Monthly Archives: October 2021

New Hope For Dementia, Alzheimer’s Patients – Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Joel Leyden, publisher of the Israel News Agency, served on the first Board of Directors established for Alzheimer’s disease in New York City.

Tel Aviv, Israel — October 31, 2021 … Science says that you can reduce aging and chronic disease by eating tasty, nutritious meals and staying physically fit. According to a new peer-reviewed study by Helfgott Research Institute scientists published in Impact Journals LLC, movement and a mindful diet don’t just make you feel good—they can also reverse your biological age. Much of this information is not new. What is new is something called hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Israeli scientists now say they have managed to successfully reverse the biological aging process – using only oxygen. Recent research led by Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Shai Efrati, together with a team from Shamir Medical Center, discovered that when healthy adults over the age of 64 were placed in a pressurized chamber and given pure oxygen for 90 minutes a day, five days a week for three months, not only was the aging process delayed – it was actually reversed.

Based on an exclusive partnership with the world’s largest hyperbaric medicine and research facility, the Sagol Center at Shamir Medical Center in Israel, the Aviv Medical Program was developed over the past decade, combining unique protocols of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) with a proprietary personalized program of cognitive and physical training. More than 1,000 people worldwide have already been treated according to Aviv’s progressive twelve-week program, currently offered in Florida and Dubai at Aviv Clinics.

“Aviv is playing a starring role in today’s healthy aging movement,” states Jonathan Preminger, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aviv Scientific. “The new round of funding is a testament to our outstanding clinical outcomes, world-class team, strategic partnerships and cutting-edge technology. We look forward to seeing sustained success and are inspired by the strong support from investors who share our vision.”

This new, breakthrough research has led to Aviv Scientific, recently announcing the closing of $40 million in a oversubscribed Series B funding round. Led by Israel’s largest public medical services conglomerate, Danel LTD; Jeff Horing’s Deep Insight Fund; the country’s most successful high-tech angels and entrepreneurs; international longevity and health span optimization focused investors; the Series B fundraise will accelerate the global rollout of its network of medical clinics and the development of the Aviv Aging Database.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) — treatment in which patients are given pure oxygen — prevented the biological processes responsible for the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a study found.

In addition, in a group of older people with memory loss, oxygen therapy enhanced blood flow in the brain and improved overall cognitive abilities and memory, the study showed.

“By studying and treating Alzheimer’s disease in the animal model, we can implement our findings to include humans as well,” said Uri Ashery, PhD, head of the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University and a study co-author.

“After a series of hyperbaric treatments, elderly patients who were already suffering from memory loss showed an improvement of blood flow to the brain – as well as a real improvement in cognitive performance,” Ashery said. “Consequently, we succeeded in demonstrating the latent potential of hyperbaric medicine for treatment of neurologic conditions that originate from hypoxia — that is to say, a deficiency of oxygen reaching the cells.”

These findings suggest that “hyperbaric therapy given at a young age is likely to prevent this severe disease entirely,” said Ronit Shapira, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at Tel Aviv University and the study’s lead author.

“By treating the root problem that causes cognitive deterioration with age, we are in fact mapping out the way to prevention,” says Efrati .

“It is likely that hyperbaric medicine can potentially provide the opportunity for living with good brain function without relating to  chronological age. The idea is to commence therapy before the onset of clinical symptoms of Dementia and before deterioration and loss of extensive brain tissue. This is the stage at which blood vessels become occluded and the blood flow and the oxygen supply to the brain are diminished – a phenomenon that can already take place at a relatively early age”.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT is the administration of 100% oxygen at a pressure greater than one atmosphere. It is approved in the U.S. for 13 indications — including decompression sickness resulting from scuba diving, for which it likely is best known — and has been used off-label to improve cognitive function following a stroke or a post-traumatic brain injury, known as a TBI.

MRI scans showed hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly increased blood flow in several brain areas from 16 to 23%, compared with before treatment. After HBOT, there was a significant increase in the overall cognitive score, from 102.4 to 109.5, in which memory, attention, and information processing speed scores were most improved. Furthermore, the post-HBOT mean memory scores improved from 86.6 to 100.9.

