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A group of 35 high-performing James Scholars from Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois arrived in Israel this week for a 10-day visit to the “innovation nation’s” world of accelerators, incubators and venture capitalists.

“Israel’s well-established reputation for innovation in technology and agriculture makes it a natural partner for the cutting-edge research at UIUC,” said Gies College of Business Dean Jeffrey R. Brown.


“We’re partnering with Tel Aviv University and pioneering businesses to give our students a head start at turning business concepts into viable companies that will impact our state, the country and the world.”

Brown said the college is offering the for-credit experience “because we understand the passion GenZ has for setting their own destiny and own their own purpose-driven business one day. This unique program kick-starts their learning and gives them the tools they need to continue our University’s legacy of innovation.”

The students are meeting with John Medved, CEO and founder of OurCrowd, and to visit the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce and the new Be’er Sheva Advanced Technologies Park, as well as Leonid Bakman, founder and president of the Israel Innovation Institute, and others.

Also joining the group is Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, the Chabad Rabbi at University of Illinois, who was instrumental in getting out the vote against the recent anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign on campus, which was defeated by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.