The Power of language

An Israeli designer has combined Hebrew and Arabic to form an entirely new script to bridge the cultural gap between Israeli Jews and Arabs.


Liron Lavi Turkenich, a young graphic design instructor at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art, has designed a new alphabet by merging the 22 Hebrew letters with the 29 letters in the Arabic alphabet. Arabic readers can understand the script by reading the top half, while Hebrew readers can understand the bottom half.


Called “Aravrit” (fusing the Hebrew words for “Arabic” and “Hebrew”), the new script was born out of the designer’s observation that although the two languages coexist in Israel, many people ignore the one they cannot read.


To achieve this, she created a different letter for every possible combination of Hebrew letters and Arabic letters. Arabic, however, has four forms of each letter depending on whether the letter is at the start, middle, end, or separate from a word. She already has 638 letters that use the separate form, and she is working on expanding the alphabet to include connected forms of the Arabic letters.


With these 638 letters, Turkenich is able to write a word in Aravrit in a way that incorporates both the Arabic and Hebrew words. For example, ‘peace’ in Aravrit would say ‘salaam’ on the top half and ‘shalom’ on the bottom half.


Aravrit has been incredibly popular. A video about the script that was recently published on Facebook has received over 1.2 million “likes” and comments, and the concept has sparked a lot of discussion. The script was also featured at the Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in Be’er Sheva, and displayed in exhibitions in Jerusalem.


“I think people really like it because they feel like they’ve solved a riddle,” says Turkenich.

The integration of the two languages makes a lot of sense. Both Arabic and Hebrew belong to the Semitic language family, which means they have many similarities. They share the same vocabulary structure, they are read from right to left, and have some similar pronunciations.


The significance of combining the languages extends far deeper than aesthetic design, and could bring together the various populations in Israel.

“The first thing is just to bring up the discussion – people start to talk about this, and the presence of Arabic in our surroundings,” Turkenich explains. “I think this is the power of language, the fact that it is so daily.”

Until Next time…


Israeli University in New York!

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has marked a major milestone in its partnership with Cornell University. The academic institutes recently opened Cornell Tech, a sprawling tech-focused graduate campus on New York’s Roosevelt Island.


Established in 2013, the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, which stands behind Cornell Tech, is supported by a $133 million gift from Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm. Since then, it has become a catalyst for global entrepreneurship and a driver of New York’s emerging tech ecosystem and local economy.


The Jacobs Institute draws upon professors, research and resources from both the Technion and Cornell, a longtime leader in engineering and computer science.


The Technion is Israel’s science and technology research university, among the world’s top ten, dedicated to the creation of knowledge and the development of human capital and leadership for the advancement of the State of Israel and all humanity.


For more information about the schools and to read the full article click these links:

Full article

Cornell Tech


Until Next time…


Fall in Israel

Michigan has all four seasons, it’s pretty clear when you are in the summer, fall, winter and spring. You know how to dress and you know what to expect. Kind of.

But Israel is different, we only have two seasons: a really long summer, and a really short winter. So how do we know when fall has started? Well, we have a few signs:

Squills, squills everywhere!

One of the first things that happen when fall starts is the blooming of the squill plant (shown in the picture below). We even have a song about it!

Fall is here!
Fall is here!The Squill is blooming in the field

Evening, morning, there is a chill
Light clouds are in the sky


בא הסתיו!

בא הסתיו!

בשדה פרח חצב

ערב, בוקר, קצת קריר

במרום ענן בהיר,



When fall turns into winter, the Squill digs itself to the ground and stays inside for the rest of the year until it is time to grow again the following fall.

Israel becomes a train station for migratory birds

When you look up in the sky and all you see is birds from one side to the other – you know it’s fall in Israel. Birds cannot survive the cold winter in Europe, so they migrate to warmer climates. Some of the birds only pass over Israel but many stays for a while until it gets too cold and then they also move on.

This is a contested phenomenon that it’s in a lot of our songs, we also have a song specifically about it.  


The Wagtail makes an appearance

If you ask a young Israeli child how do you know that it is Fall he will tell you right away “The Wagtail is here”! in Hebrew, the Wagtail is called Nachlieli (נחליאלי) and kids sing songs about it from the first moment it appears.

