“The concept of ‘repairing the world’ (tikun olam) dates back to ancient Judaism and is an integral part of Jewish heritage. In modern times, the concept remains very much alive, and has never been more visible than in the State of Israel today. Though the international news media tends to focus on conflict issues, much of the real news – that is, news about cutting-edge, up-to-the-minute developments – gets overlooked.

Rabbi Stephen Wise’s Israel – Repairing the World addresses this issue in a big way. His eye-catching, easy-to-read descriptions of Israel’s modern-day accomplishments contain a treasure trove of information accessible to young and old alike. Full of interesting facts on a wide range of subjects, Israel – Repairing the World will appeal to those with a wide knowledge of Israel, as well as those discovering Israel for the first time. Rabbi Wise provides readers with a tantalizing overview, which will no doubt inspire them to continue their research.

This is a delightful introduction to one of the most fascinating countries in today’s world, Israel.”

Amir R. Gissin, Consul General of Israel in Toronto


“Israel stands at the center of Jewish life, and promoting the love of Israel – state, land, and people – is a sacred Jewish task. No book that I have ever seen is better than this one at conveying to children and young people why Israel is such an exciting, wondrous, and special place.”

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President Emeritus, Union for Reform Judaism


“What do mathematics making it possible for the MARS rover to operate, and bacteria that reduce mosquito-caused malaria by 90% have in common?  What about being the first responders to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and offering life saving heart operations to children worldwide?

Readers of this inspiring book will discover all of the above were gifts to the world from a country the size of Canada’s Vancouver Island.  They will be amazed to learn how Israel has overcome its own harsh climate and lack of natural resources to thrive in every area of endeavour, and touched how it reaches out to other nations in many ways. Rabbi Wise’s theme of people helping people leaps from these pages in gorgeous photographs and lively text, which express powerfully the unlimited potential in all of us and the importance of building bridges to one another. I wish all our young people could read this book, to see how caring to do what is right, combined with education and ingenuity make our entire world a better place.  What a wonderful message of peace and hope.”

Terrence Young, M.P. Oakville


“I love the book! It highlights the achievements of Israel – it makes one proud to read about the accomplishments and you highlight them in every area!”

 Rabbi Ken Emert


“As the birthplace of the world’s three monotheistic faiths, Israel often gets looked at from the perspective of what was. What Rabbi Wise does, in this very engaging book, is to remind us of the place of Israel in the modern world. By speaking to Israel’s contributions to science and medicine, humanitarian efforts and contributions to the environment he takes us to a living vibrant nation that is enriching the world that we all share. For students of history, people of faith and persons who are simply engaged in the world they live, this book is a ‘must read’.”

The Reverend Canon Darcey R. Lazerte, Rector, St. Simon’s Anglican Church, Oakville


Wise, Stephen. Israel: Repairing the World. Hamilton, Ontario: BlueAppleWorks, 2012. 32 pp. $11.99.
(9780986758218) Pbk. Gr 3–7.

Israel: Repairing the World was written to provide middle-grade students with an introduction to Israel’s scientific and cultural accomplishments and its role in “repairing the world”—a Jewish term meant to convey the obligation to make the world a better place. With its succinct, child-friendly language and attractive, colorful format, it provides an account of many of Israel’s unique achievements in the areas of medicine, ecology and conservation, agriculture, computer and cell phone technology, humanitarian aid, the arts, and more. From the news media, one might think that war, terrorism, and conflict define life in Israel. This book aims to show students another side of this small nation.
The author wrote with Jewish students and Jewish schools in mind. But since the narrative is entirely factual, simply recounting and describing such Israeli inventions as instant messaging, cell-phone cameras, voicemail technology, and the “Israeli bandage” (which helped to save the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords), there is no reason why this title shouldn’t also serve public schools, or private non-Jewish schools in their studies of the Middle East. Classroom-size orders (purchased at will be accompanied by a teacher guide and lesson plans, though it should be noted that these materials are geared for students in a Jewish setting.

Andrea Rapp, Isaac M. Wise Temple, Cincinnati, OH
Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews