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Did You Know?

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

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Drone Flight Over Tel Aviv and Yafo

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This video of a drone flight over Tel Aviv and Yafo is almost as amazing and relaxing as actually sitting there on the beach.

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Israeli LGBT community’s “Opportunity to Give”

Tel Aviv is known as the world’s most gay-friendly city for tourists, but few people realize the extent of social and societal action in which Israel’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) community is involved.
One organization of particular note is Adam L’Adam Hizdamnut Latet (Human to Human – An Opportunity to Give). For the last 10 years, it has operated anonymously, providing different kinds of assistance to anyone who asks for it, regardless of sexual orientation, religious observance, ethnic background or age.
“Normally, the LGBT community is perceived as demanding something, such as equal rights, or complaining about something, such as discrimination,” key LGBT leader Avi Soffer tells ISRAEL21c. “The idea of Adam L’Adam is that it is all about giving, both within the community and outside of it.”
It is, claims Soffer proudly, “an LGBT endeavor that is unique to the state of Israel.”
Adam L’Adam Hizdamnut Latet is run exclusively by volunteers — 10 full-time staffers, another 100 or so who donate their time when called upon to do so, and hundreds of others who work per project. Donations are spent fully on the charitable work itself, rather than on overhead and salaries.
The organization tries to fulfill all requests, whether delivering daily meals to the elderly, performing home repairs for someone whose apartment was damaged in a fire, or purchasing school supplies for underprivileged kids or the children of foreign workers.
“We rarely give money to people, but rather its equivalent in goods and services or in facilitating trade-offs,” says Soffer. “One person needs something and another has it. We assist in matching them up.”

Free bazaar

One of Adam L’Adam’s regular undertakings is a secondhand bazaar, held four to five times a year at Gan Meir in Tel Aviv. The public is invited not only to donate clothes and other items, but to come and take them, as well.
“It’s a big happening,” says Soffer. “And we encourage everybody to participate – even millionaires. It prevents differentiating between rich and poor, and removes any stigma attached.”
This attitude distinguishes Adam L’Adam from other charitable organizations.
“I’ve been warned that people are liable to take advantage of our bazaars to make money by reselling the items they received for free,” Soffer explains. “And my answer to them is that nothing makes us happier.”
He tells the story of an impoverished woman from the Congo who did just that, at Soffer’s recommendation.
“We suggested she open a used-clothing store in her apartment, using the merchandise we provided her at no cost,” he says. The woman took the advice, and then disappeared for about a year.
“One day she turned up with a suitcase, in which were 12 pairs of brand-new jeans with the labels still on them,” Soffer recounts. “She told me that it was time for her to give something back.”
It emerged that the shop she had opened was now the source of income for her and her entire family, even those in Africa.
This is one of many instances of business empowerment that Adam L’Adam considers a heart-warming achievement.
Recently, Soffer and his life partner, Elisha Alexander, established within Adam L’Adam a sub-organization called “Ma’avarim” (“transitions” or “crossings,” a play on the word “transgender” and its process).
It’s headed by Alexander and aims to help transgendered people like himself to “come out” and take their rightful place in society.
According to Soffer, while gays and lesbians have become more accepted and mainstream within their own families and in society as a whole, transgendered people have a long way to go.
Ma’avarim lobbies the Israeli Health Ministry to change its policy regarding the process that transgenders must undergo in order to have sex-change operations.
Though such surgery is free in Israel, would-be patients must present their case to a committee of experts who can approve or refuse their request.
According to Soffer, however, the greater issue is transgendered people’s difficulties making it to adulthood with proper educational and life skills.
This is due to the ostracism most of them face as a result of their gender identity. Indeed, many transgendered people in Israel – particularly from religious Jewish or Muslim households — end up running away or being kicked out of their homes in their early teens.
Beit Dror (Freedom House), a shelter for LGBT youth up to age 18, provides a roof over their heads as well as professional counseling. Ma’avarim is working with the Tel Aviv municipality on a project called “Dirat Hemshech” (follow-up housing) for those ready to leave the shelter.
“Israel leads in innovations relating to the LGBT community,” concludes Soffer. “This is because organizations like Adam L’Adam Hizdamnut Latet have no agenda other than outreach and compassion.”

