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TAMID Beckons, but Will Students Answer the Call?

Lehigh, Emory, Harvard: here I’ve listed three schools that are not immediately associated with fervent Zionism. However, that hasn’t stopped students on each one of these campuses from establishing Israel Business Clubs that are, in many ways, more active than their counterpart at Yeshiva University. These three universities, along with eleven others across America, support a chapter of the TAMID Israel Investment Group, which connects college students with Israeli start-ups through investing and consulting projects, as well as through a summer internship program. On March 1st, the TAMID National Board will decide whether to approve a new TAMID chapter at Yeshiva. Amidst this decision, a larger question looms regarding the potential for the club’s success at YU.

The phenomenon of students signing up for clubs, but not committing themselves to club functions, due to time constraints and scheduling conflicts, is well known. Most recently, Adam Moisa, president of the club Suits Optional, sent an email to his club’s mailing list which was intended to weed out half hearted participants by requesting that only dedicated members respond. This email betrayed the difficulty that many Yeshiva students have allocating meaningful amounts of time to extracurricular activities. It also suggested the unfortunate fact that many Yeshiva students are currently missing out on the enriching experience of belonging to a club where they can develop their passions and apply their skills in the context of an issue or a cause that is important to them.

Many YU clubs have adapted to students’ resistance to serious club involvement by minimizing event frequency and asking little in terms of commitments from their members. However, this has led to clubs that are little more than faces for the events they host. In contrast, TAMID chapters strive to create an active community of students who are interested in the dynamic world of Israeli start-ups and want to gain hands-on exposure to trailblazing Israeli ventures. To advance this mission, TAMID chapters call on prospective members to decide whether they want to be in or out, explained Dan Smith, co-chairman of the TAMID National Board. Smith strongly believes that TAMID has the potential to be a defining aspect of its members’ college careers, provided that students are prepared to invest in their success as TAMID members. For this reason, TAMID will be an interesting gauge of Yeshiva students’ interest in committing themselves to serious opportunities to excel outside of a classroom setting.

College is a time when we begin to channel the educational and experiential input that we absorbed during our childhood and teenage years into creative and valuable output. One of the ways college students initiate this process, is by joining clubs like TAMID that encourage their members to apply their skills in ways that add value to firms and solve problems for society around us. There are many avenues for Yeshiva students to pursue their interests and apply their theoretical knowledge and skills to exciting and impactful projects. My only hope is that they can set aside time to seize the opportunities that have been laid out before them.