Three British universities are joining a Start Up Nation Mentorship enterprise set by World Jewish Congress and Israeli Consulate that has proved a success in the United States.
Oxford, Cambridge and London School of Economics have joined the initiative which encourages students to change Israel dialogue on campuses.
The project is a product of the Campus Pitch Competition enabling students to learn from Israeli businesspeople with a track record in a range of fields.
Mentors provide career advice and an understanding about Israeli to students.
Participants produce two 30-minute video conferences or phone calls over an academic term.
The program, which started at Cornell University has expanded to Princeton University, University of Chicago and University of Michigan.
The forthcoming 2019/20 academic year takes in numerous universities including Duke University, Stanford, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Culinary Institute of America, McGill University, University of Toronto and University of Melbourne.
“Israel is a country filled with brilliant, motivated individuals who built a vibrant and diverse country in less than a century but sadly, many people, especially college students, develop their first impressions of Israel and Israelis based on what they hear in the media and uninformed detractors,” explained Sonia Gomes de Mesquita, WJC chief program officer. “The program is the perfect opportunity for leaders of tomorrow to interact with Israeli professionals in a one-on-one setting.
Galit Peleg, Consul for Public Diplomacy, Israeli Consulate, added: “Connecting local students with Israel’s business community enables students to get to know the real Israel, one that is relevant to them, opening a window for them to the culture of business in Israel and thus expanding their horizons.”
Adam Shapiro and Sarel Anbar co-founded the Start-Up Nation Mentorship program.
“We are excited to build a global community of college student leaders that are proud to be engaging with Israel,” said Adam.
“Our greatest asset is our people,” added Sarel. “By investing in building lasting relationships between today’s executives and tomorrow’s leaders, we are ensuring communities around the world are positioned to benefit from the tremendous opportunities Israel offers on the global stage.”
By Leah Waxler