Young Jewish start-up Sonovia was a research and development company making sheets and beddings for hospitals until Covid-19 changed its entire business model. With his years of experience making anti-viral fabrics, the company’s founder, Yehoshua Hershcovici, decided to drive its focus to the production of the SonoMask- a reusable mask proven to be 90% effective against the coronavirus.
Based in Ramat Gan, the SonoMask was developed by Jewish scientists at the lab of Professor Aharon Gedanken from Bar Ilan University. Since 2013, the technology was perfected by Gedanken and Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry Prof. Sidney Altman to achieve 90% effectiveness against Covid-19. Tested in Austria’s HygCen medical lab, the mask was proven to be reusable for over 65 washes without losing its protective abilities.
With his newly released “Sonomask”, Hershcovici has set out to support and protect Jewish communities worldwide. Starting production in Israel, Sonovia donated thousands of face masks treated with its proprietary formulation to citizens-at-risk and healthcare professionals fighting at the forefront against COVID-19.
“I wanted to help our Jewish brothers as much as I could, donating to organizations such as “Nefesh b’ Nefesh” in Israel and “Kisharon” Jewish Disability Foundation in the UK, and working with the Israeli Cycling Team representing our country in the tour de France” Hershcovici said. He continued: “We also donated masks to hospitals, including ‘Meir’ hospital in Israel and the National Scientific ‘Carl Gustav’ hospital in Germany to produce a meaningful impact by helping those who are fighting in the front-lines.”
With these donations, Sonovia has garnered the attention of Jewish communities. After being featured in major publications such as The Jerusalem Post, synagogues and Hebrew schools have started requested the masks for their communities.
Such an example comes from Cheryl Finkel, head of the Atlanta-Israel coalition in Georgia, who has organized a “secret acts of kindness” program in her town: “We bought these masks to protect our group in these tough times, and Sonovia has been more than helpful in making this a reality. Each person in the community sends another person a mask, and we get to know each other through mutual sharing. It’s a fun activity that also supports Jewish companies”.
Rabbi Robert Shwartz, a senior rabbi from New Jersey, was also looking for antiviral masks when the Coronavirus outbreak started: “People stopped coming to the Beit Knesset on Shabbats, so I was searching for masks that could offer the best protection when I came across Sonovia. Reading about their lab tests I immediately contacted them, and they were really happy to help and provided me with care and support. I ordered masks for my congregation and now we can go on with our daily lives worry-free”.
SonoMask- the zinc-coated anti-pathogen mask- is approved for distribution and sale in the U.S. by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is available to purchase on the Sonovia online store.