Watch and learn

We may be in the middle of the school holidays, but Israel continues to educate the world and its citizens throughout the year. Last week was typical.
Our Universities are still busy. Israel Technion’s Prof Lior Gepstein won the 2011 European Society of Cardiology award for producing a unique model for research and treatment of heart disease. He was also part of a team that has transformed adult skin stem cells successfully into heart cells. Over at Tel Aviv University, Dr Niva Shapira has proved that we are definitely affected by what we eat. And the eggs we eat are affected by what the hens eat. It’s just a question of which came first!
On the diplomatic front, nineteen senior diplomats representing nations from four continents learned about Israeli development programs around the world. They were briefed about our programs in agriculture, education, medicine and emergency response. Druze MK Ayoub Kara and other Israeli leaders are in Nigeria to promote trade and gain support for Israel in the UN. They met President Good Luck Jonathan and Enoch Adeboye.
Ambassadors learn about Israel''s overseas aid programs
How do you fight terrorists without harming civilians? The Israel Defence Forces are the world’s experts on that problem. Which is why US marines were practicing at Israel’s module city at the IDF Urban Warfare Training Centre in the Negev. We all know how thorough Israeli airport security is. So it was satisfying to spot a new Israeli-style security program ‘Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques’ (SPOT) going into operation at Boston’s Logan airport.
Your computer is your link to world of high-tech, so you wouldn’t want to be frustrated by it under-performing. Israeli start-up Soluto claims to fix slow computers and crashing applications by removing unnecessary processes. It has won international IT awards and $10m of new funding. Israel can even teach you to become a high-tech entrepreneur. If you read, understand and follow these instructions you could make it big in Israel’s fast-moving high-tech industry.
During the school holidays, our young high-tech geniuses of the future may be busy surfing away on their home computers unaware of the risks lurking in the Internet. It is therefore vital that there is protection available such as that from Israeli company, Sensegon, which has developed ‘Kangaroo’, to detect and alert the child to a potentially dangerous Internet relationship. No such problems at the Diaspora museum in Tel Aviv where kids are finding that learning Hebrew is fun, with the A-Ba-Ga-Da exhibit. It contains climbing walls, slides, slot machines, computers and a dog that says words when you put letters its mouth. Over in California, a Jewish day school has been renamed in memory of the first Israeli astronaut. The Heschel West School in Los Angeles will now be known as the Ilan Ramon Day School.

The organisation Gesher (Hebrew for ‘bridge’) has been working for a decade to develop Jewish and Zionist identity and unity in trainee IDF officers. Here, Executive Director Ilan Galdor describes Gesher’s program.
Another supporter of the Jewish State, Savannah, revisited Kibbutz Maagan Michael where she studied and worked. Watch episode 1 of the new docu series IS.REAL.
Here are two ‘aromatic’ stories to finish the week. The Baha’i community has made its headquarters in Israel where it is free of the persecution it suffered in Islamic countries. The writings of the Baha’i teach that diversity is beauty and compare the human race to different flowers in the same garden. This is why the community has planted so many varieties in the Baha’i gardens in Haifa, as portrayed and introduced in the following new video.
Finally Professor Abraham Tamir of Ben Gurion University knows his noses. He has categorised the shape of the Caucasian nose into 14 types. BGU students can pick his course on the interaction between art and science.
Learning from Israel is certainly nothing to sniff at!
Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.