Welcome to Gilis Good Newsletter #41!

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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We’ve been gearing up for Tu Bishvat. Thank you to all our customers that placed orders to send ‘sweet hugs’ to their loved ones in Israel. If you’d like to send a basket for Tu Bishvat, we can only guarantee delivery for Tu Bishvat in Jerusalem or Gush Etzion.
It’s been a tough week for most of us. The 5th wave is primarily annoying as we all try to avoid it, with families with younger unvaccinated children bearing the brunt of it. The numbers are at an all-time high, but hospitalizations and severe cases aren’t climbing at nearly the same rate. We’re hoping the worst is behind us, and the numbers will start falling as fast as they rose.

Tu Bishvat is this week, and unfortunately, it’s caused a government crisis with the Arab Party threatening to leave the coalition if we plant trees in the Negev. It’s also a Shmittah/Sabbatical year, and religious groups will be running hikes instead of planting, which is forbidden in the Shmittah Year. It’s beautiful seeing the focus for this Tu Bishvat be about the sanctity of the land and the mitzvot that we’re able to keep for the first time in millennia. #ShmittahRocks

One of the stories below focuses on Israeli companies impacting agriculture worldwide. The company I immediately think of is Netafim, which originated drip irrigation. The company eventually sold to a Mexican company for $1.5 billion. In addition, a friend of mine has a podcast with Israeli entrepreneurs and interviewed Naty Barak in a two-part series. You can find that podcast here.

The internal security service, the Shin Bet, arrested five Israelis on the charge of spying for Iran. It seems Iran will try everything in its power to hurt the Jewish State and good for the Shin Bet for uncovering the plot and arresting those responsible.

Finally, the weekend is expected to be a cold and wet one. Winter should be returning once again with a lot of wet weather.

The forests are full of green, and wildflowers are sprouting everywhere. I’m not sure if the almond trees are in full bloom, but I do know that now is the perfect time to sing about it.

Wishing you all a pleasant Tu Bishvat enjoying the fruits of the holy land.

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

If you enjoy this newsletter, please let me know.

If you don’t like something, definitely let me know. I love to get feedback.

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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

Religious services minister unveils government plan to reform conversion system

Matan Kahana touts ‘historic opportunity’ to address problem of close to half a million Israeli residents of Jewish ancestry who are not considered Jewish by state

9 technologies to help the world’s trees

To celebrate the Jewish environmental holiday of Tu B’shvat, find out about the top ag-tech companies working to ensure the health and wellbeing of our trees.

Cops, rioters clash for 2nd straight night in protests against Negev tree planting

12 arrested in Bedouin towns as unrest continues despite promised deal; Ra’am’s Abbas denounces violence, says his party ‘suffers every day to be partners in the coalition’

Shin Bet arrests 5 Jewish Israelis suspected of spying for Iran

Suspects photographed sensitive sites in Israel, attempted to get their kids to join army intelligence units; Bennett tells citizens ‘to be vigilant against such online attempts

Recipe of the Week: Healthy Chicken Cholent

Cholent is served on Shabbat mornings all over the world. Israeli cholent is very similar to the cholent I grew up with but may include things like hard-boiled eggs, dates, hummus balls, and other things that give it a more distinct Israeli flavor. I’m including this chicken-based recipe that we’ve enjoyed a few times with good results. It’s perfect for a cold winter Shabbat as most cholents are.


Smiles of the Week

Happy Birthdays

Menachem Kravetz

Yehuda Blinder

Marcia Chiger

Shoshi Wagner

Coby Chiger

Ruthie Troy

Elisheva Sosnovitch Behar

Shmuel Klein

Sruly Cole

Bubby(Linda) Jungreis

Lielle Brandwein

Libi Brandwein

Mark Adler

Gabrielle Green

Racheli Faraday

Moshe Livshits

Dorianne Gould

Jonathan Brody

Baruch Roth

Miss and Love You

Sophie Scheer

Elan Finkelstein

Janna Zelichenok

Ifat Bechor

Emil Kuhl

Ronnie Terzi

Ayelet Fischer

Shlomo Fried

Shira David

Tamar Gold

Adina Strauss

Chaim Zev Mehl

Thank You

Neta Alchimister

Yarden Grondland

Kobi Nachmani

Aviv Brin / Efi Ben-Zeev / Shay Shaham

Alex Gitsik Orit Lerech

Roi Rintzler

Elly Villier & Idan Krig

Ayelet Ben Zvi

Noelia Groisman

Yehuda And Chanie Fulda

Marija Werber

Eyal & Noam

Guy Gatlin

Dana Pupko

Nitzan Saban

Adam Geva

Dana Mishkin

Sarah Raskas

Orly Shrem Architects

Mazal Tov

Netta Gabby

Get Well Soon

Elizabeth Schear

Laeh And Tzvi Bernstein

Mr. Daniel Shaviv

Tamar Ellis

Breindy Berger

Dvora & Ima, Avraham Yair & Noonie Simon

Eitan Drapkin


Elinore Koenigsfeld

Vivian Epelboim

Deborah Katz Tannen

Happy Tu Bishvat

Ari Yeger

Abby Yeger

Netta Gabby

Sara Shulman

Sar-El Media & Production

Kayla/David Avraham

Moshe Wieder

Erica Weintraub

Emily Weintraub

Cameron  Fields—Nativ Mada

Galit And Assaf Farkash

Lev Cohen

Isaac Anderson

The Seidman Family

The Rose Family

Denise Cohen

Yehonatan Sabag

Sandy Gurvitch

Elijah Gurvitch

Sam Berkowitz

Ellin & Elli Orlinsky

Ari Gurvitch

Atara Lindenbaum

Netanel Rudl

Miriam Schottenstein

Susan Bern Leibtag