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The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

Moshe Friedman

Founder, KamaTech

The Charedi world, with its principles of cloistered study and pious poverty, seems an unlikely source of successful high-tech start-ups. But Moshe Friedman has upended these stereotypes through his organization KamaTech, which works to integrate the Charedi community, especially its nascent entrepreneurs, into Israel’s legendary start-up scene.

Freidman grew up in a Charedi family in Jerusalem. Of course, he studied in yeshiva, but then, “I realized I wanted to explore a little bit, to know new fields and meet new people and go on new adventures. I found out that Israel is the start-up nation, and I said, ‘Why shouldn’t I do that too?’”

The organization he eventually founded, KamaTech, provides funding, advice, connections, and other resources to specifically Charedi start-ups. In 2017, it formed the venture capital fund 12 Angels to sponsor Charedi companies and projects. “Thousands of people wanted to build companies but didn’t have the opportunity because they were outside of the ecosystem,” Friedman says.

And this will not only change the Charedi community, he believes, but Israel and the high-tech world as well. The Charedim, he said, “bring a fresh mind, a fresh perspective, different thinking. Innovation comes from diversity.” (Photo credit: Twitter.)

INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM

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