Yesterday the Los Angeles-based Iranian Jewish “International Judea Foundation” (SIAMAK) was honored for creating a program that nurtures and develops innovative medical, high-tech and alternative energy research at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University (BGU). Dubbed “Project Jacob” after the biblical patriarch, the program is the brainchild of Dariush Fakheri, SIAMAK’s president, an entrepreneur and community activist. Fakheri is no novice when it comes to philanthropy in the local Iranian Jewish community since SIAMAK under his leadership has been one of the primary non-profits helping needy families struggling to make ends meet in L.A. since 1979. The following are two videos of Fakheri being honored at a ceremony hosted by BGU in Beverly Hills yesterday:
With an initial investment of $200,000 in February 2010, SIAMAK funded three projects at BGU. While development for the three BGU projects continues to move forward, SIAMAK’s board members have been encouraging other local area Iranian Jews to invest in Project Jacob. SIAMAK’s goal is to help Israel expand its economic strength by providing seed money for developments of products to be made in Israel and also spread “tikkun olam” with the use of such products around the world.
It is indeed no surprise that SIAMAK would partner up with Ben Gurion University in Israel, since the university is center Israel’s cutting edge technology and medicine. Prior to the honoring of SIAMAK, BGU’s distinguished panel of experts discussed the latest advances they have made in the homeland security arena. The university’s researchers have worked on projects pertaining to satellites, remote sensing, unmanned robotics systems, emergency response systems, developing building materials that can withstand the shock of rocket attacks, software for cyber-attack protection, night vision technology and thermal imagining technology. Interestingly, L.A. County Sherriff Lee Baca was also in attendance to learn about Israel’s latest homeland security advances.
(BGU professor Amos Drory, photo by Karmel Melamed)
(Fakheri family & friends at BGU event, photo by Karmel Melamed).
More information on BGU can found here.