Day 28 - Jaffa, Options & Azrieli Centre (Netzach)
Today we had a late wake up (8:30). Now this may not seem like anything special but to us it was a true blessing. Soon after we were awoken by our alarms and madrichim, we readied ourselves for the day, ate, and thanked G-d (and our madrichim) for the late wake up.
From there we wished our belated goodbyes to Mrs Zadro and Rabbi Lewin and made our way to the city of Jaffa. We arrived at the water looking over the beach and admiring its exquisite beauty. After some time taking photos, we moved on and walked roughly 100m before stopping. Our tour guide then began telling us the story of Akiva, one of the original people who made Aliyah and how he was a major part of the economy and really achieved true success despite leaving quite literally, everything behind, helping establish and build the city of Tel Aviv as well as start the production of Jaffa oranges.
Next we travelled to Tel Aviv in all its glory. We visited the Independence Hall, which was an interesting and rather surreal experience. We first had a speaker and then watched a video about the establishment of the State of Israel. After the video, which was a good graphic explanation of the story, we entered the Independence Hall itself that everyone has seen in the photos. Jonty Blackman (our tour guide) gave us an engaging and very personal explanation of the situation and how it all occurred, showing his true love of the country and its history. The experience as a whole felt almost like a dream: we were in the very same place we had all seen so many times before, but this time we were actually there.
From there we ate a lunch of pasta and salad and moved on to our options. I decided to pick the "entrepreneur" option, the specifics of the activity I hadn't known of before, it just sounded interesting. We found ourself walking into the Tel Aviv stock exchange building, an interesting place to find me, as business isn't exactly my forte. We started off with a few basic questions and an explanation of the institute, which was an exhibition, established by Birthright, for all of the major Israeli innovations. The point of it is to show the true brilliance of Israeli innovators and entrepreneurs, showing how they are the future of our world. We soon entered the exhibition itself and watched a short clip about innovators and entrepreneurs in Israel. After this we were introduced to one of their "cooler" pieces of technology known as the Water-Gen, or otherwise known as Genny. This machine took the moisture from the air and converted it into clean drinking water over the entire day. The idea behind it is that it can eventually be useful for soldiers out in the field who need water for whatever reason, and they would be able to have it instantly, as a renewable, safe source. However the technology itself isn't quite to the point of mass production or maximum efficiency however it is a major step in the right direction. After this presentation we were allowed to explore the exhibit at our own pace. I discovered a few things that really blew my mind and gave me a glimpse into the future of our society. Some examples worth researching are: electroad, pillcam, and skyfi.
The next part of this experience was a short movie, again about entrepreneurship in Israel and how immense their impact is on the world of innovation. After this we had an entrepreneur come in to teach us the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, specifically, how to become an entrepreneur and all the different ways people fail at becoming one. This talk was very interesting as he had personal experience as an advisor rather than an entrepreneur himself. He had in the past, helped many people succeed and innovate. Once this was finished we had a short coffee break and left the area, heading back to our hotel. Our final adventure was to the Azrieli mall, in which we could buy food, clothes and more. We were also given the chance to meet up with family or friends and spend the night with them, which I did, seeing my cousin and childhood friend of my mother. Finally we returned home after another long and busy, but highly enjoyable day on IST.
By David Cohen