Buried in Jerusalem’s Hi-tech Park Har-Hotzvim, in a sea of suits and briefcases, lies an office where 18-year-old women reign. Walking into the office, don’t be fooled by the hand-drawn, Harry Potter-themed office signs or the soundtrack of early 2000s music; these women are a force to be reckoned with. Armed with freshly-minted coding skills and eager to contribute to Carmel 6000’s ethical mission, they work together in a hub of creativity and innovation.
Yossi Tsuria, the former Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President for Strategy and Technology at NDS Group Ltd, founded Carmel 6000 in 2017. From his time in the Hi-tech world, Yossi learned about the power of the Startup model and the technology it produces; he laments the fact that progress in the “technological revolution” generally benefits the already well-off—technology follows money.
Carmel 6000 aims to harness the Hi-tech, Startup model for good, using a distinctive, economically-feasible model. They offer coding training to young, talented women as a part of their National Service, and then support them as they develop innovative applications and solutions, aiming to bring the benefits of the technological revolution to traditionally under-resourced populations. The mission is three-part:
- To position Israel, already a world leader in Hi-tech, as a leader in Social Tech.
- To empower a new generation of women in STEM.
- To develop technological solutions for underserved populations, populations that usually don’t benefit from the developments of the Hi-tech world.
In small teams, these women have developed reverse sensors for wheelchairs, interactive storytelling applications for autistic children, and an application that tracks Krembo Wings’ transportation system, ensuring safe transportation for all participants. And Carmel started just 2 years ago.
I’ll be joining Carmel for the semester, writing about all that’s going on here. I’ll consider what it means to be a Jerusalem-based, Social-tech company, delving into the backstories of our Jerusalem collaborators and studying Israeli Startup and Hi-tech culture. I’ll write about Carmel’s technological innovations, exploring the communities Carmel aims to serve. I’ll examine what it means to be a religious women in STEM—documenting both obstacles and achievements, considering efforts for female empowerment in a male-dominated field. I’ll write about Carmel’s Jewish and Israeli values, using my perspective as an American Jew to delve into a new culture. There’s a lot to say about this exciting new company! So, stay tuned for more updates from Har-Hotzvim.
Sophie Friedman grew up in New York City with her three siblings. She’s a Junior at Bowdoin College in Maine where she studies English & Education, writes a food column for her school newspaper, and leads camping trips. She’s spending the semester at Hebrew University, working at Carmel 6000, and writing about what’s going on there.