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Our Mission
StartUpRoots empowers students to develop their potential and challenges them to build a more equitable and sustainable future by providing a platform for growing food, ideas, and responsibility for the earth’s limited resources.    

Our Story

Founded in 2015, StartUpRoots’ first priority was to address the needs of hungry school children in one of Jerusalem’s poorest neighborhoods. While private funds had been raised to provide what might be the students’ only meal of the day, the white rice, canned peas, and rolls with chocolate spread weren’t nutritionally sufficient. The students not only needed more nutritious food, but also to develop the knowledge and skills they would require to lead healthy, sustainable lives.

 

When the principal told us that graduates returned to the school years after graduating to obtain help with wedding expenses, we realized that we needed to transform handouts to hands-on education. We converted a dilapidated schoolyard into a 100 sq meter hydroponic farm. Growing 1500 vegetables a month, students learned the importance of nutrients for both the plants and themselves.

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Word spread and soon other principals and teachers wanted to “green” their schools. As few schools have the space for a 100 sq meter greenhouse, we needed to develop a farm that could literally fit anywhere. In the hallway of a school that serves just over 100 students, StartUpRoots designed a vertical system that could grow 120 plants per meter, per month. Students became active learners, researching plant needs, applying the scientific method to growing sprouts, microgreens, leafy greens and herbs. They documented plant growth and reflected on their own growth. While they enjoyed the fruits of their labors, they also learned about entrepreneurship. Applying lessons from the entrepreneurship curriculum,  students developed new products, such as the hydro-shake, a healthy drink they learned to advertise and promote to other students in the school.

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Next, we developed a commercial farm, enabling Yeshiva students to produce hundreds of vegetables for sale to local residents. In a 22 sq meter space, in a 2000-year-old room in the Old City, devoting just a few hours a week, students learned how to produce and market a variety of fresh, kosher, chemical pesticide-free vegetables. The vegetables reached our customers within minutes of being harvested.

Hydroponics uses 90% less water than traditional farming, eliminates the need for chemical pesticides, reduces waste, and saves precious land. Food grown locally, in a controlled environment reduces the carbon footprint and makes fresh vegetables available all year long. 

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StartUpRoots provides students with the tools to develop skills, knowledge, and a love of learning that will engage them to be responsible team players in a world that demands cooperation, consideration, and collaboration. Within our multidisciplinary curriculum, we invite students to find what they enjoy, develop what they are good at, appreciate the input of others, and focus on what our world needs. Students connect Jewish tradition with social justice, health, environmentalism and more. There is no greater pleasure than watching students grow by growing!

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Help Us Grow!
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Our Packages

 

Shnat Shmitta 2021\22

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to see an overveiw

of all we have to offer

All of our courses are MOE 

alligned 

 

Our Projects

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Ben Gurion University of the Negev

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Check out our Blog! 

Meet The Team

Robin Katz, Esq.
Robin Katz, Esq.

C.E.O., Founder

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Aliza Heching, Ph.D.
Aliza Heching, Ph.D.

C.O.O, Operations Research

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Keren Davidoff, M.Sc.
Keren Davidoff, M.Sc.

C.C.O (Curriculum)

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Golan Rottenberg
Golan Rottenberg

Hydroponic Expert

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Allen Selis, Ph.D.
Allen Selis, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

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Vladimir Vasilenko
Vladimir Vasilenko

PhD, Plant Physiology (MSU); MsD., Plant Biology (LSU); PhD., Biology MSU

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Daniel Hayoun
Daniel Hayoun

MUE, Technion BS, Civil Engineering, Ariel

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Yoni Atias
Yoni Atias

Architect

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Sharon Berezin Alves
Sharon Berezin Alves

Agronomist

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Yaron Penn, Ph.D.
Yaron Penn, Ph.D.

Aeroponics Advisor

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Amit Gross, Ph.D.
Amit Gross, Ph.D.

Water and Environmental Specialist

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Elaine Solowey, Ph.D.
Elaine Solowey, Ph.D.

Medicinal Herbs Specialist

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Miki Volokita, Ph.D.
Miki Volokita, Ph.D.

Pesticide Specialist

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Clarite azerraf
Clarite azerraf

Ph.D, Organic Chemistry M.Sc, HUJ MBA, TAU

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Evyatar Erell, Ph.D.
Evyatar Erell, Ph.D.

Advisory Board Member

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Moran Segoli, Ph.D.
Moran Segoli, Ph.D.

Advisory Board Member

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Alex Cicelesky, M.Sc.
Alex Cicelesky, M.Sc.

Ecology Education Advisor

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Clarite Azerraf
Clarite Azerraf

M.B.A, Ph.D.

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Chanah Auerbach
Chanah Auerbach

Raw Food Specialist, ​Former Head Chef Alumot

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Ronit Rommy
Ronit Rommy

M.Sc. Chemistry

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Max Richardson
Max Richardson

Commercial Photographer, Internationally renowned

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Tamar Schriger
Tamar Schriger

Clinical Nutritionist

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Shari Jacobs
Shari Jacobs

American Registered Nutritionist and American Educational Liaison

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Jacob Matar
Jacob Matar

Amuta Treasurer, Torah and Science Scholar, Artist

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Rav Yitzchak Steinberg
Rav Yitzchak Steinberg

Rosh Eretz Chemda Kollel

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Estee Kreisman
Estee Kreisman

Artist and Award-Winning Graphic Designer

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Chava Neshoma Lustig
Chava Neshoma Lustig

M.B.A., C.P.A.

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Rav Shmuel Silinsky
Rav Shmuel Silinsky

Co-Founder, Agriculture, Horticulture, Torah, At-Risk Youth

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Adam Kaplan, M.B.A.
Adam Kaplan, M.B.A.

Financial Analyst

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Rav Zechariah Kaplan
Rav Zechariah Kaplan

Halachic Expert

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Jacob Schonzeit
Jacob Schonzeit

Board Member

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Douglas Jaffe
Douglas Jaffe

Amuta Secretary, Board Member

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Educational Videos

Brought to you by Integral Hydroponics, this animated video series gives Hebrew instruction on the basics of hydroponic farming! 
In this Edible Education video, through Chef Raw Raw, Chanah Auerbach teaches us how to prepare delicious microgreens!
 

Testimonials

 

Esther Ben Chaim, Principal (Minahelet)

Ohr Batya School

Raw Food Chef Chanah Auerbach

Ohr Batya School

Ohr Batya Agriculture Teacher

Morah Shulamit Explains the Impact of the Project on the Students

Ohr Batya Agriculture Teacher

Morah Shulamit Explains the life lessons learned  from Hydroponic Farming

 

StartUpRoots in the Press

 

Plant Seeds for Success! 

WE ARE PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

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