Leading The Future
43 students from the USA and Canada concluded a two-month internship at leading companies in Israel through the Birthright Israel Excel Fellowship Program
Today, Wednesday 5.8.15 marked the end of the fifth year of the Birthright Israel Excel Fellowship Program. The evening, at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange was attended by prominent individuals such as Mr. Yoram Tietz, Chairman of Birthright Israel Excel Program and Managing Partner of EY Israel, Avi Zeevi co-founder and General Partner of Carmel Ventures, Jonathan Saacks Managing Partner at Genesis Partners, David Gappell, Director of the Schusterman Foundation-Israel and Mr. Gidi Mark, International CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel.
This year, the management of the hosting companies welcomed 43 students from 27 top universities in the U.S. and Canada. They served as advisors and business mentors during a two-month internship. The students, chosen out of the thousands of applicants, stayed in Israel for two months, during which they met with Israeli leaders in various industries, visited important locations across the country and took part in professional workshops. Furthermore, they were paired with Israeli peers, officers from the intelligence unit of the IDF and students from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, who served as a bridge to Israeli society and culture. The students also received personal business mentoring and participated in a professional internship providing them with an understanding of the Israeli business world.
Israel’s business leaders include: Avi Zeevi, Co-Founder and General Partner of Carmel Ventures, Tal Keinan, founder and CEO of KCPS Clarity, Leonard Rosen, CEO of Barclays Capital Israel, Modi Rosen, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Magma Venture Partners, Gil Golan, Director at the Advanced Technical Center-Israel of General Motors, Yoram Tietz, Managing Partner of Ernst & Young Israel, Tomer Bar Zeev Co-Founder and CEO of IronSource and Eran Barkat, Partner at BRM group, to name a few.
“The Birthright Israel Excel Fellowship forms and empowers the future leaders of the Jewish world. Birthright Israel Excel is an extension to- and considered one of the most important projects of- Taglit-Birthright Israel. The Fellowship offers outstanding students the opportunity to discover the country and intern at leading Israeli companies, generating bonds that will serve as a catalyst in creating cooperation between the Diaspora and Israel,” said Taglit-Birthright Israel’s International CEO Gidi Mark. “With their return home, each student is linked to a local mentor, usually a senior businessman and philanthropist, active in the Jewish community and Israel. The mentors advise participants about their professional futures, the importance of social and philanthropic responsibilities and connect them to their Jewish identity and to the business and social sides of the State of Israel”.
Taglit co-founders and philanthropists Michael and Judy Steinhardt and Lynn Schusterman, created Birthright Israel Excel five years ago with as goal to develop a cadre of future Jewish leaders, and empower them in the world of business, technology, and social entrepreneurship. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the Excel Fellows’ connection and commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and to foster the development of a collaboration between international and Israeli companies. The program is supported by the Steinhardt Family Foundation, The Lynn and Charles Schusterman family foundation, and the Paul E. Singer Foundation.
About Birthright Israel
Birthright Israel connects young Jews to the State of Israel as well as to their Jewish identity through a free ten-day educational tour of the country. Over the past 15 years, Birthright Israel has opened the eyes of hundreds of thousands of trip participants to the people and the land of Israel. The trip aims to build an understanding, friendship, and lasting bond with the land and people of Israel and to reinforce the solidarity of the Jewish people worldwide. This allows for the creation of new friendships between participants and Israelis as well as deepens their understanding of the country and the Jewish religion and connects participants to their Jewish heritage. Birthright Israel is considered the most successful and largest Zionist project in the Jewish world.
Birthright Israel has a unique, historical and innovative partnership between the Government of Israel, thousands of individual donors and private philanthropists, and Jewish communities around the world through the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The gift of a trip to Israel started with philanthropists Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt. Each year, individuals from across the world donate to Birthright Israel with the shared belief that it is the birthright of all young Jews to be able to visit their ancestral homeland.
Since its inception in 1999, over 500,000 Jews from over 66 countries have participated in the free 10-day educational tour of Israel. Of these over 80,000 young Israeli soldiers (from prestigious units of the IDF) and students have joined various groups on their tours.
Over the years, several studies have been conducted at Brandies University, located in the USA, demonstrating the lasting effect on Diaspora Jews when focusing on their Jewish identity, their connection to Israel and their ability to promote the country.