I love giving talks. I love giving talks about Israel. Specifically, about modern day Israel. And, never about politics! I gives talks about contemporary Israel because I feel it is important to share these stories with as many people as possible. I speak about the culture of creativity and innovation here, in Israel. This country’s amazing achievements belie its size. How does an idea become a global solution? I have oodles of examples of the chutzpah (in the best sense of t
Mr. Peacock introduces me to Barb. Well, it isn’t really an introduction.
He points at her and says, “she’s the school drug dealer.” As an educational clown, I get to meet today’s youth on their turf. I am allowed – and sometimes invited– into their space. I view it as a great privilege to be able to connect with them. To see the world through their eyes. After all, most middle school kids and high school kids wouldn’t choose to hang out or share their stories with a 43-year
Started the morning with a chat about what it's like to Report on the Innovation and Creative Culture in Israel with a visiting delegation of prominent military and business leaders from the US. The visiting VIPs were brought to Israel by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) organization. We looked at how journalism has changed, how innovation has become more accessible and why Israel is a good place to look for new ideas. I talked about the importance of Innovation Journa
Cannabis slang and terminology is changing all the time. Some terms like THC and CBD are ubiquitous. But do you know the difference between tinctures and extracts? Do you know what a terpene is, or how many are in the cannabis plant? It’s funny, actually. I have been writing about cannabis – medical marijuana, for the most part – for about three years. A cannabis glossary is something I should have written a long time ago. So, when the Emerald Report requested an article on c
Educational clowning is a new kind of clown care and taking part in this developing arena is oh-so-much-fun. One recent afternoon, pint-sized people came to try out after-school activities at a local community center in Tel Aviv. There was a movement class and a sorta-ballet class on offer. These little people were excited and nervous; happy and angry; hot, tired and hungry. The parents shared many of the same feelings, with strain and exhaustion topping their lists. A fellow
The new school year has begun in Israel, and as my third-grader and two sixth-graders headed back to their classrooms, I, too, returned to studies. They wore T-shirts emblazoned with their school symbols; I decked out in my “uniform” of striped socks, polka dotted shirt and neon suspenders. I’m continuing my clowning studies. In June, I completed an introductory course to medical clowning at the Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv. Medical clowning is an officially-recognized parap
Autonomous vehicles. Self-driving cars. When I first hosted a radio show on the concept of AV in 2014, people were still calling it a wild idea/imaginings. Fast forward to 2018, autonomous vehicles are being built. The tech inside them is in hot demand. And while drivers may not be ready for them just yet, the idea of a self-driving car is accepted. Connected cars are also high in demand. So, I turned to some of the experts I had interviewed back in 2014 – as well as to some
Waiting for the doctor is an activity no one enjoys but nonetheless inevitable. So, what happens when a group of therapeutic medical clowns comes to wait with you? The adage is that time flies when you’re having fun. And that’s exactly what happens when my clown care peers and I show up at a medical health clinic. Today, we arrived at a women’s and children’s health clinic in Ashkelon. We come to relieve stress, bring a smile to people’s faces and help create a more relaxed m
For the second year in a row, I presented the workshop -- “The Culture of Israeli Startups and the Wild Ideas that are Helping Change the World” -- at the annual Onward Conference in Israel. This all-day event serves up nine speakers on a range of topics, united by the theme, Israel Today – Challenges & Opportunities. My talk touched on space sciences, cannabis, cyber defense, agri-tech, health innovation, and research. The Boston Onward Israel and University of Florida Onwar
Did you see the 2016 documentary on Syria’s “white helmets” civil defense group? It was a powerful window into the daily operations of volunteer rescue workers in Syria, while the civil war there continues. News today, two years later, is about how 800 White Helmets workers and their families were secretly transported from Syria via Israel to Jordan in a daring rescue mission. It is not surprising that Israel helped these White Helmet volunteers escape. Israel, though officia
On a recent visit to Rawabi, the first planned city built for and by Palestinians in the West Bank, developer and Palestinian businessman Bashar Masri spoke to a group of American visitors about working with Israel's famous tech community to help move forward the Palestinian people. Upon returning to Tel Aviv, I happened upon numerous news tidbits -- and side statements -- that, together, seemed to show how Israeli-Palestinian collaboration in the high-tech field is growing.
