US teens return to study in Israel

As Covid-19 infection rates fall, JNF-USA has launched Operation Zion to bring global students to Israel. They will study at JNF-USA’s Alexander Muss High School in Hod Hasharon, and travel around Israel. 240 teens, mainly from the US have just arrived and more are on their way.

Partnering NASA to benefit global food security

Israel’s CropX (reported previously) has partnered NASA Harvest (NASA’s Food Security and Agriculture Program) to provide NASA with soil insights for its global agricultural monitoring efforts. NASA is testing CropX across Arizona farms to fine-tune its algorithms.

Relatively happy

Israel climbed two spots to 12th in the 2021 World Happiness Report which measured GDP, life-expectancy and opinions in 149 countries. Citizens of 100 countries were surveyed on social support, freedom of life choices, society corruption and generosity. Israel ranked 11th in that survey.

World Water Day

To mark World Water Day, this great video summarizes the work of JNF USA in helping Israel conserve its water. The JNF supports hydroponic farms, wastewater recycling and helped fund Israel’s largest artificial lake that has turned Beersheva in the Negev desert into a water city.

“Nobel Prize” for Math again

For the second year in a row (see for last year) an Israeli has won a share of the Norwegian Academy of Science’s Abel Prize - the math equivalent of a Nobel Prize. Israel’s Avi Wigderson won the 2021 prize for contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics.

Leaders of Tomorrow

Discussion on I24 News about the first Abraham Accords Virtual Social Hackathon (reported 14th Mar). The 3-day Hackathon began on 23rd Mar.

Most resilient Middle East country

The Institute of Economics, Society and Peace in the Middle East Studies ranked Israel top of its resilience list of 33 Middle East countries. Military strength was excluded but Israel scored high in economy, social, gender equality, global openness, plus ethnic and religious variance.

Moshav in Vietnam

Four young Vietnamese men have started an organic farm in Khanh Hoa province after training in Israel. It is based on the Israeli Moshav communal farm system. It grows coconuts, pomelos, guavas, grapes, jackfruits, mangos, and herbal medicine plants, as well as raising chickens and sheep.

Israelis clean up on Good Deeds Day

Israeli entrepreneur Shari Arison launched Good Deeds Day (GDD) in 2007 (reported previously). Many Israeli hi-tech startups organized volunteering activities for GDD 2021. They included Elad Software, GeoEdge, Capitolis, Bezeq Online, Riskified and Urban Place.

Unique performance

Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Performed by Israel’s “special” Shalva Band, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, with top UAE musicians including singer, Tareq Al Menhali. Shalva’s 31st anniversary is aptly themed “Building Bridges to the Future.”