Shabbat is immediately followed
by the holiday of Shavuot this year.
Counting down 7 weeks since Passover,
this holiday is known for dairy meals,
learning Torah all night,
plants and flowers and more flowers.
The spring holiday season has just ended with
Shavuot and Pentecost falling on the same Sunday.
Hundreds of thousands of people came from around the world
to celebrate peacefully in Jerusalem.
Something was making the birds crazy,
but otherwise it was a quiet, beautiful day,
so there was hardly a mention in the mainstream media.
What image comes to mind when you hear the word Jerusalem?
Perhaps it is the ancient walls of the Old City?
But Jerusalem is a place of contrast and diversity, and is constantly changing.
Just before the holiday weekend, I went to Kikar Safra, Safra Square
to the City Council meeting room for an exciting event.
The Jerusalem Business Network Forum Bio-Med a group
formed to bring science industry to Jerusalem,
launched the Burrill Israel Fund.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat welcomed Jeff Miller,
special advisor to Burrill & Co, who announced a $200,000,000
“super angel” fund for Jerusalem Bio-Med development.
The fund is backed by Steve Burrill, an US investor
who loves Jerusalem and invests in health care,
which he prefers to call “sickness and wellness.”
Deputy Mayors Naomi Tsur and Yitzchak Pindrus addressed the crowd
that included scientists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers.
Before entering politics, Mayor Barkat
was involved with development of the first internet firewalls
and has worked to bring hi-tech and bio-tech industry to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is known for science study and research.
HUB (Hebrew University Biotech) has lab space for start-ups,
but until now Jerusalem
has not been associated with the “Start Up Nation” image.
One fascinating innovation that was discussed was a device
enabling doctors to see under the skin before making surgical incisions.
People stayed for hours talking at the end of the meeting.
The Mayor’s wish to see Jerusalem as a future center of bio-tech
and to take “talent to the next step”
is a step closer to becoming a reality.