Onward Israel Blog 2023: Week 2

Date: 06-27-2023 | Category: Blog,For Students | Reading Time: 8 Minutes

Since the last time I wrote to y’all, myself and the other Onward participants have finished our second week of our internships, taken Tel Aviv head on, traveled to Netanya, and much more…

As previously mentioned, my internship is with Stratasys in Rehovot. Stratasys is an industry leader in complex 3D printing technologies, including thermoplastics, several resin technologies, metal, and carbon. Given my background, I am working with the embedded software team, leveraging software to make the hardware do what it needs to do, in this case, print anything and everything you could ever want. My favorite part about my internship thus far is how I am not treated as an intern, but as a legitimate part of the team. I am given the same type of problems to solve that the rest of my team deals with, access to the same tools and laboratories that the rest of my team uses, and the same level of expectations and respect as the rest of my team. The company and my team have been very quick to integrate me into their workflow, ensuring I had what was necessary to do my work. Another thing I have discovered about Israeli work culture is how much asking questions and addressing problems is encouraged. As an engineer, I ask tons of questions. Knowing I can ask as many questions as I feel are necessary without feeling that I am impeding the workflow is liberating for my own work.

Stratasys Exterior

The technology of the 3D printer I am working on is called “PolyJet”, which for those familiar with 3D printing technologies is similar to SLA (stereolithography), but the machine’s mechanical behavior is more akin to a FDM (fused deposition modeling) printer. For those less familiar with 3D printing, SLA technology works by precisely shining a particular wavelength of light in a vat of resin that cures at that particular wavelength. After enough exposure to the pattern the light is projecting into the vat of resin, those areas of the resin will be cured as the object you wanted. FDM technology can more/less be explained as a precise “hot glue gun” on a three-axis motion system that builds up the object in thin layers. I use the analogy of a hot glue gun since the printer just melts down a plastic, then that plastic hardens when cooled, just like hot glue. With that clarified, PolyJet can be conceptualized as a hybrid of these two technologies. Essentially the printer moves and operates like a FDM printer, but instead of laying down a layer of melted plastic, it lays down a layer of resin which is cured by lights inside the machine as the object is printed. One clear advantage to this technology is you can precisely mix colors and materials since it’s not just a vat of resin, resulting in highly detailed and realistic prints like this bottle of Bulleit Bourbon; yes, that’s a single 3D print.

Fully 3D Printed Bottle of Bulleit Bourbon

This past week, we took a day trip outside of Tel Aviv up to our sister city Netanya! We started our day leisurely at 12:30, meeting with the coordinators around 13:30. We all gathered in a room where we socialized and got to know one another better. We broke off into groups with decks of cards that had an array of questions on them for us to answer, really sparking some good conversation and providing another window into the lives and perspectives of the other Onwards participants. Additionally we had a discussion as to what Judaism and Israel mean to us. Do we associate positive or negative emotions with one, either, or both? Do we feel that they are different things or one and the same? This was the core of the discussion we had, and as you can imagine, there were an array of different viewpoints on the subject matter that we were able to share and converse on.

Discussion Group

After wrapping up discussion, we left for the Netanya City Museum. While we were at the Netanya City Museum, we were educated on the entire history of Netanya, from the birth of the city and its original visionaries to its current state in the year 2023. To summarize some of it, Netanya was envisioned to be the resort city it is from the start. It was founded in 1929 and named after one of the original investors who purchased land from the Arabs, Nathan Strauss. Additionally, Netanya means “God gave”. The city was structured as a merchant city, or a capitalist city, contrary to the socialist structure of the kibbutzim in Tel Aviv at the time, contributing to the successful tourism the city experienced in the decades to come (after WWII). The city has been a beautiful resort town ever since.

Netanya City Museum

After the museum, we bussed our way over to a bike trail where we did around an one hour bike ride along the beachfront! The beachside scenery was simply immaculate. As someone who bikes through the cramped complex streets that comprise Tel Aviv, it was refreshing to take a leisurely ride with the gorgeous clear Netanya beach in the background. At the end of our bike trip, we stopped in a park for some food, then departed back to Tel Aviv around 20:00 to wind down for the day.

Netanya Beach

Food Corner:

One of the most iconic Israeli foods is shawarma. What is shawarma? Shawarma is heaven in a pita, or more specifically, shredded meat, pickled and fresh vegetables, hummus, tahini, spices, and more… in a pita. In some ways, it’s an Israeli equivalent to a sandwich. This week , I will cover two of the best shawarma in Tel Aviv!


For those who live in Tel Aviv, HaKosem is a very familiar name. It’s a streetside restaurant that offers excellent shawarma, hummus, and falafel. Seating is outside only, with a handful of communal tables to share your dining experience. The restaurant is very efficient, getting food to you within minutes of arrival, even when they are very busy. The shawarma is fatty, juicy, and flavorful, paired with an array of excellently prepared salads, spices, hummus, tahini, and amba, all wrapped in a beautifully baked pita. All of the components of the pita work in harmony with one another to create a really flavorful (and filling) dish. Their falafel is delicate and packed full of flavor, making it an excellent pairing with your pita or plate of hummus. One additional step HaKosem makes is they add fried eggplant to your pita, which for me, is an “x-factor” ingredient. Eggplant when prepared properly adds a strong, distinct, smokey flavor to any dish, which I feel contributes greatly to the strongly spiced shawarma already on front row display in the pita.

HaKosem: Shawarma, Falafel, Fried Eggplant, Hummus, Pita, & Olives

Mifgash Rambam

Much like HaKosem, Mifgash Rambam is a streetside restaurant that serves shawarma and hummus. Unlike HaKosem, Mifgash Rambam takes a slightly different approach to their shawarma. Typically when getting shawarma, you’ll choose one type of meat you enjoy, however at Mifgash Rambam, every pita is served with a blend of beef and lamb shawarma. Additionally, each pita is paired with pickled purple onion alongside whichever salads and sauces you choose to add to your pita. The quality of each ingredient speaks for itself, presenting you with an excellent blend of flavors with each and every bite you take. Another pleasant aspect of the meal is that tahini, hummus stew, fresh pickled vegetables, olives, and pita are provided complimentary at the beginning of the meal to wet your appetite for what is to come.

Mifgash Rambam