1. 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
2. We Israelis talk with our hands, so a start-up
called Pointgrab is developing technology so our computers understand our hand
3. 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.
We’re ranked first by Bloomberg in “research and development
5. While researching, we each drink about 4.5 kilos of coffee
per year. The new Cups Tel Aviv app will make that easier, offering all the
coffee you can drink at a fixed price.
6. Mobileye Inside: Luxury
European BMWs and Volvos will now protect themselves with Israeli anti-crash
7. We still surprise the pundits. The famous, foreign Israel
experts wrongly predicted our election results.
8. Whenever we have a few
weeks of relative peace, our minds and hearts shift quickly from security to
9. 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
10. The first decision our new government made was to help
11. Our government coalition is made up of two
parties with “home” in their names. There’s also one with future, and one with
12. The critically acclaimed US TV series based on an Israeli
series is called Homeland.
13. An Academy Award-winning director is about
to film his first TV pilot here. It’s called Tyrant.
14. The Syrian
leader is also called “tyrant.” We’re taking in medical patients from his
country, even though they’re officially the enemy.
15. Kibbutz Dan is
exporting caviar in a market once dominated by Iran.
recently: “Meet me at the corner of the Palmah and the Hebrew
17. Don’t try to outsmart Israel-developed WatchLock. It sends
an “I’m being picked” text message to the owner anywhere in the
18. 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.
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! 21.
Despite the ban, Iranians find ways to listen to Rita, the Israeli star singing
22. Israel is exporting sugar to Holland for Dutch chocolate,
and to Morocco for sweet tea.
23. We don’t beat them on the field, but we
send the architectural simulation system to build soccer stadiums in
24. Israeli Boris Gelfand is among the top world chess champions.
He was born in Minsk, Belarus.
25. 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.
has won first prize in the Mindlab competition for seven years.
of Israel chief Stanley Fischer turned down a raise.
28. A sign on a
moving truck: Hamovil Ha’artzi, the National (water) Carrier.
the international advisory committee from MSNBC: Israel is a paradise for
30. Despite the threat from Iran, 2012 was the best year ever
31. Even our most biting satirical show is called A
32. Yes, we care. Israeli scientists have brought the
aptly named Yarkon bleak fish back from the brink of extinction.
Autumn signs on the city buses say “Shana tova” – “Have a good year.”
Our president carries an organ donor card.
35. Flying 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.”
The world junior tennis champ is a 12-year-old from Ramle, who learned the game
in a center for kids from the periphery.
37. Miss Israel came to Israel
from Ethiopia when she was 12. She’s an orphan, brought up by her
38. Said beauty queen served as an officer in the
39. 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.
40. How’s this for
popular fall offerings on the Jerusalem calendar? Ten different lectures on
41. For sale at my supermarket: special washing powder for
tzizit. For sale at the tourist shops: sky-blue tzizit with authentic snail
42. For sale at fine jewelers: a Star of David made from ancient
rubble from the City of David’s archeological site.
43. For sale in
Jerusalem: bathing suits for modest women. The manufacturer has Jewish and Arab
customers, and received an order recently from Qatar.
recently found the 2,700-year-old temple of a community that lived in Motza,
west of Jerusalem.
45. A property developer recently advertised for an
entire community to move into a housing development west of Jerusalem:
46. In a country where many citizens grew up without democracy, we
get a holiday on Election Day (and deserve it).
47. An Arab friend and I
are swapping Hebrew and Arabic Dora the Explorer DVDs to improve our family
48. The light rail stops are written in Hebrew,
Arabic and English.
49. Patient arriving from Moscow at Hadassah
University Medical Center in Jerusalem instead of the US: “The care is good and
everyone speaks Russian.”
50. 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.) 51. 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.
52. No tempter of Eve, this serpent: The Technion-Israel
Institute of Technology’s Snake Robot crawls under wreckage to find trapped
53. When locusts arrived before Passover, it wasn’t just an
agriculture problem as in other countries. Here everyone connects them to the
Ten Plagues in the Bible.
54. Israel’s submission to the Academy Awards,
the film Fill the Void, was made by an Orthodox, head-covering woman, and offers
an insider’s view of the dilemmas facing people who don’t have TVs or go to the
55. Celeb chef Shaul Ben-Aderet learned to cook when his Iraqi
grandmother babysat for him. She didn’t have a TV, so she kept him busy
56. You might not find Borat in Kazakhstan, but you will find a
branch of the Israeli café Aroma. There are 10 Israeli Castro shops in Thailand.
57. American immigrant and cryptography expert Prof. Shafi
Goldwasser won the Turing Prize, the “Nobel Prize” for computing. In addition to
her work on complexity, she’s a co-inventor of the theory of zero-knowledge
58. Who would have guessed all that heat and
unrelenting sun would be a benefit? Kibbutz Ketura is turning its sunshine into
microalgae antioxidants and fields of energy.
59. Tel Aviv Greeters –
offering a free tour of the Tel Aviv they love – include hip youngsters and
cultured senior citizens.
All for free.
60. On US President Barack
Obama’s recent visit, he saw robots carrying matza. Do they also seek out
hametz? 61. When the presidential car broke down, Moti Towing Service came to
62. Even a missile-weary, skeptical population like ours can
enjoy a feel-good presidential visit.
63. We’re still honoring the
Righteous Among the Nations. Yad Vashem recently recognized a Wehrmacht soldier
who saved Jews in Poland.
64. I keep getting this message on email, and
it’s not code: The irises are blooming in the Galilee.
65. Fifty thousand
Israelis reputedly live in India, but the lost tribe of Bnei Menashe Jews from
northeastern India are coming home. They trace their Jewish roots back 2,700
66. When explaining the Holocaust to a kindergarten-age
grandchild, I could end with, “... and now we have a country of our
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 own.