Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day 6: Jerusalem, Jerusalem

It was such a pity that we couldn’t stay another night in Netanya. What a lovely, cosy, coastal town with great hotels that just make you want stay in bed. Very different to life in the Kibbutz!

We kicked off with a drive to a very special company: Yvel. This is a Jewellery manufacturer that was started by an immigrant couple who are now multi-millionaires. They came from Argentina and built a company that would seek to create jobs for all Jews that were immigrants into their homeland of Israel. The company is now a place of work for many Ethiopian Jews who have immigrated from Africa back to Israel who initially struggled to find job opportunities. The company has grown tremendously and created a Jewellery line called Megemeria, meaning 'genesis', or the beginning which is a reminder of the journey travelled by these Ethiopian Jews leaving their homeland into Africa and then later returning. We took a tour of the facility and also the jewellery store, where a number of us left some hard earned cash behind.

The group made its way to the holocaust museum in Jerusalem while I had to honour a radio interview request with a start-up radio station, Voice of Israel in downtown Jerusalem, Old City.

The talk radio station is an online station with a target audience of the international community with an interest in Israeli affairs. A very specific niche that is multi-cultural with a multitude of differing views on Israel. Entrepreneur Glen Ladau, an American Jew who decided to relocate to Israel, started the company 8 months ago. The radio station is building a strong international brand as an authority on issues in Israel and the Middle East. 

My radio host was Eve Harrow. A talented broadcaster who I’m told is also one of the best tour guides in Israel. What was supposed to be a 25-minute conversation took up the whole show. We had a great time exchanging ideas about South Africa and Israel, and the story of my entrepreneurial journey. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, and immediately saw opportunities of collaboration with this innovative radio station.

After the interview I spent some time talking to Glen about opportunities I thought his station had with a very vibrant South African Jewish community. I left feeling really good about my connection with Eve and Glen.

I rejoined the group for a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem and we got to see all sorts of sites that are constantly referred to in the Bible.

The night wrapped up quietly with dinner at the hotel, as Fridays are Shabbat for Jews and the city of Jerusalem essentially shuts down on the night. This was to be our last night spent in Israel and perhaps a quite wind down was fitting.

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