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Did You Know?

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reinventing the grilled cheese sandwich in Tel Aviv

Known as ‘toast’ in Israel but more commonly called ‘grilled cheese’ by Americans and ‘toasties’ by the English, this popular kiddie fare is growing up and reinventing itself with tasty and innovative adult versions.

No one knows when the craze for grilled cheese took over the world, but it’s pretty clear why: everyone can make it and it’s pretty difficult to muck up.
The classic version requires just two slices of bread and melted cheese, but innovative restaurants prove there’s no limit to what you can throw in between.
Tel Aviv cafes have taken the grilled cheese sandwich, known in Israel as “toast,” and revamped its image. Moreover, this savory staple isn’t just the province of coffee shops anymore – it has moved into the elevated sphere of bars and restaurants too.

The chef’s version: “Bikini toast” at Tapas Ba’Shuk

Tapas Ba’Shuk is one of the best things to happen to the Tel Aviv port. It initially served Spanish food, then gradually adopted a more Mediterranean style thanks to the personal touch of chef Barak Aharoni. Most of the acclaim thus far has focused on its local ingredients, but little fuss has been made about its toast.
The dish:The Bikini toast – four perfectly crisp triangles of bread filled with bacon, mozzarella and a touch of truffle. Simple but devastating. The irony of course is that after a few of these, you can forget wearing a bikini. But such is the price of Tel Aviv’s best toast.
The cost:NIS 40 (and innumerable hours at the gym)
Goes well with:The sea view, a glass of cava and grilled artichokes.

Tapas Ba’Shuk, Tel Aviv port

Go for the filling: Goose breast and scrambled egg toast at Lilush Panini
Long before the trend of elaborate sandwiches hit these shores, Lilush Panini was the first neighborhood bistro to bring the hot Italian sandwich – the panini – to the Holy Land.
The dish: The goose breast and scrambled egg toast – the most surprising filling we’ve come across. It starts with slices of goose breast fried with honey and brandy for a touch of sweetness and a slightly smoked flavor. Add a scrambled egg, some spicy date paste and hard cheese then let sizzle in the toaster. The sublime result deftly navigates the sweetness of French toast with a tantalizing saltiness.
The cost:NIS 39
Goes well with: The accompanying side salad with citrus vinaigrette dressing and a glass of wine.
Panini Lilush – 39 Frishman Street, Tel Aviv

The IDF Unit Which Assits Training and Society

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Salon d’Automne coming to Israel

One of world’s most important art events to be held in Holy Land for first time in history. Exhibition to include 500 works of art imported from France, additional 500 pieces by Israeli artists chosen by special committee

International exhibition Salon d’Automne, one of the most important art events in the world today, is coming to Israel for the first time in history.
The exhibition will take place on October 31-November 4 in Hangar 1 at the Jaffa Port. It will include 500 works of art imported from France to Israel and an additional 500 pieces by Israeli artists chosen through a special committee over the past two months.
The exhibition will also feature musical performances of different styles and presentation.
Founded in 1903, Salon d’Automne provides a unique opportunity for young artists of art forms such as, painting, sculpture, photography, contemporary art, architecture, music, film and dance, to make a break and be known to the world.
In addition, the exhibition allows the audience to discover new trends through the Salon’s unique multi-disciplinary approach to art.
The exhibition provides a platform of innovative art, both modern and contemporary, and new art to provide for the constantly changing world.
In the past, the exhibition brought to light artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Pascin, Chana Orloff, Kisling, Mané Katz, Ruhlmann, Majorelle, Sue & Mare, Lousin Vuitton, Eugene Printz and many others whose works founded the l’Ecole de Paris.

