Science and Technology Mission
Experience Israel as you never have before...
The creativity and innovativeness of Israel's technology sector have transformed the Jewish state into a high-tech superpower.  This mission will give you a unique opportunity to witness the dramatic change in life in Israel and to meet some of the key players who made it happen!
 

Over the past decade, Israel has come of age as a high-tech superpower. Creativity and innovativeness have transformed the Jewish state into a "start-up nation" and technology now accounts for no less than one eighth of the national economy.  Israel is at the forefront of innovation in IT and R&D services and is a leader in medical research and software design.  It is a key player in the fields of aeronautics and agricultural technology, and has registered groundbreaking achievements in developing renewable and sustainable energy.   

The Science and Technology Mission, designed exclusively for Keren Hayesod, will give you a unique opportunity to witness the dramatic developments in the technology sector.  It will feature meetings with some of the country’s leading high-tech entrepreneurs and visits to cutting-edge science-based facilities.  It will also include an insiders visit to KH projects, where you will see how your generosity is giving disadvantaged populations opportunities for a better future.

 

(Final schedule is to be confirmed and is subject to change)

 



 

Day 1
Tuesday December 6th
 
Israel has been dubbed "Silicon Valley II" - and for good reason. Every year, the high-tech industry reaches new peaks, both in technological achievements and in sales. The Government regards the development of high technology as a national challenge of the highest priority.
 
Check-in at the Dan Panorama Hotel OR Hilton Hotel, Tel Aviv
 
Opening dinner with Science and Technology Minister, Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz
 
We will be privileged to host Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz for a fascinating discussion of Israel's dynamic high-tech sector. Formerly Chairman of the Mathematics Department at the Technion and President of the International Linear Algebra Society, Prof. Hershkowitz has served in his current position since 2009. An ordained rabbi, he is a member of the Knesset lobby that seeks to improve relations between religious and secular Israelis.
 
Dinner with musical entertainment by new immigrants at the Hotel
 
Overnight at the Dan Panorama Hotel OR Hilton Hotel 
 
 
 

 
 
Day 2
Wednesday, December 7th
 
Israel is known as a nation of pioneers. Its innovators have broken ground in many fields, among them, social activism as well as science and technology. Today's visits will take you to sites that are living proof of the country's creative spirit.  
 
Breakfast with Yossi Vardi, Israel's technology trailblazer
 
You'll have the chance to meet with Yossi Vardi, nicknamed the "grandfather of the Israeli high-tech sector" by The Wall Street Journal-Tech Europe. Vardi, who has been involved in more than 70 start-ups, is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Prime Minister's Award. He was named one of Tech’s top 25 European technology leaders in 2011.  
 
Israel Aerospace Industries 
 
Your day will continue with a stop at Israel Aerospace Industries, a globally recognized leader in military and commercial aerospace technology. IAI is Israel’s largest aerospace and defense company as well as its biggest industrial exporter.
 
 
 
 
Ayalim Student Village in Yeruham, the new generation of social pioneers
 
With KH support, the Ayalim project is bringing about a social revolution in Israel! Over 600 idealistic young adults in 12 student villages in the Negev and the Galilee serve as agents of change.You'll meet with these volunteers, who have made significant strides in revitalizing their neighborhood.
 
 
 
Lunch, catered by Nashim Mevashlot, Yeruham 
 
Check-in at Isrotel Hotel, Dead Sea
 
Enjoy spa treatments at the lowest spot on earth 
 
 
 
Dinner at the hotel
 
Overnight at Isrotel Hotel
Day 3
Thursday December 8th 
 
Your visits today are a testament to the long-term impact that determined and idealistic people can make!
 
Breakfast at hotel
 
Yair Agricultural Research and Development, Central Arava
 
Your day will start with a guided tour of the experimental greenhouse, where you will learn about revolutionary agricultural innovations and discover how Israel is dealing with the challenging land, water, and climate conditions of the desert.
 
Meeting with Dr. Rivka Ofir 
 
Dr. Rivka Ofir, Research Director of the Central Arava Division of the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center - which is affiliated with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - will discuss her research, which includes exploring the use of desert plants to fight cancer and neurological diseases.
 
 
 
Fruit and Vegetable Picking
 
Try your hand at picking organic fruits and vegetables.
 
Lunch at the Station
 
Enjoy the delicious fresh produce!
 
 
 
Masada 
 
In this desert hideaway built by King Herod atop an isolated rock cliff, close to 1000 Jewish patriots hid out following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. After a three-year siege by the Romans, they chose mass suicide rather than be subject to slavery and torture by the Romans. You'll climb Masada, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by cable car and see magnificent, partially-restored remains.
 
 
 
Check-in at the Inbal Hotel OR Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem
 
Dinner with high-tech and social entrepreneur Erel Margalit, La Guta Restaurant
 
You'll have the opportunity to chat with Erel Margalit over dinner at one of Jerusalem’s finest restaurants. The founder and managing partner of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Margalit created a new model of venture capital investment that combines a hands-on management approach with international market creation strategies. Under his leadership, JVP helped build numerous technology companies that are today global enterprises.
 
