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 â€œThis 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, â€œShimon 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: â€œBeing Jewish means being a friend of the entire human nation.â€
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, â€œYes! This would be precisely accurate if he were only saying the exact opposite!â€ but, no such luck.
I heard Keren Leibervich, who is paralyzed and has four kids, speak about her multiple gold medals. She said, â€œNever be afraid to fail. It’s the only way to eventually succeedâ€ 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 â€œnoâ€ and he replied with â€œOkay then I’ll only take two more minutesâ€ 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 â€œnot only is Israel the only free country in the Middle East; it’s the only functioning oneâ€. Dennis Ross spoke about the difference between â€œcitizensâ€ and â€œsubjectsâ€ 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 â€œDocâ€ 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 â€œMastersâ€ class on microfinance led by French Economist Dr. Jacques Atali, the â€œfather of microfinanceâ€ 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.
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 areâ€¦
Well, my lovelies, I will see you at the next event. Meanwhile, Tizremu!