Dear TJP Investor:
With springtime now upon us, Israel is showing many green shoots. The country has most definitely turned a corner in the pandemic, and is on a solid footing for the rest of the year in both the health of its society as well as economic expansion.
As always, we continue to believe that investments in Israeli companies satisfy both an investor’s desire to support the cultural and technological achievements of the Jewish state while also benefiting one’s long-term financial goals by investing in Israeli companies.
This year, Israel is celebrating 73 years since the country’s founding. On May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum, and approved the following proclamation, declaring the establishment of the State of Israel.
In recognition of this anniversary, we present a list of 73 interesting tidbits about Israel which you might not know, provided by Israel21c.
- Israel has the highest number of altruistic kidney donations per capita in the world: 1,005 in the past 11 years, and counting.
- The oldest tree in Israel is a jujube tree in Ein Hatzeva on the road to Eilat, which is thought to be between 1,500 to 2,000 years old.
- Scientists in Israel managed to grow fresh dates from sixth century seeds found at Masada and Qumran.
- The Israel Postal service has a special Letters to God department, for all the letters arriving in Jerusalem from around the world addressed to God. They are opened and placed into the cracks of the Western wall.
- About 1 million notes are left in the Western Wall every year.
- At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, an old wooden ladder has been propped up against a window since the 18th century. No one can move it because the building is managed by six different churches and none can agree on who owns the ladder.
- Israel is the only country to have revived a dead language and made it the national language.
- The hottest temperature ever recorded in Israel was 54 degrees Celsius (129.2 Fahrenheit) in 1942 at Kibbutz Tirat Zviin the northern Jordan Valley. (The highest temperature ever recorded worldwide is 56.7 °C in Death Valley in 1913.)
- While Jerusalem has snow storms every few years, and even the Negev desert gets occasional snow, Tel Aviv has only had one snow storm in its history. In 1950 it snowed 12-18 cm., thrilling locals, many of whom had never seen snow before.
- More than half the landmass of Israel is desert, but it still has an Olympic bobsled and skeleton team.
- Israel dramatically leads the world in share of the total population that received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and in the number of vaccination doses administered per 100 people in the total population.
- Israel is a global leader in medical clowning, and was the first country in the world to send medical clowns into COVID-19 wards.
- In 2007, Israeli businesswoman Shari Arison initiated Good Deeds Day to encourage people to help each other. That year, 7,000 people took part in Israel. In 2019, 3.9 million people took part in 108 countries around the world.
- Israel is bordered by snowy peaks at one end and a desert beach on the other.
- Israel has 137 beaches – all of them beautiful.
Nahariya Beach in Israel
- Israel is piloting a new locally-developed an artificial intelligence system to help lifeguards protect swimmers on the beaches and give real-time data on wind, waves and other possible hazards.
- Israel recycles 90% of the waste water it creates, making it the leading nation in the world for water recycling. In the United States, only 1% of wastewater is recycled.
- In July 2012, a group of artists in Netanya created the world’s largest mosaic made of socks, using 12,000 in total. (All of them clean, thankfully.)
- Cows in Israel produce more milk on average than do dairy cows in other countries.
- An Israeli company has developed a revolutionary spray-on skin made of nanofiber to help heal wounds.
- Israelis love kids. With an average of three children per woman, Israel has the highest fertility rate among the 37 countries in the OECD, where the average is 1.7.
- Israel performs more in-vitro fertilization per capita than any other country, and it’s free for the first two babies.
- Babies in Israel are 10 times less likely to be allergic to peanuts than in other countries. Studies suggest it’s because they eat Bamba peanut snacks from an early age.
- According to Hebrew-language Wikipedia, there are seven different ways to eat a Krembo, one of Israel’s favorite snacks.
How do you eat your Krembo?
- Members of a voluntary organization called Trail Angels open their homes to hikers on the 1,025-km (637-mile) Israel Trail, offering free beds, showers and other amenities.
- Israel is roughly half the size of Lake Michigan.
- The glue on Israel’s postage stamps is kosher.
- Israel has over 50 alternative meat startups – a disproportionately high number compared to elsewhere around the world – making it a fake meat powerhouse. Perhaps it’s no surprise, given that the country has more vegans per capita.
- Researchers in Israel have grown mouse embryos in bottles in a revolutionary way to observe the first stages of mammalian embryonic development.
- In 2020, Israel was the eighth most expensive country in the world to live in. Switzerland came in at number one.
- Israelis eat some 24 million sufganiyot (donuts) during the eight-day holiday of Hanukkah.
