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Monday, September 22, 2014

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Some good news, for a change

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You don’t have to look far to find challenging or depressing news about Israel and the Middle East in the media or online. And I would never suggest that news – even the difficult kind – should be ignored. However, there are also some delightful stories about Israel that have trouble cutting through the doom and gloom. Here’s where to find the upbeat and offbeat.

Start off at israel21c.org where you can:

• Learn about 64 innovations developed in Israel – including the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton, which enables quadriplegics to walk; Disk-on-Key pocket data storage; the tile-based game, Rummikub.

• Read a profile of Dahlia Pelled, president of the Israeli Society of Magicians (and CEO of the publishing company People and Computers).

• Discover that Israel’s brand-new men’s lacrosse team has actually qualified to compete in the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship, to be held in Denver. This is no misprint. Israel. Lacrosse! It looks as if Michael Ordman spends quite a lot of time skimming through conventional news sites in order to compile his weekly newsletter, Good News Stories about Israel. [http://bit.ly/isnews1] You never know quite what you’ll stumble upon here. Like:

• A story about plans for Israel to host the 2015 International Space Conference.

• A video of Yehuda Gin of India’s Bnei Menashe tribe of Jews who made aliyah in 1992. Now a rabbi, he talks about his unique journey and life in Israel.

• And a great Rosh Hashanah roundup from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. This is a video where robots and other inventions dance to a tune – along with some smooth moves from Prof. Dan Schectman, 2011 Nobel laureate. [http://bit.ly/isnews2]

Here are some of the many stories that have caught the eye of Ted Belman at Israpundit:

• Doctors in Be’er Sheva were recently able to save the life of a 50-year-old Russian man with a ruptured aorta who was flown there after the complex surgery could not be attempted in Moscow.

• Sir Patrick Stewart, a.k.a. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation, was in Israel this summer to shoot the film Hunting Elephants.

• Of 145 countries surveyed by Bloomberg Rankings, Israel is the world’s sixth healthiest country – behind Singapore, Italy, Australia, Switzerland and Japan. And ahead of Sweden (9), Germany (10), France (13), Canada (14), the United Kingdom (21) and the United States. (33). [http://bit.ly/isnews3]

Jacob Richman’s Good News from Israel is more of a diary. It includes everything from photos of an opening of an exhibition at the Moshe Kastel Museum of Art in Ma’ale Adumim to shots of a large group of immigrants as they arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport.  [http://bit.ly/isnews8] Bonus: Jacob also does high-quality scans of all new stamps issued by the Israel Postal Company. Among this year’s variety:

• Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad.

• The World’s Highest and Lowest Places , a joint postal issue with Nepal.

• A series on the Renaissance of Jewish Seamanship. [http://bit.ly/isnews5]

Looking for more? There’s Good News from Israel! which provides “facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world’s population.” [http://bit.ly/isnews7]

Feeling a bit better? Great. We now return you to your regular coverage of news about Israel.

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