After our weekend at Kibbutz Hannaton, we returned to Haifa this morning for our most action-packed day to date!  We started our day with a visit to Haifa’s Hebrew Reali School, one of the top schools in Israel, where we met some of the graduating seniors in the Media, Cinema, and International Relations concentration.  We got a chance to tour their beautiful campus and hear about their experiences growing up in Haifa and preparing for their army service.

Meeting 12th-grade students at the Reali school:Reali School, Shiluvim and Google R&D

Next, we visited CJP’s Shiluvim Project, which aims to help Ethiopian Jews who have immigrated to Haifa.  Shiluvim professionals and volunteers provide the community with assistance in accessing education, employment, and healthcare, and with help in navigating some of the day-to-day challenges associated with living in a new country with an unfamiliar culture and language (e.g. translating/explaining financial documents, bills, bus schedules, etc.)  We got a chance to speak with some of Shiluvim’s local Ethiopian volunteers to hear about their experiences making Aliyah, integrating into Israeli society, and about some of the specific programs that Shiluvim has been able to implement over the last six years (for example, establishing a busing program for Etheopian students in Haifa to ensure access to integrated public schools). 

Meeting with Shiluvim representatives:Reali School, Shiluvim and Google R&D

After a brief lunch break, we toured Google’s Haifa research center!  We had a chance to speak to two of their engineers about some of the technology that makes Google run under the hood, and about some of the challenges associated with running such a large-scale, high-performance internet service.   We also heard about some of the projects and technologies that were developed at Google’s Israeli R&D centers in Haifa and Tel Aviv, including Autocomplete, Google Street View, and the fantastic Google Goggles!

After a siesta back at our hostel, we rode the Carmelit (the world’s shortest subway!) end-to-end to attend a party for the international students at the Technion, organized by the Haifa Hillel, where we enjoyed live music and dancing to round out a day of culture, social justice, and high technology.Reali School, Shiluvim and Google R&D

On to Jerusalem!

Hummus Tagline of the day: T is for Tahini.  That’s good enough for me. (Hummus is made of chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice)

The Technion-MIT ConnecTech program is generously funded and supported by the CJP Boston-Haifa Connection.

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