Ready To Experience A Post-Oct. 7 Israel

For whatever variety of reasons, I managed to make it 48 years without going to Israel. Today I’m going for the second time in 10 months.

This past September Jewfolk, Inc., the parent organization of TC Jewfolk and Cincy Jewfolk, was fortunate enough to be selected to be a part of UpStart’s UpSpring program, which is the leading engine behind the success of groundbreaking Jewish ventures. Since 2006, UpStart has uplifted over 100 ventures, including Eshel, The Open Temple, Libenu, Pico Union Project, and others, by helping entrepreneurs to accelerate the scaling of their venture’s impact.

As a member of the 2024 UpSpring Cohort, Jewfolk, Inc., will receive the community, training, and resources needed to scale our impact – which is going to be vital for the whole Jewfolk operation as we continue to grow. 

UpStart is partnering with iCenter, a Chicago-based organization that trains Israel educators nationwide, for “A Mifgash that Matters,” an immersive, three-day program that connects formal and informal Jewish educators from around the United States with counterparts in Israel. I am fortunate enough to have been selected to be part of this fantastic initiative, which is being put on in partnership with The Jewish Education Project and in collaboration with The Jewish Agency for Israel and made possible through support from the Jim Joseph Foundation. 

So back to the educator piece of this. I am very much not a formal educator. But as a journalist, I’ve long considered myself an informal educator. I interview people in all kinds of fields, take the information I learn from them, and use that information to educate readers. And that’s my plan for these next few days in Israel. 

I know what our planned agenda is and it looks fascinating. You’ll get to read about some of these things during the week on the website and on social media. But we know that things on the agenda can change based on the realities on the ground. I’m not concerned about our safety, but I’m also a realist: there is a war going on. 

As with my trip last year with the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Experience Israel 2023 mission, I wrote a lot that week; this week will likely be no different. And while we always try to post at a consistent time, there’s a significant time zone challenge that we’re playing with. So while we aim for posting in the morning, which morning? Israel? America? Check our social media feeds @cincyjewfolk to find the latest dispatches. 

I do not doubt that this trip will be a meaningful, educational, life-changing experience. And here’s hoping that I’ll get to Israel one of these days and not have to work while I’m there.