A member of IsraAid helping out local residents in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Photo courtesy of IsraAID.
31. With pollution growing to dangerous levels in the Mediterranean Sea, Israel’s EcoOcean research and educational organization trains local youngsters on land and sea, and provides local and international marine researchers with an at-cost vessel for advanced marine science studies in the Mediterranean, Red and Black seas.
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society sought out educational collaboration possibilities with EcoOcean to make global progress in saving the seas, badly in distress from global warming and other manmade causes.
32. The Israeli organization Save a Child’s Heart has brought more than 3,000 children from all over the developing world, including about 1,500 from Gaza and the West Bank, to Israel for vital heart operations at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. All 70 to 80 doctors and nurses working with the non-profit organization give their time as volunteers.
Aside from their work in Israel, medical staff fly on missions abroad to carry out heart operations, and to teach local doctors the latest surgical techniques. The organization also trains physicians from abroad in Israel.
33. US veterans suffering PTSD after being wounded in combat are experiencing emotional and spiritual healing thanks to a new program from the Heroes to Heroes Foundation, that brings the wounded vets to Israel to meet Israeli peers.
34. The Israeli organization ZAKA (Disaster Victim Identification) provides expert search-and-rescue assistance after natural and manmade disasters around the world. In late 2004 and early 2005, members of ZAKA provided help in Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean earthquake.
Forensic teams dubbed the group “the team that sleeps with the dead” because they toiled nearly 24 hours a day at Buddhist pagodas transformed into morgues in Thailand. ZAKA volunteers flew to Mumbai, India, after terror attacks there in November 2008; assisted with search and recovery after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, rescuing eight students trapped in rubble; and also aided search-and-rescue efforts in Japan in March 2011.
35. Students in several countries are scoring higher marks in math and algebra tests thanks to the help of Israeli professor Michal Yerushalmy. Yerushalmy developed VisualMath and Math4Mobile, which help students score better on standardized tests, out-perform peers in solving algebra word problems and complex new problems, and devise superior strategies for identifying and correcting mistakes.
36. A new Israeli-developed tooth varnish is saving the lives of kangaroos in captivity, who often fall victim to a contagious, and sometimes fatal, gum condition called lumpy jaw disease.
Veterinarians at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo and the northern Gan Garoo Park – which lost 40 percent of its marsupials to this disease — teamed up with dentists and pharmacists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to create a tooth varnish that successfully prevents the condition. After receiving requests worldwide, the veterinarians published the recipe for the treatment online.
37. An Israeli research team has found a way to mate male prawns and increase yields and profitability for farmers. The revolutionary advanced gene-silencing biotechnology for aquaculture was developed at BGU and can reverse the sex of the crustacean, helping local farmers increase their income. The technology is already being put to use in Vietnam.
38. The 27-year-old Jerusalem AIDS Project (JAIP) is helping to educate millions of people across the globe about AIDS with its training program that teaches people in developing countries how to protect themselves from the deadly HIV virus.
The unique JAIP program is being used in about 30 countries, including Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, in coordination with groups such as the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. JAIP was commended by the United Nations in 2006 for its approach.
39. Israeli doctors are flying to Africa to help train local medical personnel in male medical circumcision with the organization Operation Abraham, in an effort to halt the AIDS epidemic there. Currently some 22 million people in Africa are living with HIV and AIDS – two-thirds of the entire world’s population of HIV sufferers.
Studies suggest that more than half of all HIV infections could be stopped if men were circumcised. Operation Abraham is a consortium of Israeli institutions, including Hadassah Medical Organization and JAIP, teaching local doctors how to carry out the procedure.
40. Israeli aid organizations Israel Flying Aid, IsraAID and Israeli Humanitarian Aid-Latet put Israeli know-how to work getting food, fuel, generators and other critical supplies to emergency workers and victims after Hurricane Sandy devastated the US east coast in 2012.
Israeli volunteers delivered fuel to hospitals in the stricken area, prepared emergency food convoys and helped clear debris. An Israeli delegation of trained rescue volunteers also flew to the disaster area. The effort was financed by young Israelis and Israeli companies with partner US companies.
41. A simple mobile-phone imaging system was invented in Israel to diagnose and monitor malaria, a mosquito-borne disease that is the second leading cause of death in Africa, killing an estimated 1,900 children under the age of five every day.
The system uses an ordinary mobile phone camera with a $15 specialized lens that can detect malaria by imaging the eye or skin to look for hemozoin, a pigment generated by the malaria parasite. The imaging system, whose developer won a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, can also determine the stage of the disease. Images can be sent immediately to labs in Africa and overseas for diagnosis by experts.