Friday, April 12, 2013

Celebrating 65 years of Israel

 From Barbara Sofer, printed by the J Post in honor of Israel's 65th birthday

 65+1 new reasons why I love Israel 2013... in no particular order

The author is a Jerusalem writer who focuses on the wondrous stories of modern Israel. She serves as the Israel director of public relations for Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. The views in her columns are her 

Here are some of my favorite from her list

Young aboriginal leaders of the Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba, Canada, came to Israel to learn “how an ancient people can maintain their heritage while embracing the modern world, and in so doing achieve self determination.”

We Israelis talk with our hands, so a start-up called Pointgrab is developing technology so our computers understand our hand gestures.

We like to talk, period. Six heads of the hush-hush Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) star in a movie that reveals secrets of their careers. Even the director said he was startled that they agreed.

Intensity. We’re ranked first by Bloomberg in “research and development intensity.”

Mobileye Inside: Luxury European BMWs and Volvos will now protect themselves with Israeli anti-crash technology.

We are the first to arrive to help at a foreign catastrophe, yet it took us 50 days to form a government and no one seemed in a rush.

An Academy Award-winning director is about to film his first TV pilot here. It’s called Tyrant.
 The Syrian leader is also called “tyrant.” We’re taking in medical patients from his country, even though they’re officially the enemy.

When an Israeli won the gold medal for disabled rowers in Italy, no recording of “Hatikva” had been prepared for the ceremony. So she took the mike and sang the song (beautifully) herself.

Prize-winning Kharta the cow produced 18,208 liters of milk after getting post-traumatic stress treatment. She lives on a kibbutz near the border with Gaza.

The illegal foreign workers come mostly from countries that prohibit them from traveling to Israel. They don’t believe the propaganda. Neither do we!

Despite the ban, Iranians find ways to listen to Rita, the Israeli star singing in Persian.
Israel is exporting sugar to Holland for Dutch chocolate, and to Morocco for sweet tea.

Four sixth-graders from the Ma’aleh Hatorah school in Ma’aleh Adumim took first place at the seventh annual MindLab Olympics international championships, a “thinking games” competition for children from 10 countries.

They’re also good at Torah.

 Israel has won first prize in the Mindlab competition for seven years.

Bank of Israel chief Stanley Fischer turned down a raise.

Says the international advisory committee from MSNBC: Israel is a paradise for prisoners.
Despite the threat from Iran, 2012 was the best year ever for tourists.

Yes, we care. Israeli scientists have brought the aptly named Yarkon bleak fish back from the brink of extinction.

Our president carries an organ donor card.

3Flying high. A skirt-wearing religious woman passed the elite pilot’s course and became a navigator despite pressure that “a religious girl couldn’t do this."

3The world junior tennis champ is a 12-year-old from Ramle, who learned the game in a center for kids from the periphery.

Miss Israel came to Israel from Ethiopia when she was 12. She’s an orphan, brought up by her grandparents.

Said beauty queen served as an officer in the IDF.

The winner of the first season of The Voice Israel singing competition made aliya from Canada a few days before competing. The winner of the second season is an Israeli Arab from Acre.

Archeologists recently found the 2,700-year-old temple of a community that lived in Motza, west of Jerusalem.

The light rail stops are written in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

 Land of opportunity: The new head of the emergency room at Hadassah is the oldest of 11 children and grew up in a Galilee village here. His father only finished fourth grade and his mother never learned to read or write. He and three of his siblings are doctors. (He speaks Russian, too.)

 The cook-off in MasterChef Israel involved a German immigrant who converted from Catholicism to Judaism, a hijab-wearing Israeli Arab nurse and a very religious Jew from a family with 14 children. It was the most popular show of the year.

 Check out the whole list, here

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