only a great opportunity to enable the scientists of the future to experience Israel, but also to introduce the cream of our young scientists to an important international conference. I hope that the camp,” said Paltiel, “which coincides with the beginning of the school year, will be an inspiration for the field of scientific education.”
Source: Times of Israel

Ayelet Zurer to guest star on hit US TV series

Successful Israeli actress will make two episode guest appearance on Touch with Kiefer Sutherland

Israel’s very own Ayelet Zurer who has already enjoyed major Hollywood success with Angels & Demons and Awake will guest-star on the second season of FOX network’s Touch, TV Guide reported.
Zurer will portray an architect who also has special powers like Jake, the son of Martin (Kiefer Sutherland) and will use her special powers to solve murder mysteries. Her guest appearance will currently span two episodes.

Touch, a new FOX drama series starring Kiefer Sutherland ("24"), Danny Glover, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Coming Spring 2012.