Charles Bronfman is a man with a vision. He seeks to improve the world through social action and community innovation.
About the Prize
The Charles Bronfman Prize for humanitarian action is seeking nominations for 2008 from those whose “Jewish values infuse their humanitarian accomplishments.”
Eligible candidates will be individuals or teams under age 50 who have significantly contributed to the betterment of the world through science, technology, art, culture, education, and global citizenship.
In the four years since its inception, the Charles Bronfman Prize has recognized three outstanding individuals in the fields of medicine and the environment. Read about them below.
The Prize, whose nomination deadline is November 30th, is $100,000.
Who Could You Nominate?
In my work as an activist and professional in the Jewish and nonprofit worlds, I have met people doing some amazing work.
As you read about the prize recipients in the sections that follow, I encourage you to think about who you could nominate. Who do you know who is significantly impacting the world around them? (Nomination forms are available on the Prize’s website.)
I look forward to hearing who is on your mind.
People Who Are Changing the World
Past recipients of the Charles Bronfman Prize:
- Jay Feinberg, founder of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation
- Dr. Alon Tal, founder of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
- Dr. Amitai Ziv, founder of the Israel Center for Medical Simulation
Meet Jay Feinberg
Jay Feinberg saves Jewish lives.
As the founder of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, Feinberg established the premier bone marrow registry for Jewish donors in the world, which now includes 110,000 names and has helped facilitate transplants for over 1,500 cancer patients.
What inspired Feinberg’s actions? At the age of 23 he was diagnosed with leukemia. A last minute bone marrow match saved his life and when he recovered, Feinberg pledged do to something so about it.
(Feinberg is pictured here with his donor, Becky.)
Read more about bone marrow donation below.
Meet Alon Tal
Alon Tal fights for the environment.
As founder of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Adam Teva v’Din: the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, and Chair of Life and Environment, Dr. Alon Tal has dedicated his life to protecting the environment of Israel and the Middle East.
The Arava Institute is well known for its regional cooperation with environmental groups in Jordan, Palestine, and throughout Israel.
Naim Daoud of the Arab National Society for Health Research and Services, and one of Tal’s nominators for the Prize wrote:
“Alon Tal is an environmentalist who understands that ecology can be a force that brings people together and bridges our differences in the region. Few have done more to make this happen.”
Upon receiving the Prize, Tal remarked:
“Israelis are tremendously committed to the environment. Our mission is as old as the marching paper that Adam and Eve received in Genesis to ‘work’ and ‘protect’ the Garden of Eden. We can move mountains if optimism motivates us.”
Read more about Tal’s environmental efforts here.
Meet Amitai Ziv
Amitai Ziv improves the practice of medicine.
Founder and Director of the Israel Center for Medical Simulation, Dr. Amitai Ziv works to decrease medical errors in the healthcare profession by training doctors in medical simulations and reflection to better understand their own actions and reactions.
As a pilot in the Israel Defense Forces, Ziv came to understand the importance of training simulation. As a doctor, he realized its application to medicine.
The Israel Center for Medical Simulation uses computer enhanced mannequins that react as humans do to medical stimuli to help train doctors in real-time simulated crises. The mannequins exhibit the same vital signs as humans, including heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation.
Ziv helps train the Israel Defense Forces Medical Corps in its trauma management courses and has worked with medical professionals to prepare for possible worst case scenario military situations, such as biological or chemical attacks.
He has also worked with Israel’s medical schools to evolutionalize their admissions testing. As well as cognitive testing, applicants to top Israeli med schools now undergo a screening process that evaluates their judgment, interpersonal, and emotional intelligence– traits that were previously deemed unmeasurable by standard assessments.
Former Minister Dan Meridor observed:
“Dr. Ziv has drawn on his life experience to change the face of Israeli medical education. And now he is shaping the way medical training is conducted worldwide, using simulation to enhance the human dimension of medicine in ways that can make every healthcare professional more effective. His contribution to the quality of patient care will have a profound impact for generations.”
Learn More about Bone Marrow Donation
Continued from Jay Feinberg’s section on the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation above.
Did you know:
- That bone marrow is racially and ethnically determined? Jewish patients in need of bone marrow have traditionally had a very small pool of donors to choose from because there are so few of us
- That donating your infant’s umbilical cord blood can help save the life of someone in need?
- That registering your name with bone marrow foundation like Gift of Life could make a difference?
Leukemia does not discriminate by age, race, or geographic location, but bone marrow does. Only a Jew can help a Jew.
Bone marrow donations are one of the few transplants that can be done while you are alive. Share your gift of health with others and consider getting tested and joining a bone marrow registry today. Think of it as a Hanukah present to the Jewish people.
Read more about bone marrow and the Jewish people on Aish.com: “Now I am the Patient.”
Thank you to Michael W. Inlander of The Dershowitz Group for providing some of the background information for this entry. All other information is sourced from the website of the Charles Bronfman Prize or from the organizations’ webpages (linked within each entry).
If you liked this entry, you may also enjoy:
- “Why Orphan Diseases Should be a Jewish Priority (Guest Author Avichai Kremer of Prize4Life)”
- Guest Author Tsvi Bisk Asks: What if One Billion Dollars a Year Were Used to Buy Israeli Alternative Energy Technology?
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- “Slingshot Releases ‘Resource Guide to American Jewish Innovation, 2007- 2008′”
- “3 Ideas for Jewish Communal Innovation: Israel Alumni Corps, Birthright Alumni Corps, Adult Israel Trips”
- “Money for Manners: Prize Offered for Ideas on How to Civilize Israelis”
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