Israel news

OCTOBER 2019

LecraeFamous Christian artist gets baptized in the Jordan River

During his recent trip to Israel, Lecrae, the popular American Christian hip-hop artist and record producer, was baptized at the Yardenit Baptismal Site along the Jordan River.  Deeply inspired by his visit, he shared his experiences on social media, promising that his music will never be the same.

Israeli GymnastIsraeli gymnast making waves worldwide

Based on her recent performances, Linoy Ashram promises to be a fierce competitor in the upcoming 2020 Olympics. The Israeli rhythmic gymnast won silver in the hoop competition and bronze in the ball competition on the second day of the World Championships being held in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku.

Christian ArcheologyJesus Christ! Incredible archeological revelation in Israel

New archaeological finds may have determined the historic location of the loaves and fishes miracle recorded in the New Testament. Birds, fish and fruit are all featured in the mosaic, found near the Sea of ​​Galilee, and thought to depict the miracle described in Matthew 14:13-21.

SEPTEMBER 2019

ElectionsIsraelies are “over” the elections

As the final results from the elections in Israel (the second round of elections in 6 months) pointing to a tie between the two biggest political parties, the country’s leadership is busy deciding how to establish its next parliament. Regardless of political stance, it’s safe to say most Israelies are glad the elections are over, and are eager to see politicians from both sides get back to running the country.

Ancient Biblical city where Jesus healed blind man ‘unearthed’ in Israel

The ancient city of Bethsaida, referenced in the New Testament to be a central part of the life of Jesus and his apostles, may have been found, according to excavations currently underway off the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Researchers found numerous coins, Roman pottery, and a layer of 40cm of silt which they traced to the Jordan River. The more experts can learn about this city, the better we can understand its place in the gospel story.

JuduIsraeli Judoka named World Champion!

Israeli Judoka Sagi Muki was named world champion Wednesday, taking the gold medal at the World Judo Championship finals in Tokyo, Japan. Sagi defeated Belgium’s Matthias Casse in the finals of the men’s under-81 kilogram weight class, and is the first male Israeli athlete to receive the top prize. Back in 2013, Yarden Jarbi won the World Judo Championship in Rio de Janeiro in the women’s under-63 kilogram weight class.

Music ConcertMusic Icon Lionel Ritchie to perform for the first time in Israel

Tickets go on sale for Lionel Ritchie’s first-ever concert in Israel. Richie has spent more than 50 years in the music business, first with the Commodores and later as a solo artist, releasing ten studio albums and winning four Grammy Awards. Now both in their 70s, neither Ritchie nor the State of Israel is slowing down.

AUGUST 2019

New site significant to the Christian faith opened in Israel:

The City of David Foundation recently unveiled a stairway, known as “Pilgrim’s Road,” that Jesus is believed to have walked on in ancient Jerusalem. Discovered after a local sewage pipe burst, Pilgrim’s Road is expected to literally immerse locals and pilgrims in an environment of biblical proportions.

Israeli org. to counsel the UN on inclusion:

Israeli organization Beit Hagalgalim (House of Wheels) is the subject of unprecedented international attention. The organization’s representatives will serve as special consultants to the UN, with respect to integrating young people with disabilities into mainstream society. Main items on the agenda, raising awareness and implementing true, lasting change within the UN, and in organizations around the world.

Negev Desert DiscoveryAncient mosque unearthed in the Negev Desert:

One of the world’s earliest known mosques was recently discovered by archaeologists in Israel’s Negev Desert. Built approximately 1,200 years ago, the open-air, rectangular-shaped mosque was unearthed during excavations in the Bedouin town of Rahat. Its discovery is being hailed as a significant open-air, rectangular-shaped contribution to the study of the history of the country after the initial arrival of Islam in Israel.

CurrencyFuture-forward Israel to partner with EU to commercialize new products:

The European Commission has announced that it will invest up to €15 million in Israeli start-ups for in order to commercialize innovative new products, in exchange for shares, under the umbrella of the new “Accelerator Pilot.” The program has become an important source of funding for research and development in Israeli industry and in its academic institutions, and will also open the doors to opportunities for Israel to collaborate with European companies, research institutes, and direct contacts in the European market for marketing and sales purposes.

JULY 2019

Coral ReefIsraeli-Arab partnership to save the planet!

Israel has partnered with neighboring Arab countries to save the Red Sea’s coral reefs from the threat of climate change. The countries have cast aside their political differences in order to come together and study the effects of mass coral reef bleaching, in an attempt to find a solution with global ramifications.