In addition to hyperbaric oxygen therapy an Israeli-American project is seeking to provide treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with cutting-edge, made-in-Israel ultrasound technology.

The cooperation established between Dr. Zion Zibly, director of neurosurgery at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and Dr. Ali Rezai, head of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute at West Virginia University, intends to fight the disease using non-invasive ultrasound waves to deliver therapy directly to the brain without endangering it or requiring any surgery. “This technology allows us to temporarily and safely open the blood-brain barrier, which is a barrier in the blood vessels that usually prevents antibodies or large molecules of medications from getting to the brain,” Rezai said.

The ultrasound procedure has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Now both the Sheba Medical Center and Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute are focusing on using the same system to target other brain diseases including using ultrasound waves to treat brain tumors.

ADL: Move Over Nazis, U.S. Jews Face Anti-Semitism By The Left

Progressive Democrats – behind the smiles are threats against American Jews.

The Sunrise Movement’s statement last week showed its slow, steady rise among democrat progressives.

By Jonathan A. Greenblatt
Jonathan A. Greenblatt is the CEO and national director of ADL, the Anti-Defamation League.

The Sunrise Movement knows a lot about climate change. As the self-described “youth movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process,” they have spent countless hours appropriately ringing the alarm bell about the now-quickening pace of climate change, arguing that we must act now before it’s too late.

Last week, however, the Sunrise Movement inadvertently alerted us all to another change in the climate: a slow but steady, unmistakable rise of antisemitism among progressive groups.

It started when its Washington, D.C., chapter issued a statement last Wednesday that it would not speak at a rally later that week in support of D.C. statehood because of the participation of three Jewish groups “that are all in alignment with and in support of Zionism and the State of Israel,” and asked the organizers of the rally to remove all three groups from the list of supporters.

When incidents like this happen, many wave it away, explaining that the real threat from antisemitism is from the far right and those who enable it. There is no denying that right-wing groups pose a material threat to Jewish life in America and to our democracy as a whole. Over the past 10 years, ADL has found that 75 percent of extremist-related murders were linked to right-wing ideology, including the 2018 Tree of Life massacre, the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. Many of the perpetrators of the Jan. 6 insurrection had ties to the Proud Boys and other extremist groups. And this week, the civil trial begins against the white supremacists who led a violent mob in Charlottesville in 2017, chanting “Jews will not replace us” as they marched down the street.

But that is not the only threat.

To use an analogy that Sunrise and its supporters should understand, right-wing antisemitism is the lethal category-5 hurricane threatening to bring immediate catastrophe. Antisemitism on the left, however, is more akin to climate change: Slowly but surely, the temperature is increasing. Often people don’t perceive the shift, or they choose to ignore it even in the face of once-uncommon storms. But the metaphorical temperature is rising, and the conditions threaten to upend life as we know it.

As a previous generation of climate activists learned in the 1990s and early 2000s, it is often hard to awaken people to a slower, more subtle threat. It’s even harder to do so when it may anger your friends and allies. When organizations and leaders do finally call out their own side, it often rings as hollow as the national Sunrise Movement’s initial response to the D.C. chapter: They condemned antisemitism along with other forms of hatred, but didn’t flag the original statement as antisemitic. Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives used a similar tactic in 2019, when members introduced a resolution condemning antisemitism after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) accused Jews of dual loyalty to the United States and Israel.

But ADL has learned from more than a century of work that stopping the spread of antisemitism requires us to acknowledge it and call it out, explicitly and without equivocation. Anti-Jewish hate cannot be swept under the rug or excused for any reason. Excluding Jews and Jewish groups from civic life is antisemitic, no matter who is doing it.

The DC Vote coalition, which organized the statehood rally, and eventually the national Sunrise Movement, recognized that. “Naming explicitly Jewish organizations while giving a pass to non-Jewish organizations in the coalition which hold similar position is undoubtedly anti-Semitic and has no place in our movement,” wrote DC Vote in a statement issued on the eve of the rally.

