Olga Bermant

Managing Partner at The Builders Fund VC in Israel

Alumna of IGF Session 4, 2009-2010

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During my time at IGF I was working at Israel's Antitrust Office which gave me a great insight into both the public and the private markets; and the unique challenges and opportunities a small, largely isolated market like Israel faces. The initial familiarity with the private market from my time with the IGF helped me navigate my path into the high-tech sector. And the many helpful connections I made during my time with IGF were instrumental in finding my way around the country, and land my first job with a fintech startup. However, what I believe was most helpful, reflecting back 10 years later, was the fact that I did not feel like I am alone in a foreign country because through IGF I had the opportunity to get to know the country, meet awesome people and develop a strong feeling of belonging as well as have a sense of family from the amazing IGF team and fellow alumni. 

My decision to make aliyah was 100% reinforced by my amazing experience on IGF. I had the best time, met incredible people (who to this day are some of my best friends in life) and loved the intellectual challenges and questions raised during our program about Israel, its history and most importantly our future as Israelis and global Jewry supporting the Jewish State. IGF was able to provide us with a lot of nuance and colour about life in Israel which I think was critical for me to make an informed and realistic decision about wanting to move here. And I believe is the reason that 10 years later, I still believe that making aliyah was a fantastic decision for me. Today I am a proud mother of a 3 year old little sabra girl, we live in Tel Aviv and I am part of the hightech sector that prides itself as being the engine of Israel's strong economy and the future promise of even greater things to come. 

I believe the IGF program is an essential tool to keep the next generation of Jewish leaders engaged and connected to Israel. IGF allows Jews from around the world to build meaningful ties and connections to Israel at the onset of their career paths and therefore tying their professional and intellectual growth with the Jewish State. The experiences, conversations and friendships that are built during these 10 months of IGF in Israel will likely inform many choices (political, religious and personal) these young Jews from across the world will make and most importantly, will tie their positive experience in Israel to a sympathetic and empathetic outlook towards the Jewish State. I hope that the growing trend of disinterest and apathy amongst the younger generation of Jewish people can be reversed, or at least countered, with programs and tools like IGF.