PresenTense: Week One of PresenTense by Madeline Bleiweiss

June 22, 2010 at 11:28 am | Posted in Madeline Bleiweiss, PresenTense Fellowship 2010 | Leave a comment

I haven’t been to Israel since 2006 when I came on Birthright Mayanot for 10 days. This experience is much different, much deeper, more involved, adventurous, exciting, and challenging in ways that I never expected. The PresenTense Institute has taught me great skills, even in the past week. Upon coming here, I assumed PresenTense would teach me ways of building a business strategy in a more logical, text book sense. Instead, the institute has allowed me to curve my attention with analogies, intense evaluation, and research. It has also given us the opportunity to meet with talented, knowledgeable people from around the US and Israel.

My project has been tweaked a bit since I applied for this opportunity. There will no longer be a convention and my focus will no longer be to get Cleveland’s adult population enthusiastic. I believe this will come with time, and it’s necessary that I concentrate on my main idea’s target audience. Ultimately, my project aims to highlight Jewish Cleveland in a trendy light for 20-somethings through events, resources, the making of an interactive video of current hot city life, marketing, and public relations. I am researching if video is the best promotional tool to use. There are definitely other mediums I need to look into to realize the best mode of communication. I have been given feedback from Ariel and Aharon, the co-Founders of PresenTense. They’re both brilliant and easy to talk to; focused, reliable, and passionate. The motivation that I see coming from fellows and the institute has inspired me, and through my current observations – everyone. At this point, the institute has put our minds in the right places!

As I go through more of this process, I will continue to brainstorm and work with other fellows to come to my final idea. Right now, I am working on important ways to brand my idea, and I am working with people back in Cleveland to make my idea comes to life very quickly back at home.

Other than learning, I’ve of course been exploring and having fun! Many of the other fellows live in the same building on Derech Hevron, so we’ve been getting to know each other, we go out together, travel together, cook together, k’vech together, etc. It’s like camp! Israel has amazing burgers, I mean, add a slice of cheddar on those things and I could live here forever.

Jerusalem is unique and spiritual with a huge sense of community. While we only have 6 weeks here, the other fellows and I want to make sure we see this land as much as we can. By the way, shout out to Jenny and Noah – they speak good Hebrew and have an understanding of the public transportation system. I would be extremely lost without the other Cleveland Fellows to guide me!

Anyway, this weekend, a few of us went to Tel Aviv, hung out at the beach, and went out at night. On Friday night I met a mutual friend of my brother’s, and he took me around the city in his moped. This wouldn’t fly in America. But I was a happy girl.


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