$5 For A Sounder Night’s Sleep

080913_mishmash_israelIsraeli techies have developed an app to show snorers just how often and how loud their nighttime habit is.

According to an article published by “Israel21c,” Snoring U is a $5 application you can download from the Internet for your smartphone or tablet. The app won’t only monitor your snoring lows and highs during the night, it will record them for playback and give you an electronic nudge by vibration or prerecorded sound if the snoring gets out of hand.

Knowing that one snores, and just how badly, is the first step in getting the right treatment, according to app CEO Avshalom Ben-Zoor. The creators envision users taking Snoring U’s detailed readout of their night’s sleep to a doctor or sleep lab to interpret.

Since its creation in 2012, Snoring U has had more than 100,000 downloads. Maybe you should try it … or pass it on to your snoring spouse!

Water, Water Everywhere!

080213_mishmash_israelWith rising temperatures and severe droughts worldwide, water has become a scarce commodity. For desert countries such as Israel, this is nothing new — making the quest for a consistent water supply a priority.

But through forward thinking, the country has managed to build four desalination plants, removing salt and waste from the Mediterranean Sea and converting it into fresh water. As a result, some say Israel may one day even have a surplus.

The first major desalination plant in Israel opened in southern coastal Ashkelon, Baltimore’s sister city. Today, the plant provides approximately 15 percent of Israel’s yearly water supply — churning out the equivalent of 15 million to 16 million 1-liter plastic bottles an hour.

This year, the Israel Desalination Enterprises’ Sorek Desalination Plant opened. Expected to be the largest desalination plant of its kind in the world, it will provide nearly seven million gallons of potable water to Israelis every hour.

The Next WAZE?

Courtesy of waze.com

Courtesy of waze.com

By now almost everyone has heard of WAZE, the Israeli navigation app that Google has agreed to purchase for $1.3 billion.  But most people have not heard of the following six Israeli startups reported by Fast Company most likely to follow in WAZE’s success. More than 34 million users are already using the web-platform WIX, founded in Tel Aviv in 2006 by graduates of an Israeli elite intelligence unit. WIBBITZ allows anything published online to be turned to video and will be available shortly for iPhone. Powermat technology can already be found at more than 1,500 locations in the United States including Starbucks outlets and Madison Square Garden, allowing devices to be powered wirelessly. Launched in 2011, Bizzabo harnesses social media to create interactive communities around business events. It has been at thousands of events worldwide during its short two years. Roomer allows marketplace visitors to sell their unused, nonrefundable hotel reservations. And last but not least, Parko connects drivers looking for a parking spot in a specific location with drivers leaving a parking spot in that location. Which one of these amazing Israeli startups do you think is the next WAZE?

Countering Israel Bias on Campus


071913_mishmash_israel_lgStudents facing relentless anti-Israel campaigns on college campuses now have a new resource — CAMERAonCampus.com — a website providing comprehensive information on Arab-Israeli issues and practical strategies for winning the fight. The site, with its student-oriented blog In Focus, was launched by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

There are pages devoted to CAMERA’s Campus Activist Project groups, now on 27
campuses. Website pages also focus on the CAMERA Fellows Program, on 25 campuses across the country, and CAMERA’s Annual Advocacy and Leadership Training Mission to Israel.

“Students will not just be getting talking points from the site, but also comprehensive background about the conflict and related issues often falsely portrayed on campus. A who’s-who directory will identify reliable speakers to host on campuses and connect students with key experts on different topics,” said Gilad Skolnick, editor-in-chief, CAMERAonCampus.org.

Students interested in contributing to In Focus or being part of CAMERA on their campus should contact CAMERA at 617-789-3672 or e-mail gskolnick@camera.org.

D.C. Adopts A Fleet

071213_mishmash_israelFriends of the IDF (FIDF) Washington, D.C., chapter recently adopted the Israeli navy’s elite Shayetet 3 and Daburim patrol squadrons as part of the FIDF Adopt a Brigade Program. The adoption is a three-year commitment. The Adopt a Brigade Program allows supporters to truly become one with the soldiers and go beyond donating money. Adopt a Brigade focuses on providing financial aid for soldiers and their families, on supporting lone soldiers, on general well-being activities and on scholarships. In order to foster personal relationships with their adopted soldiers, the Washington, D.C., chapter sends handwritten postcards from local children and families.

