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Israeli team named finalist in international race to moon

Mon, 02/20/2017 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

Only five teams remain in the $30m Google Lunar XPrize contest to land a robot on the moon, move it 500 meters and transmit images back to Earth.

Israel’s SpaceIL was announced yesterday as one of only five finalists remaining in the multi-million-dollar Google Lunar XPrize race to the moon.

The other finalists are teams from India, Japan and the United States, as well as an international team of individuals from about 15 countries.

The competition began 10 years ago with 33 teams vying to be the first to soft-land a privately funded, unmanned robot on the moon, move it 500 meters across the moon’s surface and transmit high-definition video and photos back to Earth.

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16 Arabs from Israel making a difference on the world stage

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 12:00am
By Viva Sarah Press for Israel21c

Meet some remarkable Druze, Muslim and Christian scientists, media experts, techies, film stars and athletes from Israel.

Hossam Haick is trailblazing tomorrow’s technologies for sniffing out disease.

Kossay Omary and Rabeeh Khoury developed one of the smallest computers in the world.

They’re not the only Arab Israelis making waves in the global community. Jamil R. Mazzawi founded Optima Design Automation, a startup developing software for self-driving cars. Mahmoud Huleihel made a breakthrough in the field of male infertility.

“There are so many excellent Arab experts that even many within Arab society don’t know about them,” says Makbula Nassar, manager of the A-List project, an online database of Arab Israeli superstars making strides in culture, sports, medicine, environment, fashion, diplomacy, education and technology.

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Testing High Court ruling, women read Torah at the Western Wall

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 12:00am
BY AMANDA BORSCHEL-DAN for The Times of Israel

Despite ‘harassment’ from guards and protesters, Original Women of the Wall prayer service described as ‘beautiful’ and ‘joyous’

A celebratory Western Wall women’s prayer and Torah reading held by the Original Women of the Wall group on Monday morning tested a recent interim order by the High Court, with mixed results.

In contravention of a January 11 interim High Court order which directed the immediate halt of “body searches” of women beyond normal security measures, several OWOW members were searched for “contraband” Torah scrolls.

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Tallest solar tower in the world being erected

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 12:00am
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 

Futuristic site looks like something out of a science fiction movie.

Shooting 787 feet into the skies of Israel will stand one of the world's largest solar towers. As you can see from the photo above, construction is well underway.

Wondering what's surrounding the tower? No, that's not a high-tech crop circle. Those are 50,000 mirrors – spanning the length of 665 football fields – which will help boost the output of the tower.

When completed in 2018, the renewable energy it produces will be able to power 130,000 homes in the area. It will support Israel's commitment to reach 10% of the country's electricity production from renewable sources by 2020.

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Israeli Rabbis You Should Know

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 12:00am

By Yair Rosenberg and Yedidya Schwartz for Tablet Magazine

Here are 10 religious leaders who are having a big impact in a small country

At this time in previous years, Tablet has published a list of unheralded American rabbis who have had an outsized impact on the country’s Jewish life.

This year, we decided to cross the Atlantic and try something a little different.

For 2016’s list, we’ve compiled a collection of Israeli spiritual leaders you haven’t heard of, but should. Our goal wasn’t just to spotlight worthy individuals, however. Israel is brimming with far too many deserving candidates for inclusion. Instead, we set out to provide a panorama of the country’s burgeoning religious life, with all its paradoxes, politics, and promise.

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5 Tips on What to Expect when Working with Israelis

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 12:00am
Leah Sherman Kish for LinkedIn

Whether you're American, German, Asian or Australian, coming to Israel to work with Israelis will be a unique experience. In order to enjoy your stay, keep focused and not be offended (or offend) in this high pace, energetic and complex culture - you should come prepared.

Business culture in Israel is far more casual and informal than what you are probably used to. Israelis are straightforward, assertive and persistent people. Business is fast-paced and often conducted with a sense of urgency. At the same time, personal connections are of the highest importance as colleagues and business partners make an effort to get to know each other, socialize and have coffee together.

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Why Tel Aviv is Israel’s new ‘aliyah capital’

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 12:00am
By Andrew Tobin for JTA

Meet Daniel Rubin, in many ways the new face of aliyah.

Originally from Los Angeles, Rubin, 27, moved to Israel a decade ago to study at a Jerusalem yeshiva. In the following years he served in the Israeli army and bounced back and forth between Israel and the U.S. for college and work.

But last month, he and his wife made aliyah. They settled in Tel Aviv so he could found a startup and they could enjoy the coastal city’s Mediterranean lifestyle. The couple were among about 3,000 new immigrants who made this city home in 2016, helping Tel Aviv earn the title of the “aliyah capital” of Israel for the third straight year.

“Tel Aviv is young, Tel Aviv is fun, Tel Aviv is exciting,” Rubin told JTA. “And I’m from L.A., so I love the beach.”

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15 ways Israel amazed and inspired the world in 2016

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

How did Israel make a remarkable global impact over the past 12 months? Let us count the ways.

Israel ranks about 150 on the scale of countries for size, encompassing only about 10,800 square miles (28,000 square kilometers) and a population under 8.6 million. But its achievements over 68 years of modern statehood have drastically dwarfed its actual size.

Israel is a recognized world leader in many fields, including water and agricultural technology, high-tech, medical devices and humanitarian aid.

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Rare coin from King Antiochus’s rule discovered in Jerusalem

Mon, 12/26/2016 - 12:00am

Antiochus sparked the Maccabean revolt that led to the victory of the Maccabees and reclaiming of the Temple.

