Hundreds of Young Jewish Business Leaders from North America, Israel, and Other Countries Gathered at Excel Fellowship Summit in New York

During the first weekend of April, nearly 400 Excel Fellows from North America and around the world gathered in New York City, for the Excelerate24 Summit. 

Excel is a lifelong, global business fellowship, part of Birthright Israel, that identifies and brings together the next generation of Jewish business leaders. After completing a summer business or tech internship in Israel, the Excel community provides immersive opportunities in professional development, networking, personal growth, Israel engagement, and Jewish identity.

After their internships, Excel Fellows have maximized their experiences by taking on positions at top-tier companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Bain & Company, and Google, developing strategic partnerships with Israeli companies, and starting their own companies, often hiring other Fellows.

The Excel Fellowship has grown tremendously with the number of applications for last summer rising +80 percent from the prior year. This year has also brought further global expansion with the addition of Germany and Switzerland among those selected for the upcoming summer cohort. Since Excel began expanding beyond North America, 16 countries have been represented.

According to Birthright Israel Excel’s Executive Director Idit Rubin, some 100 Fellows from Israel and several others from Italy, the UK, Spain, Australia, France, Argentina, Mexico, and Canada, joined their U.S. peers for Excelerate24, cementing those bonds.

Throughout the weekend, participants took part in global networking opportunities and industry-specific panels on topics from Impact Investing to Climate Tech to AI and the evolution of venture capital, each led by Excel Fellows themselves who are rising stars across a wide range of business and tech fields. Also, topics such as business development, Jewish identity, and Israel engagement were integrated into several Excel Fellow-led panels.

This year, a reflection on the horrors of the October 7th massacre by Hamas was a central element of the three-day Excel Summit.

Sunday included a touching speech given by Moshe Lavi, whose brother-in-law Omri Miran is being held hostage in Gaza. Additionally, there was a panel named Six Months of Strength & Survival, which featured Excel Fellows who are IDF reservists and shared the combined impact of their experience as both civilians and then serving the country.

Sunday also featured presentations by three recognized leaders in the world of business, global health, and media. Anton Levy, Co-President, Managing Director, and Chairman of Global Technology Group/General Atlantic; Professor Yitshak Kreiss, Sheba Medical Center Director General; and Avi Mayer, The Jerusalem Post former Editor-in-Chief.

Professor Kreiss from Sheba Medical Center, named by Newsweek as the #9 hospital in the world, shared his experience and wisdom leading Sheba during this most challenging time. “Of the 1,487 wounded soldiers who came to Sheba since Oct 7th, only two didn’t survive. That’s a remarkable accomplishment and makes for an unprecedented survival rate of 99.85%,” Kreiss said. “As a leader, if you raise the bar high and your team buys in, they will raise the bar even higher.”

Since 2011, Birthright Israel Excel has been engaged in developing the next generation of Jewish business leaders. The Excel Fellowship selects extraordinary college students from around the world for a summer business or tech internship in Tel Aviv at leading companies. After their return, Excel Fellows become part of a global community that provides resources for professional and personal development and Israel engagement, while also being dedicated to philanthropy.

“The Birthright Israel Excel program is considered to be the most prestigious program in the Jewish world today, with only a few dozen young people being accepted from thousands of applicants. This year we received applications from 25 countries,” said Gidi Mark, CEO of Birthright Israel. “It was heartwarming to see the global Excel business community launch initiatives supporting Israelis and young Jews worldwide post-October 7. Birthright Excel Fellows are active every day as recognized leaders in their professional arenas and within the broad Jewish community and it’s our goal to continue guiding and supporting them in their efforts to build a thriving and better Jewish future for all.”