Tuesday morning we visited the famous Rogosin Bialik School in South Tel Aviv. It is the subject of the 2010 Academy award winning documentary film “Strangers No More.”
We met with the principal Eli Nechama who explained to us the schools difficult task of integrating immigrant children from 87 different countries, many who have never been in a school before and don’t know how to read or write. It was a fascinating experience for the group.
We went from there to a special tour of the Library, which is in the heart of the Tel Aviv financial district. It is run by the city of Tel Aviv. It is a space given to young entrepreneurs for three months at a time to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses. We met with young entrepreneurs in a novel high-tech incubator where they are developing their business plan and launching a new product. There are 600 start-ups at any one time in the city of Tel Aviv a city of 600,000. London England has 1000 start ups in a population of ten million.
We met with Eytan Schwartz, special advisor to the Mayor of Tel Aviv as well as several high tech entrepreneurs who discussed their business plans. We visited Ebay Israel social center. The company was started in 2009 by four twenty-year-old Israelis and bought by EBay in 2011 for a reputed 20-30 million dollars.
From there, documentary filmmaker Laura Bialis joined us for the drive to Sderot. She grew up in Los Angeles and came to Israel to film a documentary on the missile attacks on Sderot. She ended up meeting a young Israeli, fell in love and married him. She showed us her film on Sderot during the drive on the bus as well as gave an overview of life in Sderot during the bombing.
We visited the police station in Sderot to see a collection of the missiles as well as visited an overview to look into the Gaza strip. We received an explanation of the alarm system operating in Sderot that warns the civilian population of incoming rockets. We went to the Assaf Siboni Memorial outlook where we were able to see the Gaza border.
We returned to Tel Aviv and had dinner at the Black Out Restaurant and then watched the theatre production by the Na’alagat theatre group called “By Bread Alone” – the only play put on by both deaf and blind actors.