But that suggests that it was fine for the Sunrise chapter to seek to ban groups that believe in supporting the existence of a Jewish state of Israel, that they only erred in singling out just the Jewish pro-Israel groups for exclusion, and not all the groups — such as labor unions — that also have warm ties with Israel.

This is a disingenuous and dangerous distinction.

Despite what others, including some progressive Jewish thinkers, may suggest, denying the right of Jews — alone among the peoples of the world — to the right of self-determination is antisemitism even when you call it “anti-Zionism.” Denying Jews the rights afforded to other people is discrimination.

There are things that the Israeli government has done that deserve rebuke. But criticizing the policies and actions of a government is categorically different than deeming the country itself illegitimate because it is instituting “apartheid” or leading a “genocide” when it is not. It is fundamentally different from calling for its eradication either implicitly or explicitly by supporting a “one-state solution” or “Palestine from the river to the sea.” Slandering Israel as “settler-colonial” or “white supremacist” is flat-out wrong on the facts and little more than a deliberate effort to degrade its support and condition the public for its demise. As is the inclusion of Zionism among a list of forms of “oppression,” including antisemitism and anti-Palestinian racism — as Sunrise DC did in its “reflection” on its original call against the Jewish organizations.

I wish this inflammatory rhetoric was limited to the rants of obscure academics and powerless activist groups. But it is not. It has grown and spread. Increasingly in many mainstream progressive circles, it has become popular and even trendy.

Let’s be clear: Singling out the Jewish state for condemnation while ignoring others is a contemptible expression of prejudice. Yet last month, Sally Rooney, the best-selling Irish writer, announced that she would not allow an Israeli publisher to publish a Hebrew version of her latest novel because of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank — though she said nothing of her plans for China or Russia, countries governed by indisputably repressive regimes, in which her previous books have been published. Similarly, earlier this year, Ben & Jerry’s founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield supported the company’s decision to stop selling ice cream in the West Bank as an expression of their progressive principles. But when asked why the company still sells ice cream in Texas, which violates their beliefs about abortion rights, or in Georgia, which does so on voting rights, all they could do was stammer.

The fear of speaking out against antisemitism is acutely felt on college campuses. This past spring during the conflict between Hamas and Israel, a notable number of university administrators haltingly condemned, if at all, anti-Jewish violence on campus. One — the chancellor of New Jersey’s Rutgers University-New Brunswick — inexplicably apologized for doing so.

As the political climate changes, so does the threat to Jewish Americans. ADL logged 251 antisemitic incidents from May 11 — the official start of military action in Israel — through the end of that month, an increase of 115 percent over the same period in 2020. And none of the perpetrators were wearing MAGA hats.

To be fair, some progressives condemned the Sunrise DC chapter for its antisemitism. But scores of other would-be allies — progressive organizations that have partnered with ADL and other Jewish groups for decades — said nothing, not even a tweet.

What does it say about the state of the social justice movement that a push for diversity and inclusivity seeks to exclude Jews? What does it mean when the litmus test for inclusion in social justice spaces requires Jews to oppose the very existence of the only Jewish state in the world? What message does that send to the American Jewish community that has been at the forefront of so many civil rights struggles for generations?

Maybe these groups think it’s a parochial issue and not their fight. Perhaps they calculate that it’s not worth the risk of being “canceled” to speak up. But while antisemitism starts with the Jews, the animus rarely ends there; historically it is a harbinger of even more hate and the decay of democratic societies.

The climate for Jews in America is changing. The temperature is rising. If you believe that this is a country for all, then you have a moral responsibility to combat anti-Jewish hate wherever it may arise.

Edited by Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Israel Prime Minister Bennett Meets with Ambassadors of UAE, Bahrain

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — October 19, 2021 … Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met today at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Israel, Ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja and the Ambassador of Bahrain to Israel, Ambassador Khaled Al Jalahma.