Biblical DiscoveryIsraeli, Arab and US profs. discover underwater fortress from Biblical times

Prof. Assaf Yasur-Landau and Ehud Arkin Shalev from Haifa University teamed up with Prof. Thomas Levy of the University of California to investigate the Bay at Tel Dor for archaeological remains. What they found was amazing: An underwater Hellenistic fortress dated to approximately 2,200 years ago and linked to bloody battles!

GolanThe Golan reaches new heights

In a tribute to US President Donald Trump, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu decided to name a new community in the northern Golan Heights region, “Trump Heights.” During the naming ceremony, the community’s new moniker was unveiled on a large and gilded sign, a nod to the Commander in Chief’s affinity for opulence and gold. No planning or construction on the community has been set in motion at this time.

Israel celebrates Jerusalem Day

Tens of thousands of Israeli locals and tourists took to the capital city’s streets to celebrate Jerusalem Day, the anniversary of the reunification of the city of Jerusalem, 42 years ago. Thousands of flags were waved, and cheerful voices sang out as the crowds danced their way to the Western Wall to the lyrics of popular Israeli tunes.

JUNE 2019

Jesus BrewWhat was Jesus’ favorite brew? 

For years, many have pondered what kind of beer Jesus would drink and what it might taste like – and now Israeli scientists have come up with the answer, by brewing beer using extracts of ancient yeast. The result – a cross between honey wine and modern ale. Yummy!

Israeli restaurant wins prestigious US award: 

Zahav, an Israeli restaurant located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was recently named “Best in the US” by the revered James Beard Association. The outstanding restaurant brings Israeli culture and flavors to the American metropolis. Head there to taste the best of Israeli cuisine ahead of your next vacation to the Holy Land!

Israel celebrates Lag Ba’Omer

From dancing around bonfires and singing old school tunes, to praying at the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron, Lag Ba’Omer is the seasonal happening that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds across Israel. Now, if only it weren’t so hot, the masses of people celebrating as one around an open fire wouldn’t be so smoldering!

Israel’s Independence goes international

This year, hundreds of companies and organizations, including the likes of Israeli networks (Mako) and eateries (Frangelico) and international retailers Timberland, Lee Cooper and Nautica, paid tribute to Israel by transforming their Facebook logos into blue and white masterpieces in honor of the country’s 71st Independence Day. The social initiative, called “Wearing Israel”, was launched by the Bnei Horin Alexandrovich company and strove to drive solidarity among Israelis and lovers of Zion alike.

MAY 2019

eurovision beachAnd the winner is…

A spectacular night for music in Israel: During what many are hailing as the best production of the Eurovision song contest of all time, Israel’s own Kobi Marimi exceeded expectations and soared with his performance – while Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands took home the grand prize with his soulful serenade, “Arcade.” A star-studded, emotional event we were proud to host in the Holy Land!

LinoyGymnastics Gold!

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.

Swimming PoolSpecial 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!

APRIL 2019

3D HeartMedical innovation

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.

BereshitSmall 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.

israel innovationIsraeli 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.

Israel TVNational 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.

MARCH 2019

Israel TouristsHot 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!

AirplaneIsrael 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.

Eurovision 2019Israel 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.

FEBRUARY 2019

ElectionsIsrael 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.

Japan IsraelA 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?

JANUARY 2019

Mobile AppIsrael 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.

PatrolPartnering 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.

MinesBooby 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.

DECEMBER 2018

Phantom Of The OperaPhantom 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.

Chad VisitHistoric 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.

Gas ProjectIsrael 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.

NOVEMBER 2018

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.

australia israelAustralian 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.

shekelsIsrael 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!

OCTOBER 2018

Israel NewsThe 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.

Israel NewsWorld’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!

Ben GurionRecord 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 TrainIsrael’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.”

SEPTEMBER 2018

Jerusalem ChurchesEntrance 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.

Caesarea PortModern 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.

Sea of GalileeIncredible 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!

Jerusalem ChurchesTerra 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.

Jerusalem ChurchesEilat’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!

AUGUST 2018

Ancient DiscoveryAncient 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.

USA and IsraelUs 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.

Jews in IsraelIsrael’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.

ZerArcheologists 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.

JULY 2018

IsraelIsraeli 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.

JesusWalking 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.

JUNE 2018

Prince William VisitPrince 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.”

Thailand RescueIsraeli 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.

MAY 2018

Israel Museum3,000-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.

innovationNew 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.

APRIL 2018

Neve TsedekIsrael’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.

EmbassyUS 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?

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