And the winner is…
Israeli wins gymnastics gold again and again: Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram won two gold medals in the 2019 World Cup in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ashram ranked first in ribbon and in hoop with club, just one day after placing second in the All-around competition and bringing much pride to her home country.
Special Paralympic success
19-year-old Israeli Paralympic swimmer, Mark Malyar, recently broke the world record for swimming 1,500 meters with a disability. The young man with cerebral palsy swam nearly 23 seconds faster than the previous record holder while at Wingate’s open swim competition, adding this victory to a series of other successes already under his belt. Congratulations Mark!
Israeli scientists from Tel Aviv University made a major medical breakthrough. It has been revealed that they were able to create the world’s first 3D-printed heart with human tissue! Such a development will become instrumental in future organ transplant procedures, proving yet again that Israel, without a doubt, is leading the worlds of technological and medical innovation.
Small country, big dreams
Israel’s lunar spacecraft, Beresheet, brought people around the world together this month when it orbited around the moon and sent a selfie back to earth. And while the spacecraft’s mission did not ultimately succeed in landing on the moon, Israel and space enthusiasts alike agree that being the seventh country to orbit the moon and the fourth to reach the moon’s surface is a massive achievement in and of itself, and a tremendous innovative step for the small country with huge dreams.
Israeli innovation crosses borders
5,000 Israeli patents were filed in the US in 2018, making up 1.44% of all patents filed in the country over the course of last year. The number of Israel-originating patents filed in America has been steadily rising over the past 15 years; up from 0.68% in 2000. And, as less than half of these patents were filed by multinational corporations operating out of Israel, most were by purely ‘Sabra’ businesses.
National Geographic heads to Israel
The world-renowned television channel will be visiting the Holy Land for the purpose of filming the third season of its hit program, “The Story of God,” starring Morgan Freeman. Stay tuned when the new season premieres and the beloved actor ponders existential and religious questions, from the Holy Land.
Hot in Winter?
February may have been a chilly month, but when it came to tourism in Israel, it was 28 days of hot activity. Tourism to Israel maintained its record levels in February when 362,000 visitors entered the country – up 16% from 2018. Now that’s something to write home about!
Israel or Disney World?
Now you can easily access both! As part of El Al’s North American expansion, the airline recently announced a new direct flight between Tel Aviv and Orlando, Florida. The weekly flights will begin in June, just in time for summer vacation. El Al previously announced new direct flights to Las Vegas, San Francisco and Miami, creating much excitement in the US and Israel alike.
Israel gears up for Eurovision 2019
Preparations for this May’s Eurovision song contest, hosted by Israel in Tel Aviv, are in full swing. Now that Kobi Marimi has been declared this year’s Israeli contestant, plans are well underway to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. But will Marimi reclaim the glory established by last year’s Israeli winner, Netta Barzilai, or will the coveted title go to another talented performer from a neighboring country? Tune in this spring to find out.
Israel prepares to head to the polls
Citizens throughout Israel will vote in this coming April’s federal elections, picking the party they hope will lead the country to more peaceful and prosperous times. Yet, as new political parties seem to be cropping up left, right and center, which one will secure the most votes and have its leader serve as the next Prime Minister, remains up in the air. Stay tuned on April 9th, for the latest election day results.
A historical visit to Israel with a modern twist
Japan has sent its largest-ever delegation to Israel, 200 executives from roughly 100 major leading Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi and Toyota. The goal: an examination of potential future partnerships and relationships between the two countries, particularly in the tech innovation field. While Japan has not historically made significant contributions to Israeli ventures, this landmark visit may signal that the tides are about to change, in the start-up nation’s favor.
A true celebration of nature
The 15th day of the Jewish Month of Shvat marks the Jewish New Year for trees, and in Israel, crisp winter weather did not prevent a true celebration of the local environment to take place. Children from all over the country ventured out on ‘Netiot,’ hiking and planting expeditions – and the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) annual ‘Plant a tree in Israel’ campaign met marked success in schools and other Jewish institutions, worldwide.
