Welcome to Gilis Good Newsletter #91!

This newsletter puts together a little bit about what’s been happening in Israel over the last week. We try to keep it positive. That’s why it’s the Good Newsletter.

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Inflation, rising antisemitism, tumbling markets, and other bad news stories are easy to find. So, sit back and enjoy some good news.

It’s been a busy week. The new government is being installed and is getting to work. For those interested in the who’s who in the new government, I found an article in Al Jazeera that does just that.

The media is going nuts over Itamar Ben Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount, which ultimately serves Hamas. It gives legitimacy for them to react with violence. We pray it won’t come to that.

2022 came to a close, and now we can look at the numbers. Israel’s population now stands at approximately 9,656,000 residents. 7,106,000 Jews, 2,037,00 Arabs, and 513,000 others. 2,675,000 tourists visited Israel, compared to 397,000 in 2021 and 831,000 in 2020.

Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey, and at one time, not so long ago, it was the capital of Sefardic Jewry. It has had a documented Jewish population since the 2nd century, significantly boosted in the 15th century by the Jewish Expulsion from Spain. Nesim Bencoya, director of the Izmir Jewish Heritage project, is trying to revive Jewish Tourism in Izmir. Now in his late 60s, Bencoya has spent most of his life living in Haifa and running the Haifa Cinemateque.13 years ago, he returned to his childhood hometown to lead the Jewish Heritage project. For nine days in December, he runs the annual Sephardic Culture Festival that includes Jewish and Ladino music concerts, traditional food tastings, and lectures on Izmir’s Jewish community. This year it had tours of the city’s synagogues. They were recently restored with the help of the EU and the local municipality. Read all about it in the link below.

A new Israeli study about DNA methylation. DNA methylation is the body’s process of differentiating tissue types. Every cell contains the same genetic information, so the body needs a mechanism to turn on and off DNA sequences to create skin, nerves, muscles, etc. The Israeli study mapped every type of tissue and the methylation marker. It’s a fascinating development that could push advanced detection of cancer and have many more life-changing applications.

Finally, the US Air Force sent six F-15 fighter jets to Nevetim Air Base in Southern Israel. It’s part of a new strategy the USAF is employing, where they’re moving small aircraft teams to many locations worldwide. The move is expected to make them less vulnerable to attack and enable them to be more agile. They’ll also be running drills with Israel’s F35 and Gulfstream intelligence planes, simulating an attack deep in enemy territory.

As always, I hope to make you smile with some articles and nuggets from the past week.

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Shabbat Shalom and Good Shabbos.

*The views and opinions expressed in the articles linked in the articles below may not reflect the opinions and attitudes of Gilis Goodies

Who are the ministers leading Israel’s new far-right government?

Top ministers in Israel’s new right-wing, religiously conservative cabinet headed by Benjamin Netanyahu include illegal settlers.

2.67 million tourists visited Israel in 2022

Last year, 2,675,000 foreign tourists visited Israel, compared to 397,000 in 2021 and 831,000 in 2020, when international travel was curbed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Turkey, a festival revives a jewel of the Sephardic world and aims to break stereotypes

Izmir Jewish Heritage Project is renovating synagogues, hold festivals for local residents to get acquainted with Jewish culture and Cuisine, representing a unique piece of cultural heritage.

Israeli study maps out DNA markers in cells to speed up cancer diagnoses

A team of Israeli researchers has mapped the way in which DNA is labeled in all the cells of the human body.

US Air Force temporarily deploys six fighter jets to Israeli airbase

IAF says that during deployment at Nevatim, American F-15s and Israeli F-35s and spy planes will hold joint drills

Recipe Of The Week: Tbeit

A Wintery cold Shabbat needs a good cholent or תבשיל meaning a pot of hot food like this Iraqi cholent or Tbeit. Enjoy!

Happy Birthdays

Etelleah Zeitlin

Shimshon Furer

Sam Agronin

Eithan Hitron

Ali Cohen

Leora Bakst

Chana Friedlander

Aharon Dimenschstein

Nomi Neuman

Thank You

Mordechai and Devorah Plaut

Miss And You Love

Yaakov Shmidman

Get Well Soon

Sharon Laufer

Jacob Neumann

Leslie Brand


Eyal and Yael Hakner