Cape Town teens focus on innovation in business

Unistream Cape Town participants with Heather Blumenthal (front left) and Yvette Rosenberg (back right)

The benefits of sharing ideas — of different minds coming together — was recently seen in an entrepreneurship and innovation programme involving Grade 11 learners from Cape Town and Johannesburg, who joined forces with some of their Israeli peers.

Through The Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Gether (P2G) programme, these young people were given the opportunity to work with other teenagers from environments different to their own, bringing together a range of skills and individual talents geared to enhance the work of the team as a collective. This comment by Herzlia High learner, Aidan Kusevitsky, perfectly summarises the value of this: “The cross-cultural exchange of ideas and experiences was truly invaluable. Engaging with individuals from different cities and countries broadened my perspective and enhanced the experience.”

Heather Blumenthal, Director of the SAZF Cape Council explains, “P2G connects over 500 Jewish communities in the diaspora with 45 Israeli Partnership areas. We in South Africa work together with people from the Beit Shemesh area, connecting teachers and learners through a variety of different initiatives.”

One such initiative, Unistream, uses Israel’s focus on innovation to promote entrepreneurial skills among teenagers across the globe. Yvette Rosenberg, Cape Town organiser of the programme, says, “The teens selected worked together with others from other centres — in our case, from Johannesburg and Israel — to collaborate on an entrepreneurial venture of their collective choice. They learned about problem-solving through collaboration, as well as about a range of business skills, and were guided by mentors identified for their own business success.”  

The mentorship provided through the programme certainly made its mark, as is clear from the comments of participant, Dani Cohen, “I enjoyed working with mentors who are extremely skilled and helped guide us through the course.”

Networking with peers with similar visions for their futures also brings benefits. According to Yali Albedas from  Cape Town Torah High (CTTH), “I  had the chance to build a robust network of people who share my entrepreneurial aspirations.” These connections could well result in new business startups in years to come.

A valuable element of the programme is that it provides both theoretical learning and the practical application of innovative ideas. Ethan Werb, a Herzlia High student, comments that, “One of the differentiators of this programme is that not only are you taught the skills of modern-day entrepreneurship, but that you have an opportunity to put these skills into action through projects. We took an entrepreneurial journey through designing our very own product.”

During June, the South African/Beith Shemesh programme reached its final stages, with the presentation by three groups of their business ideas, all of which relate to the development of a mobile app to meet a particular need among a group of people.

Yvette is enthusiastic about how the Cape Town learners fared, commenting that, “The 15 Cape Town participants from Herzlia High School and CTTH did us proud. Watching them conceptualise and develop an idea and bring it to its final presentation was incredible.”

The participants certainly felt that the experience was a worthwhile one. As CTTH’s Eitan Robins Kallmann says, “It was exciting to think about what we as individuals can create to change the world and hopefully make the world a better place.”

SA Zionist Federation – Cape Council – Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

• Published in the July 2023 issue – Click here to start reading.

• To advertise in the Cape Jewish Chronicle and on this website – kindly contact Lynette Roodt on 021 464 6736 or email For more information and advertising rate card click here.

• Sign up for our newsletter and never miss another issue.

Please support the Cape Jewish Chronicle with a voluntary Subscription for 2023. For payment info click here.

• Visit our Portal to the Jewish Community to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites.

Follow the Cape Jewish Chronicle: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here