Onward Israel Week 6 - 07/24/2017
Welcome back! To begin this week, we have a special, double intern spotlight featuring Jake and Josh Young, who will share their experiences working in computer science.
Name: Jake (Fronc) Young
University: Duke University
The company home to Jake’s internship, Weissbeerger, is a fast-growing startup taking the beverage analytics industry by storm. Weissbeerger works to help bars and restaurants increase their beverage sales by providing insights and data about their processes while comparing them with other businesses in the area. Jake is primarily stationed on the research and development team where he works on integration for point-of-sale systems and bettering presentation platforms for the analytics team.
Jake loves many aspects of his internship, but is mostly excited about his company’s culture: he describes it as “dysfunctional, yet functional,” an Israeli-style office that promotes honesty, confrontation, and hard work. Jake also enjoys the high expectations of being treated as a member of the staff—many of his team members weren’t even aware that he was an intern until recently. Finally, Jake enjoys taking part in Weissbeerger’s many celebrations, such as Happy Hour Thursdays and company pool parties to unite the company’s dedicated workers.
Name: Josh (Rook) Young
University: Duke University
For the past six weeks, Josh has been enjoying his time interning for Aros, an Israeli start-up specializing in creating software for outdoor augmented reality. His computer science major and knowledge are helping him work on computer vision and image processing: a project that has exposed him to a potential future career path. Josh enjoys that the project allows him to work independently and experience new, interesting types of material.
Outside of his daily tasks, Josh has been learning what it’s like to work for a true start-up; Aros employs only five people and is still discovering its identity as a company. This allows Josh to influence decisions and take ownership of projects while listening to the stories of his coworkers’ travels. While he may not admit it- Josh also enjoys living in Israel with his twin brother Jake!
Our group started this week with an exciting change of pace from our internships: a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea! After a long week of work, the cruise provided a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and spend time with not only our Cincinnati friends, but also many of the friends we made on our Breakout Session from two weeks prior.
Right: Talia Warm and myself on the sun deck of the Mediterranean Cruise.
Next, many of us decided to spend the day exploring an area in which we hadn’t spent much time; the Old City of Jaffa. Nearly every street in this nearby city is filled with history, lined with unique art shops and museums, and showed breathtaking views of the Tel Aviv coastline. The city also boasts a weekly pedestrian market which is home to many different antiques, jewelry, and local arts and crafts.
Later in the week, the time came for our fourth and final seminar with BINA: a trip to the North of Israel that included hiking, wine tasting, and experiencing a unique Israeli culture. Our day began with a water hike—which could be considered a swim, as we were often neck-deep in the water—through a stream near the Golan Heights. Most of us had not embarked on this type of hike before, so it was a fun, exciting start to our day.
Once we dried off from our hike, we visited Tulip, a local winery in the town of Kfar Tikva. In addition to making thousands of bottles of wine per year, Tulip’s has a unique history that coincides with its business. The village surrounding Tulip was originally established as a community for adults with special needs; today, over 220 reside in this community and almost a dozen are employed at Tulip winery. Our group had the opportunity to taste three Tulip wines: a white, a rosé, and a red, that were each delicious in their own ways.
Above: From left to right: Walker Lewis, Bayla Fisher, Jemma Shi, Sandra Glazer, and Esther Kaplan enjoying the wine tasting.
Finally, we traveled to a town near Haifa to visit a group that would teach us about local Ethiopian culture. We met with multiple people from the group, each who detailed their experiences making the journey from Ethiopia to Israel. Although each story was different, every person in the group shared the same joy of arriving in the Holy Land.
We also had the opportunity to experience a small portion of Ethiopian rituals; upon arrival, we were served the traditional coffee and injera (an East African, risen bread with a spongy texture) which signaled that we were welcome guests. The delectable offerings represented a great way to wrap up our final seminar.
Above: Our group, including Karyn Zimmerman, hears the stories of our Ethiopian hosts.
As the week came to a close, our group celebrated with more wonderful food and entertainment. Pictured below is a spot that we visit frequently: the Allenby market. This nearby market is home to over 20 restaurants and kiosks, and often showcases live music. We love this spot as it allows us to try new cuisines without having to agree on which one should be chosen!
The entertainment component of the week was the Tel Aviv Water Show; a water and light show that pays tribute to athletes in the Maccabiah games. Watching this spectacular show was a great way to wrap up the week… and this blog post! We can’t believe the time has gone by so quickly, but we are about to enter our last full week of work. Thank you for reading everyone, and have a great week!