A small Wagtail

I saw in the garden
his tail is long and beautiful
and a small black apron on its chest

He didn’t jump, he didn’t bounce
only ran, ran, ran

He didn’t jump, he didn’t bounce
only ran, ran, ran

נחליאלי קטן

ראיתי בגן

זנב לו ארוך ויפה

סינר קטן שחור על החזה

לא ניתר! לא קפץ!

רק רץ, רץ, רץ…‏.

לא ניתר! לא קפץ!

רק רץ, רץ, רץ…‏.

Leaves are falling

In Michigan, the trees turn to display beautiful autumn coloured leaves before the leaves drop, but in Israel, the leaves just fall. Since all the plants in Israel are protected by law, the fall is a good time to pick up the leaves and used them in art.


The first rain

The first long rain after the dry season is called “Hayore” (היורה). It’s a pretty big deal for Israel, it’s the most substantial amount of precipitation after the dry season that lasts from May until October.


Until next time…


Ushpizin in the Sukkah

Happy holidays everyone and welcome to my make-believe Sukkah at Israel Corner!

One of the greatest mitzvahs during sukkot is the Ushpizin Mitzvah – the mitzvah of inviting guests to your sukkah. So today I am going to tell you a little bit about the Israeli people I want to invite to visit my make-believe sukkah.

Golda Meir – elected on March 17, 1969  as Israel’s fourth and first woman to hold the office of the Prime Minister of Israel. She has been described as the “Iron Lady” of Israeli politics, though her tenure ended before that term was applied to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion used to call Meir “the best man in the government”; she was often portrayed as the “strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people”.



Shaike Ophir – was an Israeli film actor and comedian, and the country’s first mime. He was born in Jerusalem. His family roots in the city go back to the mid-19th century. He studied acting as an adolescent, but left school in the 1940s to join the Palmach. During Israel’s War of Independence, he escorted convoys to the besieged city of Jerusalem, and took part in naval battles. Thanks to his comic skills he was accepted to the Chezbatron, an army entertainment troupe. In the 1950s, he made a name for himself as a multi-talented performer. Ophir acted in 28 films, wrote, directed and starred in several variety shows and was an accomplished mime, appearing alongside Marcel Marceau. He reached the peak of his international fame in the title role of Ha-Shoter Azoulay (literally, Policeman Azoulay, translated as The Policeman), a film which won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign-Language Film (1972) and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Academy Award the same year.



Ori Sasson – is an Israeli Olympic judoka. He won a bronze medal in the +100 kg (+220 pounds) category at the 2016 Summer Olympics. In June 2015, representing Israel at the 2015 European Games in judo in the +100-kg category in Baku, Azerbaijan, Sasson won a silver medal for Israel in the inaugural European Games. In doing so he won the silver medal in the 2015 European Judo Championship. On October 8 2017, Sasson competed at the Grand Prix Tashkent, his first competition since the 2016 olympics, and won the gold medal.

Rio de Janeiro - Judoca Rafael Silva, o Baby ganha medalha de bronze nos Jogos Olímpicos Rio 2016 (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil)

Gal Gadot – is an Israeli actress and model. Gadot is primarily known for her role as Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe. She started with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), continued again in 2017 as the lead in Wonder Woman, and will reprise the role in Justice League. She previously appeared as Gisele Yashar in several films of The Fast and the Furious franchise. Gadot was born and raised in Israel. At age 18 she was crowned Miss Israel 2004. She then served two years as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, where she was a combat trainer. She began studying at IDC Herzliya college before pursuing modeling and acting. Between the ages of 18-20, Gadot served for two years as an enlisted soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, serving as a combat trainer. She said of her time in the army: “You give two or three years, and it’s not about you. You learn discipline and respect.” Gadot says that her background helped her to win the role of Gisele in Fast & Furious: “I think the main reason was that the director Justin Lin really liked that I was in the military, and he wanted to use my knowledge of weapons.”

וונדר וומן - ביקורת


Let me know who you want to have in your sukkah!

Until next time…


A glance of Tel Aviv on Yom Kippur

A lot of people ask me how’s Israel on Yom kippur. What’s happening on Yom Kipur?

So this year I decided to show rather then tell – I waited until Kippur was over to show you how Tel Aviv looks. In Israel no one is driving on Yom Kippur, everyone are either at home or with their families, and the streets are completly empty.

Now, I know it’s hard to imagine Tel Aviv – one of the most busiest cities in Israel – empty of people and cars but here you go.





