Three Muslim students from Azerbaijan, a handful from India, one from Turkey, and a hodgepodge of other budding young entrepreneurs from universities such as Oxford, Princeton and Cornell have registered for the Israeli student-led “Learn. Innovate. Lead” (LIL) Conference, scheduled for August 13-16 in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Registration closed yesterday, and though the organizers haven’t quite raised the full $3,000 needed – they’re doing it via the crowd-funding site Jewcer – they’re confident the event will happen.
“I think we will make enough money because there is no other choice,” says University of Haifa student Roni Yore. “About 50 people have already bought tickets, so there is no way we will let it not work.” Pledge categories range from $5 to $100.
She and a group of students from her school and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology (shown above) cooked up the startup tour as part of their work with Stand With Us, an international campus-based Israel advocacy network.
“Since a lot of us are studying engineering, we decided to approach it from the technical side of Israel,” says Roni. “We are tired of the negative image Israel gets on the international news, so we decided to fight it with what we think is the best feature Israel has to offer.” Planned since March, the event’s been publicized through the usual social network channels.
Roni promises “lectures by big shots like Yossi Vardi and Moshe Kaplinsky,” and new-business tours including a “very cool tour of startups on Rothschild Street” in Tel Aviv.
While last week’s Onliners vlog focused on pickup lines and embarrassing moments, in Chapter 4 exchange students Pascaline Wagemans from Belgium, Simon Baaske from Austria and Danielle Gershon from the United States take on a serious topic: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Professional diplomats, they’re not. But since the whole point of the video blog, according to producers Students For Israel, is to provide an unbiased look at the “real” Israel through the eyes of visiting college students, it’s only fair to ask how the situation affects them.
For Simon, who’s studying at Beersheva’s Ben-Gurion University, that means missile attacks in the night, while for Pascaline, who lives in Tel Aviv, the conflict has little apparent impact at all.
Says Pascaline: “I invite all of you to come here to see the reality as it is … talk to the people in order to really understand.”
Not a bad piece of advice.
Anyone who’s got an embarrassing/funny story about their first time in a foreign culture will relate to the experiences described in the third installment of Onliners, the Students For Israel vlog following exchange students Pascaline Wagemans from Belgium, Simon Baaske from Austria and Danielle Gershon from the United States.
The three stars of Onliners are posting a new video every week during the three-month summer semester in an effort to provide an unbiased, minimally edited glimpse into the “real” Israel through the eyes of visiting college students.
Pascaline was on the receiving end of a typically Israeli pickup line as she got off a bus. Simon’s big “oops” moment happened during a walk through a Negev village, while Danielle’s first humiliation was during a cab ride, when the cab driver yelled at her and threw her out of the taxi.