On December 20th, the Rhode Island-Israel Collaborative (RIIC) had its first Israel event at the Sailors Club at the Herzliya Marina. The purpose of the event was to discuss how the organization can connect Rhode Island and Israel, have Rhode Islanders meet Rhode Islanders who now reside in Israel, as well as Israelis who now reside or studied in Rhode Island who are interested in developing commerce, academic and research between Israel and Rhode Island.
The event host, Jonathan Jacobovitch, Herzliya City Council Member and Chairman of the Municipal Tourism Development Corporation opened the event and spoke about the relationship between Herzliya, the city of Newport and Rhode island. Jonathan reflected on his visit to Rhode Island a year and a half ago and stated that the December 20th event by the marina is one more step in strengthening the Rhode Island-Israel relationship.
Jonathan Jacobovitch, Herzliya City Council Member and Chairman of the Municipal Tourism Development Corporation
Jonathan was followed by Baruch Perl, Attorney at Lapidot, Melchior, Abramavoch & Co Law Offices, who is one of the founders of the Rhode Island-Israel Collaborative (RIIC) and is currently the only Israeli board member. Baruch reflected on his past five years working in the Consulate General of Israel to New England which included many engagements in Rhode Island, to help strengthen the relationship between Rhode Island and Israel.
Left to Right: Baruch Perl, Attorney at Lapidot, Melchior, Abramavoch & Co Law Offices, Board Member of the RIIC, Rachel Kaplan, Graduate Tel Aviv University, Mike Teitelbaum, a Rhode Islander who recently graduated from the IDC in Herzliya.
Baruch was followed by Avi Nevel, the president and CEO of the organization, who gave a presentation about the first connection between Rhode Island and Israel and the forming of the new organization. Avi continued the presentation sharing how there are new business opportunities for Israelis to explore, especially if they are looking to expand their business to the U.S. or looking for research or academic ties.
Avi Nevel the president and CEO of the Rhode Island-Israel Collaborative (RIIC)
The event continued with discussions by two speakers:
Koby Sharvit, Director of Underwater Archaeology of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Koby talked about his seven years of collaboration between the IAA and University of Rhode Island (URI) and their joint work on archaeology and technology. He commented that initially he had doubts about the relationship but found he could not be happier with the collaboration with Bridget Buxton, Associate Professor of Ancient History and the Mediterranean and all the other faculty and staff who come every semester. As a matter of fact, he told the audience that they assigned the URI team to be the U.S. program contact point and all U.S. applicants from other U.S. institutions must be screened and approved first by URI. Koby continued to discuss about their work and discoveries at the site of the old port of Caesarea.
Koby Sharvit, Director of Underwater Archaeology of the Israel Antiquities Authority
Koby was followed by Ronen Siman -Tov, CTO of IBM AlphaZone Accelerator, who spoke about his first visit to Rhode Island few weeks ago when he come to be the keynote speaker at the Rhode Island-Israel Collaborative (RIIC) Blockchain event held November 29, 2017 at the Pell Center of Salve Regina University in Newport RI. He shared his amazement of the growing ecosystem in Rhode Island and the drive for innovation. He then reflected on his meetings with Secretary of Commerce, Stefan Pryor and Brown University's Professor of Computer Science and Department Chair, Ugur Cetintemel and other faculty and stakeholders at Brown University. He shared how these meetings revealed to him how all work together, government, academia and industry in the spirit of renewal. He talked further on the accelerator that he runs for Israel IBM Developers and Startups Ecosystem, the first of its kind in the world . He ended with the belief that his first visit will lead to more collaboration between Rhode Island and Israel.
Ronen Siman -Tov. Architect Israel IBM, Developers and Startups Ecosystem, CTO of AlphaZone Accelerator, Certified Thought Leader, IT Lecturer
The evening ended with lively networking. One of the participants was Mike Teitelbaum, a Rhode Islander who recently graduated from the IDC in Herzliya. He and another Rhode islander, Rachel Kaplan, who recently graduated from Tel Aviv University were both on the organizing committee with Baruch, the Israeli board member of the RIIC.
The event was sponsored by
Mike Teitelbaum also wrote a reflection on the event - see below.
"Last night Israelis and Rhode Islanders came together at the Herzliya Marina in Herzliya Israel for a unique and eye-opening networking event. Rhode Island and Israel have been connected long before many other U.S. states have, starting with the first synagogue in Rhode Island being built with the same stones as towns in Jerusalem were built with. The connection is, has been, and always will be strong, as long as events like these keep happening.
I had the pleasure of helping make this event happen last night. It was a pleasure to work with and meet such interesting and innovative individuals. Be it from underwater archeology, low tech industry, high tech industry, startup accelerators, and more, Rhode Island and Israel have much to share. I strongly recommend everyone who has a startup idea, business plan, or even just a historical interest in the relationship between Rhode Island and Israel to check out the RIIC.
Until next time, thanks!"