Artists in Tel Aviv Just Found the Greatest use of Israeli Sand

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A dozen international sand sculptors make magic with 700 tons of sand. Give a dozen talented sand sculptors 700 tons of Israeli sand, and what do you get? Fifteen awesome works of art at Tel Aviv’s Eretz Israel Museum. “Every sculpture was made by one sculptor in 16 days,” says artist Baldrick Buckle. “The sand is a mixture of some sand that’s close to the Dead Sea and some of the local quarry towns to give us the best formula for working in sculpture.” Designs were inspired by the Bible, popular fairy tales and super heroes. The exhibit was organized through the Sand Sculpture Academy from the Hague, Netherlands.

Grey’s Anatomy Spotlights Israeli Med Tech


The physicians on Grey’s Anatomy are all actors, of course, but the space-age medical imaging technology recently featured on an episode of the popular ABC medical drama is for real.
Viewers of the show saw how RealView Imaging, based in the small Israeli northern city of Yokneam, is making it possible for surgeons to use three-dimensional holography in planning the steps of delicate, complex procedures.
The unique display and interface system projects hyper-realistic, dynamic 3D holographic images “floating in the air” without the need for special eyeglasses or even a conventional 2D screen.
The projected 3D volumes appear in free space, allowing the doctor to literally touch and interact precisely within the image — a breakthrough giving surgeons an unprecedented opportunity for guidance before taking a knife to the patient.
In the episode, Dr. Cristina Yang (played by Sandra Oh) comes across this Israeli cutting-edge technology when she is visiting a wealthy Swiss hospital.
Her former love interest and fellow heart surgeon, Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington), explains that the holographic reproduction of a beating heart – enhanced with digital the data from X-ray, MRI or ultrasound imaging — can be manipulated and even sliced open virtually,
In real life, the RealView system was incubated at the Trendlines Group’s Misgav Innovation Accelerator and successfully tested at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petach Tikva in a trial together with Royal Philips’ interventional X-ray and cardiac ultrasound systems. The company was founded by a urologist and the technology is meant to improve outcomes for all sorts of surgical procedures.
The Grey’s Anatomy shout-out isn’t the first time Israeli med tech from Yokneam has been featured on TV. In 2010, Argo Medical’s ReWalk exoskeleton helped a wheelchair-bound character on Glee to walk for the first time.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Michael Levin - Fallen Soldier of Israel

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Staff Sgt. Michael Levin, raised in Philadelphia, was on leave in the US when the Second Lebanon War started. He could not watch from afar. He returned to his Paratroopers company and died fighting by their side. Today, he would've been 30. We remember his brotherhood & bravery.

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Carmen at Masada

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In the heart of the Judean Desert, at the foot of Masada, one of the most familiar and beloved operas of all times is coming to life - Carmen, by French composer Georges Bizet.

Breathtaking, enchanting views of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea and the clear starry sky serve as the backdrop to the fiery Carmen's songs of freedom and liberty while she falls in love with the soldier Don José, who in turn loses her love to the glamorous toreador Escamillo. Intoxicating arias and turbulent Spanish dance unite in a spectacular celebration, as, under the baton of renowned conductor Daniel Oren, hundreds of performers bring to life the love, burning passion and intense hatred that constitute the famous opera.

View the exciting documentary on the building of the impressive stage, rehearsals deep in the wilderness and the fascinating debut performance through the eyes of the opera singers, flamenco dancers, the director, the conductor and the people who created the vision of Carmen in the desert.

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Intel May Spend up to $6 Billion on Israeli Fab Upgrade

