Final Miami Entrepreneurs Blog Post

October 6th, 2016

Editor’s Note: Brian Siegal, Director of of AJC’s Miami and Broward County Regional Office, is in Israel with Project Interchange’s delegation of influential Miami entrepreneurs and leaders in the tech start-up community to learn from the country’s thriving tech and innovation sector while sharing best practices and making connections.

Our final day in Israel, we started the day learning that Israel’s great elder statesman, Shimon Peres had passed away at the age of 93. So much of what we learned on this PI seminar is wrapped up in the extraordinary life he led and influence he had on Israel.

We started with an eye-opening discussion with Major General (res.) Uzi Moskovich, Former Head of the Cyber Division Israel Defense Forces on the country’s role in the global cyber security world. We learned about the intensity and magnitude of the threats from cyber attacks around the world.

We then switched gears and visited Beit Issie Shapiro, a national educational training and resource center, for children and adults with disabilities, and met with Mr. Benjamin Maor, Director, Global Resources Development.

We hd a fascinating lunch and conversation on Israel’s Innovation Ecosystem and the role of public-privatepartnerships, with Uri Gabay, Senior Assistant to the Chief Scientist. The setting of this meeting was the Messa restaurant inTel Aviv and the beautiful surroundings and delicious food were a treat only outdone by the robust conversation about the unique architecture and history of Israel’s start up landscape and community.

We then had a tour of the Rabin Museum. Seeing and hearing about the life of Rabin on the day after Shimon Peres passed away, was poignant and surreal. So many of the lessons we learned about from Rabin’s life are what we are learning from Peres and the reports from around the world of his leadership and example.

We gathered together for a farewell dinner and one final reflection at Yulia Restaurant in Tel Aviv during their last evening in Israel.

One participant succinctly summed up the experience by noting, “I have had opportunities to travel to Israel with other organizations, but never took them. I feel so fortunate to have come with Project Interchange and seen the complexity of this amazing place.”

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Project Interchange.