We are Modern Orthodox and are a constituent member of the United Synagogue

Israel Update 5.3.20



The official results will be published on March 10. With 99% of the votes counted, P.M Netanyahu’s Likud & its allies have 58 seats, 3 short of an overall majority. Read more here


The Joint List (an alliance of four Arab-led parties) appears to have won 15 seats. There will be 17 Arabic-speaking Knesset members – a record – including members of the Arabic-speaking Druze community in other parties. The Joint List has four women. Iman Khatib will be the first hijab-wearing woman to serve in the Knesset. Blue and White has one female Druze MK. Read more here


16 specially equipped voting booths were opened for the 5,630 voters who were under home quarantine due to coronavirus precautions. Those hospitalized could use special voting procedures already in place for patients.   Read more here



Currently (Thursday afternoon) 16 cases have been confirmed in Israel.

Israeli authorities are working closely with their counterparts in the Palestinian Authority (PA) to contain the outbreak of  coronavirus. Israel’s  Finance Minister said. “We are in contact with [the PA] because the virus has no borders, and doesn’t know to distinguish between ethnic groups, religions or nations.” Read more here


With at least 50,000 people in quarantine, Israel’s Health Ministry on Wednesday expanded its list of restrictive orders to additional countries. Any Israeli citizen returning from France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain or Austria will be required to enter 14 days of quarantine. No non-Israelis arriving from these countries may enter Israel unless they can prove that they have a place in which they can be quarantined for the requisite time period. Healthcare workers are forbidden from international travel. Gatherings of over 5,000 people will not be permitted. Many Purim events have been cancelled. Read more here


The thousands of Israelis in quarantine include all 1,150 students at a high school, plus the members of an elementary school class in a different school, after a teen and a 5th-grade teacher were diagnosed with the coronavirus. Soccer fans who sat in a particular area at a Tel Aviv game last week have also been told to go into isolation. Those in quarantine include sports stars, other celebrities and politicians.Read more here &  Read more here


Four hotel staff members in Bethlehem were diagnosed with coronavirus after being infected by Greek tourists. The Palestinian Authority (PA) declared a state of emergency on Thursday in Bethlehem, Jericho and the Jordan Valley. It was also announced that the West Bank would be closed for tourists for two weeks. Read more here


Update on vaccine development: The Migal Research Institute CEO said that their goal was now to produce the vaccine over the next two months and achieve safety approval in 90 days. The head of research, Dr. Ehud Shaharsaid “It’s… an oral vaccine which has two advantages. One, there’s no need for a shot. And two, the protection is in the mucosal tissues which affect the respiratory and intestinal systems. And we know that this is how COVID-19 works, by affecting these systems,” Read more here


Over a hundred Israeli physicians have volunteered to speak remotely with quarantined COVID-19 patients on topics of concern …The online INNONATION  project is directed at people in China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, the United States, Israel and any other countries where there are quarantines and fears about going out in public. Read more here


VIDEO about the work of INNONATION which includes the donation of 150,000 pieces of medical equipment to China. (5 minutes) View here:


Aboud Dandachi, a Syrian Muslim refugee living in Canada, was moved by the story of Italian boy Ruben Golran who had his barmitzvah celebration cancelled (due to the virus) and donated $18 to plant a tree in Israel in his honour Read more here




Serbia’s President has announced his intention to open a Chamber of Commerce office in Jerusalem followed by a diplomatic office. Read more here


The leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo said he would appoint an ambassador to Israel after a two-decade gap.Read more here


The Azerbaijani finance minister has said “Cooperation with Israel is not limited to oil supply, we are interested in widening cooperation in defence and transfer of technology.” Azerbaijan is a majority Shi’ite country. Read more here




Austria’s national parliament unanimously passed a resolution last Thursday condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign as anti-Semitic. Read more here


The Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 75-20 on Tuesday for a bill that would prevent the state from contracting with companies that boycott goods or services from Israel. 28 other states have passed such a law in response to the pro-Palestinian BDS movement that seeks to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. Read more here




Gazans fired a rocket toward Israel on Sunday night, which fell short and landed inside the Strip, triggering alerts in open fields near the security fence. Read more here




On Monday, Israel’s Election Day, IDF forces identified an attempted sniper attack in the northern Golan Heights and acted to thwart it, striking the vehicle involved in the attempt. (Syrian) Opposition reports said the car was carrying militiamen loyal to the Assad regime.  Read more here




Police Master Sergeant Sabrin Sa’adi, an investigator for the juvenile division in the Israeli Arab village of Kafr Kanna, will become the first hijab-wearing religious Muslim female to be a police investigation officer. “I want to convey a message to all other religious Muslim women like me,” she said. “The police is a good home for us, the organization lets you climb up the ranks, to prove yourself and feel equal.” Read more here




The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality announced that it has close to 2,000 startup companies — the highest density in the world per capita or per square kilometre – and that the number of international R&D centres in the city has grown from 70 in 2017 to 107 in 2020. Read more here




Israeli compostable flexible packaging company TIPA Corp was named in 2nd place in  global network Forward Fooding’s Food Tech 500,  a definitive list of global entrepreneurial talent at the intersection between food, technology, and sustainability in 2019.  Other Israeli companies in the top 100 include lab-grown meat company Aleph Farms in 21st place, chick embryo biotech company EggXyt in 26th place, crop sensor firm CropX in 33rd place, vegan protein firm Innovopro in 43rd place, protein ingredients firm Amai Proteins in 97th place, and sugar substitute firm DouxMatok in 100th place. Read more here




Israel has been a leader in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for decades. The country’s constant need to watch over hostile neighbors has spawned a home-grown capability that has kept the nation safe and turned companies such as Aeronautics, Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) into prolific exporters of the  technology. Read more here




Israel’s Eurovision entry Feker Libi,’ co-written by writer of 2018 winning entry ‘Toy,’ will be sung in 4 languages, English, Hebrew, Amharic and Arabic by Eden Alene, the first Ethiopian-Israeli to compete in the contest. Read more here




The singer Lionel Richie performed in Tel Aviv on Monday during his first visit to Israel. Read more here




Kenyan-born Israeli distance runner Lonah Chemtai-Salpeter won the Tokyo Marathon on Sunday with a time that makes her the sixth-fastest female marathoner of all time. In September 2019, she set a new European women’s record for the 10K distance. Read more here




Egyptian journalist Khalid Al-Bari compared the Palestinians’ perception of their cause to the misdiagnosis of a disease, which not only fails to solve the problem but actually aggravates it. He called on them to assess their situation objectively in order to attain a solution that will afford them a dignified life…He urged them to give up the idea of armed struggle and self-sacrifice, strive for peace with Israel, and focus on establishing vibrant communities and effective self-government in part of historic Palestine, in order to start living their lives. Read more here



Shayna Abramson: Rabbinic leadership in the age of coronavirus. The rabbis are paying attention to scientific research and prioritizing health.  Read more here