BY CALEB KOFFLER / AJT //

As I began my studies at The University of Maryland in the spring of 2012, following my first semester of college at Bar Ilan University outside of Tel Aviv, I was committed to staying connected to Israel.

TAMIDI reached out to many of the student leaders of the groups that exist on my campus, ranging from social justice and political advocacy groups to “kiruv” and religious organizations.

One group caught my attention because it did not fall into any of the existing categories that have long dominated the “Israel Groups” landscape.

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The TAMID Israel Investment Group is an organization on college campuses connecting students with the Israeli economic landscape. Founded at the University of Michigan in 2008 by students who sought a more relevant avenue to connect to Israel, TAMID has pioneered a new model of tangible, mutually beneficial interactions for students to engage with Israel.

TAMID’s three-phase program consists of an education semester, business application, and fully funded summer internship in Tel Aviv.

The education semester offers an introduction to basic business concepts and particularly how they are relevant to Israel’s growing high-tech based economy. At Maryland, weekly high-profile lecturers cover topics such as patent law, venture capital and technology entrepreneurship.

We approach the business application aspect of our program from two directions. Our fund-management track learns principles of investing by trading Israeli-linked securities listed on major US stock exchanges while our consulting track teams work with early stage Israeli start-ups on projects ranging from market research to sales and marketing strategy.

The TAMID summer fellowship offers students a fully funded internship and immersive Tel Aviv living experience.

Thanks to generous funding by The Singer Foundation, TAMID was able to send 39 fellows to Israel this summer with plans to grow to 80 participants in the summer of 2014.

Students spend eight weeks living innovation and entrepreneurship in a start-up environment second only to Silicon Valley.

Six years after its inception, TAMID has spread to 15 campuses nationwide, including Emory University in Atlanta. Student leaders, in cooperation with the Israel on Campus Coalition and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, hired Philadelphia native Brett Goldman to lead the organization.

It’s evident that “The Start-up Nation” has become a catalyst for connecting young people to Israel.

Personally, TAMID has helped bridge my life-long connection with Israel to my academic and professional goals in business. TAMID has helped to enhance my identity as someone who is deeply invested in the State of Israel by giving me an outlet to express my relationship and by offering me cutting-edge work experience and exposure to the international business scene.

About the writer

Caleb Koffler is a rising junior at The University of Maryland and is the Director of Business Development for the TAMID chapter at UMD. For additional information about TAMID or to contact Koffler, email caleb@tamidgroup.org

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