A soft landing and lots happening: Neighbor spotlight on Nofar Drukman
– VOL. I
Nofar Drukman is a social entrepreneur, a storyteller, a changemaker, a salsa dancer, a hummus enthusiast and, as of a few months ago, a mother. On the odd night when her neighbor has to work late, she is also an emergency dog walker.
Basically, Nofar is every bit as high energy and eclectic as Shapira, the neighborhood in south Tel Aviv where she lives with her husband and young son. The thing is, she’s been this way— leading seminars, running her business, teaching dance classes— since practically the moment she arrived there three years ago, despite knowing almost no one and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of the city.
“Tel Aviv is such a crowded place,” says Drukman. “It’s like living in New York— it can be too much.”
One of her new friends in the city showed her around Shapira, the famously diverse neighborhood of roughly 8,000 that Drukman describes as “more like a village— a small bubble inside the big bubble that is Tel Aviv. Everything is local.”
Venn held a professional portrait session that Nofar attended
Her friend also introduced Drukman to Venn, which had launched in the neighborhood a few years earlier.
“The main thing about Venn was that it was a way for you to create connections, so you won’t be lonely in the big city,” says Drukman. “You will have people around you, so you won’t be on your own. You will have activities to do and opportunities to interact with other people.”
For Drukman, who founded the company Karaoke Talkie after moving to Tel Aviv, making new friends and potential dance partners was just the beginning.
“‘If you are self-employed, or like me, an entrepreneur, you not only can make connections with others, but you also get platforms that you can use to create your business… They provide the space to support who you are and what you do.’”
When Drukman wanted to launch a storytelling seminar shortly after she arrived in Tel Aviv, she was able to publicize it on Venn’s web platform and then use their space to hold the meetings. A few months later, she was able to use Venn in a similar way to launch the pilot for Karaoke Talkie, a social enterprise that uses improvisation techniques to help people overcome their fears and become more effective at public speaking.
“I was able to do it easily and without any extra cost,” says Drukman. “It was wonderful. Honestly, it felt like magic.”
Nofar is a longtime Venn Neighbor. She stays for the connections, activities, and opportunities.
Venn has become so integral to Drukman socially and professionally— not to mention allowing her to help out her neighbor’s dog (“I work at home, so it’s really no big deal,” she says)— that it has been hard for her to imagine life in the city without it.
“It gave us a chance to meet our neighbors, not just in our building but also in the neighborhood,” says Drukman. “This is incredibly valuable — meeting people, doing activities, and of course the places themselves.
They have all of these beautiful, well-equipped spaces in which to create things.” Adds Drukman, “All of it together, it has helped me have a soft landing in Shapira and in Tel Aviv overall.”
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