Intel said on Wednesday that it presented the government with an investment program to upgrade its giant semiconductor-manufacturing facility in the southern town of Kiryat Gat. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says the investment could reach $6 billion.
The U.S. company, one of the world’s biggest maker of computer chips and a major source of Israeli exports, did not provide further details. “At this stage, Intel is not providing any details about investing in upgrading the Intel plant, including time frames, costs or the nature of the upgrade,” the company said in a statement mostly devoted to reviewing the company’s long history in Israel.
As a result, it is not clear how many employees it may take on or its wider impact on the Israeli economy.
However, government sources who asked not to be identified said that the company would probably spend $5 billion to $6 billion on the plant upgrade and hire between 800 and 1,000 new employees. Bennett said Intel would be spending at the upper limit of that range and was committed to remaining in Israel at least until 2030.
“We competed with the whole world and Intel chose us,” Bennett said. “In the next few days it will submit a business plan for immediate and direct investments of $6 billion. I can’t think of a better Independence Day gift,” he said. Israel will celebrate its 66th Independence Day on Tuesday.
In all events, the sources said they expected Intel to submit a detailed proposal to the Economy Ministry’s Investments Center, which administers capital-spending subsidy programs, some time in the next several days.
The government has offered the company an investment grant of about $700 million if Intel decides to build an entirely new $10 billion facility to produce 10-nanometer computer chips in Israel, but it also offered as its less preferred option $200 million in government aid for expanding its existing facility. In the past, Intel has said that it was not certain it would build a new facility alongside an upgraded plant.
Assuming that the estimates offered up on Wednesday are correct, Intel would be entitled to government aid amounting to 5% of its spending, or as much as $300 million. The source said the percentage is based on an analysis that the finance and the economy ministries conducted to gauge the impact of the plant expansion on the wider economy.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid welcomed Intel’s plan. “This is a vote of confidence in the Israeli economy,” he said in a statement. “Investment like this will create thousands of workplaces directly and tends of thousands indirectly all for the Israeli middle class.”
Intel is a major player in the Israeli economy. In 2012, for example, Intel Israel’s exports more than doubled to $4.6 billion, or 10% of the country’s total industrial exports. Last year exports dropped to $3.8 billion due to the timing of the orders, but the company still remains far and away the country’s single biggest source of export receipts, the company said. In addition, Intel Israel currently employs a staff of 9,855 around the country, including four research and development centers Haifa, Petah Tikva, Jerusalem and at Kibbutz Yakum, near Netanya, as well as manufacturing facilities in Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem. It purchased some $850 million locally produced goods and services last year alone.
As a result, Intel’s decision whether to upgrade and expand operations in Israel or do so in another country is critical for the country’s economy. In an earlier round of the global competition for an Intel plant, the company chose Ireland over Israel as the site for a new 14-nanometer plant. This was after Ireland offered the company better terms, but also due to the fact that the facilities in Ireland were older and in more urgent need of upgrading.
In September, Intel bought an aging chip-making facility next to its Kiryat Gat plant from another U.S. company, Micron, reportedly with an eye to turning the facility and its 800-strong workforce into the foundation of a new plant. Intel’s Kiryat Gat semiconductor plant, which uses 22-nanometer technology, is facing obsolescence within several years if it isn’t upgraded to the latest 10-nanometer technology. Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California also must decide where to locate the new 10-nanometer plant.

Israeli Tech Companies Raise $643 Million in First Quarter of 2014

Israeli technology companies raised $643 million in new capital in the first quarter, up 53 percent from the $439 million raised a year earlier, according to a report by KPMG Israel and IVC Research Center published by Globes on Wednesday.
The capital was raised by 160 Israeli companies. The investment volume was the second-highest quarterly amount ever, exceeded only by the fourth quarter of 2013, when $801 million was raised.
“This is the third quarter in a row that capital raising exceeded $650 million. These are great figures that show a sustained, positive momentum for the Israeli high-tech industry,” said Koby Simana, an author of the report.
Investments by Israeli venture capital funds in the first quarter was $106 million, the lowest quarterly share ever, 16%,  down from 25% the preceding quarter and 33% from a year earlier, as foreign investment grows.
Ofer Sela, another author of the report, said, ”This is an indicator of the maturity of the Israeli technology market and signifies that Israeli VC-backed companies are market leaders, providing more than just a ‘great technology solution.’”
“These later stage rounds are being led by investors who tend not to be venture capital investors,” Sela said. “They are bestowing significantly higher valuations and lower risk to deals, similar to the private equity industry.”
Internet start-ups raised the most capital in the first quarter, $260 million, or 39% of the total – the highest amount and share by the sector since 2000, Globes said. Late-stage companies raised $227 million in the first quarter – 34% of the total raised – mid-stage companies raised $221 million, and seed-stage companies accounted for 6%.

