How to Get to Israel in Eight Steps

by Vincent “Matt” Ford

birthrightIt all started the summer before my last semester at UW-Madison.  I had heard good things concerning the technology entrepreneurship scene in Boulder, Colorado and I wanted to check it out.  Without any plans, I got on a plane and went to Boulder in hopes of networking with tech start-ups.

The first night I was in Boulder, I went to a group meditation and sparked up a conversation with a nice young man named Chris Thorne.  Chris just so happened to be working for a tech start-up called Spot Influence, and was nice enough to share the BOCC* with me—a networking event for the tech start-up industry. Tuesday morning came along and my socks were knocked off by how perfectly things fell together–the BOCC was EXACTLY what I was looking for.

As the BOCC concluded, I began a conversation with a smart dude who just so happened to be a graduate from UW-Madison–the college I was currently attending.  Not too far into the conversation, we also figured out that we were both Jewish. Perfect timing, for at that precise moment Cheryl Fellows from Boulder Jewish News was walking by and heard our conversation.  She clarified that we were Jewish, and simply handed me a sticker that said “Boulder Jewish News.”

About an hour later, I took that sticker out of my pocket, looked at it and placed it on the back of my Mac Book pro–I don’t know why I did, I don’t really like computer stickers.  Either way, my trip concluded – successfully – and I was off to Madison, WI for my last semester.

Boulder Jewish News Sticker

A few weeks into school, I was working on my start-up –– with my business partner, Alex, who just so happens to be Jewish as well.  As we were talking, we were approached by a nice Jewish lady named Chava Cohen.  She saw the Boulder Jewish News sticker, asked if we were Jewish and then proceeded to talk to us about her Jewish student organization JEM.  It just so happened that Alex knew all about JEM and actually went on his Birthright trip through them.  Because of that conversation, I found out about Birthright – an amazing opportunity for young Jewish adults to escape to the motherland for free – and signed up for my Birthright trip through JEM.  My trip starts in three days.   (Follow my trip on twitter: @VfordVendetta.)

Let’s connect all the dots:

1.  I went to Boulder wanting to network with Tech Start-ups, and I had no idea how it was going to happen.

2.  I met a random guy at a random meditation who told me about the EXACT event that I was looking for.

3.  After this amazing event, I sparked a random conversation with a random guy who just so happened to graduate from the school I was currently attending, and we both shared the same Jewish heritage.

4.  While I was conversing with this random guy, the second we realized that we were both Jewish, Cheryl from Boulder Jewish News walked by, heard our conversation, and gave me a sticker that said Boulder Jewish News.

5.  For no reason at all, I placed that sticker on my Mac Book pro, which I never do.

6.  Back in Madison, while working at a coffee shop with my Jewish partner, a nice Jewish lady from JEM told us about Birthright.

7.  It just so happened that my partner knew about Birthright, because he went to Israel with them.

8.  Now I’m going to Israel.

Steve Jobs – one of my heroes – once said that it’s impossible to look forward and see how things will work, you can only look back and connect the dots.  These were some serious dots.

*BOCC (Boulder Open Coffee Club) is an open conversation between tech enthusiasts/entrepreneurs at 8:00 am every other Tuesday at the Atlas Purveyors Coffee Shop on Pearl Street, Boulder Colorado.

About Staff

They call me "NewsHound IV," because I'm a clever Finnegan, sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was a rescue pup and glad to be on the scent!

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  1. LOVE this story! Happy to help connect dots!

  2. Awesome story 🙂 Thanks so much BOULDER JEWISH NEWS!!! you rock.