}

Some Serious Schmoozing

Recently, I had the privilege of attending some exciting networking events and conferences throughout Israel. At the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, I saw President Shimon Peres present an award to Henry Kissinger. Peres stated “This award being delivered through my hands comes from the hearts of my people … I feel like I’m handing it not to a friend, but to a brother.” Henry Kissinger responded by saying, “Shimon and friends, it is unusual for an 89 year old man to say that I wish my parents could be here.” It was a moving and emotional moment for the entire audience, and I got to witness the entire thing first hand. I wrote down his entire speech, so if you want to see it, feel free to contact me. He ended it with this beautiful thought: “Being Jewish means being a friend of the entire human nation.”

On the other hand, I was disappointed and disturbed with the political views of Dan Kahneman, whom I highly respect and admire as a professional. As he spoke, I told myself, “Yes! This would be precisely accurate if he were only saying the exact opposite!” but, no such luck.

I heard Keren Leibervich, who is paralyzed and has four kids, speak about her multiple gold medals. She said, “Never be afraid to fail. It’s the only way to eventually succeed” which specifically resonates with me: Ein Yeush Baolam Clal!

Uri Milan told us that by 2015, five BILLION people will be connected to the internet. Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, spoke about the facts and figures of Israel today and where he thinks technology is headed in the future. His insight was very thought-provoking, obviously. Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, asked the organizers if he has two more minutes, to which they responded “no” and he replied with “Okay then I’ll only take two more minutes” which reminded me that even Israelis of the highest caliber have that Israeliut that I love so much.

The beautiful Ayaan Hirsi-Ali of Somalia reminded the audience that “not only is Israel the only free country in the Middle East; it’s the only functioning one”. Dennis Ross spoke about the difference between “citizens” and “subjects” and what that means for this region, and provided steps that he feels are necessary to be taken by Israelis and Palestinians in order to achieve peace. Leon Wieseltier not only looks exactly like “Doc” from Back to the Future, he is in fact much more than a pretty face and also had interesting perspectives to add to the mix. In a “Masters” class on microfinance led by French Economist Dr. Jacques Atali, the “father of microfinance” I learned about his key recipe for a sustainable democracy. The event was fun and informative, and I hope to attend again next year. Thanks to Bizzabo I even made some meaningful connections.

At a Press Conference this week, I got to pose questions to Matt Brooks, Executive Director of both the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Jewish Policy Center, as well as Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush. The highlight? Fleischer calling me “Jewlicious.” I guess he was trying to be clever.


(Me blushing)

Don’t be jealous. Just kidding. But seriously. Ari did answer my two questions at the iVote Israel Press Conference this week. He is charming, he smiled at me, he called meJewlicious and all of this happened in an intimate setting in Jerusalem, where I had the great honor to network and get to know some intelligent, interesting and inspiring individuals.

I even hitched a ride with Israel’s one and only Brian of London! (http://www.israellycool.com/) More details and pictures from this exciting adventure can be found on Twitter. I met one of my favorite bloggers, Zahava Englard, who is even more beautiful in person than she is on Facebook, ladies and gentlemen.

Israel is an amazing place for so many reasons, but one of the best features of the land of milk & hummus is the wealth of networking opportunities. All you have to do is know what you want, and you can surely find a way to get it.

I’m only disappointed that I have yet to be approached at an event by my new friends at Thge Sisterhood Blo. Pssht. Some sisters you are…

Well, my lovelies, I will see you at the next event. Meanwhile, Tizremu!

Dr. Mishmish

MBA, MA. Have more fun. Worry less. Laugh more. Be good to yourselves & others. Grow, learn, and develop.

The greatest risk in life is not taking one.

22 Comments

          • themiddle

            7/12/2012 at 5:10 am

            What is the connection of IVoteIsrael to all of this? That’s a serious question, since I have no idea. You put on a press conference?

            • themiddle

              7/12/2012 at 5:22 am

              Aah, I get it. You’re an advocacy group encouraging Americans living in Israel to vote and Jewlicious was among some blogs that were invited to a press conference you sponsored with Ari Fleischer as the main speaker.

              Okay. You’re unhappy with the mention your organization received from this writer. Fair enough. I have to ask, however, why you didn’t email the writer or Dave Abitbol to ask nicely? I mean, you’re coming off as very hostile. While this does appear to be cowing the writer, I’m sure there was another way to handle this. Don’t you?

              • Michelle Esther

                7/12/2012 at 1:32 pm

                Hi “themiddle” she does seem quite unhappy with me, and perhaps for good reason. As I previously mentioned, this is new to me, and I want to do what I can and should in order to properly thank iVote Israel. I emailed her personally and mentioned them twice, without realizing that there is a more official way to do so (which I am still unclear about and waiting for instruction) – I definitely appreciate having been invited, and absolutely hope to be invited in the future. I hope I haven’t offended iVote Israel, as I had no intention to do so.

      • Michelle Esther

        7/11/2012 at 2:43 pm

        Cori – I mentioned iVote Israel in 2 places: In the post: Ari did answer my two questions at the iVote Israel Press Conference this week.
        and as a tag! 🙂 I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that!

      • themiddle

        7/12/2012 at 1:57 pm

        Michelle,

        Unless you’ve been hired, in which case you do have an obligation, you are an unpaid blogger that an organization is approaching in the hope that you’ll help them promote their cause. You have no obligation to them, not to write something positive and in fact, not to write anything at all.

        If you were paid, then by all means write something big.

        If you weren’t paid, I think Cori is out of line here. She doesn’t decide what gets published on Jewlicious any more than she may decide what color shirt I will wear today. If she’s disappointed, it’s fairly simple to email you or Dave and ask for a bigger mention. I’m sure you or he would have complied.

        Having said that, if I do have a comment for you, it’s that I think you gave a good and well written overview of the activities in which you engaged. However, I did feel there was some “meat” missing from the article because you had to cover so much territory. When I covered the President’s Conference, I divided the coverage into two or three posts and focused on one or two panels in each with some detail. I’m not saying it’s the only way to go, because so much is going on at the conference, but it’s something to think about.

        • Michelle Esther

          7/14/2012 at 10:50 am

          hi, I appreciate your feedback. I am always happy to receive both positive and negative. That’s a very good idea, and I believe if I had more time I would have done it that way as well! I don’t get paid, but I enjoy it very much regardless. I did get 50 shekel for my first article, which was a lunch in Tel Aviv well spent 🙂

          • themiddle

            7/14/2012 at 5:02 pm

            You’ll know you’ve become an Israeli when you can figure out how to live well even though everything there is so expensive and incomes are relatively low.

            I never figured it out.

            • Michelle Esther

              7/15/2012 at 7:17 am

              I am currently looking for a full time job 🙂 I still have a long way to go before I can truly call myself Israeli, especially since I am used to a very different quality of life. That being said, the quality in life in completely other aspects are much higher in Israel!

      • josh

        7/13/2012 at 7:54 am

        I think this whole facebook thing in the comments is screwing up the flow of the discussion.

        • Michelle Esther

          7/14/2012 at 10:51 am

          I don’t get notifications via email/facebook. Maybe “CK” can change the settings somehow so that comments and discussions will flow better?

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