The WJC supported Start-Up Nation Mentorship (SUNM) program launched the Start-Up Nation Voices podcast featuring top Israeli and international leaders to share a deeper look into their industry, reflect on their background, and explore the importance of mentorship and partnership with Israel. The nearly two dozen episodes, which began in November 2020, have included influential Israelis such as Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark, IDF Surgeon General Dr. Tarif Bader and Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.
Start-Up Nation Mentorship, an initiative from the 2018 World Jewish Congress annual Campus Pitch Competition, pairs non-Jewish students at elite universities around the world with Israeli professional mentors across all fields. Mentors and mentees have at least two 30-minute video conferences or phone calls over the course of an academic semester, to enable the mentor to provide career advice and Israeli know-how to the students, as well as to provide the student with exposure to an Israeli citizen outside the political/conflict context. During the 2020-2021 academic year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Start-Up Nation Mentorship paired over 150 students from across the globe with Israeli mentors.
Speaking on the importance of the podcast, SUNM Chief Executive Officer Ben Spilg said, “we see Voices as the portal into the Start-Up Nation. With SUNM student executives hosting the episodes, we can really showcase the Start-Up Nation Mentorship network as an incredible professional resource for all college students.”
Elan Arnowitz, who serves as SUNM Director of Mentor Relations, agreed, adding, “Our listeners have expressed a deeper understanding of and appreciation for entrepreneurial tenacity, effective leadership, and technological innovation because of Voices.”
The mentorship program is a project of WJC NextGen, which provides support, resources, and crucial education to individuals between the ages of 16-26. Learn more about projects within WJC NextGen and how to get involved here.