- In 2020, Tel Aviv was named the fifth most expensive city in the world to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Zurich, Paris and Hong Kong came in before it.
- An Israeli company has developed a paint that uses sunlight to activate a cooling mechanism in cars, buildings, planes and even clothing, providing air conditioning without electricity. The hotter it is, the more the coating cools.
- Israel takes in more immigrants than any other country in the world per capita. Since it was founded in 1948, three million people have immigrated to Israel
- In 2020, the most popular baby names in Israel were Mohammad for boys and Miriam for girls.
- Syrian hamsters were first domesticated as pets by a zoologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1930.
- Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world — 230 and counting. A new museum dedicated to women is opening soon
- Israel has its very own Stonehenge, an ancient stone circle called Galgal Ref’im with massive rock walls that juts 8 feet into the sky. The stone structure is around 5,000 years old, and is made up of some 42,000 tons of basalt stone. It was only discovered in the 1960s.
Photo of Galgal Refa’im via Wikimedia Commons
- The Mount of Olives is the oldest continuously used cemetery in the world. It’s been in use for over 3,000 years.
- Israel is home to the largest known dog cemetery in the ancient world. More than 1,300 dog skeletons, most of them puppies, were found at the Ashkelon site.
- Israeli students won an international award for producing real honey without bees, using a bacterium programmed to “learn” how to make honey.
- An Israeli company has developed an atmospheric water generator that can create clean drinking water from the rain. It has been deployed in disaster situations all over the world.
- Israel has the largest underground hospital in the world: the 2,000-bed Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital at Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.
- In Israel it is legal to write the Jewish calendar date on all official documents, including checks, instead of (or in addition to) the Gregorian date.
- A Tel Aviv company has invented a folding car that can retract its wheels for narrow streets and snug spots, but still can reach speeds of 55 miles an hour.Prototype of the City Transformer folding electric car.
Photo courtesy of City Transformer via Israel21c.org
- The main compounds of the cannabis plant were first isolated, analyzed, synthesized, and named in Israel.
- An Israeli company provides off-grid, solar-powered automatic handwashing stations to developing countries, using water pulled from the atmosphere mixed with a precise dose of soap, to fight the spread of life-threatening infections.
- A revolutionary “human on a chip” developed at Hebrew University aims to replace animal testing for new pharmaceuticals.
- When Israel was founded in 1948, there were only 806,000 residents. The population reached two million in 1958, and is expected to reach 10 million in the next three years.
- In 2020, 28% of Israel’s population was under the age of 14, and only 12% older than 65.
- In Israel, people regularly stumble on amazing ancient finds while out hiking.
Imri Elya here with the ancient tablet and certificate of recognition from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Photo courtesy of IAA via Israel21C.org
- Archeologists recently discovered the world’s oldest woven basket in the Judean Desert.
- The oldest-ever cave tool, dating back 350,000 years, was found in Israel.
- The field of video therapy was invented at Jerusalem’s Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts.
- In a tech first, Israeli scientists made a robot hear using a dead locust’s ear.
- In Israel, people are taught from an early age to turn off the tap while they brush their teeth, to save precious water.
- In Israel, a meal without a saladis not a meal. Even breakfast.
- Tel Aviv has over 4,000 Bauhaus buildings, the largest concentration of Bauhaus buildings of any city in the world.
- An Israeli company has developed the world’s first autonomous beehive. It can house up to 40 bee colonies (around 2 million bees) and take care of their health and upkeep with a simple app.
- Israel was the first country to ban underweight models from participating in fashion shows.
- During Passover in Israel, supermarkets are not allowed to sell chametz (forbidden foods like bread and cakes), and if you bring the products to the checkout, they cannot be scanned. Large sections of the shops are covered in plastic sheets.
- In Hebrew, Happy Christmas is ‘Chag Molad Sameach’ which means Happy festival of the Birth.
- In Israel, the most common way to mop the floor is by doing what’s called a sponja: flooding the floor with copious amounts of water and using a long-handled squeegee to push the dirty water outside or down the nearest drain.
- Israeli toilets have two handles: A smaller one that releases less water to flush down #1, and a larger one that elicits more water to get rid of #2.
- Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, has 120 seats because it’s modeled after the Second Temple-era Knesset HaGedolah (the Great Assembly), a leadership body of 120 sages, prophets and scribes.
- In Israel, there’s hardly such thing as a gift registry for weddings and bar mitzvahs. Instead, people come to the parties bearing envelopes full of cash.