Virgin takes flight – to Israel
This just in: Virgin Atlantic, the airline owned by magnate Richard Bronson, will be launching a new route – from London to Tel Aviv. Slated to officially become operational by next September, the route may open for an exclusive event, flying 158 British fans to Israel ahead of this coming May’s Eurovision song competition. Exciting, isn’t it?
Israel to conquer the UN?
Four Israeli start-ups are among ten finalists competing for glory at the inaugural United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) start-up competition, culled from a starting pool of 3,000 submissions. The winning start-up will design a pilot project with Globalia and its major brands. So, who will it be: Refundit, Pruvo, SeeVoov, or Howazit? As long as the winner is blue and white, we’ll be standing proud.
Partnering for petrol
Tamar Petroleum recently signed a deal worth a whopping $200 million to supply up to 1 BCM worth of natural gas to Jordanian customers, Jordan Bromine and Arab Potash. This deal will further drive the petrol company’s profit margin up, already at a staggering market cap of NIS 1.5 billion, after the share fell 5% in 2017.
Bethlehem is going digital
With tourism to Jesus’ birthplace on the rise, local authorities have introduced an advanced registration system via a mobile app. The app is designed to keep a regular flow of visitors to the Church of the Nativity, while preventing overcrowding. This is a huge step towards making the tourist experience more seamless and pleasurable – one other Israeli tourist sites will likely be clamoring to adopt.
Booby traps be gone!
Over 50 years after the monasteries at the Qasr al Yahud baptism site became an active war zone, a Georgian bomb squad has cleared 1,500 landmines from three of the seven church compounds. The goal: Open the area to the public by January 2020. So, book your tickets and get your baptismal robe ready; You’ll finally be able to immerse yourselves in the waters where Jesus was baptized, way back when.
Phantom of the Opera is coming to Israel!
The smash hit Broadway show Phantom of the Opera is coming to Israel for the first time ever! Opening August 2019, Phantom of the Opera will be showing in Tel Aviv as part of a World Tour which includes stops in Singapore, Manila, Malaysia, and Abu Dhabi.
Jesus’ face discovered in ancient Israeli church
An Israeli art historian has identified a 1,500-year old Byzantine painting of the face of Jesus on a 6th-century church in Israel’s Negev. The painting is part of the earliest known depiction of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the Holy Land, showing Jesus with short, curly hair and large eyes. It’s an important find that sheds light on early Christian art.
Historic visit of the president of Chad to Israel
After 46 years of diplomatic silence, the president of the African country of Chad arrived in Israel. Relations between the two countries were good until 1972 when Chad broke off communications due to pressure from Arab countries. This is the first time that a president of Chad has visited Israel since the establishment of the State.
Israel to export gas to Europe
Israel announces a historic deal with Italy, Greece, and Cyprus to build the longest and deepest under-sea gas pipeline in the world. The proposed pipeline will enable Israel to supply gas to the Balkan states and central Europe.
The Feast of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem
Feast your eyes on this: over 7,000 Christian Evangelicals took part in this year’s Feast of the Tabernacles march in Jerusalem. Delegations hailed from the US, the Ivory Coast, the Philippines, Brazil and other countries from around the world, carrying their nations’ flags and celebrating God’s promise that in the Messianic Age, all nations will come together in the Holy City.
Australian embassy in Israel may be moved to Jerusalem
Coming soon? Australia may move its embassy to Jerusalem, following the groundbreaking US embassy move earlier this year. Having the Australian PM even talking about the possibility of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and home of its foreign offices in the country will be seen a huge step – one we applaud.
Israel hosts leading Blockchain summit
The past year has been one of tremendous growth for Israel’s start-up nation, with Blockchain technology becoming a key player in the country’s innovative developments. Last month, Israel hosted a Blockchain summit, attended by over 500 industry professionals from Israel and abroad, confirming the country’s position as a significant tech leader.
Ancient inscription discovered in Israel
The first full spelling of “Jerusalem” on a stone was uncovered by archaeologists during an excavation in the area of Jerusalem’s International Convention Center, known as Binyanei Ha’Uma. Written in Aramaic, the etching is yet another proof of writing “innovation” from the 1st century. Visit it and other ancient innovations at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum today!
