ConnecTech is a year-long fellowship for MIT and Technion Jewish students. The primary focus is on student interaction—creating personal bonds between small core groups of students at each institute and strengthening a sense of Jewish peoplehood. For more information or to read our Fellows’ bios, visit our website.

On Thursday, we had a busy day! Our group started with a tour of Elbit, an Israeli high-tech security company. We then headed to downtown Haifa, where we ate Moroccan sandwiches for lunch and toured some important historical and cultural sites of the city. Afterward, we split up; some of us headed back to the Technion campus for another exciting night of the student festival, while the rest of us feasted on some traditional Ashkenazi cholent and visited a local shul. As a tired grad student, I chose the latter and drifted off to sleep that night in a blissful, kugel-induced daze.

This was one of my favorite days of the ConnecTech experience, as our activities encompassed a wide range of Israeli society. We experienced the cutting-edge advances of a leading company’s engineers, but we also slowed down to appreciate the traditional Jewish lifestyle of some of the city’s current residents. Throughout the day, Haifa was presented as a mosaic of different cultures, where the influences of Jewish, Arabic, British, Ottoman and German peoples made vital contributions to the city’s development and character. All in all, I learned quite a bit about the city’s past and present day, and I was impressed by the steps it’s taking for a prosperous future.

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