Israeli Start-Up Invents Pocket-Sized Printer

ZUtA Labs, an Israeli start-up, has created a pocket-sized printer to help denizens of the mobile economy print their memos and presentations on the go, according to the company’s founders.
Featured at Microsoft’s prestigious ThinkNext event and funded over Kickstarter, the 4-inch-long device is basically a printer head in the middle of two opposing sets of wheels, which allow it to print across and then down a page. The ZUtA Pocket Printer will be part of a full range of micro-printers on the market by January, 2015, the company said.
The idea came from classmates Matan Caspi and Tuvia Elbaum at the Jerusalem College of Technology, which provided the initial funding for their prototype.
Watch a video of the Israeli start-up’s pocket-sized printer:

Finally! Mobile printing is really here! A printer that goes where you go & prints from your phone on any size page! The future is now!
Everything today has gone mobile. Thanks to our smartphones, tablets and laptops we can leave our office while staying fully connected by doing work on the go. Well, almost... 
There is one device that got left behind and seemed to miss the "mobile revolution train"- The Printer.
You can see students, lawyers or entrepreneurs working efficiently outside of their homes of offices but then suddenly struggling to find a place to print. Our vision is to change that. We have created a mobile printer that is easy and fun to use, can be taken anywhere, prints from any device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, you name it!) onto any sized page.
Print machines now-a-days are essentially a printhead running left and right on a moving piece of paper. We asked ourselves, why not get rid of the entire device, just put the printhead on a set of small wheels and let it run across a piece of paper. By doing so, we allow the printer to really be as little as possible.
Our printer is entirely fitted for our day to day life. It has a rechargeable battery with an on\off switch, it connects directly to smartphones and to PCs, and it allows the user to print on any size piece of paper.

Israeli Lab Develops Technology to Rapidly Detect Breast Cancer

An American-based technology business, with an office near Jerusalem in Moshav Ora, has developed a way to quickly and easily detect breast cancer in its earlier stages through a simple blood test. According to Times of Israel, this method will be an “accurate, cost-effective, immune system-based means of detecting the presence of cancer in the breast tissue”. These tests are designed to detect cancer before it becomes visible by mammograms.
Read More at Times of Israel

24 Hours in Israel

From Haifa to Tel Aviv, Israel will make you smile! Check out what one day looks like in one minute!what one day looks like in one minute!

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A Production of Iconception Ltd.
Photographer: Amos Rafaeli

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66 Women You Should Know… for Israel @66

66 Israeli Women

Haaretz put together a list of 66 Israeli women you should know… and we agree.

See more at

Israel Ranks Second in World in Self-Made Billionaires

When it comes to making something out of nothing, Israel ranks second in the world. A new study by the London- based Center for Policy Studies found that next to Hong Kong, Israel has more self-made billionaires than any other country.
The report looked at 1,000 self-made billionaires, termed “SuperEntrepreneurs,” from 15 years’ worth of Forbes annual lists and calculated how many each country around the world produced in proportion to their total population.
Those who inherited their fortunes were excluded.
Hong Kong led the list with 2.831 SuperEntrepreneurs per million inhabitants, followed by Israel with 1.788, the United States with 1.388, Switzerland with 1.229 and Singapore with 1.053.
Funnily, the study found strong correlations between SuperEntrepreneurship and several factors for which Israel is not known: “There is a strong correlation between high rates of SuperEntrepreneurship in a country and low tax rates. Equally, a low regulatory burden and high rates of philanthropy both correlate strongly with high rates of SuperEntrepreneurship.”
The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, which ranks things like regulation and tax burden, put Israel at 35th in the world in 2014.
Similarly, Israel ranked 54th on the 2010 World Giving Index, which measures how charitable people in different countries are.
Israel’s self-starting nature is only part of the picture. Countries such as Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and Italy had many self-employed people, but few self-made billionaires. The reason, according to the study, is that self-employed people also have to be innovative, developing new products and approaches to business.
Yet Israel excels in other fields associated with the trait.
SuperEntrepreneurs tend to be well-educated, the study found. In the US, for example, SuperEntrepreneurs were five times more likely to hold a PhD as a member of the general population.
Israel also has free markets and strong property rights based on the English legal system, which was more strongly correlated with SuperEntrepreneurs.
Critics of the study could note that with such a small number of SuperEntrepreneurs, the numbers could swing wildly with the addition or subtraction of just one individual. While the US boasted 411 self-made billionaires, Israel had just 13, and New Zealand, ranked 12th, had just two.
To counter this problem, the study also looked at trends by region.
“The US is roughly four times as entrepreneurial as Western Europe and three times as entrepreneurial as Japan, measured either in terms of SuperEntrepreneurs, large-firm founders or venture-capital investment as percentage of GDP,” it found.
Overall, the report recommended that governments lower taxes, especially capital-gains taxes, and reduce burdensome regulation to unleash innovative entrepreneurs.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Voice Every Soldier Wants to Hear