"Youth Movements - the Real Social Networks"

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French Nobel laureate: No to boycott of Israel

French scientist Serge Haroche visits Israel, defends Israeli academics

French Jewish scientist Serge Haroche, who shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics with American David Wineland, is visiting Israel as a guest of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Haroche expressed his support for Israeli academics, saying: “I strongly object to the academic boycott of Israel. Natural Science discipline academics do not boycott Israel, only humanities discipline academics do.
“Any person with common sense knows science acts as a bridge between people and it is the best way to benefit the world,” he added.
On Sunday, Haroche attended a special event at the Jaffa residence of French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot, where he was greeted by Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz, Nobel laureate Prof. Ada Yonath and Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities President Prof. Ruth Arnon, as well as many more scientists from leading Israeli universities.

US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Visits Israel for AC12 Exercise

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The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, General (****) Martin E. Dempsey, arrived yesterday evening (October 28th, 2012) for his second visit in Israel, where he was hosted by the Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Binyamin "Benny" Gantz.

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Famous Fashion Blogger ‘BryanBoy’ blogs/tweets from Israel

Famous Fashion Blogger ‘BryanBoy’ hits the streets of Tel Aviv, I think  he’s impressed! Check out some of his pics/tweets (@BryanBoy)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Join the Flight - IDF Style

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Thank you for flying Israel Defense Forces.

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Israeli Beresheet named one of 60 top hotels

Southern Israeli hotel included in 2012 Hot List selected by prestigious American magazine Condé Nast Traveler

Looking for a recommendation for a good hotel in southern Israel’s Negev Desert? The Beresheet Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon has been named one of the 60 best new hotels of 2012 on the Hot List selected by prestigious American travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler.
“Beresheet means ‘genesis’ in Hebrew, and there is a real sense that both the region and hotel’s guests are in the process of being reborn,” the magazine’s editors write, adding that the new hotel might make travelers want to stay forever in the Mitzpe Ramon area.
“Built on a cliff overlooking the spectacular, 200-million-year-old Ramon Crater, the property was a labor of love for the late British hotelier David Lewis, credited with developing Eilat into Israel’s premier resort town.”
Just six months ago, Beresheet was included in the list of the 121 top new hotels of 2012, after the magazine’s editors and reporters visited 179 hotels in 49 countries for four months.
The Hot List of 2012 is comprised of hotels from 29 countries, including Rocco Forte Hotel in Abu Dhabi, Singita Explore in Tanzania, Queen Victoria Hotel in Cape Town, the Baraza Resort and Spa in Zanzibar, the Four Seasons Resort in Marrakech, Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong, Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia, Banyan Tree in Macau, the Darling in Sydney, the Grand Hyatt in Goa, the St. Regis Bangkok, Mío in Buenos Aires, Bella Sky Comwell in Copenhagen, Altapura in Val Thorens, Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam, and more.
“We are proud to add this title to the list of awards, references and honorable selections of the Isrotel hotels,” Isrotel Hotel Chain General Manager Lior Raviv said Sunday.
“This is undoubtedly a respectable and impressive recognition of our unstoppable and ongoing efforts to provide out guests with the best and most luxurious service and quality in Israel.”

Israeli researchers join world study to revolutionize cancer treatment

Four countries to take part of study, focusd on patients with disease that can’t be treated with radiaion or surgery.

