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  • Viva Sarah Press

Inspiring (and being inspired by) university students

Every July, I get to speak to groups of American university students who come to Israel for internships.

This year, I had the opportunity to speak to four groups.

The first three events included speed talks on Israeli innovation: I had between eight to 13 minutes to highlight why the Israeli culture is so creative and how I cover it as a journalist and speaker.

At the fourth event (coming up next week), I'll have a luxurious 45 minutes to talk about the wild ideas coming out of Israel and how many of them -- but not all -- become global solutions.

In the speed talks, I share the “stage” with other immigrant Israelis: Oren Ben-Ami, education manager at Fiverr, Frankie Sachs, managing editor of and Michael Eglash, who organizes the events.

Frankie Sachs, Michael Eglash (organizer), Oren Ben-Ami, Viva Press at a Tamid event in Tel Aviv. July 2019.

Many of the students I meet at these talks are interested in knowing more about Israel beyond the main headlines they read. They’re interested in the culture of Israel as well as how an internship in Tel Aviv will prompt their personal careers.

Some of them speak of moving to Israel to live or work for a few years; others are not interested in staying beyond their internships.

They’re also keen to hear about my life in Israel, what it is like to be an immigrant (even if I immigrated over 20 years ago).

And I’m interested in hearing about their lives: how they view the world today – and, specifically, in innovation.

I love these July meetings even if I sometimes leave the conversation feeling a bit like an antiquated dinosaur.

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