At the start of this warm, historic meeting, UAE Ambassador Al Khaja presented Prime Minister Bennett with an invitation from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in the UAE, for an official visit to the UAE. Prime Minister Bennett thanked him for the invitation.

During the meeting, Bennett and the Ambassadors discussed expanding relations between the countries, regional cooperation and strengthening the Abraham Peace Accords.

“The stronger the bond between our countries, the stronger the security and stability of the entire region,” said Bennett.

National Security Council Director Dr. Eyal Hulata and the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Advisor, Shimrit Meir, also participated in the meeting.

The Abraham Peace Accords were a joint statement between State of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America, reached on August 13, 2020. The statement marked the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Jordan in 1994.

Aliyah (Immigration) To Israel Increases by 31 Percent in 2021

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — October 10, 2021 … Aliyah (immigration) to Israel has increased by 31 percent in 2021 with 20,360 Olim – new immigrants arriving compared to 15,598 last year, according to a report released today by the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

The figures come ahead of Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day) – a national Israeli holiday on October 13th, which celebrates immigrants to Israel from all over the world.

Israel has continued seeing a dramatic rise in Aliyah despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and The Jewish Agency ensuring that immigration continues despite the difficulty and limitations on international travel.

Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israeli Minister of Aliyah and Integration said: “I am pleased to launch Aliyah Week for 2021 where we salute Olim for their contribution to the State of Israel. I worked in the government to ensure Aliyah does not stop for a moment – also during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns – because Aliyah is the realization of the Zionist dream. I am pleased by the tremendous increase in the number of Olim who decided to make Aliyah to Israel since the beginning of the year. We at the Israel Ministry of Aliyah and Integration will continue to work to assist Olim in the Aliyah and integration process in Israel.”

To date, more than 3,340,000 immigrants have made Aliyah to Israel since the state’s establishment. There are several events throughout this week to celebrate the contributions of Olim to the country.

The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Acting Chairman of the Executive and Chairman of the World Zionist Organization Yaakov Hagoel stated: “I’m moved by each and every Aliyah flight to Israel. Despite the challenging period and many limitations brought on by the global Covid pandemic, since the beginning of the year, there’s been a significant increase in Olim in comparison to a similar period last year. Olim from across the globe chose to come and build their future in Israel. These Olim are a strategic asset to the State of Israel and contribute to every aspect of life. We all must contribute to their integration. We are strengthened by each Oleh who comes to Israel.”

According to the new data, the largest number of Olim this year has been from Russia, with 5,075 immigrants arriving (which marks a 5% decrease from last year). 3,104 made Aliyah from the United States (with the help of Nefesh B’Nefesh) which is up 41% from the first nine months of 2020. Meanwhile, 2,819 Olim have come from France (a 55% increase), 2,123 from Ukraine (4% increase), 780 from Belarus (69% increase), 633 from Argentina (46% increase), 490 from the United Kingdom (20% increase), 438 from Brazil (4% increase) and 373 from South Africa (56% increase).

Finally, 1,589 have come from Ethiopia — compared with 285 immigrants the previous year thanks to Operation Tzur Israel, led by the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and The Jewish Agency, which helped olim reunite with their families after decades of being apart.

More than half of the new immigrants to Israel so far this year are under age 35, with about 23.4% ages 0-17, 33.4% between 18-35, 16.3% ages 36-50, 13% 51-64 and 13.9% over 65.

As for employment, 17.3% of olim work in the service and commerce industries, 6.1% in the humanities and social sciences, 5.2% in technology and engineering, 4.2% in medicine, 3.6% in accounting and legal services and 2.7% in education.

Jerusalem has become the new home to 2,184 of this year’s new Olim, with 2,122 moving to Tel Aviv, 2,031 to Netanya, 1,410 to Haifa and 744 to Ashdod. Meanwhile, Ra’anana, Beit Shemesh, Nahariya, Beer Sheva, and Bat Yam have all absorbed more than 600-700 immigrants this year.

