‘This is just another example of the partnerships ISRAEL21c likes to form in communities to help show the “real” Israel,’ says president Amy Friedkin.

ISRAEL21c was proud to be counted among the sponsors of “Israel through the High-Tech Lens,” a two-day interdisciplinary conference held February 1 and 2 at the University of California-Berkeley. The conference was sponsored by the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society Program on Jewish Law.

The event brought together more than 35 Israeli and US business leaders, scholars and policy-makers to discuss business, legal, economic and social aspects of Israeli high-tech — models of tech-sector investment, green-tech trends, legal challenges to US-Israel business collaboration, global corporations’ involvement in Israel, labor-market diversity, cross-border collaboration in the Middle East and high-tech entrepreneurship.

ISRAEL21c sponsored a session led by Dan Senor, co-author of the bestselling Start-up Nation.

“This is just another example of the partnerships ISRAEL21c likes to form in communities to help show the ‘real’ Israel,” says ISRAEL21c president Amy Friedkin.

She met the institute’s director last summer and agreed to support the idea of a campus event focusing on Israeli innovation and technology. During a subsequent brainstorming session at the institute, she offered to approach Senor about participating.

“They’d been trying to put something together for a long time, since Berkeley is always seen as a seat of anti-Israel sentiment,” Friedkin explains. The institute’s members counter that image through graduate school-level programs designed to reveal the true face of Israel. Earlier this academic year, for instance, an Israeli Supreme Court justice came to Berkeley as a scholar-in-residence.

Ten diverse sessions at the conference explored two key themes, “Challenges and Opportunities of Local and Global Dynamics in the Israeli Technology Sector” and “Past Experiences, Present Trends and Future Directions — Lessons from the Past and Challenges for the Israeli Technology World in the 21st Century.”

Some of the other speakers were Intel executive vice president David (Dadi) Perlmutter, California Israel Chamber of Commerce executive director and UpWest Labs co-founder Shuly Galili, Face.com co-founder and CEO Gil Hirsch, Google Israel R&D center director Yossi Matias, and Anat Binur, founder of MEET (Middle East Education for Technology).