Gordon Tours Israel Blog

Top 5 Most Influential Israelis in Science & Technology

Icon November 14, 2019
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

Israel usually draws visitors from all over the world due to its status as an ancient and holy land. But Israel is also a thriving modern society- in fact, it is a worldwide leader in scientific and technological innovation! This month we’re highlighting the work of some of the most influential Israelis working in these fields today.

Ehud Amir, Inventor of Waze

Waze

When Ehud Amir’s wife gave him a GPS, he found himself frustrated by its errors and limitations. He began to create his own map of Israel, eventually developing what would become known as the Waze application. Waze acts like a typical GPS, but with a huge extra benefit: It gathers data from all of its users to adjust to traffic and other road changes in real-time.

Waze was recently acquired by Google and continues to grow in popularity around the world. The crowd-sourced map can guide you to your destination via the quickest possible route, help you find the lowest gas prices, and let you know when a speed trap is on the horizon.

Chaim Weizmann

No list of influential Israelis in science is complete without Chaim Weizmann, for whom the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science is named. Weizmann discovered acetone, instrumental in a variety of products, from chemical solvents to nail polish remover. He also made important discoveries that contributed to the field of industrial fermentation, used in microbiology, food production, and pharmaceutical creation.

Weizmann wasn’t only eminent in the scientific field- he was an important Zionist leader, and became the first president of the state of Israel.

Professor Tal Dvir, Tel Aviv University

3d heart

Professor Tal Dvir led a team of researchers earlier this year in creating the world’s first 3D-printed human heart, made of human tissue. The heart they produced was miniature, but they believe that with further progress, they could print a full-sized human heart. They have plans to begin transplanting 3D-printed hearts into animals, hoping to someday successfully conduct a human transplant.

Tal Dvir’s work may well lead us into a future that renders organ donation obsolete.

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Professors Nachum Kedar and Haim Rabinowich, Hebrew University

Cherry Tomatoes

Most people don’t know that the modern cherry tomato comes to us by way of Israeli innovation! While cherry tomatoes have their origins in Mexico and South America, for most of the twentieth century they were rare, exotic, and mostly used for decoration.

Cue the entrance of Israeli scientists. Professors Kedar and Rabinowich led a team that created the modern cherry tomato- easy to grow, good for shipping, and tasty to snack on! Our summer salads have Israel to thank for this delicious addition.

Dr. Shulamit Levenberg

Dr. Shulamit Levenberg is a leader in the field of regenerative medicine. Her lab at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology has made exceptional strides in the field of tissue transplantation. Scientific American profiled her as one of “The Scientific American Fifty,” highlighting leaders in research and development in science. Dr. Levenberg works to ensure that organs and tissues are not rejected after transplant.

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