Michael Derek Tanju was saved by IDF soldiers when (age 14) he was shot by Egyptian soldiers while crossing into Israel in 2008. A refugee from Sudan, he fell in love with his host families and those who supported his conversion to Judaism and becoming a citizen of the Startup Nation.
The Chabad organization is well known for caring for Jews globally, but it also works in Israel. Rabbi Cohen and the students of Hebron Chabad visit every local IDF outpost, checkpoint and base before Shabbat and Jewish holidays to support the soldiers emotionally, spiritually and materially.
Tu Bishvat this year falls on the 20/21st January, but Israel is celebrating all month. Ideas include picking fruit, winter walks in National Parks, planting trees, the Anemone Festival Darom Adom, and visits to wineries.
Israel’s December rainfall was double the average for the month and the wettest in the past 30 years. During the past week, the level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) rose 15cm in just 48 hours. The rain was also responsible for exposing two 1700-year-old Roman statues in the ground at Beit She’an.
In 2018 the Jewish National Fund acquired homes for 5,000 Israelis; provided services for 50,000 Israelis with disabilities; gave agricultural training to 1,200 3rd world students; provided medical treatment to 27,000+ Israelis; gave Israel education to 14,000 elementary students in US schools.
Honduras will be moving ahead with plans to open its Israel embassy in Jerusalem, and Israel will upgrade its Honduran consulate to a full-fledged embassy. Israel will provide Honduras help on cyber security, water and agriculture technology and import Honduran coffee.
I reported previously on the Tiferet Israel synagogue in Jerusalem. It was one of the largest synagogues in the old city, until the Jordanian Arab legion cynically destroyed it in 1948. 90-year-old Simcha Mandelbaum, who prayed there as a boy, launched its reconstruction.
Students at the Reali Middle School in Haifa have translated more VeryGoodNewsIsrael newsletter articles into Hebrew for the benefit of Hebrew-readers.
Hadassah-WIZO received a $6.5 million endowment - the largest endowment fund gift in the organization’s 100-year history.
Hashomer Hachadash brings volunteers from all over the world to help Israeli farmers by protecting their livestock and fields. See Ayelet Kaufman, Director of Hashomer Hachadash’s overseas program on ILTV.