- Matzot Aviv in Bnei Brak baked the world’s largest matzah this year: 13.2 pounds (6 kilograms), nearly 20 feet (six meters) long, 3.5 feet (1.06 meters) wide, and 0.16 inches (4 millimeters) thick.
- The Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team’s roster for the 2021 season includes 32 riders from Israel and 16 other countries, including four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome from Great Britain.
Team Israel Start-Up Nation’s 2021 roster.
Photo courtesy of Start-Up Nation via Israel21c.org
- Tel Aviv University recently launched the world’s only Center for Combating Pandemics, aiming to create best practices for infection containment, vaccine and treatment development and social and economic resilience.
- Israeli companies raised a record-breaking $10 Billion in investments during 2020, despite the uncertainty and instability caused by the worldwide pandemic.
- 85 percent of Israeli households get hot water from rooftop solar heaters, compared to less than 1 percent in the United States.
- An Israeli scientist’s invention to turn dog droppings into odorless, sterile fertilizer powder instantly is starting to revolutionize how animal and human waste is disposed of.
- Israel has more than three hundred wineries, seventy of which harvest at least fifty tons of grapes per year. Approximately 60,000 tons of wine grapes are harvested in Israel annually.
Featured TJP Companies
In the past four newsletters, we explored the top 20 companies in-depth by market value in TJP. In this last part of a five-part series, we look at companies ranked 21 through 25 in TJP by market value.
- Azrieli Group Limited
- Ticker: AZRG
- Listing: Israel (Tel Aviv Stock Exchange)
- Market Capitalization: USD 8.0 Billion
- TJP Targeted Allocation: 1.1%
- Headquarters: Tel Aviv, Israel
- Chief Executive Officer: Eyal Henkin
Azrieli Group is an Israeli real estate and holding company named after its founder David Azrieli. The company is engaged mainly in the development and management of shopping malls and office buildings in Israel.
- Ticker: ORA
- Listings: Israel (Tel Aviv Stock Exchange)
USA (New York Stock Exchange)
- Market Capitalization: USD 4.5 Billion
- TJP Targeted Allocation: 1.1%
- Headquarters: Reno, Nevada, USA
- Chief Executive Officer: Doron Blachar
Ormat Technologies is an international company that supplies alternative and renewable geothermal energy technology. The company has built over 190 power plants and installed over 3,200 MW.
Ormat has supplied over 1000 turbochargers worldwide: North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company’s products also include turbines, generators, and heat exchangers. The company’s main production facilities are located in Yavne, Israel.
- Ticker: LPSN
- Listings: Israel (Tel Aviv Stock Exchange)
- Market Capitalization: USD 4.0 Billion
- TJP Targeted Allocation: 0.9%
- Headquarters: New York City, New York, USA
- Chief Executive Officer: Robert LoCasio
LivePerson Inc. is a publicly held, global technology company that develops conversational commerce and artificial intelligence software. Headquartered in New York City, LivePerson is best known as the developer of the Conversational Cloud, a software platform that allows consumers to message with brands.
LivePerson used to have offices across the U.S., Israel, and 6 other countries, but it has since closed all offices in favor of remote working.
- Ticker: INMD
- Listing: USA (NASDAQ)
- Market Capitalization: USD 3.3 Billion
- TJP Targeted Allocation: 0.9%
- Headquarters: Yokne’am, Israel
- Chief Executive Officer: Moshe Mizrahy
InMode Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, and markets minimally-invasive aesthetic medical products based on its proprietary radiofrequency assisted lipolysis and deep subdermal fractional radiofrequency technologies
The company offers minimally-invasive aesthetic medical products for various procedures, such as liposuction with simultaneous skin tightening, body and face contouring, and ablative skin rejuvenation treatments
- Ticker: BEZQ
- Listing: Israel (Tel Aviv Stock Exchange)
- Market Cap: USD 10.4 Billion
- TJP Targeted Allocation: 1.3%
- Headquarters: Azrieli Center, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Chief Executive Officer: David Mizrahi
Bezeq Corporation is an Israeli telecommunications company. Bezeq and its subsidiaries offer a range of telecom services, including fixed-line and mobile, high-speed Internet, transmission, and pay television.
Prior to 2005, Bezeq was 100% owned by the Israeli government.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this quarter’s TJP newsletter. As always, please take care of yourself, and feel free to contact us for more information.
Selwyn Gerber, CPA
Jonathan L. Gerber, CPA, MBT, PFS