(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Taglit-Birthright Israel—which has brought more than 500,000 Jewish young adults ages 18-26 on free 10-day trips to Israel—celebrated the winter season opening of the Birthright Israel Innovation Center in the presence of some 200 business leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists Wednesday night.
The center, run in collaboration with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is designed to showcase Israel's contributions to entrepreneurship, innovation and technology worldwide. During the center’s summer pilot season, more than 13,000 Birthright Israel participants and dozens of delegations from Israel and around the world visited the center, which features an exhibition highlighting Israel's contributions to agriculture, medicine, cybersecurity, science, transportation and aerospace, along with a series of lectures from successful Israeli entrepreneurs.
"Birthright is the greatest start-up that was established by the state of Israel and the Jewish people, both in terms of quality and quantity," Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark said at the event. "Before Birthright Israel was founded, 17 years ago, 2,000 students arrived to Israel each year; and through Birthright Israel, nowadays, tens of thousands of young Jews from around the world visit Israel annually.”
The innovation center expects to welcome more than 45,000 visitors in 2017.