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The fact that work life-personal life aren’t kept apart in the Israeli workplace was taken to new heights by three women coworkers at the Emek Medical Center in Afula.

      Several years ago, L. (40) learned that a medical condition put her chances at near zero that the fertilized eggs she’d harvested would lead to a successful in-vitro pregnancy. She shared her disappointment with a colleague in the maternity ward, fellow nurse Keren Monblatt-Nachum. 

      Keren, a mother of three from kibbutz Beit Alfa offered a win-win solution: She had loved being pregnant but didn’t want any more kids…and would be thrilled to serve as a surrogate womb for L. and her husband A. The threesome collected a quarter of a million shekels ($62,500) in expected costs from a wider circle of friends and perfect strangers, through crowd funding. In the spring of 2015, Keren, delivered M, a bouncing baby boy, to his biological parents.

      End of story? Nope.

      Nine and a half months ago, a second nurse in Maternity - also a close colleague, Mia Friedman from moshav Ramat Tzvi – a mother of two, asked L. if she didn’t want a second child. While Mia wasn’t crazy about another pregnancy, she cared deeply for L. happiness, and recently gave birth to A. – the couple’s second son. (Yediot) Photo credit:  Taking liberties with Charles M. Schulz’s (Peanuts) sentiments ‘repurposed’ in honor of ‘storks’ Karen and Mia…that Happiness Is a Warm [Receiving] Blanket 




Everyone is multi-tasking these days…even dogs. Sniffer dogs’ use their nose to alert when they smell a host of items - drugs, explosives, weapons, wads of cash (and even fruits and vegetables when entering the USA).

      A new Israeli computer application will soon allow handlers to interface with such detection dogs on an entirely new level – tell them what a dog is thinking without so much as a wag of the tail or a bark.

      The cap studded with electrodes that sniffer dogs will wear will pick up the dog’s brain waves and interpret what the dog is smelling – spelled out in an icon on a hand-held display, say developers within the Israeli Police Force. (Israel HaYom) Photo credit:  Sniffer dog - Israel Police Force


* An Israeli startup – Bioexplorers - is working on using mice to identify individuals carrying explosives at airports, explosives not only on a passenger’s person in their boxer shorts (first reported by Chelm in March 2011 in Of Mice and Men…and Molecules). According to a mid-2015 media report, the developers hope mice – who are low maintenance, work in teams (no false alarms) and can be trained within days to signal when they smell ‘a rat’ – will be able to even sniff out explosives implanted within the body – regarded in the industry as a key threat to aircraft.  



Gadi Shabtai from kibbutz Rosh Hanikra on Israel’s northern border had ‘embraced’ the Shaul family and visited them periodically over the past three years. The kibbutznik noted in a Facebook post how the bereaved family’s once-flourishing garden in Poria Illit, a community just south of Tiberias, had fallen into neglect ever since their son Oren Shaul* fell during the Protective Edge campaign in 2014.

            When Niv Talmon from Raanana read the post seeking volunteers to rehabilitate Zahava Shaul’s** garden, the 12 year-old donated the money earmarked for her bat mitzvah party towards the endeavor, collecting another 5,000 NIS ($1,388) from empathetic friends and neighbors in her north Tel Aviv suburb to buy new plants and flowers in the hopes the reestablished garden would lift Zahava’s spirits. A plant nursery in Gadera at the other end of the country…189 km to the south, followed suit - sending a huge shipment of flowers to Poria Illit, while a couple from moshav Yaara in the western Galilee (and others) volunteered to do the cleanup and planting. (YediotPhoto credit:  Channel 10 screenshot of Zahava with Niv


* one of two IDF soldiers whose bodies were snatched by Palestinians and are being held by Hamas as a bargaining chip


** Oren’s father Herzl succumbed to cancer a year ago.



Good news.  Israel is no longer a leader in melanoma skin cancers – after decades placing third in the world after New Zealand and Australian.

            Since 2012 Israeli men have dropped to 13th in the world, women 20. The Israeli Cancer Association says it’s due to their awareness campaigns of the dangers of unrestrained sun bathing. Ninety-five percent of those diagnoses were among Jewish Israelis, but the organization added: skin cancer is far more prevalent among fair-skinned Ashkenazi Jews from Europe and America and relatively rare among darker-skinned Mizrachi Jews from North Africa and Asia. 

            Undoubtedly accelerated ‘intermarriage’ of Ashkenazi and Mizrachi Jews producing cappuccino-toned kids will lead to even better ratings. (Yediot) Photo credit:  Daniella Ashkenazy Cappuccino anyone?




The Ramat Gan Safari has joined forces with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) - a German institute devoted to advanced in-vito research – to embark on an ambitious project designed to create a state-of-the-art ‘Noah’s Arch’ that will preserve in liquid nitrogen tissue samples from all endangered wildlife species in the hopes future technologies will allow environmentalists to recreated those that become extinct, almost from scratch. The Safari hopes other zoos will join the German project and send tissue samples of their residents*, as well.

            The gene samples, promise the Germans, are preserved in a way that will make them last for…3,000 years. (Yediot) Photo credit: - DNA sample collection device


* How exactly does one take a DNA swab from an elephant’s cheek…not to mention a Bengal tiger or a Black rhino, they didn’t say.