Nearly 30 years after the completion of excavations in the courtyard of Jerusalem’s Tower of David, outside the Old City’s walls, archeologists thought no stone was left unturned.

However, during routine conservation work in the popular museum’s archaeological garden, veteran archeologist and chief conservation officer at the Tower of David, Orna Cohen, spotted a metallic item flash among stones near a wall. 

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Biblical sheep in Israel for first time in millennia

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 12:00am
BY MELANIE LIDMAN for The Times of Israel    

119 Jacob’s sheep, a heritage breed mentioned in Genesis, began arriving last week

The sheep have landed. After three years of high-level negotiations between the Israeli and Canadian governments, 119 heritage sheep, which trace their lineage back 5,000 years to the Middle East, began arriving in Israel on November 30. It is the first time that the breed, called Jacob’s sheep, has been represented in Israel since biblical times.

Three of the 11 flights carrying the sheep have already arrived in Israel, according to Gil and Jenna Lewinsky, the shepherds who began raising these ovines on a whim in western Canada. “The first sheep arrived on the Jewish calendar the day that Noah came out of the ark, the 28th of Heshvan,” said Jenna Lewinsky.

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Rare find reveals previously unknown Roman ruler in Judea

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 12:00am

Large rock bearing unique inscription discovered off Tel Dor coast by University of Haifa archaeologists

Israeli divers working with the University of Haifa have found a rare archaeological artifact shedding light on a previously unknown Roman prefect of the province of Judea in the time before the Bar Kochba revolt.

A large rock bearing a 1,900-year-old inscription was discovered on the seabed off the coast, south of Haifa, in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this year, bearing the name of Gargilius Antiques and mentioning the province of Judea.

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Mobileye head: In two decades, cars as we know them will be obsolete

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 12:00am

“We are in the midst of the largest revolution that the automotive industry has seen in the last 100 years, and Mobileye is in the center."

If you happen to be on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem freeway and you pass a car in which the driver is not looking at the road but is reading The Jerusalem Post, don’t freak out. Chances are high that the person in the other car is Mobileye co-founder, president and CEO Ziv Aviram – and he’s been doing that for the past two years without mishap.

“We are in the midst of the largest revolution that the automotive industry has seen in the last 100 years, and Mobileye is in the center,” he said at the annual Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday.

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Sigd / סיגד

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 12:00am


Sigd begins at sundown on Tue, 29 November 2016 (29th of Cheshvan, 5776)

Sigd is an Amharic word meaning "prostration" or "worship" and is the commonly used name for a holiday celebrated by the Ethiopian Jewish community on the 29th of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. This date is exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur, usually falling out in late October or November, and according to Ethiopian Jewish tradition is also the date that G-d first revealed himself to Moses.


Read more about it at The Times of Israel




Everybody Loves Israel

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 12:00am
Arthur Herman for Mosaic    

Formerly neutral or hostile countries from across the world, including Saudi Arabia and China, are now eagerly courting the Jewish state. What’s going on?

If my title seems counterintuitive, let’s concede from the start: not everyone does love Israel now.

There’s still a Palestinian Authority that actively encourages Palestinians to murder Israelis; there’s still an Iran that periodically threatens to finish the Holocaust; there’s still a very active boycott-Israel movement in Europe and on American college campuses. And there is still and always the United Nations, with its unparalleled half-century record of hostility toward Israel and wildly disproportionate list of standing resolutions targeting the Jewish state.

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Why Tel Aviv is the new Motor City

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 12:00am
by Jenn Virskus for FromtheGrapevine

Israel's tech sector is leading this century's automobile revolution.

In the century since Henry Ford unveiled his Model T in Detroit, the automobile has undergone a number of mechanical, safety and cosmetic improvements. But the basic idea of a car – powered by an engine and operated by a human being – has held true. That is until now. We're now living on the cusp of an automobile revolution. And the site of that revolution isn't Detroit; it's Tel Aviv.

A number of tech startups in Israel are already major players in the automobile industry – especially in automation, artificial intelligence, collision avoidance and navigation.

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Centuries before trying to deny it, Muslims carved Jewish link to Jerusalem into mosque

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 12:00am

Newly studied inscription from Mosque of Umar dated to 9th or 10th centuries highlights correlation between Dome of the Rock and biblical Jewish temples

BY ILAN BEN ZION for The Times of Israel    

A recently studied inscription from a mosque near Hebron offers insight into how, until the mid-20th century, the Muslim world considered Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock to be the successor to two ancient Jewish shrines that formerly stood atop the Temple Mount.

The previously overlooked dedicatory inscription from the Mosque of Umar in Nuba, a village nearly 26 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of Jerusalem, mentions the village as an endowment for the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. But what’s striking is that the Dome of the Rock is referred to in the text as “the rock of the Bayt al-Maqdis” — literally, “The Holy Temple” — a verbatim translation of the Hebrew term for the Jerusalem temple that early Muslims employed to refer to Jerusalem as a whole, and the gold-domed shrine in particular.

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Israeli geeks turn to sci-fi and fantasy to escape a sometimes harsh reality

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 12:00am
By Andrew Tobin for JTA

As a kid, Ben Engelman dreamed of being a warrior.

Until he was old enough to join the Israeli army, he settled for role playing as a sword fighter. Now 25, Engelman has been to war in Gaza and finished his service in a special forces unit. But he hasn’t stopped play fighting.

“This is how I imagined fighting growing up. There’s glory but no blood,” he told JTA last week moments after mauling an adversary with a foam sword. “Real war isn’t fun or glamorous. It’s yuck.”

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