The Yom HaAliyah Act, (Israel Immigration Day) which was established by the Knesset in 2016, is celebrated on the seventh day of the Jewish month of Cheshvan and coincides with the Torah portion of Lech Lecha, in which God commands Abraham to go to the Land of Israel. The objective of the holiday is to celebrate the development of Israel as a multicultural, democratic society and emphasize the importance of Aliyah to Israel. 

As Israel Witnesses Decline In Serious Covid Cases, Warnings Are Issued

Israelis receive Covid-19 vaccine injections, at a vaccination center of the Tel Aviv municipality and Magen David Adom, in Tel Aviv.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency

PM Bennett on the Decline of Serious Covid Cases:
“It is precisely now that we must be strict about the Green Pass,
be careful and not become complacent.

Jerusalem, Israel — October 3, 2021 … Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, has expressed satisfaction at the decline in the number of serious coronavirus cases. Bennett also noted good news in regards to the increase in the number of people getting vaccinated and increasing signs that the pandemic has been blocked, without the imposition of lockdowns or far-reaching restrictions on the public.

However, the Israeli Prime Minister reiterated that there is still no reason to celebrate given that efforts to block the virus are still underway.

“We are at a critical stage, with the reopening of the education system and our intention to end large-scale quarantines and move to a model of extensive testing and the quarantine of verified cases only, ” said
Prime Minister Bennett.

“It is precisely now that we must be strict about the Green Pass, be careful and not become complacent.

I call on whoever has not been vaccinated as required – do so as soon as possible!

The vaccine saves lives and the extent to which people in the country have been vaccinated is what enables us to stay open and stay functioning.”

At the ministerial committee on fighting the coronavirus (the Corona Cabinet) Bennett stated:

“I am pleased to see everyone after the holidays and pleased as always that we will hear from everybody.

Friends, the news is good. We have started to block the Covid Delta strain but it would be very dangerous now to let down our guard. It is precisely when this wave of the virus is starting to subside, that we must do everything to make sure there is no resurgence.

We must continue to tightly manage the situation and not convey to the public that masks may be taken off, rather the opposite. I feel that in recent days the public has begun to understand the policy that the government has been leading since the outbreak of the Covid Delta strain.

Israel and the economy staying as open as possible, large-scale testing, large-scale vaccinations and booster shots, close and dynamic management of the situation and personal responsibility by citizens.

The next and most urgent task in my view is to finish as quickly as possible with the large-scale quarantines at schools. Children need to be in school not on Zoom or in quarantines that are not urgent.

Parents need to be able to go to work and families need stability. They need to know what is happening tomorrow morning.

Therefore, we have thoroughly studied what they are doing in Britain, Germany and the United States, I say here clearly: Large-scale quarantines in the education system need to end as quickly as possible.

Israel is currently preparing the infrastructure for the millions of antigen tests that will make this possible. We will monitor the pilot program and additional pilot programs that have started in recent days, and we will make decisions shortly.

Other matters that we will discuss are the vaccination campaign in the Arab sector, in which we need to increase the scope of inoculations, which is the main challenge at the moment.

Also, looking at the ‘day after’, cautiously: How can Israel enter routine, in the shadow of a global pandemic, without dismantling everything and without complacency. What happened – could happen again.

Israel will also prepare for variants that do not exist yet, what we call ‘Omega’, or a variant that bypasses the vaccines, which is the worst possible scenario. But even in such a situation, we as a country will not close up shop; we need to know how to manage things. Anything can happen.

And of course, we will continue to take care that our warehouses remain full and that there are always enough vaccines and drugs in stock.

The work being done is very good. I would like to commend the Israeli health establishment personnel who are on the front lines every day, in the hospitals, the HMOs, in the health ministry itself and in general all those are involved from all of the various government ministries. This is truly a multi-dimensional campaign and it seems to me that we are now seeing the light at the end of tunnel.

We must not be complacent. We cannot let down our guard. We now need to accelerate the pace of vaccinations.”