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December 18, 2016 5:43 am

Taglit-Birthright Israel Launches ‘Innovation Center’ in Tel Aviv

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Visitors to the Birthright Israel State of Mind Innovation Center. Photo: Facebook.

Visitors to the Birthright Israel State of Mind Innovation Center. Photo: Facebook.

JNS.org —  An educational tourism organization that offers young adults free trips to Israel has opened an “innovation center” in Tel Aviv, in collaboration with the city’s stock exchange, to showcase the Jewish state’s contributions to entrepreneurship, innovation and technology worldwide.

Taglit-Birthright, which has to date brought more than half a million Jews aged 18-26 on free first-time, 10-day trips to Israel, opened the  Birthright Israel State of Mind Innovation Center in the presence of some 200 business leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists Wednesday night.

“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.”

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The innovation center 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.

This summer, the center ran a pilot season that saw visits from more than 13,000 Birthright Israel participants and dozens of delegations from Israel and around the world. The center expects to welcome more than 45,000 visitors in 2017.

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