Thursday, February 2, 2012

A new year and a new tour for Birthright

Few organizations have done more to connect young Diaspora Jews to the State of Israel and to their Jewish identities than the Taglit-Birthright Israel program, whose free 10-day tours to Israel for young Jews aged 18 to 26 are increasingly being given themes or being tailored to specific groups, Arutz Sheva reported recently.

Inspired by the popular book Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, Birthright – a joint project of the Israeli government, Jewish philanthropists and communities throughout the Diaspora – has developed a tour specifically for business, entrepreneurial or high-tech students who are working towards establishing start-up companies of their own one day.

Here in Canada, the Canadian Technion Society, which creates awareness and fundraises for Haifa’s Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, took a group of 16 young professionals on a similar trip to the Holy Land this past November to see the Technion, as well as visit various Israeli high-tech start ups – such as Better Place, an electric car company founded by a Technion graduate – and meet with Israeli venture capitalists and young people like themselves.

Reflecting on Birthright’s latest offering, the trip’s co-leader Craig Kramer told Arutz that “Start-Up Nation” trip participants also get “to pitch their ideas and receive direct feedback from people who have been there and done that.”

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