The Feast of Tabernacles
Feast your eyes on this one! The prophet Zechariah once foretold of a time where all nations would ascend to Israel each year – and during the annual Feast of the Tabernacles, thousands of Christian pilgrims from all over the world do just that. Not only does the event create a hub of spirituality, but it also funnels approximately 15 – 20 million dollars into the Israeli economy every year.
World’s oldest brewery discovered in Israel
The Carmel region is known for its excellent wines, but new archeological findings indicate that the tradition of winemaking may go back even farther than previously believed. Researchers from the Universities of Haifa and Stanford discovered the world’s oldest brewery – 13,000 years old to be exact, in the Carmel’s Rakefet Cave. The researchers found starch grains stored in mortars. The grains have undergone morphological changes that correspond to the process of fermentation. Now that’s a discovery worth raising your glass in celebration for!
Record traffic at Ben Gurion International Airport
If you’re looking to travel to Israel, you’re not alone. August saw a record number of arrivals and departures from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. 2.7 million people made their way through the airport’s gates, up 10 percent from the corresponding period last year. Authorities believe the trend continued throughout the High Holidays in September. Sounds like now is a great time to book your next Israel adventure, while the country’s tourism industry continues to boom!
Israel’s new fast train is on the move
Want to experience Israel’s most exciting attractions, but don’t want to spend time sitting in traffic? Israel’s new fast train from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv is nearing completion, with service between Jerusalem and Ben Gurion Airport already up and running. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Israel Katz called the inauguration of the “King David Line,” a “historic moment.”
Entrance gate to the ancient city of Bethsaida found
Israel is teeming with biblical history and the country’s skilled archaeologists have discovered yet another piece of the historical puzzle in the ruins of the Golan Heights. The entrance gate to the ancient city of Zer, known as Bethsaida in the New Testament, was found by a team of 20 archaeologists, working in conjunction with Hebrew Union College. Associated with the 12 Tribes of Israel, the gate, one of few built in those time, is evidence that the region was correctly identified by historians over the years.
Modern and Ancient intertwine at Caesarea Port
Caesarea Port – the next great tourist destination? Caesarea Port is undergoing a revolutionary facelift. Forget the existing 3,000 seat amphitheater. Soon, you’ll be able to sit amind 25,000 excited others and surrounded by 95 percent of the ancient city’s uncovered ruins, excavated taking extreme precautions to maintain historical and archaeological standards. Imagine taking in an amazing concert at the Acropolis, only surrounded by biblically significant findings. It’ll be THAT amazing.
Incredible discovery by the Sea of Galilee
Sweet Jesus! A 300-pound basalt block found in the ruins of an Ottoman-era house blown up during an IDF operation may in fact be a reliquary housing the remains of Jesus’ Apostles; Peter, Philip and Andrew. This finding may indeed further prove that the Apostles once lived on the northern Shore of the Sea of Galilee. History and sea fun under the Israeli sun – sounds like an Israel tour is in order!
Terra Sancta Museum reopens in Jerusalem
He is resurrected! The Franciscans have reopened a museum dedicated to the life and times of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem’s Old City. Aptly named the Terra Sancta Museum, the museum houses new, modern exhibits that shine a positive light on Jesus Christ and his teachings, in a way the museum’s former exhibits could not, 100 years ago.
Eilat’s new Ramon International Airport
Up, up and away! Eilat’s new Ramon International Airport is positioned to open Israel’s southernmost city to global travel. Instead of having to make multiple connecting flights to reach Eilat from various local and international destinations, travelers will be able to book direct flights from many global airports. Your Eilat vacation is just a single booking and flight away!
Ancient jewelry discovered near Jerusalem’s old city
Luck be a lady in Hellenistic times! Or, at least the lady who once owned the ancient golden hoop earring recently discovered in near Jerusalem’s Old City walls. Estimated to be over 1,000 years old and likely worn by a woman active in high society, the ornately designed earring portrays a horned beast unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. The earring will be displayed alongside other archaeological gems at the City of David’s annual archaeological conference, this coming September.
