Meet Omer Kalderon, a community builder, experience maker, and an essential part of The George’s hive mind.
Omer Kalderon has one of those faces you kind of just want to know. He is also genuinely inclined to do the work that he does. Mindfully focused and present, enthusiastic, amicable, and ambitious; he has all the telling attributes of someone who attunes his career path to building the community for brands from the ground up. He, too, found himself while shepherding others. After serving as an Israeli combat soldier in the renowned Golani unit, he found his Zen as a music leader at American summer camps, as well as working as a Jewish emissary in Capetown, South Africa for the Zionist Federation.
With this as his organically built-in base, it is completely fitting that he parlayed his kumbaya camp experience into becoming a founding member of the Midburn community (Israel’s answer to Burning Man), serving as the head of its communications department in its first year running, while also strategizing its voice and direction through culture and spaces. Having been to nine Burning Mans himself, he has a finely-tuned understanding of what it takes to organize and communicate through a range of events, personality types, and strategies for what will and won’t be successful. Underlyingly, his connection to Israel and helping others understand the intricacies of this country, have always been strong motivational factors in his career path.
Kalderon thinks about this often when he contemplates the different avenues he has taken thus far. “When my mom asks me what I do [which is often], I tell her that I connect people, to each other and to finding a new purpose,” he says, happily, “and the purpose is always changing.”
Kalderon strategizes what brings communities together in a whole-hearted and wholesome way and the number one answer is always: The Experience.
But how do you measure an experience? Is it the bonds you create? The discovery of something new? The exhilaration of sharing a newfound place that meets your needs in a way that hasn’t happened before? And how can we mirror that feeling over and over again, globally, without losing its initial essence? Having the answer to this is, quite literally, a multi-billion dollar question; The stuff of data and AI and strategists and forecasters – all vying for the golden ticket to what will authentically make and keep people happy.
Kalderon’s recipe is quite simple, though: “The people involved are imperative,” he says. “If you put good people together, only good things will come out of it. The more diversified, the better.”
Curiosity and attentiveness are often hard to find in interactions and experiences in our current climate. People are playing catch up on the last few years, and being part of a community has shifted. People’s needs, expectations, and desires have all been re-routed and the truth of the matter is that everyone is fumbling in the wake starting over and getting it right. There is no one-size-fits-all template for fun. Kalderon’s unilateral goal is so simple, that it is also entirely attainable: Get the most like-minded people together to build something great. This mindset is one that is constantly questioning our core values and how communal connection takes shape.
As part of The George’s hive mind, working on building the nuanced community of its members, Kalderon is excited to tap into Tel Aviv’s next phase as a city and what it has to offer the people who call it home, whether it is for a long weekend or the foreseeable future. “All the new and innovative stuff has been happening outside of Tel Aviv as of late because of rising costs. A lot of community leaders left, and all the alternatives got pushed out of the city,” he laments. “But now, The George is reshaping the way we are encouraged to do new things in Tel Aviv. The George is positioned to become the town hall of new creativity.”
What Kalderon finds most compelling about The George is the multitude of collaborations that can happen on a different, deeper level. Opening the door to facilitating new possibilities and experiences within a city, and then within that, building a communal bond, is the ultimate raison d’etre for The George.
We are all creatures of habit, to begin with, this is human nature, but it is the people who we serendipitously connect with, who bring us out of our shells, that lead us into meaningfully exploring what the day holds. Omer’s social vision of connecting people through valuable experiences invites everyone to a seat at the communal table, looking forward to the conversation.