The scene was filled with inspiration, creativity, and awe. The energy in the room was invigorating. We could feel and see the impact of the Federation-Unistream partnership as soon as our Federation’s delegation arrived at Heichal Hatarbut for Unistream’s Tedz”l and Hedy Orden and Family Entrepreneur of the Year Competition.
Federation leadership and community members traveled to Israel to support the partnership and actively partake in the event as judges for the competition.
During the cocktail hour, we had the opportunity to speak with Unistream alumni and hear about their experiences. They shared countless stories about how Unistream changed their lives — how it gave them the opportunity to dream and then turn those dreams into reality. Each and every story was unique yet carried the underlying message of deep appreciation for the opportunity to be part of the Unistream family. We also spoke with business mentors and witnessed the incredible relationships between mentors and Unistream participants.
Earlier this year, the Federation and Unistream entered into a strategic and impactful partnership to close socioeconomic gaps in Israel and make the start-up dream a reality for all youth from Israel’s social and geographic periphery by empowering them with the tools to be the next creators, inventors, leaders, and entrepreneurs of the country.
The motivation, drive, passion, and dedication demonstrated by the Unistream participants were inspiring. We especially enjoyed the exciting interactive component of the Social Impact Award — using the Unistream app on our phones, we participated as judges and voted on the winning product and team.
Following these presentations, we spoke with many of the Unistream groups at booths throughout the event hall, which were set up for them to present their products to the public. The event showcased over 60 business ventures managed by 1,500 teens from all sectors of Israeli society.
The main event began as Israeli television personality Dror Gluberman called out Unistream centers from around the country. His introductions were met with applause and cheering from each Unistream group, beaming with pride for their Unistream centers and neighborhoods. In that moment, it was clear that Unistream had inspired self-confidence and pride in the Unistreamers and had created one big Unistream family. Winning the awards and prizes demonstrated success, but being a part of the Unistream community was an achievement that would last a lifetime for each and every Unistreamer.
Each speaker who shared his or her remarks marveled at the crowd of over 2,500 who had gathered to support Unistreamers, Unistream centers, their communities, and more. CEO of Unistream Batsheva Moshe and Unistream Founder and Chair Rony Zarom shared inspirational and empowering remarks, thanking the participants and alumni for their dedication and motivation. Rony Zarom said, “If you are determined, I have no doubt you will succeed.” Mr. Ofir Akunis, Israel’s Minister of Science and Technology, and Mr. Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israeli Innovation Authority, also spoke powerfully.
Rochelle Cohen, Vice Chair of the Board of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Chair of its Unistream Committee, said, “Over the past few years, we have had the opportunity to learn and see Unistream up close — to be inspired by Rony’s dream and connect with a vision of what we can achieve together. Just looking at this crowd, to see all of you, we understand that this will prove to be Rony’s biggest success yet — to raise a generation of socially conscious and successful leaders who will guide us to a better future. We couldn’t think of a better positioned partner than Unistream to make a difference on Israeli society.” On behalf of the Federation, she thanked the students for “accepting the challenge to work hard, to think big, and to build dreams for you, your families, and for all of us.” Moshe, Helen, and Ariella Sassover — extended family of Tedz”l and Hedy Orden of Los Angeles, after whom the annual competition was named — were called to the stage and thanked by the organization.
The event closed with announcing the winners from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year Unistream participants.
Winners: 1st Year from Unistream Afula — F.M.B.; 2nd Year from Unistream Akko — Safe Allergy; 3rd Year from Unistream Netanya — Keep Up; Social Impact/Enterprise Award — Unistream Julis and Netanya; Start Up Now — Unistream Be’er Yaakov.
When we left the auditorium, it was clear to us that through our partnership with Unistream, Israeli youth would never stop dreaming and would continue to turn dreams into reality. The future is bright, and we are honored that our Federation is a part of ensuring a strong, energetic, and passionate future for generations to come.
This incredible impact will continue to positively affect students, families, communities, and society as a whole in Israel and beyond.
To learn more about this partnership and to get involved with our Federation’s work, e-mail AWeiner@JewishLA.org.