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Cpl. Theodore Lott was born in Latvia, grew up in Chicago, moved to Italy and now he is a lone soldier and part of the IDF family. After serving in the Kfir Brigade for a year, Cpl. Lott is preparing for the IDF officers course in hopes of becoming a medical officer.
Watch him wish his mother a happy Passover via video chat.

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Fantasy date in TLV? Is the next Bachelorette Jewish?

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Rumours are swirling that ABC’s next Bachelorette, Andi Dorfman, is Jewish.

While we can’t confirm whether or not this is true, it sure is nice to dream!
Each week, the Bachelor franchise sees contestants travel to swanky hot spots around the world in hopes of finding love. We don’t know about you, but here at SDM, we are really hoping for a Tel Aviv date next season!
The Bachelorette will air on ABC beginning May 19, 2014

Israeli Startup Device Charges Phones in 30 seconds

If you have a smartphone, you probably know the horrible feeling of packing up to leave the house, only to realize it is about to die.
Such a situation leaves you in a pickle. Do you risk being late for a couple minutes of precious, precious charge? Or do you resign yourself to an afternoon without email, Instagram and Candy Crush?
Enter StoreDot, an Israeli tech startup that hopes to make this exact conundrum a thing of the past. The company claims to have created a new battery pack that can fully charge your phone in a mere 30 seconds. Yes, even if you’re at 0 percent.
The pack, which premiered Monday at a Microsoft Think Next event in Tel Aviv, relies on microscopic magnets called “nanodots” to enable its game-changing charger. As you can see in the above video, the prototype attaches to a phone that is then juiced up in half a minute.
Sadly, you shouldn’t expect your own 30-second charger anytime soon. The battery pack is still in the prototype stage, and a company spokesperson says mass production won’t commence until 2016, according to TechCrunch.
In the meantime, StoreDot will face two major challenges: Figuring how to shrink the technology so that it can fit in existing smartphone designs, and how to get the cost down. As of now, it will come out to twice the price of the average phone charger, according to The Wall Street Journal.
But having raised $6.25 million to date, StoreDot is confident that “nanodots” represent a big opportunity for the future — and not just in terms of charging phones. According to the company’s website, Bioorganic Nanodots could potentially revolutionize TV displays, digital storage, batteries and bio-medical technology.

Israeli Arab wins reality cooking show 'Master Chef'

Noff Otmana Ismail, Israeli Arab winner of 'Master Chef'

Nof Atamna-Ismaeel plans on using prize money to open Arab-Jewish cooking school.

Nof Atamna-Ismaeel won the fourth season of Israeli reality cooking show "Master Chef" on Saturday night.

Atamna-Ismaeel, 32,,  from the Israeli Arab town Baqa al-Gharbiyyewho cooks Arab food with a modern twist. She has a PhD in microbiolog and is  married with three kids.

Upon winning, Atamna-Ismaeel said it was "the most exciting moment in her life," and said she plans on using the prize money to open an Arab-Jewish cooking school.

The season, which aired on Channel 2, began with 14 contestants and was narrowed down to three for the finale.

The most-watched television show in Israel, Master Chef's semi-final, which was broadcast last week, was watched by 37.8% of households in Israel.

Last year, the finale of the third season broke record ratings, making it the most-viewed TV episode in Israeli history. That year Tom Franz, a German immigrant to Israel, won the cooking competition.

