This article was first published by The Times of Israel and is re-posted with permission.
Israelis are known worldwide for their strides in creating innovative technologies. Now, a group of them is creating a new way of investing in the so-called Startup Nation that will appeal to the younger generations.
The Israel Innovation Fund (TIIF) is a nonprofit organization, founded by Adam Bellos, an entrepreneur and political consultant who immigrated to Israel from Cincinnati, Ohio, some six years ago. It seeks to develop innovative programs to feature Israeli culture through wine, film, and art. The idea is to make Zionism — the national movement to support Israel — more appealing to a younger generation of Jews and non-Jews and rebrand the image of the nation.
“The image of Israel is (that of) an intolerant, religious and violent country which is ridden with conflict. We need to change this conversation,” said Michael Oren, deputy minister at the Prime Minister’s Office at the launch of TIIF’s signature project, Wine on the Vine, last Thursday in Tel Aviv.
“We have a hard time getting off the topic of conflict and strife, and it’s important for Israel that we change the conversation to one about technology and culture,” Oren, who supports the cause, said in an interview.
The Wine on the Vine project offers Jews, Christians, and wine lovers the ability to plant vines in Israel. The proceeds from their donations are used to support other Israeli non-profits.
“What we are selling is a vision for the 21st century Israel — not a country defined by strife, but a nation defined by a culture of wine, technology, art, and its beaches,” said Bellos.
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