Good News Friday

Having left Sukkot behind just last night we are about to head straight into Shabbat with barely time to catch our breath.  Of course there has been plenty of other stuff to blog about over Simchat Torah but that will have to wait until after Shabbat. For now this will be simply another Good News Friday post.

Western olim arrive in israel (file photo)

My first item deals with the often overlooked contribution of Anglo olim (immigrants) to Israel. It is very gratifying to note that Nefesh B’Nefesh is inviting submissions for its newly launched Bonei Zion (Builders of Zion) Prize:

The awards aim to formally recognize outstanding Anglo immigrants – veteran and recent – who encapsulate the spirit of modern-day Zionism by contributing in a significant way towards developing the State of Israel.

A prestigious panel of committee members will award $10,000 prizes in five categories: Science & Medicine, Education & Non-Profit, IDF & National Service, Entrepreneurship & Technology, and Culture, Sports & Art.

To be eligible for nomination, candidates must have made aliyah from an English-speaking country (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, the United States and Canada) and have made a significant impact on the State of Israel.

The deadline for submitting nominations is Sunday, December 15, 2013. Nomination forms are available for download at

“Many English-speaking olim are accomplishing remarkable things in Israel, and it is important to recognize these contributions,” says Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founder and Executive Director Rabbi Yehoshua Fass.  “We believe that accentuating the achievements of Western olim will be a catalyst to inspire others to make aliyah and help make a difference to our young country.”

The winners will be selected by a committee of distinguished individuals who are accomplished in their fields and announced on Sunday, January 12, 2014. An award ceremony will take place in Jerusalem in February.

With so much rightful attention focussed on Olim from disadvantaged countries stressing how they have overcome their challenges to succeed in their new homeland, it is gratifying that the contribution of Western Olim should be recognized. These are people who came to Israel out of pure Zionism, without the need to better themselves financially or escape persecution. It would be even more gratifying if the State itself would recognize their contribution. Kol hakavod to Nefesh b’Nefesh for their initiative.

Shaarei Zedek staff rap about hand-hygiene

My second item is all in Hebrew, for which I apologise. If I can find an English link later on I will post it in an update. It’s a very cute story (h/t Hadassah) about the staff of Shaarei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem who made a funny hip-hop video on a serious subject –  about the dangers of germs and superbugs, and the supreme importance of washing hands.

Here is a rough Google translation of some highlights of the article and the lyrics of the song, and if anyone wants to have a go at translating the lyrics, please post in the comments!:

How did you convince the crew to appear?

Speer: “I pleaded, and I promised them that I would deliver all their children. Everyone will eventually cooperated.”

Shaare Zedek is a religious hospital. Was there a problem with the appearance of women in the song?

Speer: “At first we thought to make them a regular song and nice, but because of the sensitivity singing of women in some regulars hospital joint decision by Manny and the hospital to do a rap, religious, is not really singing, but speaking fast paced.”

Prof. Jonathan Halevy, director of Shaare Zedek Hospital, how did you get the courage to appear in the clip?

“Everyone follow talents, but all of us united importance of the mission. Idea to do it in style rap to draw attention to and awareness of the team. It is very common now rubbing their hands with disinfectant, but do it before and after contact with each patient, this consciousness difficult to implement. idea of the film, penetrating the consciousness of all means of publicity. ”

Spire adds that the medical staff did not need to rehearse before taking the clip: “doctors do not have time for anything. Everything was live in front of the camera. Choreographer Ron Cohen demonstrated with a handsfree behind the camera while the basic movements do, and it just happened.”

Watch the movie, sing along and clap your hands, and most importantly, wash them!

Kol hakavod to all the staff of Shaarei Zedek for their initiative, their awareness of the importance of hand-washing, and for their bravery in appearing in this great video!

My last item for today links back to Sukkot, to an event that took place last Tuesday and which takes place every Sukkot: the Annual Jerusalem March. Israel 21C has a wonderful article about the history of the march, with vintage photos providing a fascinating view into history.

According to the Jerusalem municipal website, 60,000 people are expected to participate in the festivities. The march has grown with each successive year since it was established in April, 1955 as a four-day march to Jerusalem for 200 IDF soldiers, joined by 70 civilians. In 1957, the Jerusalem March was turned into a popular event attended by about 5,000 marching soldiers and civilians and by 1966 there were 15,000 marchers.

The blogger Real JStreets, writing at Israellycool, provides us with the most up-to-date report and great photos from this year’s march so that we can compare the events throughout the years.

Delegation from Angola at the Jerusalem march

Chinese marchers: From the Great Wall to the Wailing Wall

May the streets of Jerusalem continue to echo with the sounds of music, song and marchers and may we all have a quiet and peaceful weekend.

Wishing all my readers “choref tov” (a good Winter) which we traditionally wish at the end of Sukkot and wishing you all Shabbat Shalom.

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4 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. Elchanan Eric Sussman says:

    The nurse with the grey cap Pua is my niece [the 2nd daughter of my sister-in-law Shula Hadassah’s Z.L. sister]. She was present at the birth of Eitan.



  2. Reality says:

    Such a great post.As usual it cheers me up for the beginning if the week.Shaarei Zedek should send their clip worldwide It”ll go viral(scuse the pun!).

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