20 August 2019 - 19 Av 5779 - י"ט אב ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Plaque to honour Lt. Gen. JFR Jacob unveiled E-mail

Israel has honoured the late Lt. Gen. JFR Jacob, one of the heroes of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh, as a Jewish soldier who served with distinction in a foreign army.

A special ceremony in Jerusalem on 30 April marked the occasion, and in attendance were a number of special guests, including India’s Ambassador to Israel Pavan Kapoor. Ahead of the ceremony, Samuel Marshall, senior Jewish community leader in India, said: “Lt. Gen. Jacob will be honoured by unveiling of a wall plaque on the wall of Honour at Jerusalem Ammunition Hill for Jewish soldiers who served with distinction in foreign armies.”

Lt. Gen. Jacob is known for negotiating the surrender of Pakistani troops in Dhaka in 1972 that ended the 13-day war and led to the creation of Bangladesh. At that time he was a Major General and the Chief of Staff of the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Command. He later became Commander-in-Chief of the Eastern Command.

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Isaak Hayik breaks record as world’s oldest footballer E-mail

An Israeli footballer aged 73 has entered the record books after becoming the world’s oldest player to take part in a professional game.

Isaak Hayik set the record by playing as a goalkeeper for Israeli team Ironi Or Yehuda in April. The team plays in Liga Bet South A, in the fourth tier of the Israeli league.

Despite his
 advanced years, Hayik said he was “ready for another game” after playing for the full 90 minutes. He received the Guinness World Records prize at a ceremony after the match, just days ahead of his 74th birthday.

Although his team was beaten 5-1 by Maccabi Ramat Gan, Iraqi-born Hayik is said to have made a series of impressive saves during the game. “This is not only a source of pride for me but also to Israeli sports in general,” Hayik told Reuters news agency.

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Hong Kong hosts sixth delegation of injured Israeli soldiers E-mail

In April, the Hong Kong Jewish community hosted its sixth delegation of injured soldiers from Israel’s “Brothers for Life” Ach’im L’Chayim organisation. Hong Kong continues to be Asia’s only host country.

Brothers for Life was founded in 2007 to assist injured soldiers to get their lives back on track, and now assists over 1,000 injured soldiers.

“Having hosted six delegations of injured soldiers, we now have around 60 new Brothers,” remarked Ronen Zion, one of the Hong Kong community organisers.

Through the generosity of members of the Hong Kong community, the soldiers enjoyed the sights and sounds of Hong Kong and Macau and were warmly welcomed by the Israeli Consul General, Ohel Leah Synagogue members and Elsa High School, where the soldiers inspired the students with their stories of overcoming personal difficulties.

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Joint Japan-Israel symposium on water use E-mail

Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization (ARO) and Japan’s National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) jointly organised a symposium on 26 March at the Tsukuba Center for Institutes in Ibaraki, Japan, about joint research on the issue of water use.

Areas of collaboration between the two organisations include the development of a water-saving irrigation system using reclaimed water, the study of water treatment and quality, wastewater treatment and vegetable cultivation.

Dr Yoshiteru Sakata, Director-General of the Institute Vegetable and Floriculture Science, NARO, and Arieh Rosen, Culture & Science Affairs Attaché of the Embassy of Israel in Japan, opened the symposium.

“Israel is a more of a startup nation; and Japan a monozukuri [manufacturing] nation... Israel is 60% desert; Japan is 67% forest... we complement each other because of our differences, and in our similarities have forged a firm bond of partnership.” Rosen said.

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TAU scientists print first-ever 3D heart using patient’s own cells E-mail

In a major medical breakthrough last month, Tel-Aviv University (TAU) researchers have “printed” the world’s first 3D vascularised engineered heart using a patient’s own cells and biological materials. Until now, scientists in regenerative medicine – a field positioned at the crossroads of biology and technology – have been successful in printing only simple tissues without blood vessels.

“This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers,” said Prof Tal Dvir of TAU’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, who led the research for the study.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the US. Heart transplantation is currently the only treatment available to patients with end-stage heart failure. Given the dire shortage of heart donors, the need to develop new approaches to regenerate the diseased heart is urgent.

“This heart is made from human cells and patient-specific biological materials. In our process these materials serve as the bioinks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models,” Prof Dvir said. “People have managed to 3D-print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels. Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalised tissue and organ replacement in the future.”

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