Israel Briefs: Western Wall Checked Prior to Passover and More

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Western Wall Checked Prior to Passover

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation completed its biannual inspection of the Western Wall prior to Passover, JTA reported.

The foundation inspects the wall before Passover and Rosh Hashanah each year. The inspection includes the Wilson’s Arch covered area, as well as the stones and other areas.

The foundation said loose particles and debris were removed and the stones were cleaned. In addition, on April 10, the foundation will remove the notes placed between the stones. Those notes will be viewed as sacred objects and buried.

The work is completed in conjunction with the Israel Antiquities Society under Western Wall and Holy Sites Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz’s supervision.

Israeli Tech Firm Bought by McDonald’s

McDonald’s bought Tel Aviv-based Dynamic Yield and plans to use its technology “to provide an even more personalized customer experience” at its drive-through menu displays, JTA reported.

The technology will be able to “show food based on time of day, weather, current restaurant traffic and trending menu items” and make suggestions for additional items based on what’s already been ordered. McDonald’s is slated to use the new technology first in the United States, then roll it out to other markets.

Although a purchase price wasn’t disclosed, TechCrunch cited a source that said the deal was for more than $300 million. That makes it McDonald’s largest acquisition in two decades.

McDonald’s said Dynamic Yield, which was founded in 2011, will continue to be a stand-alone company with offices around the world.

Study: Israel Has World’s Healthiest Diet

Israel has the world’s lowest rate of diet-related deaths, according to a new study published in The Lancet, Globes reported.

The University of Washington study tracked consumption trends of 15 dietary factors between 1990 and 2017 in 195 countries.

“The countries with the lowest rates of diet-related deaths were Israel [89 deaths per 100,000 people], France, Spain, Japan and Andorra,” the study said. The U.S. ranked 43rd with 171 deaths per 100,000 people, and Uzbekistan (892 deaths per 100,000 people) ranked last.

“This study affirms what many have thought for several years — that poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world,” said Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the university. “While sodium, sugar and fat have been the focus of policy debates over the past two decades, our assessment suggests the leading dietary risk factors are high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and vegetables.”

Vegetable Prices High In Israel Pre-Passover

As Passover approaches, shortages have raised the prices of tomatoes, cucumbers and fruit, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported, according to Globes.

The amount of imports has been increased, but the ministry said it could take months to eliminate the shortages.

“The ministry is continually monitoring the regular supply of fresh fruits and vegetables for the consumers’ benefit, and is conducting frequent status assessments. … A shortage of tomatoes and cucumbers is liable to cause a rise in consumer prices,” the ministry said.

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