If you live in the Atlanta area then you may have already heard of Max Seidel. He’s a recent Birthright Israel alumnus who has put his engineering skills to use and founded Atlanta Face Shields. The company was set up to manufacture face shields for Atlanta hospitals but soon found itself meeting needs everywhere. After the word spread, hospitals across the nation are reaching out for PPE.
Birthright Israel Foundation was lucky to catch up with Max for a few minutes during this busy time and learn more about what inspired him.
What inspired you to get involved in the fight against COVID-19?
I am involved with the Israeli organization Tikkun Olam Makers. It’s an organization that convenes teams of engineers, occupational therapists, and other specialists who are assigned to come up with solutions to everyday problems. When my classes became remote in March 2020 I couldn’t sit around and just do nothing. So, I responded to an initiative by Tikkun Olam Makers called Rapid Response Makers. I had a 3D printer and knew I could print plastic face shields. Quickly, I realized I couldn’t make as many as I wanted to and I put a call out on social media for help. Within a week I had a website and a GoFundMe page. My original goal was to make 500 masks and we quickly grew to over 2,400 and have raised $25,000 for the cause.
As a Jewish person, why do you think it’s important to practice Tikkun Olam and give back?
Tikkun Olam is an incredible value we as Jewish people have. It’s our responsibility to use the abilities we have to help out in any situation. I’m an engineering student so I can’t help people with coronavirus become better, but what I can do is construct face shields to protect the doctors. It’s something that helps me stay motivated and happy.