With that I want to Wish you a very happy Sukkot!

Until next time…


Israeli Innovation – an update

Israeli innovation never stops to rest, researchers are working all the time trying to make cutting edge discoveries. Since this can go on forever I have decided to make a list of updates for you guys – so that you can keep track of what Israeli minds are up to these days.

CallSaver (now Puls) – Smartphones may seem like an extension of our hands, but our newest companions are also quite vulnerable, as even cell phones that are well cared for inevitably degrade. Now, Israeli startup Puls is offering on-demand tech “doctors” who make house calls and repair your damaged cell phone at your home or office. Founded in 2015 by CEO Eyal Ronen and president Itai Hirsch, Puls revolutionizes the prevalent repair model by eliminating the infamously long repair windows, the tiresome haggling, the long wait times at repair labs, and the trip back and forth. Instead, the company – with services available in the US and research and development in Israel – promises quick and easy technology repairs. Puls provides qualified technicians, called “Savers,” seven days a week, for on-demand repairs: from ailing speakers to water damage.

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Israeli Scientists Discover a Rare Children’s Disease That Has Puzzled Doctors for Years- The disease, which is characterized by a sudden onset of neurological deterioration in children, has now been identified as a new genetic disease caused by a single mutation. A previously healthy child, between the ages of three and seven, begins to experience a small motor problem. Suddenly, the child experiences rapid motor and cognitive decline. By the time the child is a teenager, he or she usually needs a caregiver around-the-clock. Discovered by Israeli scientist  Orly Elpeleg, the disease is still unnamed. According to Hadassah, it is the result of a mutation in a single gene in the ribosomal RNA, which is essential for protein synthesis in all living organisms. Its malfunction results in an excess of ribosomal RNA, so that the child’s cells are flooded with and poisoned by it.


Israeli Startup NRGene Maps Genome of Cotton, Sweet Potato for Better Crops – NRGene, the Israeli startup that has mapped the genome for bread, pasta and wild emmer wheat, said that it has now mapped the genome for the most common cotton breed and the sweet potato, giving researchers critical insights for developing healthier plants with higher yields. NRGene said it partnered with Genosys Inc. (TGS Singapore), a distributor of genomics technologies in China, to assemble the genome makeup of Upland Cotton, the most common cotton used for clothing, in less than seven weeks. A similar effort used to take years and cost many millions of dollars, the company said.


Israel’s Karamba Protects Connected Cars In The EU From Hackers – All systems in a car that are connected to an external network – such as GPS or infotainment – represent a security risk. With 90 percent of cars predicted to become connected by 2020, according to a report by Ernst & Young, the need for advanced protection is more pressing than ever. Karamba Security, an Israeli startup, says it has the solution. The company prevents hackers from accessing a car’s control system using a software that seals off the most critical Electronic Control Units (ECUs) in the car. Any attempt to access the ECUs that does not align with the car’s original factory settings is blocked. Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with VEDECOM, which will make Karamba Security one of the first cyber-security companies to integrate technology into commercially available autonomous cars. The cars are due to be released in 2017 and 2018 in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the Netherlands. In the meantime, Karamba’s patent-pending technology is being tested by 17 automotive companies.


Want to read more about Israeli Innovation? Try this website in your spare time:

(no worries, it’s in English :) )

Until next time…


Soldiers draft to help people with autism

Current and former members of an Israel Air Force tech unit participate in unique hackathon to overcome challenges posed by autism. The unusual tech marathon was a joint effort between the Israeli Air Force’s elite Ofek (Horizon) technology unit and ALUT, the Israeli Association for Autistic Children.

Sarah and Avraham (not their real names) juggle high-tech careers with parenting an autistic child. It is never easy to find a babysitter for an evening out, let alone 24 hours away from home – but they managed to participate in a recent overnight hackathon hosted at the Tel Aviv offices of Playbuzz.



About 85 volunteers, including current and former members of the squad, gave up a night’s sleep to organize and participate in the event, whose purpose was to design projects that could ease the lives of autistic children, their families and therapists. Sponsors included IBM, Dell EMC, Samsung NEXT, mPrest Systems and Interblog.

Months of brainstorming among Ofek graduates and parents, counselors, professional therapists and ALUT staff members identified challenges such as understanding social situations and choosing an appropriate response; remembering how to accomplish everyday activities; and expressing emotions.

