#FirgunDay @ MadeinJLM

 Firgunday Madeinjlm

 

July 17, 2015,marked the second annual International Firgun Day, the Jerusalem-based "Say Something Nice – Make Someone Happy" campaign that this year went global. "Firgun" – a Hebrew word that describes genuine, unselfish delight or pride in the accomplishment of the other – is a uniquely Hebrew word and Firgun Day is itself a unique Jerusalem "start-up," the initiative of Hanan Brand, founder and chairman of MadeinJLM, a non-profit HUB  that connects and empowers Jerusalem's startup and tech community. Together with MadeinJLM co-founders Roy Munin (MadeinJLM CEO) and Uriel Sharaki (MadeinJLM VP), Brand took to social media to encourage individuals around the world to "firgun" – give a compliment or perform an act of kindness – just to make another person, or another start-up, feel good. With the tag line, "For one day a year we give credit to those who deserve it all year long!" MadeinJLM particularly encouraged their fellow Jerusalemites to give a virtual pat on the back to  their favorite local entrepreneurial initiative.

 

Firgun Day became a global phenomenon with contributors from around the world following the instructions to "Pick a person, group or company that is worth a "Firgun" – and then post on your Facebook page or Twitter feed (in any language): "For international #FirgunDay that happens today, I choose to give my firgun to @NAME." For an extra bonus, contributors could also challenge three friends to add to the "feel good" atmosphere with their own "firgun" postings. And for those having trouble coming up with just the right tribute, MadeinJLM offered the services of the Firgunator! This very imaginative web-based program generated accolades like "You make me laugh. You are smarter than master Yoda"; "I would eat a Krembo with you in any way you choose"; "You are the only person in the world I'd love to get stuck in an elevator with"; and "I believe in you even when you don't believe in yourself."  

 

MadeinJLM represents an integral segment of the Koschitzky Young Adults Center at Canada House, the center established by the Jerusalem Foundation that is the official young adults' centre of the city of Jerusalem. Branded as MadeinJLM: 3000 Years of Innovation,  the hub – recently designated one of the "Top 5 Emerging Tech Hubs from around the World" by Time Magazine – promotes interfacing among and advancement of thousands of Jerusalem-based entrepreneurs and more than 400 start-ups (100 founded in 2014 alone!) by offering co-working space, resources and support, creating a sense of community within the complexity of Jerusalem's hi-tech landscape.

 

Indeed it was that sense of the inimitable cooperative spirit within the Jerusalem start-up community that inspired the "Firgun Day" initiative. “We feel like we’re all in the same boat," Hanan Brand explained. "When one company succeeds, we see it as the success of the whole ecosystem. It makes no difference whether the entrepreneur is secular, ultra-Orthodox or Arab, or focused on design, software or bioengineering. So we sat down and thought about how we could spread the good vibes beyond Jerusalem. That was how Firgun Day was born.”