Michael Ordman highlights Israel's latest achievements in the fields of technology, health, business, co-existence and building the Jewish State...
Sat,Dec 7,2013 4 Tevet 5774
As the world begins another calendar year, I urge all readers to try to open the minds of the international community to the momentous work that Israel is doing. Israelis certainly have been using their brains and also focusing on making a clean start to 2013.
Beginning with the brain itself, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, together with the Max Planck Society of Germany, is to build a 3 million euro Brain Research Center in the nation’s capital, Jerusalem. When complete, it should initiate new treatments for destructive neurological diseases. Even before the new center is complete, Hebrew Uni researchers have discovered a key protein, Calphotin, whose absence can cause Alzheimer’s. Calphotin regulates the amount of Calcium contained in the body’s cells. Loss of Calphotin (e.g. due to aging) causes Calcium levels to rise and accelerates cell death. Finally, a study by Israeli neurologist Dr. Rivka Inzelberg has identified an interesting side effect of dopamine-stimulating medication to control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Patients have contracted artistic or literary creative skills that they never had previously. Reducing the medication suppresses these new skills.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem wants all Israeli citizens to have the opportunity to expand their minds with a higher education. It is therefore creating an access program for students from minority backgrounds and has appointed Professor Nayef Jarrous as its Minority Affairs Advisor.
Returning to the topic of education, 2012 showed that increased government funding, longer staff hours and teachers for specific subjects have led to encouraging academic results for Israel’s next generation of clear thinkers. Let’s also hope that the Jewish State continues to be blessed with educators like Penny Ur from Moshav Amnon in the Galilee. Penny has just been awarded the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year’s Honors List for her work promoting English language-teaching methodologies.
Finally, Israeli clear thinker Yaakov Kirschen has provided 40 years of profound satire and witty commentary on everyday Israeli news and international events with his “Dry Bones” cartoon. He has traveled to the USA and the Far East, lecturing to the wider community and promoting the Jewish State. He is now working on a new project to educate the next generation.