Overnight at the Inbal Hotel OR Mamilla Hotel
 
Day 4
Friday, December 9th
 
You'll stay in Jerusalem today and enjoy a potpourri of activities.
 
Breakfast at hotel
 
Meeting with Mayor Nir Barkat at Jerusalem City Hall
 
Following the traditional “Sheheheyanu” prayer from the balcony of the mayor’s office, overlooking the Old City, you'll meet with Mayor Nir Barkat, formerly a high-tech entrepreneur. Barkat, who promoted innovative educational and community-oriented projects, was co-founder of BRM Technologies, a pioneering software house that developed groundbreaking anti-virus software, and a founding partner of BRM Capital, a venture capital fund that focused on software and communication infrastructures.
 
 
 
The Israel Museum
 
Israel's largest cultural institution and one of the world’s leading art and archaeology museums, the Israel Museum is renowned for its celebrated Judaica collection. Make sure you don't miss the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls - the oldest Biblical manuscripts in the world - and the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period. 
 
Lunch, at the Museum
 
OR
 
Mahane Yehuda Market 
 
Jerusalem's colorful and lively Mahaneh Yehuda outdoor marketplace (the "shuk") – famous for its fresh produce, meat, fish, and baked goods, as well as trendy eateries - is a magnet for tourists as well as local residents.
Lunch at Sima’s, in Mahane Yehuda, a restaurant that features typical Israeli workingman's fare: kebabs, Jerusalem mixed grill shwarma, pita and humus.
 
 
 
Candle-lighting
 
Kabbalat Shabbat at the Kotel 
 
You'll join the throngs of people streaming to the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism and the symbol of national aspirations. Following the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, the Kotel came under Jewish sovereignty for the first time in 2,000 years. Friday night services at the Kotel are a never-to-be-forgotten experience.
Friday night dinner with Adina Bar-Shalom, a quiet revolutionary
 
In establishing the Haredi College of Jerusalem, Adina Bar-Shalom created a quiet revolution in Israel. She has not only contributed to the economic well-being of the haredi sector, but also paved the way for their integration into society-at-large. Bar-Shalom will discuss the relationship between religion and science in Israel.
 
Overnight at the Inbal Hotel OR Mamilla Hotel
Day 5
Shabbat December 10th  
 
Nourish your soul as you enjoy the special atmosphere of Shabbat in Jerusalem!
 
Breakfast at the hotel
 
Shaharit Services at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue (Optional)
 
Beyond Tourism: Explore Jerusalem by foot and discover the city's secrets!
 
• Tour of the picturesque Old City, including the Tower of David and the Jewish Quarter
 
OR   
 
• Architectural tour of nearby neighborhoods: historic Yemin Moshe, Talbieh, with its magnificent old-world architecture, and the garden community of Rehavia
 
 
 
Lunch at your leisure
 
Havdala
 
Dinner at the Harp of David, with guest speaker
 
You'll enjoy the magical atmosphere of this unique restaurant atop Mt. Zion, with its stunning views of Zion Gate, the Old City Walls, the Mount of Olives, and the Judean Desert Much has been written about the Jewish genius. We will be privileged to be joined by one of the Israel's internationally-acclaimed leading scholars.  
 
• Nobel laureate Prof. Yisrael Aumann of the Hebrew University, winner of the 2005 prize in economics, for his work on game theory analysis
 
OR
 
Prof. Batsheva Kerem, Scientific Director of the National Center for Genomic Technology at the Hebrew University, which deals with genetic research
 
Musical entertainment
 
Overnight at the Inbal Hotel OR Mamilla Hotel
Day 6
Sunday December 11th
 
Long known as Israel's citrus capital, Rehovot today is home to many technology-based industries that are creating a better future for us all. The Weizmann Science Park has attracted many top-tier start-ups.   
 
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out
 
TransAlgae, Weizmann Science Park, Rehovot
 
Israel, which has been pioneering various areas of alternative energy technology for decades, is now positioned as a world leader in the field of renewable and sustainable energy development. Our visit to TransAlgae will enable you to learn about the company's pioneering work developing algae as a potential transportation fuel and renewable chemical feedstock source.
 
Tour of Elbit Systems Electro-Optics
 
The mission provides a rare opportunity to visit Elbit Systems Electro-optics-Elop Ltd. ("Elop"), which produces electro-optics (EO), based systems for use in space and for airborne, naval and ground-based missions.
 
 
 
Closing Luncheon with Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg at Margaux Estate, Rehovot
 
Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg, World Chairman of Keren Hayesod, and formerly Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology, will join us for the closing luncheon, at Rehovot's charming Chateau Margaux restaurant with its uniquely French ambience.
 
End of mission 
 
Return home, taking with you unforgettable experiences, great memories, and a better understanding of Israel's high-capacities!
 
 
L’hitra’ot!