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  • Writer's pictureViva Sarah Press

There’s no innovation in Israel. But there is hope, love and community

Asked what Israel means to them, American college students from across the US spoke of ‘home’, ‘Judaism,’ a ‘homeland’, ‘community’, ‘spirituality’ and ‘culture.’

Innovation never came up as a word to associate with this little country that boasts groundbreaking technological solutions in so many fields.

The emotional connection to Israel, according to the answers given during a webinar on social initiatives/innovation during Covid-19, is strong.

The college students also cited that Israel gives them hope, a feeling of love and community.

While there is talk of a disconnect between American Jews and Israel, the students taking part in the webinar showed nothing of the sort. Prior to Covid-19’s appearance, their plans were to deepen their personal relationships with this country this summer.

Now, they are waiting for skies to open and hope to make the trip next year.

As an innovation journalist for over a decade, I was fascinated – and curious – to meet so many young people who do not view Israel through innovation tinted glasses.

Israel, of course, means so many different things to so many different people.

It is a place of holy sites and history, great food and fun beaches, political puzzlements and unrest. It is also a place with an inquisitive culture, home to an innovative population, a place with great food and fun, and a country with a can-do attitude.

There are so many stories to tell about Israel – from so many angles.

While I love sharing the innovation stories of a people intent on making the impossible possible, these educational talks that I give to groups (frontal and via Zoom) are enlightening for me, too.

It is always interesting to hear what connection the young adult population has to Israel.

The emotional connection is important.

But I do think that the global community should also know about Israel’s innovation stories because they demonstrate what modern-day Israel and its culture is all about.

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