Sarah and Avraham’s team designed a prototype Emotion to Expression (e2e) app based on research that autistic children can be trained to imitate facial expressions conveying happiness, surprise, fear, disgust, anger and sadness.


Another challenge addressed at the hackathon was voice modulation. People on the autism spectrum tend to speak robotically and loudly, inadvertently causing tension and confrontation, Sarah explains.

In response, one of the hackathon teams designed a high-tech device that alerts the speaker to inappropriate patterns and allows him or her to adjust volume and pitch. The idea is that the constant feedback will train users to adjust without prompting.

Another project was a smart checklist that breaks down everyday tasks into ordered subcomponents, using audible alerts to prompt each action.

“For example, brushing teeth is broken down into small actions like opening the toothpaste tube. As the person gets used to performing each action independently, the list gets shorter,” Avraham says.

Click here to read the entire article –

Until next time


Israel will always remember

Night_Credit Joe Woolhead - 061940x380

Israel takes a day to remember the lost lives of the horrible terror attack on 9/11/2001.


Israel built a Memorial for the 9/11 terror attack. Watch it here.


Yesterday while watching videos about this horrible attack, I learned something new about the first victim of the attack. I wanted to share this video with you. Please be advised the contact might be difficult to hear. Watch it here.


If you feel like you need to talk to someone about 9/11 Memorial day please contact me at

Until next time…


Winnie the Pooh in Israel!

This is not a joke! I promise! 😉

I’m sure most of you has already been to Israel, explored the streets and markets, the beachs of the Mediterranean Sea and the beaches of the Dead Sea.

I’m sure you told all your friends and I’m also sure you posted pictures everywhere!

Well one childhood character decided to take you up on your suggestions and go visit Israel with some friends.

A new art show presents: “Winnie the Pooh in Israel”. The drawings were created for the “Little pleasures” are show in honor of the book’s 90 years’ celebration. And you can see it in the Beit Ariella art gallery starting February 26th.

Here are some of the pictures presented in the gallery.


Winnie and friend in the Dead Sea


Winnie celebrating Rosh Hashana


Winnie and friends shopping in Machne Yehudam Jerusalem


Winnie and friends picking oranges in the Kibbutz


Winnie and friends exploring Rothschild street in Tel Aviv

What other childhood character would you love to see traveling in Israel?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…


Jewish Valentines Day

Hello everyone!

I hope your summer is going great!

Not long ago we celebrated the Jewish holiday of love – top-heart-clip-art-photo-for-love-and-cutes-download-free Tu Be’

Of course this holiday also has a story behind it – just like every other Jewish holiday.

According to the Mishna, Tu B’Av was a joyous holiday in the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, marking the beginning of the grape harvest. Yom Kippur marked the end of the grape harvest. On both dates, the unmarried girls of Jerusalem dressed in white garments, and went out to dance in the vineyards (Babylonian Talmud, tractate Ta’anit 30b-31a).


Another interesting thing that happen on that day in the Jewish tradition is that while the Jews wandered in the desert for forty years, female orphans without brothers could only marry within their tribe, to prevent their father’s inherited land in the Land of Israel from passing on to other tribes. On the fifteenth of Av of the fortieth year, this ban was lifted.

Furthermore, that same year, the last of the generation of the sin of the spies, which had been forbidden to enter the Promised Land, found that they were not destined to die. For forty years, every Tisha B’av night, the Jews made graves for themselves in which they slept on Tisha B’Av; every year a proportion of them died. In the 40th year, the fifteen thousand who had remained from the first generation went to sleep in the graves and woke up the next day to their surprise. Thinking they made a mistake with the date, they did this until they reached Tu B’Av and saw a full moon. Only then did they know they were allowed to live.

In modern times, it has become a romantic Jewish holiday, often compared to Valentine’s Day, and has been said to be a “great day for weddings, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows, or proposing”. Also, “It is a day for romance, explored through singing, dancing, giving flowers, and studying.”


But up until recent years this holiday of love was not a part of the Jewish calendar, there were no special celebrations on it. Today this is a holiday just like Valentine’s Day when couples celebrate their love to each other.


I hope you celebrated this holiday of love with important people in your life.

Want to know more about the holiday of love in Israel?

Contact me at

Until next time…