Kesher Israel

Or Zarua has a strong commitment to the State of Israel. In order to deepen our connection with  Israel and, we hope, will inspire, educate, and engage others to support Israel, we have begun offer programming called Kesher Israel. The Hebrew word “kesher” means linkage or connection, and hints at connecting Jewish people to their heritage and to one another.

We feature a wide array of activities including film screenings, Israel advocacy on campus sessions, and our annual attendance as the Salute to Israel Parade.

Israel’s Contributions to the World
As part of our ‘kesher’ or connection with Israel, we thought it would be helpful to highlight weekly some of Israel’s more recent contributions to the world, and hope you will share our pride in Israel:

With mere pen and paper, Israeli helps solve Newton’s 350-year-old physics problem.
An international team led by astrophysicist Dr. Nicholas Stone of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Professor Nathan Leigh of Chile’s Universidad de Concepción recently published a paper in the journal Nature that presents a novel solution to a centuries-old physics conundrum called “The Three-Body Problem.” Dr. Stone and his colleagues used traditional mathematics to demonstrate the movement of three equal-sized planets in the solar system, an outcome that physicists have struggled to predict since Sir Isaac Newton introduced the laws of motion over three centuries ago.

Brain can mix natural and artificial vision to help treat blindness.
Macular degeneration (AMD) causes blindness in millions of people. It is the most common cause of severe vision loss among those aged 50 and over, and its prevalence increases with age. Though there is no cure for AMD, significant recent advancements in artificial retina implants may lead to effective treatment. Research by Israel’s Bar-Ilan University and Stanford University suggests that the brains of blind people who get artificial retina implants, a device built from tiny electrodes smaller in width than a hair, they may be able to process information from the implant and integrate it successfully with stimuli coming naturally from other parts of the retina. Activating these electrodes results in electrical stimulation of the remaining retinal cells and results in visual restoration, albeit partially. The study was recently published in the journal Current Biology. Their finding could pave the way to better restore vision in patients who suffer from one of the most common causes of blindness.

Israeli exports soared 68% over past decade. (Jerusalem Post, Jewish News-UK)
Israeli exports of services and goods will reach a record $114 billion in 2019, a 4.5% increase over 2018, the Foreign Trade Administration said on Monday. This figure is 68% higher than 2009, when Israeli exports totaled $67.7 billion, fueled by soaring hi-tech services. Israeli exports to the UK in particular grew by 286% over the past decade. The latest Israeli figures show how ineffective the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been.

Israel-assisted Tanzania trauma center has saved 2,000 lives since 2018. (Tanzania Daily News)
The Trauma and Intensive Care Unit at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital in Tanzania has saved the lives of more than 2,000 people since it opened in 2018, assisted by the government of Israel. Eyal David, Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Tanzania, said doctors from Israel would continue offering training to their counterparts at the Trauma Unit.

Israel scientists develop ‘sniff test’ that predicts consciousness recovery.
Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science say they have developed a “sniff test” that is able to predict if an unconscious person is likely to regain consciousness. The study published in Nature, which examined whether patients reacted to smells with a slight change in their nasal airflow pattern, was conducted by the scientists together with colleagues at Israel’s Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital. All — 100 percent — of the unconscious brain-injured patients who responded to the simple and inexpensive “sniff test” developed by the researchers regained consciousness during the four-year study period. The sniff response was able to predict with about 92% accuracy who would survive for at least three years. The study also underlines the primal role the sense of smell, “the most ancient part of the brain,” plays in the organization of the human brain and its role in providing an accurate measure of overall brain integrity.

An Israeli combat medic risks his life to save Lives. (Ynet News)
Guy M., 24, served for five years as a combat soldier and paramedic in IDF Unit 669, the Combat Rescue and Evacuation Unit of the Israel Air Force, and carefully documented his experiences. The result was the Hebrew best-seller From Zero to One Hundred, describing “the ability of the unit to go from zero to one hundred in minutes.” Guy is now a medical student at Tel Aviv University.

Israel welcomes record 4.55 million tourists in 2019. (Jerusalem Post)
4.55 million tourists visited Israel in 2019. Tourist entries increased by 11% compared to 4,120,800 in 2018. The leading sources for tourism were the U.S. (890,000), France (338,200), Russia (296,000), Germany (268,900) and Britain (218,700). 144,400 visitors arrived from China, up 51%.

Resources
As part of our “kesher” or connection with Israel, these websites/organizations provide knowledge about current developments in Israeli culture, environment, healthcare, etc. as well as the general issue of anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism and in particular on the college campus:

Act for Israel · AIPAC · AJC · Algemeiner · Amcha Initiative · Camera · Daily Alert · Honest Reporting · Israel 21c · Jewish Virtual Library · JNF · Myths and Facts · Shurat HaDin · StandWithUs · The Israel Project · The Lawfare Project · Times of Israel · United with Israel