Here is this week’s Good News Friday installment – including wedding photos!
First, the news items. The Wall Street Journal reports on the outstanding international success of Israel’s start-ups (h/t David):
It is hard not to be impressed by the sheer width and depth of the Israeli start-up community. For a country of just under eight million people, Israel punches considerably above its tech weight. According to the Israeli government, the country has the most scientists and technicians in the world per capita, and the largest number of start-ups per capita.
Unlike other nations, Israeli start-ups aren’t concentrated in e-commerce, but rather are typically sophisticated engineering-driven companies such as traffic service Waze, water distribution monitoring service TaKaDu or Soluto, a suite of PC management tools.
Unlike other nations, Israeli start-ups are also global right from the first day. “Israeli companies go global because we have no local market, not in Israel, and not around us because of the political situation,” said David Zvilichovsky of the faculty of management at Tel Aviv University. “You need a market that is at least half a billion dollars in sales at the minimum. Obviously that market does not exist in the Middle East.”
But when Israeli companies talk about going global, they don’t really mean that at all; what they mean is going to the United States. Europe is all too often that thing Israelis fly over on their way to America.
But things are changing. “Today Israeli companies have realized they should diversify their markets, so the U.S. is not the only place to look at” said Mr. Zvilichovsky. So does that mean more Israelis will be stopping in Europe? Alas not. “Israel is trying to refocus its efforts on the Far East. As of today Europe’s financial situation does not allow for Israeli companies really to seek the financing in the European market.”
But at least one European country isn’t taking it lying down and, unprompted, several Israeli entrepreneurs singled out the U.K. for its efforts to woo Israeli start-ups. Just last week the British Ambassador, Matthew Gould, hosted a party for visiting British entrepreneurs to meet Israeli counterparts.
Mr. Gould sees a symbiosis between engineering-driven Israeli start-ups and British sales and marketing skills providing small Israeli companies with global reach through large U.K. companies. “Last week I was in the U.K. talking to Arup, to GlaxoSmithKline. If you are an Israeli water tech or bio-med company then tying up with one of those companies immediately takes your innovation global.
“If you are in FinTech [Financial technology] London has the biggest conglomeration in the world bar none. In sector after sector we can make a really strong pitch that what the U.K. has to offer is as good as any in the world.”
Kol hakavod both to Israel’s innovators and to the UK’s marketing and investors for their faith in Israel’s expertise. Long may this and similar relationships grow.
In a somewhat related item, the FDA has approved a Teva drug for treating leukemia:
The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday said it has approved a new leukemia treatment from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to be sold under the brand name Synribo.
The drug, also known as omacetaxine mepesuccinate, is approved to treat a type of the blood and bone marrow cancer called chronic myelogenous leukemia, or CML, in patients whose cancer has progressed after treatment with at least two drugs from a class called tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
“Today’s approval provides a new treatment option for patients who are resistant to or cannot tolerate other FDA-approved drugs for chronic or accelerated phases of CML,” Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.
Synribo, which is injected under the skin twice daily for 14 consecutive days over a 28-day cycle until white blood cell counts normalize, works by blocking proteins that help the development of cancerous cells.
Kol hakavod to the scientists and inventors at Teva, whose success translates into a possible cure for such a dreadful disease.
And now we come to the main point of this post: wedding photos! Firstly, a few words about the wedding itself.
It was such an intense and emotional day. I was crying before we even got dressed! The make-up girl certainly had a challenge when she confronted my eyes. :-).
Vered looked absolutely beautiful and radiant, as did Pini under the chuppah. The marriage ceremony was so uplifting and emotionally intense. (Apologies for using “emotional” and “beautiful” over and over. I can’t think of any other suitable words). A few of our friends plus my brother formed a small choir and sang beautifully as the ceremony began. The Rabbi who conducted the ceremony had just the right touch of seriousness and light-heartedness and my brother-in-law Eli MC-ed smoothly and professionally (even when he spoke in his heavily accented English! ).
I was quite choked up when my father and father-in-law both said a bracha (blessing) under the chuppah. It’s not to be taken for granted that the older generation are still with us. May they continue to join in our smachot ad 120.
Hubby made a speech – short and sweet – and amazingly enough the huge crowd of guests remained silent long enough to actually hear him. This is a first for us!
The rest of the evening passed in a whirl of greeting friends and relations, and dancing, dancing, dancing. We had a fantastic time!
And now to just a few photos:
Mazal tov to the young couple and all the family. May we all continue to celebrate smachot until 120.
We’re off soon to Dimona for the Shabbat Chatan (Bridegroom’s Shabbat). About 40 of us are heading southwards to join with another 40-50 of Pini’s family for the whole of Shabbat, and I’m not sure Dimona will ever recover from the experience. One thing’s for certain – it will NOT be quiet!
As my cousin punnily put it: may we all radiate happiness and glow with joy. (Dimona… nuclear reactor…radiate… geddit?)
Shabbat shalom everyone!