Two Neighbors


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Two Neighbors is a collaboration between Palestinian and Israeli women, combining traditional embroidery and high fashion. For more info:

Tommy Hilfiger Arrives in Tel Aviv to Open Flagship Store

Tommy Hilfiger Arrives in Tel Aviv to Open Flagship Store

The American fashion designer is currently in the Holy Land to promote its first ever Hilfiger store, and to see his friend Bar Refaeli, of course

The preeminent American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger arrived in Tel Aviv Wednesday to witness the opening of Israel's flagship Tommy Hilfiger store.

Though they may be a bit late to the party, it will be interesting to see how the store does against Israel's major players in the fashion industry, including Castro, Zara and Fox.

The store is the first ever Hilfiger-only retailer in Israel, and will be opened in Tel Aviv's Sorona neighbourhood, which also features a variety of trendy high-end restaurants.

Looks like Tommy's in good company.

Of course, during his short 24-hour stay, Hilfiger had the chance to spend time with the one and only Bar Refaeli. The two have worked on several projects together before, including a TV documentary Hilfiger produced, "Ironic Iconic America" which lands Refaeli in the starring role.

In addition to posing for pics together (see above), Refaeli also posted a pic of her and Hilfiger onto her Instagram:

Watch A River Come To Life In The Middle Of The Israeli Desert

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

An Inside Look Into the Basic Training of Israel Navy Recruits

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Soldiers of the 3rd Flotilla (Shayetet 3) of the Israel Navy and their commanders have opened the doors to their training. On this exclusive video, they describe their experiences during their military training and the special challenges of a naval recruit. Discover the soldiers who will be at the helm of IDF battleships tomorrow.


Tel Aviv U launches cyber interdisciplinary centre research centre

40 researchers from fields in the sciences, technology, and humanities from Tel Aviv University will join the new Center and collaborate on cyber research.

Tel Aviv University established a new center for Cyber Interdisciplinary research this week in cooperation with the National Cyber Bureau.

Major Gen. (Res.) Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, head of the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security at TAU will stand as head of the new Cyber Center.

“The Center aims to answer the cyber threat, which requires special preparations, at the state level, in the field of security and other fields in life, including academia,” Ben-Israel said on Tuesday.

Read more about the cyber research centre  at  JPost

Intel Capital Invests $15 million into Israeli Startup OrCam

Intel to use Israeli technology to help its emotion- and gesture-reading camera system.
Intel Capital has invested $15 million into OrCam, the Israeli startup that turns the world into speech for the blind, according to a report by GigaOm. “OrCam had an investment round and Intel indeed participated in it,” Dr. Yonatan Wexler, Senior VP R&D of OrCam, told ISRAEL21c, but did not expand on financial details. “There is good synergy between the companies. We intend to use Intel’s capabilities to improve our product.” The OrCam device is a smart camera that clips onto one’s glasses and helps the visually impaired “read” words and numbers around them. The $2,500 device uses algorithms and bone conduction technology and is already on the market. ISRAEL21c listed OrCam as one of the Top 10 Israeli advances in vision. According to the GigaOm report, Intel will likely use the technology to help its emotion “perceptual computing” system or use it for its growing healthcare and life sciences division.
Press play on the video and watch how it works:
OrCam camera device is one of Israel's Top 10 advances in vision. Hebrew University Prof. Amnon Shashua created this device that attaches to eyeglasses and is wired to a portable computer in the wearer's pocket. Using bone conduction technology, it "speaks" text (menus, street signs, grocery labels, newspapers) as well as bus numbers and other objects that the user points to. It can even recognize faces and monitor traffic lights.

Video and Editing by Asi Aivas
Reporting and Producing by Viva Sarah Press

A Virtual Passover Pilgrimage to Jerusalem's Old City

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Passover, one of Judaism's three pilgrimage festivals, commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Throughout the holiday, and especially at the festive Seder dinner, Jews around the world relive the experiences of their ancestors, passing on their traditions to the next generation.

For thousands of years, every Seder has ended with the prayer "Next year in Jerusalem," expressing the eternal tie between the Jewish people and their capital, the holy city of Jerusalem. This is the perfect time to take a virtual stroll through Jewish sites in Jerusalem's Old City.

