3 honored at annual Israel Bonds banquet

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Ruthanne Crotty comments as her husband Timothy Crotty holds their award after they were honored with one of two Yitzhak Rabin Awards during the Israel Bonds Awards Dinner at the Community Arts Center Sunday night.

Three people who have excelled in service to the local community were honored at the Central Pennsylvania State of Israel Bonds annual banquet held at the Community Arts Center Sunday night.

In introducing Ruthanne and Timothy Crotty, the first two recipients of the Yitzhak Rabin Award, Dawn Linn, chief executive officer of the YWCA, lauded the couple for their work in non-profit organizations locally and also for their support of the Israeli community.

“I hope after this evening you will be reminded of all the good they have done to make the community a better place, not just for today, but how your vision has strengthened our communities for the next generation,” Linn said.

Ruthanne Crotty accepted the award for her and her husband noting that through their friendship with Marvin Staiman, chairman of the event, and his wife Jean and by attending the yearly banquets, they have come to learn and value the state of Israel.

“As for commitment to our community, service and volunteering, Tim and I know for sure that volunteering is not a one-way street. For us working together along the way we have been blessed with lasting friendships,” Crotty said.

Glenn T. Smith, who recently retired as president and CEO of AAA North Penn, received the Yitzhak Rabin for his work as an advocate to advance and improve transportation, according to Sandra Tosca, district executive for the Department of Public Transportation, District 3, who introduced Smith.

“Glenn is also being recognized for his decades of service to his church and community,” Tosca added.

“It’s been a blessing for me to be an employee of AAA for the last 38 years and to be the president and CEO of North Penn for 21 years. It’s always been my greatest honor to represent this community, Lycoming County, central and northeastern PA on the various committees and boards I’ve served on and chaired through the years. It’s been my sincere pleasure to do that,” Smith said.

Featured speaker for the night was Nadav Kidron, president and CEO of Oramed Pharmaceuticals, an Israel firm that is in the process of doing clinical testing on insulin that can be delivered orally instead of through injection.

During his opening remarks, Kidron commented on what he called the special atmosphere he sensed with the group of about 100 people attending the event.

“I get to travel and lecture in different places, but I want to tell you that tonight there’s a special atmosphere of unity and friendship than everywhere else,” he said. “I’m waiting to be invited again, with my family, because I want them to experience this special atmosphere that sometimes words cannot express.”

Kidron, who was born in Jerusalem, spoke of the spiritual side of Israel, but also told the group of another aspect of the country that many are not aware of.

“The world is changing. The technologies and the innovation that are coming out of Israel today are changing the world for the better in ways that are almost impossible to imagine,” he said.

He told the audience that his company, Oramed, had been chosen as one of the 60 companies featured at conference on the 60th birthday of Israel. The purpose of the conference was to showcase how the country’s advances in technology would change tomorrow.

“I remember very clearly, that as I walked around the 60 booths I was shocked to see, even myself as part of the industry, how I was so amazed to see that level of innovation that is coming out of Israel,” he said.

He asserted that many times the image that the world has of Israel is focused on the conflicts in the Middleast rather than on the advances in technology coming out of his country. Kidron stressed that Israel and its citizens are working everyday to improve the lives of people through technology.

Of his own company’s work with the idea of insulin being taken orally, Kidron noted that it has the potential to help hundreds of millions of people who suffer from the disease around the world. He detailed how by being able to take insulin orally the medicine is taken directly to the liver instead of having to travel through the bloodstream. The drug is currently going through the second phase of clinical trials in the United States.

Kidron also spoke about the advances that Israel is making in self-driving vehicles.

“Everything I’m telling you now is not science fiction. It’s not something our kids are going to see. It’s something that right around the corner,” he added.

He contended that the increase in self-driving cars would change the way people live. There would be fewer accidents and commutes would be shorter so that people could live farther away from larger cities and still travel to work.

“Reality is always changing. We live in an age when it’s changing at a pace that even for us in the industry it’s hard to grasp,” he added.

“This changing reality, in my humble opinion, takes us to one place, to the most important thing that doesn’t change – that is love, friendship and compassion. People are here today because you feel connected to each other, you feel connected to Israel. You feel connected to the vision of how you can make the world a better place. I can tell you as much as I can stand here and predict what’s going to be tomorrow the only promise I can make you is the people who stick to those values, they invest their time and energies in the most important thing on earth,” he concluded.