Technion: Day Two by Alon Moss
The Technion, is Israel’s centre for innovation, entrepreneurship and, of course technology. All three emerged during our first presentation, given by the leaderof a team of skilled engineers who created a fully functioning autopilot aircraft. He proceeded to tell us the mechanical aspects of the aircraft, whilst presenting the raw materials used. The overall talk was impressive, and the combination of the worker’ skills was extremely remarkable. From there, we travelled to a manufacturer/wholesaler of silicone semi-conductor microchips where we all pretended to completely understand how a microchip works. We climbed into our scrubs and then entered the “clean room” to observe the microscopic computer parts creation. The preciseness and meticulousness of the procedure was somewhat overwhelming as we watched as masses of robots transported the microchips to the next stage of the process. From the factory/office we travelled to lunch, where we ate a nutritious meal consisting of fatty shuarma and glorious pizza drowned in oil. We gathered after our meal and walked into a smallish classroom painted white while we awaited our lecturer. In our most basic lesson on entrepreneurship we discussed value propositions (a fancy mission statement) and also the basic definition of what an entrepreneur is. The lesson was quite enriching, since most of us had little to no education on BS (Business Start-ups) The final lesson before our practical session was on intellectual property which defined and outlined the different ways in protecting our innovations and which ways are suitable for which type of product. For instance Coca-Cola has not patented Coke, as by doing so it needs to release information regarding its formula. This is also why software giants like Google and Apple normally choose not to disclose codes via a patent as the risk outweighs any conceivable reward. Finally in our last task of the day, we split into groups of four and created ideas surrounding the three technologies we had reviewed at the Technion. We were tasked with coming up with a value proposition and will have to present tomorrow morning our revolutionary innovation. All in all the day was exciting and educating as we learnt about the business world from a more practical point of view.
Volunteering Day 2 by Jamie Zworenstein
After an early wake up at 7.30, we met the children for breakfast where we were able to develop closer and stronger connections and relationships with them whilst putting our Hebrew to test. After breakfast, all of the children went off to school, which gave us time to decorate their Heder Ochel for Channukah. It brought us joy just knowing how happy our decorations would make the children, and how grateful they would be for all our hard work. As soon as the children came back from school and walked past the dinning room their faces just lit up and we were surrounded by uncontrollable and contagious smiling. Their smiles warmed our hearts and we joined them for lunch and activities where closer bonds were developed. After some time with the children we walked down to the shops and had our daily Aroma coffees, but also passed a toy shop where we bought beads and string to make friendship bracelets for the little girls. We sat in a circle with some of the children making bracelets for each other, painting each other's nails and making cheesecakes. We were able to get to know many of them but also make them laugh and smile at the same time. We danced and sang together and could feel the happiness and warmth we were bringing them. Before dinner we went to their shul to light the Channukiah and it was so beautiful seeing all the children in awe of the burning lights. We sang some songs for Channukah, prayed and then were all given delicious doughnuts and followed the little girls to dinner where we all sat together and taught each other English and Hebrew songs. They then performed for us their dance for the showcase tomorrow night and we taught them the Casper slide. The moment I will always remember was when we each took one of the girls, went up to their rooms and tucked them into their beds to say goodnight. It was so special debriefing with them on a more personal level and getting to read them bed time stories and say goodnight.
Day 2 Midrasha by Nadia Vidor
Day 2 with the midrasha group started before the sun had even risen. We all woke up at 5:20 and stumbled down the stairs before making our way through the old city and towards the Kotel for Vatikin. This was not anyone's first time at the Kotel, but we all agreed that whenever we visit the Western Wall, the holiness of the sight is so overwhelming that it feels like we are seeing it for the first time all over again. We took our time to daven together before heading back to the hostel (making a pit stop for coffee and rugelach) to hear Rabbi Kelleman speak. For a whole hour, no one spoke as we all listened in awe to the unbelievable story of Rabbi Keleman's son and the trials and tribulations of his early life. After wiping away tears and plaguing Rabbi Keleman with our questions we headed to Yeud Midrasha to hear Chana Levitan speak about positive relationships which left us all with a newfound sense of strength and self worth. We then heard from Miriam Wolf who shared with us a beautiful idea about light. She asked us "what is the quickest way to put out a candle?", to which we instinctively answered, "blow it out". Miriam's answer was different. She told us that the quickest way to put out a candle is to turn on the lights, because with so much artificial light in the room, the light emanating from the flame is completely diminished and devalued. As Jews, we need to make sure that we keep our spiritual flame burning and that we don't let our light become dimmed by superficiality. We said goodbye to Yeud and headed to Matan to discuss the values and halachot pertaining to contemporary Jewish relationships with a woman named Nechama. In the evening, we lit Chanukah candles together and headed down to Mamilla mall to watch the lighting of the chanukiah and listen to famous jewish singers, Yonatan and Aaron Razel in a concert honoring the families who lost children in Operation Protective Edge. We started to dance and sing along to the music and soon enough, we had almost everyone dancing and singing with us. After dinner we got ready to head back to the hostel and just as we were about to leave a few people started to sing, and then a few more joined, and a few more joined until we were so loud that people walking past started to video us! After half an hour, we had danced and sung ourselves to the point of exhaustion and we headed back for bed. Midrasha was an educationally and spiritually enriching expirience for all of us and we learnt to appreciate the Torah and all it's glory in a new way. I really feel as though I have a much better understanding of the beauty of Judaism after these inspiring few days, with our new team line being LYNS - let your neshama shine!