Michigan business students learn the ropes in Israel

New TAMID fellowship program gives Americans close-up view of Israeli economy.

311_Tamid (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Business students are learning the ins and outs of the Israeli economy this summer, thanks to a new fellowship program based at the University of Michigan called TAMID.
The five students from the school have been placed for ten weeks with businesses in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Netanya, and TAMID has arranged business leaders like Hod Fleishman, the founder of Greenroad, Elie Wurtman, a venture investor for Benchmark Israel, Avi Ifergan, the head of financial units in Bank Leumi, to speak to the group.
“I feel as if I learned a lot about Israel’s economy in the sense of just how unique it is at this day and age,” said Idan Goldbroom, an Israeli-born fellow who was placed at Thomas Reutners.
Another participant, Jonathan Hornstein, said he came to the realization that the Israeli economy is a neglected subject for pro-Israel groups on North American campuses, and that he’s learned about a whole new side of the Israeli business scene through the fellowship.
“Mr. Ifergan pointed us to several fascinating conclusions about the Israeli economy, including the high percentage of R&D, short exposure to the recession, and demographic proof of a very strong Israeli economic future relative to other countries,” wrote Hornstein in his blog, which each participant is required to post daily.
Participant Kevin Zussman was given the opportunity to attend the Cleantech 2010 conference in Tel Aviv, and said he was impressed with the ingenuity that Israeli companies have to offer.
“All of these companies are making a difference in the cleantech field, and some – if not, many – are going to be the companies that change the world in the future,” said Zussman.
Chaim Brown, a manager at REAL housing, which has been the temporary work home for fellowship participant Nate Gilson, said that he’s been impressed with the level of the proficiency the interns have brought to the job.
“In theory I loved the idea of helping nice Jewish kids, and in practice I love it even more. It is not a chore they are actually talented and helpful. The company is getting as much of a benefit as the student does. If you ask me it is a win-win situation,” said Brown.
According to Gilson, working at REAL has enabled him to discover the intricacies of Israeli economy.“If you’re looking for the next Google, it very well may be one of these companies,” he wrote in his blog.
The founders of TAMID, student activists Sasha Gribov and Eitan Ingall, said that they plan to expand their program to other campuses nationwide including, Harvard, the University of Maryland, Yeshiva University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
To donate to TAMID, please visit www.tamidgroup.org.