A new international study, to be launched next year in four different countries including Israel, will investigate a method of treating metastatic cancer that will obviate the need to tailor treatments to the location of the cancer in the body.
The aim of this study, which in Israel will take place at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, is to advance the concept of personalized treatment, using drugs that are adapted specifically to each patient, based on the genetic profile of his or her tumor.
A total of 200 patients will be part of the study, 50 of them in Israel.
The international trial, known as WINTHER, will also be conducted at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, and the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France. It will focus on patients with metastatic cancer that cannot be treated with radiation or surgery.
Each participating patient will undergo genetic screening in an effort to draw up a specific genetic map of the cancer that is spreading through his or her body. Based on the results, a course of chemotherapy using genetically targeted drugs will be administered.
This will differ from the protocols currently in force in western countries, including in Israel via the health basket, which generally addresses the type of cancer the patient has based on its location in the body.
Over the past few years, different types of cancer drugs have been developed to target specific genetic mutations or have been found to be more effective against tumors with certain genetic characteristics.
For example, the drug Herceptin has been found to be most effect in breast cancer patients whose tumors have the genetic mutation known as HER-2; treatment with Erbitux is especially effective in people with colon cancer that doesn’t have a mutation dubbed K-RAS; and lung cancer patients with a certain mutation in a gene called EGFR in their lung tumors react better to the drugs Tarceva and Iressa.
The Israeli health basket does include testing for the presence of certain genetic mutations as part of the process of setting a course of treatment for certain types of cancers. But there are more options available abroad; for example, the drug Crizotinib, which is effective in the 5 percent of lung cancer patients whose tumors have a specific mutation in the ALK gene.
For this study, the European Union has committed to funding the purchase numerous of the many innovative drugs that will be administered to the participating patients, including several genetically targeted drugs that have not yet been approved by the Health Ministry for use in Israel.
The researchers will take a biopsy of the tumor and another biopsy of healthy tissue, which will both be screened for some 25,000 existing genes to ascertain the unique genetic mutations for each patient’s specific tumor. Once these unique mutations are found, drugs will be administered to the patients that are known to react well with these mutations, irrespective of where the cancer is in the body.
“Our goal is to draw up 200 different courses of treatment for the 200 patients participating in the study, such that each patient gets different drugs, in different doses, in accordance with the specific genetic mutations of the tumor he’s been diagnosed with,” explains Dr. Amir Onn, the head of pulmonary oncology at Sheba Medical Center, who, together with Dr. Raanan Berger, head of the Sheba Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, is involved in the organization of the global project.
If the trial brings the expected results, it will launch a total revolution in the way cancer is treated.
“In the future, chemotherapy for cancer patients will be tailored to the patient’s specific biology, and it won’t matter whether we’re talking about cancer in the prostate, lung or colon,” Onn said.
“Today, a patient diagnosed with cancer searches for an expert in the type of cancer he has, for example, an expert in lung cancer or breast cancer. But in the future, when the treatment protocols will be based on the biology of the tumor and not its location, as will be performed in this trial, there will be different experts for different mutations. The next generation of cancer clinics will be clinics for genetic-specific tumors,” Onn said.
As part of the research, the clinicians will also be on the lookout for mutations in the patients’ tumor for which no targeted drugs have yet been developed. “In such instances, the chemotherapy drugs administered will be those most appropriate to the tumor’s circumstances, size, and rate of growth,” said Onn.

Horrific Earthquake Scenario Exercised by Israeli Emergency Forces

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Fuji in talks to buy Given Imaging

Medical technology company’s owner, Nochi Dankner, seeks deal based on $1 billion market cap, but will likely have to settle for $750 million

Fujifilm Holdings Corporation is the key negotiator for the acquisition of Israeli medical technology company Given Imaging from IDB.
Given reported on Thursday that it was in early stages of talks over its acquisition for a price that reflects a $750 million market cap for Given – 34% higher than its value on NASDAQ, Calcalist has learned.
Given’s shares catapulted by 20% following the company’s announcement Thursday.
Nochi Dankner, who owns the controlling interest in Given, tried to obtain a deal at a value of over $1 billion, but will have to settle for less in light of the company’s pressing need for cash.
The acquisition of Given will be held through a tender offer led by Barclays Bank. The tender envelopes were opened about 10 days ago.

Americans bid less

Calcalist has learned that negotiations are well underway and that the owners of Given’s controlling interest wish to wrap up talks before the end of the year.
Two other companies, American corporations Johnson & Johnson and Stryker, planned to bid as well but were unwilling to offer the price Fujifilm agreed to.
Given develops a capsule endoscopy technology based on methods created by defense systems developer RAFAEL. Given received FDA and CE approval to market the capsule used for the detection of small intestine abnormalities.
The company is in preparations to file for FDA approval of its capsule for the detection of large intestine polyps, having filed for approval with the Japanese Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency in September 2012.

