World Briefs: NASA to Launch Israel’s First Space Telescope and more


NASA to Launch Israel’s First Space Telescope
Israel’s first space telescope will enter geostationary orbit in 2026, where it will scan the universe for events such as stars colliding or exploding and the impact of giant black holes, the Weizmann Institute of Science announced on Feb. 21, reported. It will cost about $90 million.

The future Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite, or ULTRASAT (Courtesy of The Weizmann Institute of Science via

The Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite, or ULTRASAT — which will be launched as part of a newly signed partnership between NASA and Israel’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology — is expected to revolutionize scientists’ ability to detect and analyze transient events in the universe such as neutron star mergers and supernova explosions, the institute said.

It is the premier project of the Israel Space Agency in the ministry and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.

According to the agreement, NASA partnered in ULTRASAT and will provide the launch opportunity, Flight Payload Adapter and other launch-related needs for the project. The Israel Space Agency will deliver the completed observatory to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the launch.

Gene Simmons of Kiss Fame Unveils Mural of Polish Catholic Holocaust Hero
Artists 4 Israel expanded its series of murals honoring Righteous Among the Nations. It did so with a “kiss” this time, reported.

The collective, which enlists artists to combat antisemitism and anti-Israel bigotry through their work, unveiled its fourth mural on Feb. 26 paying homage to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

The downtown Los Angeles celebration honors Irene Gut Opdyke, a Polish Catholic who saved 12 Jews from certain death, stowing them away in the basement of a Nazi commander’s home. (She died in 2003.)

The artist Andrew Hern created the 60-foot-by-15-foot mural for the city’s arts district. Guest speakers included Jeannie Opdyke Smith, daughter of the heroic mural subject, and Elan Carr, former State Department special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism.

Gene Simmons, the Israeli-American rock star of the band Kiss appeared as a
special guest. Born Chaim Witz, the singer comes from a family deeply affected by the Holocaust. His mother and brother were the only members of the family to survive the Shoah.

Catholic School Soccer Team That Brawled With Miami Jewish School Forfeits State Semifinal
A Catholic high school in Miami forfeited its semifinal game in a state soccer
tournament on Feb. 18, days after players fought in an on-field brawl with a Jewish school’s team, reported.

The Catholic school, however, did not offer additional comment on eyewitness accounts claiming that the fight was fueled by antisemitism.

Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School was set to play in the semifinals on Feb. 18, beating Scheck Hillel Community School in their regional final on Feb. 15. But the school’s players came under scrutiny after video emerged of students and spectators fighting following the game. Some Scheck Hillel parents told local news outlets that students had uttered antisemitic slurs, including “Hitler was right.” Those accounts have not yet been confirmed by either school, by video or by law enforcement.

The athletic director of Archbishop Carroll’s slated opponent in the semifinal told local news outlets that the school had forfeited following its role in the brawl but did not provide further details.

— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb

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