An event last week marked the end of the sixth year of the Birthright Israel Excel Fellowship Program. “The Jewish world’s business leadership community built in recent years by Birthright Israel is a project of significant importance, bearing many fruits to be harvested in years to come. Through the program, Jewish students receive an unparalleled opportunity to get to know the country and intern in its leading companies. We have already witnessed the cultivation of strong ties between future business leaders of the American Jewish community and Israel’s business sector. These bonds result in far reaching and extensive international collaborations” said Gidi Mark, International CEO of Birthright Israel, at the closing event.
Participating in this year’s program were 60 students from 29 top universities in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The Students interned with 42 leading Israeli business companies primarily in the fields of finance, consulting and technology.
Also this year, the Birthright Israel Excel program expanded its activity and launched “Excel Ventures,” an innovative, first of its kind, global Initiative, in which 10 American entrepreneur students from leading universities in the US and 8 Israelis, who are graduates of elite technology units of the IDF took part in a technology start-up training boot camp. During the 10-week intensive program, participants spent their time in the startup scene of Tel Aviv, and became partners in the initial development stages of their very own Start-Up. Ventures, served as an accelerator for the young ambitious entrepreneurs: they went through all the critical stages of bringing an idea to life, putting a team together, finding investors and carrying out a reality-changing new concept.
Birthright co-founders and philanthropists Michael and Judy Steinhardt and Lynn Schusterman, created Birthright Israel Excel six years ago with the aim of developing 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.