Lt. Nir Fridlander, commander in a Shayetet 3 squadron, said, “FIDF’s support fills me, my soldiers and my entire ship with a lot of pride and a lot of joy. We need that support, and we’re very happy to have that support from Washington, D.C.”


Cutting-Edge Medicine

070513_mishmash_israel_lgWhen it comes to medical accomplishments, Israel places near the top, according to a World Health Organization study. In its 65 years, this tiny country has developed cutting-edge technologies that have changed how doctors discover and treat diseases. Today, physicians in 60 countries are using PillCam, a miniature camera in a pill, to visualize digestive tract disorders. Sightec’s magnetic resonance-guided ultrasound, which has the potential to destroy tumors, was named one of Time magazine’s Top 50 inventions. And pharmaceutical breakthroughs are treating multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, to name a few.

What about the medical inventions of tomorrow?

In November, the Maryland/ Israel Development Center, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, will host a medical mission to Israel. Participants will dialogue with leaders of biotech and device companies including Biond Vax and Micromedic. Biond Vax is an Israeli company working on a universal flu vaccine. If successful, the vaccine would provide multiseason and multistrain protection against most flu strains. Micromedic develops cancer diagnostic products for screening and personalized treatment.

Israel At 65: The Real Evidence

(Nir Alon/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

(Nir Alon/ZUMA Press/Newscom)

As Israel celebrates 65 years, many of its medical, agricultural, military and technological nnovations have been shared globally. The real indication of the country’s growth and advancement is evident in the numbers.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel’s population has doubled in just 30 years — a bit short of four million in 1980 to now more than eight million. Life expectancy has also increased since 1980, from 76 years to 84 years for women and 72 years to 80 years for men. Education expectantly flourished, as the percentage of people with a college degree has jumped from 19 percent to 44 percent. The value of Israel’s net exports increased to more than $62 billion, and tourism has almost tripled with almost three million visitors in 2012.

No country is perfect, but Israel is constantly striving to reach new heights. We’re looking forward to what the next 30 years will bring.

People Of The Book

(Yehoshua Yosef)

(Yehoshua Yosef)

Hebrew Book Week is an annual week-long event celebrating Hebrew literature, which takes place in Israel during June. During book-sale events throughout the country, publishers operate booths in major cities and many towns. These stalls introduce readers to all varieties of Hebrew literature, including books for children and youth. Discounts are valid at most bookshops throughout the period. Hebrew Book Week events often also serve as a platform for other cultural activities. While people stroll, there are often children’s activities, street-theater performances, puppet shows (based on classic literary works), games and workshops that focus on accompanying illustrations for fiction. Many public school children attend the various fairs as part of their curriculum.

Hebrew Book Week was first initiated by poet and author Shlomo Tanay in May 1959 and has been held throughout the country on a regular basis since 1961.

Haifa University To Mark Christian, Arab Holidays

061713_israelHaifa University will become the first Israeli university to give days off to the student body for Christian and Arab holidays.

The university senate voted earlier this month to give off for Christmas, Eid al Fitr (the end of Ramadan) and Eid al Adha (the Druze Feast of the Sacrifice), Haaretz reported. A special committee with student representation had recommended the action. Arab-Israelis make up about 20 percent of the student body at Haifa University, according to its Jewish-Arab Center.

The new vacation days, which will not come at the expense of any Jewish holidays, will go into effect in the coming school year.
— JTA Wire Service

Camp Time!

The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore

When Nir Yakobov, 19, arrives at Capital Camps this summer to teach ropes, hiking and camping, it will be a unique experience for this Ashkelon native. Although Nir attended overnight camp in Israel, it wasn’t the typical American-style camp experience.

“What I saw [in Capital Camp videos] amazed me. It was totally different from what I am used to — to have a summer camp just for kids to have fun,” said Yakobov, a “shinshin” who spent this year educating the community about Israel.

In Israel, overnight camp averages two weeks — not the typical four- and eight-week sessions Americans are used to. The experience also is often different. For Nir, instead of swimming, boating and culture in one secluded setting, he hiked each day throughout the country and learned leadership skills. At night, he and his friends slept under the stars or in a tent they constructed from two bed sheets and a broom.

Israeli overnight camps are part of youth movements — such as Nir’s — or are themed camps in boarding schools or youth villages. Traditional American versions are hard to find.