Streetball takes over Jerusalem's Safra Square

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Once a year, the plaza outside Jerusalem City Hall is transformed into 16 basketball courts where anyone can join in the fun.

About 1,000 Jewish and Arab players turned out for Jerusalem's 16th annual Streetball Tournament this July.

City Hall's Safra Square was transformed into 16 basketball courts and one central plot, enough to host hundreds of matches, including an exhibition game pitting members of Knesset against well-known Israeli basketball players.

For NIS 200 (about $50), and less for residents of the city, groups of players could sign up and get T-shirts. Anybody is welcome to play in this tournament, and the municipality's Sports Department formed teams divided by age.

"It's great participation, as you see the excitement and everything around here," says Tal Brody, a former Maccabi Tel Aviv star. "I think it's fantastic."

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@IsraelMFA @StateofIsrael features ‘Jerusalem: A cook book’ as a warming trend

Transport your dinner guests to warmer climes this fall with adventurous recipes from five new cookbooks that make the most of your spice cabinet. Through photographs and flavors, each serves up a culinary tour of its respective culture, whether be it Israel, Latin America, or Vietnam. Below, we’ve paired the tomes with the perfect new homeware to match.

Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ten Speed Press)

Coauthored by the highly acclaimed writer of Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi, the new cookbook Jerusalem brings the flavors of Israel to your kitchen. Staples of the capital city’s marketplace are brought to life in recipes like Swiss Chard with Tahini, Yogurt & Buttered Pine Nuts, and Cardamom Rice Pudding with Pistachios & Rose Water. And, if the spread illustrating how to prepare Chocolate Krantz Cakes (a babbka-like braided pastry filled with rich chocolate and almonds) doesn’t make you want drop everything and roll dough, we don’t know what will.

Firing the Ramadan cannon in Jerusalem

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Rajay Sanduka has been responsible for firing the Ramadan cannon in Jerusalem for 25 years. Every day during the month-long holiday, the cannon is fired to mark the beginning and end of the fast. Rajie inherited the job from his father, while responsibility for the cannon has been passed down in his family since the Ottoman Empire period.

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AWESOME APP: Pixplit Wins StartTWS’s International Startup Competition

Pixplit, a creative collaboration network for friends to create images together in a single frame using their mobile phones, was awarded the Best Startup prize during the StartTWS 2012 launch competition, Israel’s launchpad for new companies, demonstrating innovation, creativity and exceptional product design and development capabilities.

Pixplit won over an expert panel of judges including representatives from Sequoia Capital, Google, Canaan Partners, Magma Venture Partners, Innovation Endeavors, Genesis Partners,, Soluto and KPMG to win this international competition and take home the Best Startup prize.
Pixplit co-founder and CEO Jay Meydad took the stage to demonstrate the company’s new product, Pixplit, the world’s first app that allows users to create images together with friends and complete a ‘social photo collage’ that is called a split.
“The Best Startup award is a positive reinforcement for Pixplit disruptive approach to the social photography space. We have created a new form of media unit specifically designed for collaboration between friends using their photos,” said Jay Meydad, Pixplit’s CEO. “We are honored and privileged to receive the award and get high acclaims from the prestigious panel of judges.”
Anyone with a valid Facebook account can join Pixplit and download the iPhone app for free from the Apple App Store or from our website at:
Versions for other mobile platforms will be released by the end of the year.
About Pixplit Technologies, Inc.Launched in 2012, Pixplit is the world’s first network for friends to create images and collages together in a single friend. Pixplit’s mission is to foster stronger connections between people using its interactive photo creation platform. For more information, product video and screenshots please visit our website at, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @pixplit.
About StartTWSStartTWS 2012 is the first International Startup conference held in Israel. It brings together top executives from the US, Europe and Israel’s marketing, advertising, media, Internet, and telecommunications industries. The conference’s launchpad showcases top Israeli startup innovation side by side with leading European and US-Based start-ups on one stage, presenting their ventures to more than 700 worldwide high-tech industry executives.
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