Good news to start the week – Israel.

Since we started the mourning period of nine days leading up to Tisha B’Av I didn’t want to post anything too frivolous, but the following items fit the bill very well.

Since the Jews are known as “the People of the Book” it is entirely fitting that Israeli books translated into Spanish have been left on the streets of Ecuador as part of a project to share Israeli culture:

More than 200 books of Israeli literature translated into Spanish were “released” on streets of different cities in Ecuador.

The “Libros Libres de Israel” project, or Free Books of Israel, aims to share Israeli culture in the South American country and encourage reading, the AJN news agency reported .

“This is a project in which one leaves books on public roads for others to find,” said Israel’s ambassador to Ecuador, Edwin Yabo.

Each book has a code and is registered on the bookcrossing.com website. By entering the code, one can track the places where the book has traveled and share comments about it.

“Although the platform has been available for many years, it has never been used in Latin America before. The idea is very interesting and romantic. We simply opened an account on behalf of the Israeli Embassy,” Yabo explained.

In addition to the capital city Quito, Israeli books were released in Guayaquil, Riobamba, Santo Domingo, and the Galapagos Islands.

“It is a cultural and social project because it is a way of converting public spaces into large libraries,” Yabo said.

Isn’t that a beautiful idea? Kol hakavod to the Israeli Embassy and the Libros Libres de Israel project. It’s an idea that should be copied worldwide.

Still on the international theme, Israeli experts have upgraded neo-natal units in Ghana, saving 700 babies:

According to Ghana’s news site Yen, the neo-natal units were located in the Kumasi South and Suntreso hospitals in the Ashanti region of the country.

Medical staff at the facilities were also trained by Israeli medical personnel from the Soroka Medical Center in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva.

Ghana’s health minister, Kweku Agyemang-Manu, and Shani Cooper, the Israeli ambassador to Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, both pledged that the project will continue.

Agyemang-Manu enthused over the project’s success and said it would be expanded throughout the country.

What a fantastic outcome from a wonderful project. Kol hakavod to all the medical personnel, both from Israel and from Ghana. May this project keep going and spread in order to save many more lives.

And one last item: an Israeli company, Tipa Corp, has developed a bio-degradable packaging that decomposes in only 24 weeks, thereby helping to save the environment.

You can read about their revolutionary packaging on Tipa’s website:

The segments of an orange are packed by nature in a protective multilayer peel.
When discarded, the orange peel decomposes and leaves no toxic residue; the compost left behind can be used as fertilizer for plant growth. 100% of the orange peel returns to nature.

TIPA was founded in 2010 by Daphna Nissenbaum and Tal Neuman to address the plastic waste challenge.

TIPA’s vision is for flexible packaging to have the same end-of-life as organic matter, while still offering consumers and brands the durability, transparency and shelf life they have come to expect from conventional plastics.

Yet compostable packaging can only succeed if it meets the same performance specifications as conventional plastic packaging. Compostable packaging should also be able to seamlessly fit into today’s methodology of logistics and manufacturing practices.

However, flexible packaging (packages such as fresh produce, coffee, snacks, granola bars, etc.) is a growing segment of the world’s packaging market. Even though the volume of flexible packaging is smaller by weight and space, most flexible packaging cannot be practically recycled. Flexible packaging isn’t made of pure plastic polymers but rather made by blending several materials. These blended materials make flexible packaging complicated for separation and recycling.

Kol hakavod to the founders of Tipa and their research team on this great initiative, which has also deservedly won the recognition of the World Economic Forum as a technical pioneer. May they continue on to even greater success.

And with this news, despite the sad days ahead on the Jewish calendar, I wish you all shavua tov, a good week, with only good news and good health.

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First Published by Anne’s Opinions

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