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welaunch is a U.S. based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization promoting Israeli startups and innovation within U.S. cities as a new paradigm for economic development, community engagement, entrepreneurial education and social impact.

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Having retired from being a synagogue rabbi a few years back, there are times, like right now as Jews around the world head into Yom Kippur, when I truly miss it. Yom Kippur is a unique and amazing opportunity, both because it’s the largest turnout in a synagogue all year along, and also because it is such an introspective, sincere and open hearted holy day. For clergy like me, a passionate preacher from Nebraska, it was the spiritual Super Bowl and...

Acres of Diamonds There is a famous story called “Acres of Diamonds,” about a man in an African village who was visited by a traveller who told him of rumors that diamonds had been found across the river. This man became obsessed with discovering such diamonds, sold his home and wandered off in search of treasures.. After years of difficult and fruitless searching, destitute and in a state of desperation, he threw himself into the sea. Meanwhile, back at the home...

Sometimes when you can't say it any better, well, you just shouldn't even try and leave it at that. This is one of those times. Rob Leclerc of AgFunder News shares 4 Reasons Why Israel is Now a Developed AgriFood Tech Hub and sums up perfectly why the recent welaunch Ag-tech & Food-tech Israel tour was such a success. Two weeks ago, I went to Israel to attend Food and Ag Week including FoodTech IL 2018 hosted by the Strauss Group and...

Israel has more start-ups, investment capital, multinational R&D centers and companies on the NASDAQ, per capita, than anywhere else in the world -- and the list goes on. This is why Israel has been dubbed the “Start-up Nation”  However, the question we need to answer is, “Why Israel?” Why did this tiny country, a young country, a country with no natural resources and perennially pounded by all kinds of adversity become the Start-up Nation? Although Israel is all about technological breakthroughs,...

BY MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN Government officials, industry leaders and corporate executives from the Midwest are hoping to cultivate economic development between Israel and “Silicon Prairie”: Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. A group of 10 interested individuals will be in Israel from May 6-10 on a joint mission of Israel’s Economic Mission to the Midwest, Jewish National Fund and the newly developed welaunch nonprofit entity, which aims to promote commerce, investment and partnership...

Once upon a time (70 years ago) Israel's exports were a mere $6 million dollars a year and this was made up mostly of oranges and, believe it or not, dental implants - aka "false teeth." This year, however, Israel surpassed the 100 Billion dollar mark and there are no signs of letting up. On the contrary, as you can see from this graph the direction is clear and the future is bright. On the cusp of Israel's 70th birthday, we should take a...

In 1867, Mark Twain visited the Holy Land and gave this report:  "Israel is a desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds…a silent mournful expanse…a desolation…we never saw a human being on the whole route…hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country." In less than 70 years Israelis have transformed this country from barren deserts and a "desolate expanse," into...

As Passover begins, Jews around the world will gather at their seder (holiday) table to tell the ancient story of the Exodus, and the journey Moses and the Israelites made from slavery to freedom. As many will recall, the climax of the story occurs when the Israelites, being pursued by Pharaoh and the Egyptian army, come to an impasse. Their escape route is cut off as they have run smack into the Red Sea. Their demise seems all but certain. So what...

Once upon a time an article like the one below, a European VC firm setting up a 375 million dollar fund, would have constituted news. Certainly it would have captivated Israel's attention and definitely been newsworthy. Now, however, it's buried at the back of the paper, if it makes it into the headlines at all. Why? Because Israel raises more VC money, per capita, than anywhere else in the world. Because Israel raises more VC money than any European country. Because...

In Judaism, there is a well-known expression that many Jews have heard called Tikun Olam. Literally Tikun Olam translates to, "fixing the world." This implies that the world is a broken place, and these days, with all the fires, floods, hurricanes, droughts, shootings, and other tragedies, it doesn't take a lot of convincing to see that, indeed, our world is in need of repair. Tikun Olam can be seen in a thousand different places and faces. And you don’t need to be...