As I write these words, the worlds eyes are on Israel as our President visits Jerusalem on his first international trip. Despite the fact that the state of Israel covers only slightly more geography than the state of New Jersey, Benjamin Netanyahu is a central figure on the world stage.
In the Game Changer, one of the main characters in this fictional account of a travel tech company in Tampa is Avi, a tech entrepreneur who grew up in Israel. Here is an excerpt that in “Forest Gump-esque” style describes how he and Benjamin met.
Avi spent his early years in a village just on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where his father was an innkeeper and his mother ran an alterations shop. While they always had whatever they truly needed, money was definitely not plentiful. He remembered being embarrassed on the first day of school at Henrietta Szold Elementary School. He was wearing clothes that his mother had made. The other kids often teased him about that and the fact that they lived in the back of the inn.
His neighbor, Benjamin, who was two years older and had just moved to Jerusalem from the US, always stood up for him. As a result, despite the difference in their ages, they became good friends and Avi loved to hear his stories about life in Philadelphia where he had lived before they came back to Israel.
Through a series of intertwined events, Avi and Benjamin become classmates at MIT in the Boston area. At a critical juncture in the Company’s development, Avi is struggling about the thought of raising money. It feels like he has failed his team in not being able to grow without an infusion of cash. Avi contacts his dear friend, who was working in the private equity community, for his sage advice. Benjamin makes a few introductions and Avi successfully pursues a relationship with “the Firm.”
As the story unfolds, the team shares a disappointing experience in their first encounter with the turn-around team. Then mysteriously they are all individually led to discover various sources of truth and insights that they each need to transform their part of the Company.
At the end of the story, Benjamin makes one last appearance to support Avi and the team to celebrate their success.
The team takes you along on their transformational journey to the Company’s metaphorical “mountaintop”. The incredible result, both personally and professionally, speaks volumes.
You might ask why an American author and tech entrepreneur (and a female one at that) would choose to showcase an Israeli man in his mid 60s as the CEO of the Company. I can only say that so many parts of this book were inspired and the choice was quite simply obvious.
Startup Nation reports that Israel has more companies on the NASDAQ than any other foreign country. The Economist has also reported that Israel now has more high-tech start-ups and a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other country in the world.
I enjoyed learning more about Israel and Benjamin Netayahu as a part of the writing process and want to thank my friends in Israel who shared elements of the culture that impacted how
After finishing the manuscript, I sent the book to Prime Minister Netanyahu, along with his book Durable Peace, requesting an autograph. I am blessed to now possess a signed copy of this important work on the topic of peace and Israel’s place amongst the nations.
May his dream of peace in the region and in the world become a reality. God bless Israel.