Blog Archives - Career Israel- Israel Experience Ltd.

If you still have not read Start Up Nation by Saul Singer and Dan Senor - order it on Amazon ASAP.

One of the reasons that they describe Israel to be such a successful StartUp Nation is its size - the proximity of extremely intelligent and risk taking individuals. What does this mean for people coming to learn, volunteer, study in Israel? The proximity and small network allow us to get involved, be in the know, and meet the right people.

Last night the author of StartUp Nation was hosted by Bar Ilan MBA International Program with a panel of CEO's and Venture Capitol Partners from Israel, with the topic "What is Next for the Start Up Nation"

Saul Singer began with a short story from his book - about Paypal (owned by Ebay) coming to an Israeli start up founder, Fraud Scientists to learn about how they detect internet fraud. Immediately Paypal was struck by Fraud Scientists skill based on how they learned to find traces of terrorists in the army. The company was bough for 80million dollars.

How can we understand the pace of change in technology? Singer quoted a study that
To Reach 50million users it took
38 Years.....For Radio
13 Years...For TV
4 Years...For Intenet
3 Years...For Ipod
9months for 100million Users of Facebook
9 months for 1 billion Users for Ipone Applications

Does Israel want to continue to be a country of start ups to be bought by bigger more sustainable companies or are we looking to develop our own bigger companies here? How can we transfer the booming hi tech economy to other sectors in Israel - like education for example? How can we integrate new olim and arabs into this hi tech boom? How do we leverage our technologies to help global progress?

Director of Google Israel, Greece and South Africa, Meir Brand:
"Our competitve advantage must be INNOVATION. Israeli technologies are already being deployed in 3rd world countries. Computer science is our ticket to solving world problems.

Tal Keinan: CEO KCPS COmpany:
"We have a unique concentration of minds: and "a lot of experience garnered overseas"

Chemi Peres, CO-Founder Pitango:
"We are an isolated country and have to speed up our rate of change even though we have a delay due to the time shift and isolation..but that also means we have the opportunity to show that we can turn an entire country electric. We must CONSUME innovation rather than services the consumer from countries miles away"


First Step to Signing Up: Picking your field. While the descriptions of the internships are somewhat vague, many of them are attached to really cool organizations and companies. If you start applying to jobs on your own, many employers in Israel will say "Contact me when you get here" -- since you are only an intern, you are not first priority, and so when you contact him/her in February you will meet with them in March and then you will start to MAYBE work in April and then you will be ready to go home. It  is a frustrating reality but it is truth. So - best to be focused and decide what kind of work environment you want -- the best thing about it is that you can decide what about the company you want to do and make it happen.

Since my first plan was to go to law school I figured working in law would be best. BUT - law internships in Israel are not easy to find. Most of their interns have already finished law school - so if you are looking for law work, best to connect with an NGO. You'll get great experience - probably more than if you were standing at the photocopy machine in a huge law firm.

Still I preservered and got an internship (on my own) for an organization of lawyers that helped charedi women with domestic abuse issues be represented in courts. On an organized trip from MASA to Better Place, a groundbreaking start up in Israel, my coordinator told me to come sit next to her because my internship said that they would no longer be able to have me intern. Nuff Said. After weeks of emails and interviews and starting the first day, I had to start from scratch. And so I walked over to the CEO's assistant at Better Place, whose name I had heard from a mutual friend, sent her my resume with a very strong and convincing introduction - that I would be willing to work for the company in ANY capacity. You can't say no to strong will. After a few weeks of emailing and interviews, I got the INTERNSHIP at the company that I had dreamed to work for 2 years before I decided to go to Israel!

Day 1 of the INternship: Interns should approach employers to discuss if they will pay for transportation. If not, MASA will cover the cost
Day 57 of my Internship: The question of who is paying for my transportation has not yet been decided

Bottom Line - Israeli companies are confused by us interns. We left our jobs to work for free? On day 57 of my internship, I am still waiting to get payments for my bus rides - but at the same time, I would have NEVER had the chance to learn about one of the most exciting companies in Israel from the executives of the company if I didn't enter the company as an intern. S

Four Career Israel participants talk about hebrew learning, interning and living in Israel. 