This year (2014), the seven day holiday is celebrated from sundown on Monday, April 15th until nightfall on Monday, April 21nd. (Outside Israel, the holiday is observed for eight days).

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Israel space project gets $16 million boost from casino mogul Adelson

(Reuters) – SpaceIL, a nonprofit organization aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon, said on Wednesday it has received a $16.4 million grant from the foundation of U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
With a budget estimated at $36 million, the Israeli scientists and engineers building the shuttle – temporarily named “Sparrow” – believe it will land on the moon by the end of 2015, a feat only the United States, Russia and China have managed so far.
SpaceIL, which is backed mainly by philanthropists, was founded to compete for Google’s LunarX Prize, unveiled in 2007. The $20 million prize will go to the first team to land a spacecraft on the moon, make it jump 500 meters and transmit images and video back to earth.
Thirty-three teams started out in the running and they are now down to 18, including competitors from the United States, ItalyJapanGermanyBrazil, Canada, India and Chile.
SpaceIL said it aims to show that space exploration is no longer limited to global superpowers with vast space programmes. It also hopes its technological breakthroughs spur a new wave of commercial space-related industries in Israel.
“As an entrepreneur, nothing is as thrilling as supporting a group of people who have been told that their dreams cannot be realized,” Adelson said.

The Multicultural City of Netanya

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Netanya boasts nearly nine miles of pristine beaches, with a multicultural continental feel.

The multicultural city of Netanya is alive with the sounds of many languages, from Hebrew to French. Its population of 185,000 includes immigrants from France, the UK, Russia, North America, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Visitors and residents interviewed for this video liken Netanya's nearly nine miles of Mediterranean beachfront to the French Riviera, and praise the city for its friendly, nice people.

"I love Netanya," a tourist tells us.

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Michelin-starred chefs to raise funds for Jerusalem’s elderly

Leading chefs from France, Germany and Holland to cook gourmet dinner together with Israeli counterparts to help complete life enrichment center for needy senior citizens.

Leading chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants are arriving in Israel this week to participate in a fundraiser for Ezrat Avot, an association providing for Jerusalem’s elderly population.
The fundraiser was initiated after the construction of a health and life enrichment center in the city for needy senior citizens was halted due to lack of budget.
Chef Shalom Kadosh of the Fattal Hotels chain decided to help out and sponsor a special culinary event which will be held Thursday with chefs from around the world, who will cook a gourmet dinner together with Israeli chefs.
The funds raised at the event will be dedicated to the completion of the Jerusalem center.
Chefs Marc Haeberlin and Philippe Legendre from France, German chef Harald Wohlfahrt and Israeli chef Moshik Roth from Amsterdam, who share several Michelin stars, will be joined by Israeli chefs Aviv Moshe, Golan Gurfinkel, Yoram Nitzan, Meir Adoni, Mika Sharon, Ezra Kedem, Segev Moshe and Eran Schwartzbard.
The event will be held at the renovated Cardo hall at Jerusalem’s Leonardo Plaza Hotel and will be hosted by writer Hanoch Daum. It will also be attended by the prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, who has been aiding the Ezrat Avot association.

Bar Rafaeli’s new commercial is HOT!

The Israeli Government has banned this ad from playing during daytime TV in Israel… But we think it’s just HOT enough!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Printing Food: Israeli Start Up Could Revolutionize the Way We Eat

Israeli company White Innovation is currently developing an entirely new and remarkably fast way to prepare food from the comfort of your kitchen, Israel’s Channel 10 reported on Saturday.
Its product, known as “Ginny”, is essentially a souped-up printer that is small enough to fit on any counter. To create a meal one places a capsule of raw ingredients into one side of the machine. Then, olive oil, milk or water is injected. It then marinates for about thirty seconds and voila: a delectable feast awaits.
The developers behind Ginny claim that printed food has, “tremendous potential as a way to eat cheaper and healthier.” In theory, products like Ginny could revolutionize the food market, Channel 10 said. However, the vast potential is currently only on paper as Ginny is still undergoing a final series of tweaks before making a public debut.
Recently, the device was put to the ultimate test when acclaimed Israeli chef Israel Aharoni was invited to sample the printed food. While Aharoni came away impressed, he does not think Ginny will replace homemade cooking anytime soon. Rather, he sees it as a valuable addition to culinary innovation.
Having nibbled on some of the food, the veteran cuisinier noted that all the foodstuffs he tasted, “Were not completely accurate [representations of the original] and had a uniform texture. However, each item had its own distinct flavor. I believe that [Ginny] is the beginning of a very interesting process and I’m curious to know where it will lead.”
Watch a report (Hebrew) on printed food below:

