Israel: Day One

December 10. 2013
by Abby Rigney

We arrived in Jerusalem today.  "We" are twenty students from the University of California San Diego Rady School of Management and have various backgrounds from all over the world and all walks of life.  Some have been to Israel before with Birthright, but others, like me, haven't had the opportunity until now.

As a veteran, I have traveled to the Middle East before.  I have been to Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Afghanistan and have experienced a side of the Middle East so very different than Israel.  I am excited for this adventure with my classmates.  While I look forward to soaking in the sights and the history, I am also ready to see what makes Israel unique and how it stands out from the rest of the world from an entrepreneurship and innovation standpoint.  

As we arrived and settled in some of us walked around Jerusalem soaking it in and preparing for what is to come.  We came together at the end of the day at Eucalyptus restaurant and indulged in a multitude of amazing Israeli dishes full of flavor.  (Delicious!)  The next two weeks are full of promise (and rain), but we are more than ready for whatever comes our way.  The US-Israel Center on Innovation and Economic Sustainability at Rady is offering us a once in a lifetime experience combining the culture and history with world-class business and truly getting to the heart of this beautiful country.

Abby Rigney is a student at UCSD's Rady School of Management in the FE14 cohort and a U.S. Navy reservist.  She is currently participating in the Israel-San Diego Immersion Program with the US-Israel Center on Innovation and Economic Sustainability.