This Week From Israel: Zionism’s Future Is One Plus One Equals Three, Israel’s Latest COVID-Related Invention, and more!

Hosted by IZZY founder Josh Hoffman, This Week From Israel is a podcast that publishes new episodes every Tuesday!

Listen directly below, as well as on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsRadioPublicBreaker, and Pocket Casts.

Episode Rundown

Topic of the Week: One Plus One Equals Three

Last week I did an interview on ILTV, an Israel-based international broadcast, and they asked me what I’m most excited about regarding the new collaboration between ILTV and IZZY.

Of course I want nothing more than for ILTV and IZZY to greatly benefit from this collaboration, but for it to be truly successful, we must create an example for more collaborations in what I call “the world of Zionism.”

ILTV and IZZY are not the first organizations to collaborate in our world of Zionism, but in my experience, meaningful collaborations are the exception, not the rule. I don’t want to get into my theories or experiences for why this is the case. I simply hope that there will be more meaningful collaborations in our world, both between non-profit and for-profit organizations.

And to the extent that IZZY can lead this charge, it would be our pleasure — because a few years ago, I learned that one plus one doesn’t equal two. It equals three.

This principle was made popular by Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, who wrote the New York Times bestselling book Principles. After receiving a frank memo from his top lieutenants in 1993 concerning his interpersonal performance as a manager, Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio began to develop a unique company culture based on principles and unadorned feedback.

One of these principles is one plus one equals three, the notion that people who collaborate well will be about three times as effective as each of them operating independently, because each will see what the other might miss — plus they can leverage each other’s strengths while holding each other accountable to higher standards.

The ILTV-IZZY collaboration is exactly in line with this principle: ILTV offers news and IZZY offers premium entertainment. Independently, we do a nice job of what I call “exporting Israel,” but together we can do so much better, because news programming and entertainment programming offer people the opportunity to see different sides and nuances of Israel. Together, we give our global audiences a more complete picture of the Israel experience from wherever they are in the world.

And while we’re on the subject, don’t forget to enjoy a weekly news program (in spoken English!) that takes you deeper, behind the headlines, uncovering the rich tapestry of Israel you don’t normally see. It’s called the ILTV Weekly Review, and you can watch a new episode every Friday, on-demand, on IZZY.

A Weekly Hebrew Lesson

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many words and phrases in modern-day Hebrew originate from the Israel Defense Forces, or at least Israelis’ service in the army.

I recently learned a new phrase in Hebrew, called sheh-eh-laht keet-bahg. Sheh-eh-lah means question, and keet-bahg is the bag that soldiers carry in the army. The story goes like this:

One time there was a group of new IDF soldiers in basic training. When their commander released them to go eat at the dining room, one of the soldiers asked the commander if they needed to take their bags with them. The commander wasn’t used to such a question, so the commander paused for a few seconds, and then said, “Of course you need to take your bags with you! What do you think?”

From there, the phrase sheh-eh-laht keet-bahg became a staple in modern-day Hebrew, both within the army and in everyday society, representing a question that is better not asked and might bring about undesirable consequences, usually directed to a person of authority.

For example, if you asked me, “Josh, should I sign up for a monthly or yearly subscription to IZZY?” I might call this a sheh-eh-laht keet-bahg… haha, just kidding!

IZZY Updates

IZZY is going to the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival this Wednesday, July 7th, where we’ll be sponsoring two of the major Israeli events.

On Friday, July 9th, we are sponsoring the Kabbalat Shabbat dinner for the Cannes Jewish community. Rumor has it, the mayor of Cannes will be in attendance. He isn’t Jewish, they told me, but the Cannes Jewish community is very important to him.

And on Saturday evening, July 10th, we are sponsoring a cocktail party at the Israel pavilion.

If you would have told me eight years ago, when I moved to Israel on a whim, that I would found a startup which would be sponsoring Israeli events at the Cannes Film Festival, I would have collapsed in laughter, to say the least. But seriously, life is filled with twists and turns, especially here in Israel, and it’s been an incredible ride!

Someone Special

Richard Plepler is the former chairman and chief executive officer of HBO, where he worked for 27 years.

In 1984, Richard moved to New York City, where he opened a public relations firm and produced a series of interviews for The Atlantic magazine, as well as a documentary on Israel and the Palestinian conflict. Plepler initially joined Time Warner (then-owners of HBO) in 1992, and in 2007, he was appointed and served as co-president of HBO until 2013.

In the years Richard was in charge, the network won more than 160 Emmys, including for series like “Game of Thrones,” “Big Little Lies” and “Veep.”

I was recently introduced to Richard through the podcast Unholy: Two Jews on the News, hosted by Israeli TV anchor Yonit Levi and British journalist Jonathan Freedland, in the episode Israel TV Special — With Special Guest Richard Plepler.

In this episode, Richard joins Yonit and Jonathan to discuss the evolution of Israeli TV and its now global footprint. And I highly recommend you take a listen!

One Good Thing

A remedy for the growing epidemic of medical waste, from our friends at ISRAEL21c

The dramatic increase in personal protective equipment like masks to combat the spread of COVID-19 poses a threat to our environment. Estimates show that globally, we use about 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves monthly, and much of this equipment is one-time-use.

Thankfully, a new Israeli invention is helping hospitals manage the waste safely and sustainably. The Envomed 80 is an on-site machine which reduces medical waste into a safe product that is disposable alongside municipal waste and is environmentally friendly.

Israeli company Maabarot Metal Works developed the Envomed. In under 20 minutes, one Envomed 80 treats up to 250 kilograms (2,220 liters) of waste per nine-hour shift, serving nearly 350 hospital beds.

“We were looking for a field in which there’s a scarcity of technical solutions,” says Envomed CEO David Segev. “We’ve seen in Israel that the amount of waste grows tremendously, particularly from Covid-19. When you have an on-site instrument, it’s really helpful in avoiding pileups of waste.”

But we need to take things one step further, Segev says.

“In Israel now, municipal-grade waste ends up in landfills. We are trying to take things one level higher by recycling it. Let’s take the waste product and make something of it.”

Tune in every Tuesday for a new This Week From Israel episode, and be sure to check out previous episodes as well!

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