Postcard of Israel - Spring in the Negev Desert

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When spring rolls round, Israel's Negev desert turns into a sea of color as flowers erupt everywhere.
Every year thousands of people go to take part in the Red South festival.

Video by Avi Kanner for ISRAEL21c.
Music: - Podington Bear "Good Times"

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Disabled Israeli swimmer breaks world record

Itzhak Mamistvalov sets new world record (Archive Photo: Razi Barkat)

Itzhak Mamistvalov takes first place in 100-meter heat, stopping clocks at 1:03.80 minutes. During competition, he claims two more gold medals.

Swimmer Itzhak Mamistvalov, an athlete at the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled and member of the Paralympics squad has set a new world record in the 50-meter freestyle at the Denmark Open swimming tournament for the disabled.
Mamistvalov, who competed in the S1 category, the class for swimmers with the most severe disabilities, and is trained by Noah Ram, clocked 1:03.80 minutes, an improvement of 13 hundredths of a second on the previous record.

During the competitions, in which some 200 swimmers from 15 countries took part, Mamistvalov added two more gold medals to his career medal count, when he won the 100-meter heat with a time of 2:21.57 minutes, and the 200-meter heat with a time of 5:18.7 minutes.

Habima Square, the cultural hub of Tel Aviv

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A theater, performing arts hall and art museum surround "Orchestra Plaza" at the intersection of two of Tel Aviv's most happening thoroughfares.

Tel Aviv's Habima Square is not just a popular meeting point in the White City -- it's a gateway to a whole lot of culture.

That's because the square -- also known as Orchestra Plaza -- is surrounded by major institutions such as the Habima National Theatre, the Charles R. Bronfman Auditorium (home of the Israeli Philharmonic) and the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art.

The sunken garden and reflecting pool are favorite hangout spots for families, couples and kids. And because Habima Square is located at the intersection of Rothschild Boulevard and Dizengoff Street, visitors always have plenty of choices in eateries and entertainment, thanks to outdoor buskers.

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Celebrating Five Innovative Israeli Water Technologies for World Water Day

In honour of World Water Day, we have put together a list of five hot Israeli tech companies that focus on water! Situated on the edge of the desert with limited access to fresh water, Israelis have leveraged cutting edge technologies to improve and ensure access to water while sharing these technologies around the world. In 2012, exports of water technologies totaled $2B, representing an increase of 170% over six years. In no particular order:
The company that invented drip irrigation innovation through smart drip and micro-irrigation solutions is now leading the way with greenhouse solutions to foster growth in arid and otherwise challenging climates. From potatoes in China to pomegranates in Israel, tea in Tanzania, and cotton in India, this firm is succeeding in growing a range of key crops in all corners of the world.
A world leader in water treatment, this company specializes in all aspects of water desalination, from development and engineering to the construction and operation of plants. Through the work of companies like IDE, the prospect of Israel becoming a country with a water surplus becomes a very real possibility!
This company is in the business of developing novel methods for storing, preserving, and moving water for use in various industries such as construction and mining and in emergencies and disaster relief.
TACount recently won the Massachusetts water industry competition, Water Export Technology (WET) Revolution. Global Water Intelligence ranked TACount in the top 20 most viable water technologies, and the Office of the Israel Chief Scientist selected it as one of Israel’s most promising start-up companies. Their proprietary technology allows for real-time microbial detection, massively improving delivery of data, with typical technologies taking days or even weeks!
Amiad has been on the water tech scene for more than 40 years, working to develop state-of-the-art filtration technologies. Their unique technology is environmentally sound, using no chemicals, polymers, minimal back flush water, and reduced energy. Some of their systems do not even require electricity.