Hannah, one of the Judean date palms at Kibbutz Ketura that was grown from a 2,000-year-old seed (see previously), has produced a huge crop of dates this year. It dwarfs the 111 dates produced last year and visitors to the kibbutz’s research center might even be able to buy some. (video shows last year’s crop being harvested) (video explaining the history of the project)
Some 6,200 elderly Israelis at Amigour sheltered housing sites across the country will receive care packages for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). Worth around 120 NIS, they include wine, honey, honey cake, jam and other goods like pasta, rice, tuna, couscous and oil.
President Isaac Herzog hosted their first annual New Year reception for some 100 foreign diplomats stationed in Israel. President Herzog thanked the foreign diplomats for their work strengthening the ties of peace and friendship between Israel and their nations.
Israel is distributing grants to every medical and health-system employee involved in treating COVID-19 patients. Each will receive a multi-use debit card containing NIS 1,000, distributed via hospitals and Israel’s four Health Management Organizations.
Israel’s postal service reports a 3-fold increase in the number of letters it has received in 2021 addressed to the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem compared with last year. Rabbi of the Wall Shmuel Rabinovitch, placed hundreds of notes between the stones ahead of the Jewish New Year holiday.
Doctors gave Yulia just hours to live in May after she was hit by shrapnel from a Hamas rocket. Despite a 2-month coma, losing masses of blood, having one leg amputated, and 13 complex operations, she has now been discharged to the delight of her daughter.
The Israeli delegation (PM, journalists, security staff etc.) visiting the US President, had to spend Shabbat at a hotel near the White House. Due to Covid regulations, they could not attend a synagogue in the city, so they created a “pop-up” Israeli synagogue in one of the hotel rooms.
Services have restarted at the ancient Yemenite synagogue in the Yemenite Village (Kfar HaShiloachin) in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood. Members of Israel’s Yemenite community blew Yemenite shofars, as they did from the 1880s until the Jordanians expelled them in 1948.
When Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe (see previously) flies to the International Space Station next year, he will carry a 1,900-year-old coin from the Bar Kochba Jewish rebellion against the Roman occupation of Judea. Bar Kochba is Hebrew for “son of the Star”.
An entire IDF unit has donated its hair to Zichron Menachem – an Israeli charity that supports children with cancer. Children with cancer often lose their hair when being treated with chemotherapy. Hair donations are used for hairpieces to help children feel beautiful.