ATS Technion Mission: Chaverim


Technion Mission - Chaverim - Linda's Email Diary - Shabbat in Jerusalem - Steve's Larger Trip
Chaverim: Bob - Gilad - Joel - Jon - Ken - Leonid - Linda - Paul - Scott - Steve

Bob Roberman

SolidWorks Director of Business Development, Chicago
Second trip to Israel


Gilad Peled

Born in Jerusalem, Gilad grew up on Kibbutz Maabarot.   Gilad is a tour guide, and likes to study and travel in his spare time.


Joel Berkowitz

American Technion Society New England Region Director, coordinated the trip
Many trips to Israel

A group of nine people at different ages and stages of our lives shared a unique adult informational and experiential experience and bond as well as any group Iíve seen. Thank you again to Jon Hirschtick for making this possible and each of you for sharing what makes us unique as individuals and as a people.

Trip Highlights:

1. No matter how many times you have been to Israel, there is always something new, exciting, challenging, etc. going on. It reminds me of Washington D.C. in that context. Our first meeting with a well regarded political scientist (Prof. Chazan) outlining potential scenarios for a political vote later that day, where he did not know the result. Later the same day (day 1 of our trip) a highly regarded MK (MK Ramon) would not predict the outcome of a vote to occur within the next several hours as "discussions" were still underway. Plus on day 2 we spend 1 3/4 hours with the past a possibly future prime minister Neyanyahu. This put to rest the concern of how different a second Hirschtick invitation mission would be. The answer: plenty different, and even more interesting, informative, and exciting. It reminds me that the torah seems to be more nuanced every year. It doesnít change. We do. The same with Israel.

2. Visiting RAPHAEL missile assembly plant on 11/10/05. The missile they showed us has been sold to Germany. 67 years previously was kristalnacht. 11/9-10/38. We share the same history. Once powerless, now with some ability to defend ourselves. And a new relationship with Germany, and many other countries. Truly historic times.


Jon Hirschtick

SolidWorks Founder and Group Executive, President ATS NE Region, Led mission
Many trips to Israel


Ken Manoff

SolidWorks, Europe
First trip to Israel


Leonid Raiz

Parametric Tech Corporation Macher, Revit Founder


Linda Chaplik Harris

Attorney, Partner: Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
Second trip to Israel (both in 2005)

Linda made many powerful observations: Israel was invented, not developed.

Linda has shared her email log from the trip.


Paul Ganz

Managing Director, Intercad (SolidWorks reseller in Australia)
First trip to Israel

Paul is very savy of politics, and he encouraged us to "follow the money" in our analysis.


Scott Barron

Retired Cape Cod retailer, now a landlord
Fourth trip to Israel (previous trips in 1970s)

Trip Highlights:

1. The twenty-four year old captain that we met while visiting the 100th recon squad at the military airbase was the same age as my oldest son, Matt. I was struck by the depth of the young captain's maturity. His experiences in the Israeli airforce had given him a purpose and wisdom I felt was beyond his years. This experience helped explain to me how a small Jewish country has held the armies of five much larger countries at bay for the last fifty years.

2. One night after dinner, Gilad took us on a short tour of the old city of Jerusalem, then through alleys, up stairs, over rooftops. All of a sudden, we were on a flat, stone rooftop, three stories high, looking over a portion of the old city. In the near distance we saw the dome of the rock with a full moon overhead. It was a very surreal experience for me. I realized how intertwined the lives and experiences of the Jews and the Arabs really are and how important a fair and lasting peace is to everyone.


Steve Heller

Research Director, Sun Microsystems Research.
First trip to Israel

Trip Highlight:

Major General Amos Horev (retired) sat with us for almost two hours reflecting on Israel's history over his lifetime, from the pre-indepencence Palmach  army division to views on the recent disengagement from Gaza. In the end, I told him a short story. When I was growing up in New York thirty years earlier, I was a member of a youth group (USY), and our chapter had an interesting name, and we learned a song about the group we were named after. Then I sang two lines from the song. By the second word, the General's eyes lit up, and by word three he sang with me energetically, as did Gilad, our guide. Lifkuda tamid anachnu tamid, Anu anu HaPalmach!  This was Shir HaPalmach  the marching song of the Palmach,  the famous and fearless Israeli army division to which the General belonged. I hoped to give a little naches  to a living legend, that thirty years prior in the states, young kids were singing his song and still remember. I believe I succeeded. Singing Shir HaPalmach  with the General and Gilad was the highlight of my trip.

I'm teaching my kids about the Palmach and to sing Shir HaPalmach. Follow me (acahrai) in remembering and honoring the legend, which will live on at least one more generation.


Chaverim: Bob - Gilad - Joel - Jon - Ken - Leonid - Linda - Paul - Scott - Steve
Linda's Email From Israel: Arrival - Day One - Day Two - Day Three - Day Four - Epilogue/Reflections
Technion Mission - Chaverim - Linda's Email Diary - Shabbat in Jerusalem - Steve's Larger Trip
Heller Web Space: Images - Notes - Travel - Memories