By:  | 

TAMID: Empowering Students to Engage in the Israeli Economy

Walking into the Heights Lounge for the biannual club fair, students are welcomed by club board members looking to recruit underclassmen. Because YU offers its students numerous clubs to choose from, there is something for everybody. Among the new clubs on campus is TAMID Israel Investment Group, a club that seeks only the most dedicated students looking for exposure to the Israeli economy.

Speaking with one of the club’s founder’s, Ezra Kapetansky, on what prompted him to bring TAMID to YU’s campus, he explained that both he and Ariel Mintz, the co-founder, had two passions, Israel and business, and were extremely interested with the innovative tech startups coming out of Israel.  They both felt that TAMID’s model was perfect for giving students the opportunity to learn about and break into the Israeli economy.

Now operating on 24 campuses throughout the United States, as well as one campus in Israel, TAMID Israel Investment Group seeks to develop the skills of students who display interest in learning about the Israeli economy. Beginning in the fall semester of each school year, students take part in a comprehensive educational curriculum with the goal of providing the knowledge needed to understand different areas of Israeli business. Educational modules covered so far include Marketing and Communication for Israelis, Introduction to Venture Capital and Angel Investing, Tech Commercialization, and Building Economies of Scale. Each of the modules was presented either by TAMID board members or outside speakers. The club recently hosted speakers Jonathan and Dina Leader, Jewish philanthropists and large supporters of TAMID.

Once finished with the curriculum, students form teams based on their expertise and skill set.  Throughout the spring semester, each team is tasked with assisting Israeli startups complete projects, essentially providing them with pro-bono consulting.

In addition to connecting students to these startups, TAMID has its own investment fund, which offers students the opportunity to sharpen their financial literacy and gain exposure to Israeli companies and their securities. During its weekly meetings, members of the fund receive updates on market conditions and have the opportunity to pitch stocks, after which all members vote on the worthiness of the investment and decide how to proceed.  Each chapter participates in this stock market competition and has access to Seeking Alpha’s resources, along with the option to publish stock analysis reports on the Seeking Alpha website. The winning chapter receives a cash prize and a premium subscription to Seeking Alpha.

All this training and hands-on experience culminates in a summer fellowship, in which at least two members of each chapter receive an all-expenses-paid work experience in Israel for two months during the summer. TAMID works with over 100 Israeli tech companies and has landed students in various industries such as finance, clean energy, venture capital, and software.  Companies include some of the biggest names in today’s market, including Wix and Gett.

Due to the intensive nature of TAMID’s curriculum, the club only seeks the most dedicated students. Mintz explained the necessity of finding dedicated students who are hungry to learn: “As a national organization on over 20 campuses, TAMID holds its chapters to a very high quality standard and provides us with the resources that enable us to offer YU students the best opportunities to gain invaluable business experience, dive into the Israeli startup world, and meet other intelligent, ambitious students in TAMID chapters across the country.”

Unlike the majority of clubs on campus, TAMID holds weekly meetings for its members. Kapetansky explained that the club is something that students can dedicate their time to, rather than a club that limits interactions with the students is to two events per semester. Students have tried in the past to start TAMID on campus without success.  TAMID has a rigorous application and screening process before letting students start a new chapter. The process takes about six months and requires that the school show significant interest in Israeli business by first having a club dedicated to such.

TAMID is one of the premier clubs at YU and offers its members valuable resources outside of the classroom. Many graduates from other chapters are currently working for the companies they consulted for and for many of the venture capital firms affiliated with TAMID.

Those looking to learn more about TAMID can attend events open to the public in NYC. The last event took place on December 2nd at Columbia University and was hosted by the TAMID chapters of YU, NYU, Baruch, and Columbia.

The application process involves a standard questionnaire and a follow-up phone interview. Because the program is structured to begin in the fall semester, applications will only be accepted at the beginning of the school year. They are looking for serious students with a desire to learn and a willingness to dedicate a significant amount of time.