Today is the beginning of the ROI conference in Jerusalem. I already feel like I had a mini-ROI conference at Beit Jewlicious (my apartment) as the apartment and nights on the town were full of ROIers in Jerusalem. I was walking through the shuk on Friday with Leah Jones when we spied some leather clad gentlemen ambling about. One of them was wearing a patch from the legendary but now defunct Harley Riders of Israel. I noted that that was definitely “my kinda ROI.” But of course, ROI120 is not an annual gathering of Harley enthusiasts. ROI120 stands for “Return on Investment” and is meant to showcase a new spirit of innovation and creativity amongst young Jews around the world as a result of Taglit-Birthright Israel. Not all ROI participants are Birthright alumni but all have been affected by the result of over 160,000 young Jewish adults returning home from an often life altering trip to Israel. Of course the scientific results of this enormous effort are still up in the air I suppose, but chatting with people like Leah and Tanya Gutsol and Eli Winkelman and Tomer Altman and DJ Handler and his wife Nina and Harry Rubenstein and Y-Love and Sasha Edge and Eli Valley and Deborah Brous and Leah Stern etc. etc. and the dozens and dozens of other ROIers I’ve been in touch with these past couple of years, well… clearly someone’s doing something right.
But you can’t be innovating ALL the time. Pictured above are ROIers Leah Jones, Tanya Gutsol, Yevgeniya and Ina (from Hillel) enjoying a peaceful moment. At the Kotel. At 3 a.m. – well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Have a great summit guys!
Update: Dan Brown from ejewishphilanthropy wrote an introductory blog post about ROI. Of course he did!