One of the Israelis’ most famous characteristics is a “can do” attitude – “Bitzua” in Hebrew. It is the concept that nothing is impossible, if you have sufficient determination. And over the past few weeks, Israel has shown just what can be done in the Jewish State.
The ultimate recognition of “can-do” achievement is the Nobel Prize and six of the 12 Israeli laureates feature in a new film entitled “The Nobelists”, which was screened on Israel’s Independence Day.
The path to these Nobel Prizes began at Israeli universities. Even a citizen of an Arab country can do a degree in Israel as evidenced by Amer Sweity - the first Jordanian citizen to graduate with a PhD from an Israeli University. Another PhD graduate is Rivka Ravitz, who is Chief of Staff to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. She defies stereotyping by showing that she can do her demanding job, whilst at the same time being an ultra-orthodox Jew and a mother of eleven children.
A group of leaders from Miami, Florida’s budding start-up community recently visited Israel to learn from the Start-up Nation. Appropriately, their number one finding was that they needed to emulate Israel’s “can-do” attitude. No doubt this attribute is the reason why 5,400 Israeli startups that launched since 1999 are still operating. It is also the reason why Terra Venture Partners has launched its “Create Tel Aviv” accelerator, which invests in the ideas of Israeli entrepreneurs, even before they are turned into startups. And Visa Europe has simply been “overwhelmed” by the “can do” enthusiasm from Israeli startups that want to partner in Visa’s new Israeli startup hub.
No wonder then that Israel’s hi-tech exports total $18.4 billion and comprise a huge 45% of Israel’s trade. Israelis prove time after time that they can do almost any kind of technical work. This includes working in outer space, thanks to the new agreement between Canada and Israel’s Space agencies to develop advanced applications in satellite communications. Despite this “can do” anything attitude, I expect that the workers at Israel Aerospace’s Bedek were rather surprised on 5th May when a Saudi Airbus landed at Ben Gurion Airport for a scheduled maintenance service!
Other tasks that Israeli companies can do include some spectacular ceramic ink printing on glass. Israel’s Dip-Tech has built the world’s largest digital flatbed printer, which can print onto a single pane of glass with an area of 64 sq meters. One expert says that Dip-Tech is the only company that can do the printing for the curved glass “spaceship” that will become Apple’s new California HQ.
Israeli technology can do printing on the largest scale or the smallest scale, as proved by the Technion scientists who engraved the 1.2 million letters of the Hebrew Bible onto a microscopic wafer of gold. Israel’s advanced 3D printing technology can do items as diverse as full-size automobiles or edible pancakes.
Life in Israel isn’t all work and no play, however. You can do hiking through historic forests and uncover a 1400-year-old wine press. Almost every week you can do a concert by top International musicians, such as Robbie Williams, the Backstreet boys, Dionne Warwick or One Republic. You can do Dragon Boat racing, whilst simultaneously raising money for medical research into curing diseases that could save millions of lives.
If you want to get serious about helping save lives, you can do volunteer work and fly out with IsraAID to nearly every major international natural disaster as part of an Israeli rescue team. If you have medical training, you can do even more good, as have the Israeli doctors at Haifa’s Rambam hospital and Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center who have been working in Nepal.
But the Jewish Talmud states that whoever saves one life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world. And Hadassah hospital doctors from Neurosurgery, ICU, Orthopedics (and more) certainly showed what they can do by putting Shira Klein back on her feet only six weeks after she almost died when run over by a terrorist in Jerusalem.
One final activity that you can do in Israel, is practice your religion in safety. That’s what a record 1500 young French Jews will see when they arrive in Israel this summer on the Taglit-Birthright Israel program to learn about the Jewish State and their Jewish heritage.
So if you want more news of Israel’s positive achievements.
Sure - can do!
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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