The Olim in Tech community for adults making aliyah is thriving in Tel Aviv.
By Polina Fradkin
Featured photo courtesy of Olim in Tech
Anyone who made the big move knows it — Aliyah can be overwhelming, and often feels especially burdensome on the career front. But a growing organization in Tel Aviv is making the job hunt more than manageable, and it’s building a community in the process.
Olim in Tech is a community for olim (immigrants) who are either already working in hi-tech or who are eager to get involved. Israel is known globally to be a heavyweight tech hub, with Tel Aviv having the highest density of startups-per-block in the world. Many talented new citizens head straight for what’s known as the “silicon wadi” to find work.
But it’s not easy — which is why Ian Mark, a New York native, co-founded the community after seeing the struggles for himself.
“Unlike Israelis who already have a built-in network from the army or other means, most olim come to this country without that advantage, making it harder to progress in their careers. We’re here to fill that gap.”
Olim in Tech’s Facebook group has 2,600 members, consisting of mostly young people who have moved to Israel from all over the world. Aside from their dynamic social media presence, the organization regularly brings people together for big-name speaker events, happy hours and workshops, attracting up to 300 olim at a time.
“Connections are what get you through the door here,” Mark asserts. “People are meeting business partners, employees, employers, and most importantly, lifelong friends. Community is inherent in Judaism — it’s a place to belong, something to ground one’s identity. People find that in Olim in Tech.”
Polina Fradkin was born in Siberia and raised in Michigan, which, to her dismay, wasn’t any warmer. After graduating the University of Michigan, she completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Israel, where her research centered around Israeli music. Since then she’s committed aliyah, and despite the dumpster fire that is Israeli bureaucracy, continues to enjoy life in the Holy Land. Polina also manages a jazz band called the Niggen Quartet (check them out!), enjoys salsa dancing, cleaning, reading, writing, and cooking for mass amounts of people. For more information, please contact her mother.