Pictures at a (Startup) Exhibition: Silicon Valley JCC Calls on Israeli Firms to Give It a Shot

Foster City, California, Jewish center plans competition and exhibit of photos that display Israeli startups’ technological prowess, and spirit.

Peninsula Jewish Community Center

Call this Startup Selfies.

A Jewish community center in California’s Silicon Valley is seeking to connect its 10,000 members, a number of whom work in the local technology sector, with Israel’s startup sector through a photo competition and exhibit.

The Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City, located about halfway between San Jose and San Francisco, wants shots that at once highlight Israel-based startups’ technologies and their employees’ spirit.

"Successful entries will [give] a sense of your office culture and a short description that provides readers with an 'aha' moment of discovery," the JCC says.

Kimberly Gordon, the cultural arts director at the JCC, says that simply means that the photos should include the company’s staffers engaged with, connected to or simply displaying their technology at their offices, along with a plain-English description of what the tech is designed to do.

“It’s their opportunity to brag,” and “we’re proud to shine a light on it,” she says.

It’s a competition, so not all photos submitted will be displayed. Those that are will be displayed in the JCC’s lobby and hallway in a gallery format, Gordon says.

Who will be viewing the exhibition? The center’s membership and the surrounding community are diverse and educated, she says, including staffers from the biggest tech firms like Intel, Apple and Google and the venture-capital firms.

The JCC could have hired professional photographers in Israel to shoot posed photos, but selfies are “way more candid, way less staged,” she says. Selfies "are the language of how we’re communicating these days." 

The center is calling for entries by November 3. The show will be up from mid-January through mid-March, as part of a broader series of lectures and other events devoted to Jewish contributions to medicine, science and technology.