Weekend in Jerusalem

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By: Vidya Krovvidi, UCLA

Our entire cohort met at 8:30 in the morning and shuffled somewhat sleepily into the bus for our second trip of the Fellowship. It began much the same as any other group trip most of us had experienced at school or college but this was different. It was different because our bus was headed to one of the most significant religious and historic cities in the world – Jerusalem.

We got off the bus after about a couple of hours to a breathtaking view of the city. With our tour guide giving us context for the history of the area, we were treated to the sight of holy sites for the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths, all in the same landscape. The following trip to the Western Wall and other sites such as the Tomb of David and the Last Supper Room gave us all an opportunity not just for contemplation but for an appreciation of the chance to see places that are culturally, historically and religiously significant to so many people around the world.  

In the evening, we were exposed to the leisure time and night life but not before we learned about another aspect of life in Jerusalem – the start-up scene. In our “Mass Challenge” event, we were able to network with representatives from start-ups and Venture Capital firms who spoke to us at length about their work and our questions about the start-up ecosystem in Israel. Following that, we saw Jerusalem as it changed at night to lively city of music and food and a dynamic nightlife.

The next day, we went early in the morning to a tour of Mt. Herzl and paid our respects at the cemetery. It was a serious experience and a valuable one, and because the visit was an experience we all shared, it was something we could bond over together. Following more free time at the markets, our cohort split into those staying for the rest of the weekend and those going back to Tel Aviv. In such a short time, our visit managed to show us the essence of Jerusalem in its many forms,  from the Western Wall to the bustling markets to the bubbling nightlife. It was a rollercoaster of amazing experiences and opportunities – but that’s just what we’ve come to expect from the TAMID Fellowship.