April 9, 2007

April 9, 2007 Chag Sameach! Your Seder plate will never look the same again!

news_id7As we prepare to gather with family and friends to share the Passover story, we need look no further than the Seder table to see how far we have come since the time of Moses.

As is our tradition to retell the story of Jews being freed from slavery, Professor Moussa Youdim’s research on the “Multifunctional Activities of Green Tea Catechins in Neuroprotection” will help us ensure that we always remember the story.

At our table…

Salt Water:  Technion Scientists are leading the world in water desalination efforts. Over the years and today, Technion has set the nation’s agenda where water is concerned. Prof. Raphael Semiat and Prof. David Hasson, among others in the Grand Water Research Institute (GWRI), are sought after both locally and internationally for their expertise.

Desalination experts from Technion, graduates and faculty alike, have helped Israel’s IDE Technologies, a major global leader in desalination, to build the world’s largest seawater Reverse Osmosis desalination plant in Ashkelon.

Maror:  (Bitter Herbs) Professor Joseph Miltz of Technion’s Faculty of Food Engineering and Biotechnology demonstrated the power of Basil to act as a layer of anti-microbial protection in packaging food.

When incorporated into plastic wrap, Basil extracts enhanced food safety, slowing the growth of eight types of lethal bacteria. Experiments showed the wrapping extended shelf life of cheese and most likely of meats, fish, baked goods, fruits and vegetables. Using “Maror” technology, your family could be feasting on Seder leftovers throughout the entire holiday!

Charoset:  This sweet, jam-like mixture symbolizes the bricks made by Jewish slaves and helps us remember the labour and construction work of our ancestors. Technion scientist Dr. Dina Wasserman of Technion’s National Building Research Institute says, “to understand the past is key to the future.”

Her team provides engineering solutions using authentic materials and nondestructive methods to study degradation, corrosion and weathering processes of historical and cultural heritage sites. In doing so, the analysis helps other scientists preserve sites, like the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount, for future generation of visitors.

Matzah:  The bread of affliction reminds us how Jewish slaves fled from bondage with little time to properly prepare even the most basic foods. Today, the “Atidim” Project, a joint project between the IDF and Technion continues to advance talented students from peripheral areas and underprivileged families, most recently those of Druze and Ethiopian descent, and helps them receive an academic education in science and engineering.

Another project – NOAM – provides the opportunity for outstanding Arab high school students. Speaking on behalf of the students at NOAM’s opening ceremony in November 2006, Rana Zahran, a student from Iblin in the Galilee, said the project is a unique opportunity for Arab youth. “We are lucky that there are people who are thinking about how to unite us instead of how to divide us. If we would all work together, we could reach unprecedented new heights,” she said.

Chazereth:  OrganiTech, a Technion Incubator company, pioneered a robotic lettuce growing operation. The revolutionary method automatically grows fresh vegetables efficiently and economically, everyday throughout the year, without the use of dangerous pesticides.

Using the proven hydroponic growing technology, the automatic Grow-tech 2000 is fully computerized. All planting and harvesting us performed by robots based on intelligent monitoring and sensor programs.

Four Cups of Wine:  While we drink a cup of wine at four points in the Seder to remember the four redemptions promised and fulfilled by G_d, Technion Professor Miki Aviram’s research clinically proved that red wine reduces cholesterol oxidation and attenuates arteriosclerosis, the major cause of morbidity and mortality in the Western world. L’chaim!

As is our tradition to retell the story of Jews being freed from slavery, Professor Moussa Youdim’s research on the “Multifunctional Activities of Green Tea Catechins in Neuroprotection” will help us ensure that we always remember the story.

Passover:  Today, when we look to the sky we can think of the Gurwin TechSat II – the Technion student-designed satellite – orbiting the globe, which passes over the Earth at an altitude of over 800 Kilometres. Professor Moshe Guelman, Technion’s Asher Space Research Institute director, says “at this rate, the Technion satellite will remain in space for hundreds of years, as a reminder of Technion activity for generations to come.”

For now and for the future, may you and your families share a wonderful holiday.

Chag Pesach Sameach to all our friends, from the Canadian Technion Society