In 1993, Dr. Ziderman’s scientific work was applied in the making of kosher tekhelet tzitzit by the Ptil Tekhelet Association. Currently
snails from Eastern Europe are used for the dye, because the snails found on
the Israeli coast are a protected species, thus unavailable for this purpose.
Only 5,000 sets of tekhelet tzizit are sold each year and the price is
prohibitive for many Jews ($36 at Bala Judaica for the blue tzizit
versus $3 for the white ones). Dr. Ziderman founded the Tekhelet
Foundation to raise dye-murex snails in Israel, so tallit manufacturers can
make tekhelet tzizit at affordable prices.
Drawing upon Rav Herzog’s work, Dr. Ziderman identified the banded dye-murex snail(Hexaplex Trunculus) as the ancient source of the tekhelet. Shells of these snails have been found in the excavations of ancient homes in
Jerusalem, as tekhelet had also been used to dye the garments of the Kohanim.
Of course, the context of loan policies is very different from one country to the next. Shen and Ziderman note that in many European countries college is free, so loans are just about covering room and board. Still, it’s clearly not just in the U.S. that we worry about student debt.