Red Hat Israel launches new collaboration with Tel-Hai Academic College

Jul 5, 2022 | Israel, News

By Shay Vatarescu, Associate Manager, Software Engineering

Red Hat associates and Tel-Hai Academic college staff and students watch as a man cuts a ceremonial red ribbon. There are red, white, and black ballons indicating the festive nature of the event.

On May 12, Red Hat Israel celebrated the launch of a collaboration with Tel-Hai, a college in northern Israel, to increase our presence beyond the central area of Israel. Around 120 students and about 20 Red Hat associates participated in this event, which started with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and concluded with a toast on the rooftop for all the event participants from Red Hat.

To begin, Eli Cohen, CEO of Tel-Hai Academic College, spoke to us about the significance of the collaboration:

“The Department of Computer Science’s collaboration with Red Hat, a company considered a world leader in the open source arena, is another important step forward for the Tel-Hai Academic College to help promote our students and give them tools to integrate into the world of high-tech employment in the fastest and most efficient way. We thank Red Hat for the important initiative and look forward to deepening our partnership by opening more courses in the near future and incorporating our outstanding graduates as employees in the company and the industry in general.”

Afterward, Yaniv Kaul, a Senior Director, spoke to us about Red Hat in Israel, and Orit Wasserman, a Senior Principal Software Engineer, spoke to us about open source. 

When Red Hat met Tel-Hai

This event was the culmination of many discussions, beginning almost a year ago. The idea for the collaboration came up shortly after I joined Red Hat, while talking to one of my professors from Tel-Hai. I graduated from Tel-Hai Academic College in 2017, and I have lived in Upper Galilee, in the northern region of Israel, since 2013. Even though there aren’t many work possibilities in this area, I decided to stay after graduation, working as an intern and then as a software engineer for one of the few companies in the area before joining Red Hat in August 2021.

A group of 5 students, three women and two men, stand in a line and smile for the camera while socializing and standing under the trees outside.

My former professor and I agreed that collaborating with a company like Red Hat would be highly beneficial for the students, the college, and Red Hat as well. Tel-Hai graduates are working for all the major tech firms with a presence in Israel (seven graduates are currently working for Red Hat!), so there is good talent we can help develop and recruit.

I brought up the idea during one of my weekly 1:1 meetings with my manager, Eyal Edri (Senior Manager, Software Engineering). Eyal agreed it could be a good initiative but wanted to consider it. A few days later, he sent me an invitation for a meeting with Miki Kenneth (Director, Strategy & Operations, Israel), Idan Levi (Research & Innovation Director), Adi Vitman (Senior Manager, PnT Associate Experience, Global Program Manager), and other key members of the Israeli site to discuss this idea.

Fast forward only a few months, and we have officially initiated this collaboration, which will develop open source culture amongst the students, give them broad exposure to Red Hat’s technology stack, better prepare new graduates for the real world, and possibly create an open source community with students, developers, and other computer users in the nearby area.

Long rows of students and guests seated in a lecture hall watch a man giving a presentation on open source culture and contributing to open source projects.

As part of the collaboration, Red Hat engineers will give enrichment lectures on selected topics that are relevant for today’s world. We will offer the Red Hat Beyond course in Tel-Hai for the first time in the Winter 2022 semester. We will also have a session of meetups related to OpenShift, to familiarize the people in the northern part of Israel with it. At the same time, the college is sharing a new shared workspace at Margalit center with Red Hat engineers to help us connect with the school, the area, and the students. Any Red Hatter who lives up north can use this space. The greatest news is that two students have been recruited to intern positions at Red Hat from Tel-Hai college, which has never happened before!

Speaking about the new relationship, Idan Levi,  Research and Innovation Director for Red Hat Research in Israel, said:

 “One of our local site goals for 2022 is to position Red Hat Israel as a diverse and innovative technology leader and to increase external awareness through sharing our knowledge of open source technology and research with local education. Shay’s initiative fits perfectly with our site goals, and we’re grateful to Shay and Tel-Hai for this collaboration.”

I personally am very excited about this initiative and glad to be able to have the honor and opportunity to represent Red Hat in the northern end of Israel!

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