Friday, October 26, 2012

Even More 5 1/2 Entrepreneurship Facts

David Solomon has this round of 5 1/2 facts from RS: Social Entrepreneurship:

Columbus Circle from Time Warner Center
1. The company Applied Immune Technologies is trying to create antibodies that will kill malignant cells.

2. The startup companies only need a couple of million dollars at most to start their companies.

3. USIBC [US-Israel Business Council] started the WE Summit to give six brilliant Israeli female entrepreneurs the chance to raise start-up funds their companies.

4. BrandsForce is an innovative social media marketing platform. Here people can recruit customers to support their brands.

5. Watching the networking before the program gave me a better understanding of what it takes to make connections and get customers. Everyone was talking to each other about their respective businesses.

5 1/2. The Time Warner building was really cool because it was very technologically advanced and ornamented with interesting flashing light figures that stood out to me.

5 1/2 More Entrepreneurship Facts

Here are Yisroel Quint's 5 1/2 facts from the Women Entrepreneur's Summit on Monday, October 22, 2012:

Five and a half things I learned were:

1. "Orville Wright didn't have a flying license": You don't need to be an expert to have a genius idea.

2. You need to be able to sell your product just as much as you can create the product.

3. "There's nothing new under the sun": Most of the ideas presented at the conference had lots of competition and weren't anything revolutionary, but small innovation makes them worthwhile.

4. It's important to acknowledge an imperfect idea and be able to take constructive criticism because only having "yes men" around you will cause stagnancy.

5. Money will be lost before it's gained. Most of the people, when presenting, showed losses for the first couple of years.

5.5. You don't want to present last at a long conference because most people will be itching to get out of the door.

Yisroel Quint

Social Entrepreneurship goes to the WE Summit!

The Time Warner Building
RealSchool: Social Entrepreneurship got off to a great start this past week, on Monday, October 22, when three members of RS, Eddie Maza, Yisroel Quint and David Solomon, attended a Women's Entrepreneurship Conference that David's father Eddie Solomon invited them to join. The summit, which took place in NYC at the Time Warner Center, was run by the U.S-Israel Business Council and featured presentations from six promising female-led start-ups. The conference also linked investors and executives, giving them the chance to explore investment opportunities and learn about the latest trends dominating the industry.

Here's some information about the summit:

USI Women Entrepreneurship Summit

We asked Eddie, Yis and David to send us 5 1/2 facts they learned from the summit. We'll go in alphabetical order and share those facts with you throughout the day:

Eddie Maza:

1) For the past ten years, there has been no increase in the number of start-ups founded by women (still 5%) [Ed. note: And the three members of RS who attended the women's conference were all male!].

2) It is very important to be able to show how your product/service is unique.

3) It is important to identify a specific niche in which your product will be bought.

4) Investors are not interested in the actual product, only the business plan. When presenting your idea, focus on the business plan. Investors only want to know they'll make money!

5) A main goal of many start-up companies is to be bought by a larger company. The business world will applaud you if you manage that!

1/2 fact: The view from the tenth-floor cafe of the Time Warner building is fantastic!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Food Day, October 24, 2012

Today is Food Day, a nationwide movement to promote healthy, affordable, sustainable and fair food. Frisch’s Environmental Club and RealSchool's Health and Environment team decided to bring Food Day to Frisch. We all know that as Jews, food plays a major role in our lives. We just finished celebrating the Chagim [holidays] where all we seemed to do is eat. If you ask a non-Jew about what makes Jews different, dietary restrictions are usually high on the list. Not only do we have many laws about kashruth, we also have to say a berakha [blessing] before everything that goes into our mouths. We understand that kashruth keeps us separate and holy, and berakhot create in us an “attitude of gratitude.”

But why should Food Day -- a movement about healthy, affordable and sustainable food -- be important to our religious lives? Rambam in Hilchot Deot suggests one answer: “Since maintaining a healthy and sound body is among the ways of G-d, for one cannot understand or have any knowledge of the Creator if he is ill, therefore, one must avoid that which harms the body and accustom oneself to that which is healthy and helps the body become stronger.”

Our bodies are a gift from G-d and they are meant for the purpose of serving G-d. Therefore, it is our obligation to take good care of our bodies and to make sure that what we put into our bodies is good for us.

Not only do we have an obligation to keep our bodies healthy. Judaism also obligates us to make sure that we behave in a way that’s beneficial for the world. Two weeks ago we read Parashat Bereishit, where we recognize God as Creator and all of his creation as GOOD. We have an obligation therefore to keep God’s world in a good state, as God intended, and not to be wasteful of His works.

The Halakha [Jewish law], in fact, prohibits wasting. We are told not to waste resources; when we do, we violate the commandment of Bal Tashit [do not waste].
We are obligated to think about the ethics of how we obtain our food; if we are wasteful in how we make and consume our food, then we are being wasteful of the earth, of God’s creation. 

Join the Environmental Club and RealSchool today in celebrating Food Day. We’ll be planting herbs during periods 6-7 and watching Food, Inc. after school tonight. The movie is about the ethics of food production. We hope today inspires you to be more aware of the kind of food you eat and to make healthier decisions for yourselves and our planet.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Balance in a Judaic Studies Classroom

At the last RealSchool meeting, on Tuesday, October 16, two members of the Religious Identity team were discussing some of the challenges students face in a Judaic Studies classroom. The two students were aware that teachers had to cover a syllabus and make sure students came away from a school year with a basic knowledge of certain books of the Torah, let's say, or key topics in a Talmudic tractate. However, the students expressed frustration that sometimes the teacher would acknowledge that a good and important theological question might go unanswered because the class needed to finish course material. This led the two RealSchool members to ask what is most important in a Judaic Studies classroom: 1) answering key theological questions that a) only some students may have or b) all students in the class have or 2) covering course material so a school knows that by the time its students graduate, the students have knowledge of the central texts of our heritage.

The students felt that the discussion about whether to cover course material or troubling theological issues was one that was unique to a Judaic Studies classroom. The General Studies classroom may need to cover certain course material in order to fulfill state requirements and/or to prepare students for an AP or SAT II exam. However, a Judaic Studies class feels no such pressure. Further, the students felt that the goal of a Judaic Studies classroom is not only to create literacy for students in the texts of our heritage, but also to produce Jews who have clear theologies and ones that are meaningful to them. Therefore, the students wondered if knowledge of texts should take a back seat at times to ideas that trouble students theologically.

What is the balance a Judaic Studies teacher should strike between covering material and making sure students are well thought out theologically?