Crazy driving. Skewed news. Innovation ideas. Asking for another explanation. These were some of the topics that came up during a panel in Tel Aviv last week, for visiting students from the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College. It was their last day of a 10-day educational trip around Israel and the Palestinian Authority areas. “Inside the Middle East doesn’t tell you what to think, ITME teaches you how to think,” reads the tagline of the program. We talked about the pr
The differences between journalism and public relations have been written about ad nauseam. Yet, it seems the differences between these two fields may be in need of a refresh.
I recently published an article on crowdfunding. The piece was an all-encompassing report, looking at venture capital, crowdfunding, bootstrapping and angel investments – and where each fits in the entrepreneurial landscape.
I quoted eight people in the report. Seven thought the article did its job:
“There’s a war,” my son’s teacher says, pointing to the sky as we hear Israel Air Force jets overhead. We’re meeting outside in the shade, at a picnic table in the school’s courtyard for our parent-teacher interview. It becomes a weird scenario as we are here to talk about my second-grader’s progress but we both know that while we’re safe and able to sit outside at a Tel Aviv school, elsewhere in Israel not all is quiet. A barrage of mortar shells hit Israel’s southern commun
Very excited to be taking part in a panel titled "Interpreting Israel: Finding the stories that matter and retelling them for a wider audience.” The panel is part of a Gettysburg College year-long academic course known as Inside the Middle East. The Gettysburg students are in town on a 10-day tour to understand the contemporary Middle East. Read more about their program, here. As I wrote in my last post, it is one thing for people to read an article or hear a report on the ra
I have created something I like to call, ‘oral journalism.’ It is a mashup of speaking and journalism. It is one thing for people to read an article or hear a report on the radio. It is a completely different experience to hear the bigger picture, understand the context, and have a meaningful discussion. I love sharing my knowledge with others. I equally love learning about new topics. So far, I have been very fortunate to give talks and meet with groups in Israel, Canada and
Eight facts about the holiday of Shavuot: 1. Shavuot, which means “Festival of Weeks,” is just one name for the holiday. It also goes by Harvest Festival (Chag HaKatzir), Day of the First Fruits (Yom Habikurim), The Stoppage/Restrain (Atzeret – a reference the sages use to highlight the prohibition against work on this day), and Time of the Giving of the Torah (Z’man Matan Torah). 2. Shavuot commemorates the day when the Israelites received the Torah during their desert wande
I'm excited to give a Post Kiddush Talk about Israeli Creativity & Innovation at the First Narayever Congregation on May 19. My talks always include stories about why a tiny country, easy to miss on the map, is making enormous strides in innovation and creativity every single day. Real-time navigation, cars that can see, 3D sensors for breast cancer, glasses that help the blind see... this is a talk about these and other Israeli solutions now changing lives around the world.
Today is International Hummus Day! To celebrate, you’re meant to eat hummus for breakfast, lunch or dinner – or, all three. In Israel, most people won’t even know that their trip today to the local hummisya (hummus joint) is anything out of the ordinary. After all, Israelis love this smooth and creamy spread and eat it all the time. Israelis fork over at least $210 million on hummus every year. A new report on the local chickpea spread sector only calculated hummus dollars ac
Food and agriculture were the focus in Israel’s tech ecosystem this week, as representatives from the world’s governments, manufacturers, farmers, academic institutes, investors and entrepreneurs gathered in Tel Aviv to get a taste of the latest innovation in these industries, and the research and development that connects them. “Israel being a ‘startup nation’ is not just a cliché,” says Yoni Glickman, President of Frutarom Natural Solutions. “Startups have become the growth