Did You Know?

by Chedva Silver, age 13, from PA

Did you know that at least 170 Nobel Prizes were awarded to Jews? That’s about 22% of all individual recipients! That is amazing when you take into account the fact that Jews only make up about 0.25% of the world population and 2% of the US population! Besides for Nobel Prizes, Jews have left their imprint on society in big ways. I bet you didn’t know that half the things you use on a daily basis were invented by Jews!

  • Do you ever wear lipstick? The lipstick tube was created by a Jew named Maurice Levy.
  • It’s always fun to sit with a friend and play a relaxing game of Rummikub. Did you know this classic game was created by Ephraim Hertzano in Israel?
  • We all appreciate the traffic light, even though sometimes we wish we could go through a red (especially when you’re late for school!) This lifesaver was created by a Jew named Charles Adler.
  • I’m sure we’ve all watched a videotape at some point in our lives. Charles Ginsburg created that one!
  • How do you store your essays after typing them up? Lots of people use the USB flash drive. That was invented by an Israeli company, M-Systems, in partnership with IBM.
  • Pictures are among the many things stored on USB flash drives.  The Polaroid camera was created by a Jew named Edwin Land.
  • The micro-processing chip, the most important part of a computer, was also invented by a Jew, Stanley Mezor.
  • Who hasn’t used Google? Google’s two founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, are Jewish!
  • On the subject of technology, anyone who uses a Dell computer is using a Jewish creation: Michael Dell was a Jew!
  • When you were little, it was probably comforting to sleep with a Teddy Bear. (Don’t be ashamed, it’s okay!) Guess what? That security toy was created by a Jew by the name of Morris Michtom!
  • Another toy you probably played with as a child is the Barbie doll. That was created by Ruth and Elliot Handler.
  • We’ve all gotten shots before. (But we wish we could skip them!) An important vaccine, the polio vaccine, was created by a man named Jonas Salk, a Jew!
  • Some more Jews who helped in the medical field are Benjamin Rubin, who ground the eyelet of a sewing machine needle into a fork shape, giving us the ability to give vaccinations, and Gertrude Elion, who was a Nobel Prize winner and created the first treatment for Leukemia. There’s also Baruch Blumberg, who created the vaccination for Hepatitis B.
  • An invention I’m sure all of us use every day (except for Shabbos) is the ballpoint pen. That was created by a Jew named Lazlo Biro.
  • Imagine yourself at a barbeque. There’s your hotdog and your cup of lemonade with a straw in it. Guess what? Half of that was created by Jews: the hot dog bun by Abraham Levis and the flexi-straw by Joe Friedman. Now imagine you’re washing up from the barbeque in your stainless-steel sink. That was also created by a Jew, Benno Strauss!
  • Jews are big in literature, too. The poem within the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is written by Emma Lazarus, a Jew.
  • Camp wouldn’t be the same without microphones, right? Emile Berliner must have had camps in mind when creating it!
  • And one of the most famous people in the world, a very well-known scientist, was also Jewish: Albert Einstein!