Leila Hesselson
YCHW Saskatoon Book Project
I recently finished a professional internship program in Israel called Career Israel, sponsored by MASA and the Jewish Agency. I worked in a Genetics lab at Tel Aviv University whose focus is to understand the molecular basis of hearlng loss in Israeli populations. In addition, I met Jewish people from all around the globe, including South America, France and South Africa. I enjoyed spending Shabbat dinners with the people ...continue @

Enough about not knowing what to do with our lives. 
Here are some fun activities that went on in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv this weekend that I was able to attend! Can you imagine doing all of these things from your hometown for less than $100?

ART (Thursday)
FreshPaint - two warehouses in Yaffo's Old city by the port were stocked with paintings, murals, sculptures. Pics to come

And on a VERY different note, a Chassidish Band performing in Jerusalem at the Yellow Submarine - great spot for bar/band outings.
Venue: Yellow Submarine, Jerusalem


And then on a somewhat different note, today in the Old City of Jerusalem, I went to an Eish Torah Discovery Seminar with speakers all focused on proving that G-d is the author of the Bible. In the past few weeks I have been curiously trying to connect chronological Jewish History with what was happening in the Global community. I wish I would have once learned how to connect what was happening elsewhere in the intellectual social and religious world at the time of the Purim story. Or what was happening in Jewish History when Socrates first starting to enter the scene. One lecture, Dr. Gerald Shroeder, Ph.D. in Nucleur Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences  from MIT, focused on the Bang Theory and the story of Biblical creation actually do not contradict. From my very limited understanding, here is how he put it (in much much more simple terms): We start counting the Jewish year (5774) from the time of the creation of Adam and Eve, but, according to Shroeder (who is taking his ideas from Rabbincal literature) what happened before that was 6 days (according to Bible) or 15 billion years, according to accepted Scientific theory. Using Einstein's theory on relativitiy, and the speed of energy depending on perspective, he calculated 15billion divided by 1 trillion (the accepted number of difference between creation to now) and got 5 and a half. that makes no sense. buy his book. he'll say it better I think.


Bootcamp on the beach! Twice a week for one hour of intense fitness training - and in English!


Attention College graduates who are currently spending too many hours fixing your resumes, perusing career websites,  attending "networking events," searching craigslist, and miserably signing up for LSAT courses because...well... there's a plan that sounds good.

And Welcome
perspective Career Israel participants, current participants, curious applicants. Welcome to the reader who is searching the web looking for something meaningful to do with their life. Welcome to the reader who googled "Israel" and "Job" and miraculously stumbled across a link that contained both words and didn't require a resume or cover letter. Welcome to the reader looking for a way to come to Israel with some purpose.  I graduated from college with an honors degree in English Literature backed with lots and lots of wonderful - supposed-to-connect-you-to-future-jobs-type -of-internships, and yet found myself only with question marks. As my second year post college graduation began, my fellow peers were returning as a second year teacher, promoted to head matre di at a five star NYC restaurant, beginning law school, going into labor, planning weddings and deeply entrenched in graduate school studying...I was left with a big question mark as the first job I took out of college announced it was going out of business.

Before coming to Israel I spent months doing the most annoying and supposedly strategic thing possible: Networking. Based on the business cards I now have stacked on my desk at home, I met with over 30 people about job opportunities. And  yet when it came down to it, "what do you want to be doing?" I had no answer. With no answer, no one can help. And that is why I decided I needed to spend some time away, not touring and shopping, bumming on the beach or partying, but working toward figuring out my career without all of the expectations, distractions, and competition that laced my career searching at home.

Why did I come on Career Israel? I am 24 years old and despite the "financial crises my company went out of business" reality, I had a job offer at home in NYC. When I am constantly asked at work: "You gave up a job in NEW YORK to come work for FREE in Israel? What kind of experience are you going to get in Israel that you wouldn't get in NY?" or "We don't do internships..." Yes - kind of embarassing. But yet, as I am now completing my third month here, I actually feel confident that this was the right choice.

Bottom line - finding a job is hard because the economy sucks, it is hard to find a job that will carry you through and make you happy, and employers in general reflect very well on people who spend time out of the country. If you have not yet picked up a copy of Start Up Nation, now is the time. Israel is filled with entrepreneurial spirit and the motivation to make things happen. For someone searching for their next career choice, this is a lovely environment to participate