Us and Israel announce investment arrangements
If you’re looking to invest overseas, this one’s for you! Israel and the US have agreed on a bilateral arrangement to allow potential investors to visit each others’ countries to determine whether local entrepreneurial projects are worthy of their funding. US E-2 visas will allow Israeli investors to enter the US, while Israeli B-5 visas will grant American investors access into the Holy Land.
Israel’s Jewish population outgrows that of the US
The country’s Central Bureau of Statistics reports that just under one million tourists flocked to Israel between January and March For the first time: Israel is officially home to more Jews than America! While the US Jewish population reportedly peaked in the last twenty to thirty years before beginning to decline, Israel’s Jewish population is steadily on the rise and now stands at roughly 6.6 million men, women, and children. A true “ingathering of the exiles!”.of 2018 – a 30 percent increase when compared to the same period last year. That means more dollars are injected into Israel’s economy, which, in turn, means more funds available for creating and maintaining Israel’s many tourist, cultural and historical attractions.
Archeologists discover biblical gate to Bethsaida
Never been to Zer? Well, now you can! Archaeologists excavating in the Golan Heights recently uncovered the entry gate to the ancient city of Zer, later known as Bethsaida, where Jesus miraculously fed many people with five loaves and two fish. Since its discovery, the site has been visited by masses of Christian pilgrims. Sounds like it’s time you took a trip to Northern Israel’s newest ancient find.
Israeli Tourism Is On The Rise
The country’s Central Bureau of Statistics reports that just under one million tourists flocked to Israel between January and March of 2018 – a 30 percent increase when compared to the same period last year. That means more dollars are injected into Israel’s economy, which, in turn, means more funds available for creating and maintaining Israel’s many tourist, cultural and historical attractions.
Walking In The Footsteps Of Jesus
Want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus? At the new Franciscan Museum, you can get an up close and personal look at how Jesus lived and coins, ceramics and other artifacts commonly found during his lifetime. Mundane objects and unique treasures come together to bring the New Testament to life. This is one museum you will definitely want to visit.
Prince William Visits Israel
Britain’s Prince William paid a historic visit to Israel, during which, the second in line to the throne visited the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, he strolled with Eurovision winner Netta and proclaimed that his home country’s ties with Israel are stronger than ever. Are Israeli-British interests aligning? Could greater change be just around the corner? Regardless of plans for future endeavors between the two countries, this landmark visit highlights the commonalities between “two open societies thriving on innovation, diversity, talent, and excellence.”
Israeli technology helps to save lives in Thailand
Israeli innovation saves the day once again, this time in Thailand! Cutting-edge Israeli technology, including the patented Max-Mesh mobile professional radio, has been instrumental in locating members of a Thai soccer team that were trapped in a partially flooded cave for weeks. The device enables mission-critical radio communication in the absence of physical infrastructure. We are so proud of everyone who participated in this breathtaking rescue.
3,000-year-old sculpture discovery
The finding of a 3,000-year-old sculpture of what seems to be a king’s head is the source of much excitement and fanfare in Israel. However, the identity of Old-Testament Era monarch however, remains an enigma to archaeologists and historians alike. The sculpture has been put on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem – a must visit sight on your next Israel trip.
New Volkswagen innovation center in Tel-Aviv
Volkswagen has opened an innovation center – in the heart of Tel Aviv. The new campus will be a co-working space called Konnect and will be a hub for local partners and mobility-based startups seeking business collaborations, support and consulting.
Israel’s newest richest citizen
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, the owner of the famous Chelsea Football Club, recently immigrated to Israel, becoming the country’s richest citizen and moving into a luxurious home, purchased from Israel’s Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot! The house is located in Neve Tzedek, one of Tel Aviv’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
US Embassy opens in Jerusalem
Experience history in the making: As three months of security preparations came to a head, the U.S. embassy’s Jerusalem location was finally inaugurated, hailing a new era in US-Israeli relations. Sounds like a great time to visit Israel’s capital, don’t you think?