Israel Pride: BDS Fail; Bialik in Israel
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Israel Pride: BDS Fail; Bialik in Israel

A brief roundup of some of the good things happening in the Jewish homeland from the March 23 Atlanta Jewish Times.

Mayim Bialik meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his residence. (Photo by Mark Neiman, GPO)
Mayim Bialik meets with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his residence. (Photo by Mark Neiman, GPO)

Bad news for BDS. Tel Aviv University has formed an initiative with Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, to conduct breakthrough, multidisciplinary research financed with a $10 million, five-year grant from the Koret Foundation. The work with Berkeley will focus on bioinformatics and computational biology. The research with Stanford will target advances in Smart City and digital living technology. It’s probably just a coincidence that TAU’s partners are in the Bay Area, a hotbed for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Healthier ties. Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus and Stanford Medicine have agreed to work strategically together on issues related to the future of medicine, including medical innovation, research involving big data and machine learning, drug development, and trauma and emergency preparedness. Although the two organizations have similar attitudes toward medical innovation, even though Rambam has an annual budget of $400 million for its 1,000-bed hospital and 130,000 emergency room visits, while Stanford spends $7 billion a year on its 600-bed hospital with 60,000 ER visits. “Despite the enormous gap, Israel ranks much higher than the U.S. in the quality of medicine,” Rambam Director Rafi Beyar said.

Ski slopes to beaches. Swiss airline Edelweiss is launching direct flights between Zurich and Eilat, effective Oct. 28. It will be the first direct route between Switzerland and the southern Israeli resort city in many years, Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levi said. Airlines get incentives of about $73 per passenger flown on new routes into Eilat’s Ovdah Airport.

Haredi EMTs. Volunteer emergency medical services organization United Hatzalah graduated 34 Haredi women from its emergency medical technician course Thursday, March 15, increasing to about 150 its corps of women trained to serve as medical first responders in the Haredi communities of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Beit Shemesh, Modi’in Illit and Bnei Brak. “We’ve found that having women respond to help other women allows the patients to feel more comfortable and gives them a greater sense of ease during their medical ordeal,” said Gitty Beer, who leads United Hatzalah’s Women’s Unit.

Bialik and the president.The Big Bang Theory” and “Blossom” actress Mayim Bialik went to Israel for the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism from March 19 to 21, and she received a warm welcome from President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence. Rivlin said he has heard a lot about Bialik from his grandchildren, and she said she grew up with a strong Zionist identity because her family lives in several places in Israel after she was born.

Never mine. The Israel National Mine Action Authority, working the HALO Trust charity, has begun clearing mines left over from the Six-Day War from 247 acres along the Jordan River considered holy by Christians. The Qasr al-Yahud Baptism Site is regarded as the place where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Clearing the area of approximately 3,000 anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines and other explosives is expected to take a year.

Compiled from press releases.

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