Archive for the ‘Good News!’ Category

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Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean

March 16, 2008

In other words: Israel’s Technology Creates an Investment Goliath

Yes, ladies and gents, as many of us here in Israel know (and few of us outside of it know), Israel is a powerhouse when it comes to technology and medicine. It is third only to the US and Canada in terms of number of companies listed on Nasdaq (75!!!), well ahead of England, China, and Germany.

For those of you who don’t know (again, probably most of you), Israelis have invented much of the technology used today such as instant messaging (ICQ), firewall security software, Intel wireless computer chips, numerous medicines, and miniature video camera capsules to examine internal organs. Other Israeli inventions: the cell phone (invented by Motorola, with it’s largest R&D center being in Israel), most of the Windows NT operating system, voice mail technology, and VOIP technology.

More Israeli patents are registered in the US than from Russia, India, and China combined, despite the enormous population disadvantage (about 7 million in Israel vs. 2.5 billion combined in the other 3).

Click here to read about Israel’s robust economy in this great Fox Business article.

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Israeli Singer Yael Naim Wins Award

March 10, 2008

French-born, Israeli-raised Yael Naim won the Album of the Year award in France. Naim, who served in the Israeli army as a soloist in the Air Force Orchestra, has recently become a household name in the US when her song, New Soul, was chosen for the Macbook Air commercial. It is currently the most downloaded song in iTunes.

The album, her second, is not available yet in Israel, but I did hear the song on Galgalatz yesterday – I can see why it would be chosen for an Apple ad.

Congrats to another successful Israeli!

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Israeli Film Wins First Prize at Cinequest Film Festival

March 3, 2008

Congrats to Amit Sargosi, director of the Israeli film Adon Hazman (The Time Catcher) who won first prize this weekend at the 48 Hours Film Project in San Jose, California.

As part of the competition, initiated by independent filmmakers Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston, participants are randomly assigned a line of dialogue, genre, a character, and a prop, all of which must be utilized in the film they create. They have 48 hours to complete the entire project from top to bottom.

60 cities from all around the world were represented in the competition, including filmmakers from Tel Aviv. over 200 movies from all around the world were entered into the competition.

According to Ynet,

Sargosi’s ‘The Time Catcher’ tells the story of the final 15 minutes in the life of as man who can foresee the moment of death for every living creature around him, including his own. The move was filmed at the Carmelit in Haifa, and stars Sharon Zuckerman and Noam Rubinstein.Director Amit Sargosi is a self-educated filmmaker who never attended film school. He directed episodes of the Israeli series “Eretz Nehederet” and “The Israelis”, and is currently working on a new television project.

This is yet another win for Israeli film making. Last month Israeli film “Lemon Tree,” directed by Eran Riklis, won the audience prize at the Berlin Film Festival, beating 51 films and setting a new voting record.

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90 Turkish Journalists and Editors to Come to Israel in Hasbara Campaign

February 28, 2008

A delegation of 90 journalists and editors from the Turkish media will arrive in Israel on Sunday, in an initiative by construction company Yilmazler to increase awareness and Israeli-Turkish relations, according to Ice.co.il (sorry, it’s in Hebrew).

The delegation will include representatives from the important dailies in Turkey, including Sabah, Star, Turkish Daily News, and Reuters in Turkey, as well as representatives from TV stations and agencies including TGRT, Channel D, ATV, Show TV, Dogan, and Cihan. They will be joined by representatives from dozens of weekly magazines such as Economist, Tempo, and Aktual. The journalists will be the guests of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will visit Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

The owner of Yilmazler, a Turkish business man named Ahmet Raiz Yilmaz, has been working tirelessly for years to assist Israel-Turkish relations. The company has had many building projects around Israel and is the only Turkish company to be operating in Israel for 13 years. Among others, it built the square Azrieli building in Tel Aviv.

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Israeli TV Format Picked Up by CBS – Pilot Ordered

February 28, 2008

Exciting news! CBS has ordered a pilot based on the successful Israeli TV show The Mythological Ex (direct translation from Hebrew- האקס המיתולוגי). If picked up, this will be the first Israeli series to be broadcast on network television in Israel.

Preceding this show are several other formats, among them In Treatment, which is in production and currently broadcast on HBO.

The fact that CBS ordered a pilot is even more impressive considering the fact that they announced they will be reducing the number of pilots taped due to the writers strike. Casting has already begun, even though the script itself has yet to be written.

It’s important to note that although a pilot will be taped, this is no guarantee that the show will be picked up by network. Generally speaking, Hollywood studios only tape additional episodes after the pilot has been approved.

The Mythological Ex is about a woman who goes to a fortune teller and is told that her true love is one of her exes. She proceeds to go out on dates with each of her exes in an effort to find out which one is The One.

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Microsoft Acquires Israeli Start-Up YaData

February 28, 2008

 YaData provides advanced tools for the discovery of unique customer segments. Its technology will enable Microsoft to provide its advertisers with richer targeting capabilities so they can connect with their audience more efficiently and in more engaging ways, while providing more relevant and focused ads to its customers.

The YaData team will join the Microsoft’s R&D center in Herzelia.

It’s always wonderful to hear about another successful exit for an Israeli company. Way to go!

You can read the entire press release here.

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Israel Helps Find New Solar System

February 28, 2008

On the heels of a difficult day in southern Israel, and what looks to be another one today, an international team of scientists, including astronomers from Tel Aviv University, have found a “twin” of our own solar system, reveals Science magazine.

I’m very proud of this achievement, but since I don’t understand a thing about astronomy, I am leaving you with a link to the article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post.