#Firgun: What’s it all about?

by | Jul 14, 2014 | Other News

During the winter of 2013–2014, I was a participant on a Birthright trip sponsored by the Hillel at Virginia Tech. When I got back to school I knew I wanted to get back to the land of Israel and help develop the country that made me feel so at home. After a bit of research, I stumbled upon a program called Onward Israel, which allows students from the United States and Canada to live, work and get immersed in Israeli society. Co-sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel and Hillel, my Onward Israel trip is based in Jerusalem and places participants in internships according to their major or interests.

I am interning at a non-profit startup in Jerusalem called MadeinJLM this summer. Israel is known as the Silicon Valley of the Middle East and has more technology companies listed on the NASDAQ than any other country besides the U.S. But when people think of technology in Israel, they think of Tel Aviv. And that’s what we are trying to change. Our purpose is to help foster the creative entrepreneurial community within the diverse city of Jerusalem. With this mission we are creating an international holiday called #FirgunDay centered on the concept of simply being nice to someone.

But, what is a “Firgun?”

Many words in Hebrew can be traced back to the Bible. In the case of “firgun” (pronounced FEER-GOON), you won’t find it anywhere. Firgun isn’t even in that old dusty Hebrew-English dictionary you have on your bookshelf. Firgun is a cultural concept that defies translation. It means to root for someone, to be supportive and not to rain on someone else’s parade. Wrapped up in this little word is the notion of not begrudging someone else’s success. A Firgun is an act of saying nice things or doing nice things to someone without any other purpose, but to make the other feel good.

Five Easy Steps
• Follow @FirgunDay on Twitter and join the Facebook event (http://bit.ly/ FirgunDay).
• Pick a person, organization, or company, which you find inspiring and worth a “Firgun,” a selfless compliment.
• Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media and explain why this individual or company embodies the #FirgunDay spirit. Don’t forget to add the #FirgunDay hashtag.
• Help us spread the #FirgunDay love and celebrate this new international holiday!
• Our team at MadeinJLM is trying use #Firgun to help inspire innovation and collaboration across the world by small acts of Firgun to make the world a better place. How will you inspire someone on #FirgunDay?

by Ryan Klavan