Voice of the Jewish News: Technically speaking and responding to crisis

Voice of the Jewish News: Technically speaking and responding to crisis

This week's double editorial reflects on the 'Girls Do Tech' initiative and Indonesia

All the participants of the Girls Do Tech event
All the participants of the Girls Do Tech event

There’s perhaps few things more inspiring than watching young minds at work, unleashing their imaginations and creating something wonderfully inventive.

All the more pleasing was seeing the room at Jewish Interactive and Intu’s Girls Do Tech event, proudly supported by this newspaper, bursting to the seams with budding female engineers on Sunday.

What a difference a year makes. A similarly-organised hackathon last November attracted just five girls out of 50 participants.

Karen Harris, of Intu Digital, puts this down to girls feeling “overpowered” by the boys when it comes to tech, ideas and innovation, prompting this girls-only event as the solution. But as inspiring as the event was, it also sadly exposes the need to encourage more girls to pursue STEM subjects.James Rosenthal of Google believes girls are “as good, if not better” than their male counterparts, but they lack the same confidence.

As the world hurtles along towards a tech-filled future, surely it would be best for all if men and women can take their place on the frontline. But that can only happen if young girls get the support they need today.

Responding to crisis

The earthquake and tsunami which has so far claimed more than 2,000 lives in Indonesia is a striking and tragic reminder of how helpless humanity can be in the face of the might of the natural world. When the final victim of one of worst natural disasters in recent years is accounted for, the physical and structural destruction will be life changing.

Whole towns and communities were destroyed in moments, families ripped apart and infrastructure flattened. But while the elements may be out of our control, the possibility of renewal and reconstruction is not.

World Jewish Relief’s role in the global humanitarian response has, as it so often is at times of grief and crisis, has been as crucial and impressive as ever.

As we contemplate how helpless we are in the face of such tragedy, it is motivating to remember the positive impact even the smallest contribution can have on another life. Make a difference at worldjewishrelief.org.



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