Friday, October 30, 2009

Start-up Nation

A new book has come out lauding the economy of Israel. Yes, Israel. Definitely not America. The book Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, is by Dan Senor (a former Bush-administration official in Iraq) and Saul Singer. In an interview with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez Senor calls our attention to some truly amazing stats.

DAN SENOR: Israel represents the highest concentration of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world today: the most start-ups per capita; the highest percentage of GDP invested in civilian R&D; more companies on NASDAQ than all of Europe, Korea, Japan, India, and China combined; and the biggest destination for global venture capital per capita. Israel raises 2.5 times as much global venture capital as the U.S., 30 times more than Europe, 80 times more than India, and 350 times more than China — and these numbers are from 2008, when the world was in the midst of an economic meltdown. Israel all but escaped the crisis that ripped through economies everywhere else.

So what’s the secret to Israels’s success? The book goes on to explain that the mandatory military service is to thank. Ok, Maybe.

But this weeks Torah portion has a different suggestion:
Hashem said to Avraham, “Go for yourself frokm your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation: I will bless you, and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. (Genisis:12: 1-2)

This portion is very special to new olim. It celebrates the continuation of Avraham’s journey through our families. May we and all of Israel continue to be blessed with the blessings of Avraham!

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