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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, 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.

For more from the IDF:

Fantasy date in TLV? Is the next Bachelorette Jewish?

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 9.11.38 AM

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!