Countdown to Tel Aviv

Israel has long been on my bucket list of places to explore. I’ve always been fascinated by the complexity of Israel’s history, the country’s rich and diverse culture and its unique role in global politics. From a business standpoint, Israel’s economic development in the face of many challenges also makes for an interesting case study. This week, I’ll have the chance to learn more about Israel beyond the headlines in the news with 80 of my CBS classmates on the Chazen Israel trip.

Our first weekend in Israel coincides with Purim– a festival that commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia against Haman’s army.  Today, Israelis dress up in costumes to celebrate and many of my classmates who arrived early are already getting the Purim festivities underway. I hope to come away from the trip with a deeper appreciation and knowledge of the many religions that have roots in Israel.

Aside from experiencing Israel’s vibrant culture and seeing the sights in Tel Aviv, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea, we’ll also learn more about Israel as a hotbed for technology and innovation. The country, with a population of only 8 million, boasts the highest per-capital concentration of tech startups and engineers in the world. Ahead of the trip, our trip organizers gave us copies of Dan Senor and Saul Singer’s book Startup Nation, which argues that immigration and mandatory military service are the major drivers behind Israel’s “high-tech miracle.” We’ll be meeting with leaders from Israel’s science, technology and defense industries and even the Mayor of Jerusalem.

Check back for more dispatches soon!

Nathalie Tadena ‘18
Chazen Israel Section B

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