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Work at home Jerusalemites unite!

by josh November 21 2008
Jerusalemite newsMunicipal news

Coworking at PresenTense

Filing TPS reports alone, together

While the cafΓ© has become the de-facto Dunder-Mifflin for many a freelancer, work-from-home-nik and business traveler, those who take their coffee with a generous serving of Wifi must deal with their own problems, such as the dreaded laptop dillema, and the constant drama of trying to nurse that NIS 18 cafe hafuch for as long as possible until it becomes painfully obvious that it isn’t the resturant's fine brew that brought you to their confines.

Enter PresenTense, the group devoted to fostering Jewish social entrepnuership. Instead of letting you wallow at Aroma, they have set up a coworking space at 64 Emek Rafaim, a veritable office for those with none. For a fee, workers, or the unemployed who want to feel like they still have jobs, can rent out a space in their building, whether it be a desk or a conference room, and have access to printers, fax, internet, coffee and of course, each other.

"The real key to having a coworking space is you're no longer alone. You don't need to ask a stranger to watch your laptop, or pay NIS 12 for a cup of coffee," Co-founder Ariel Beery said.

The space isn't just for loners looking for a desk, though.

"A lot of the troubles that are affecting non profits are that they simply don't have the money to pay rent, so what we do is we give them a storefront on Emek Refaim, a respectable aplce for them to meet with people," he said.

Just like a cafΓ©, working at PresenTense's Jerusalem Hub ain't free. Fees range fromΒ  NIS 30 for the basic chair and desk to NIS 750 a month for what amounts to a personal office, complete with lockable storage space and dedicated desk.

PresenTense, which places a premium on innovation, are the first to bring the coworking concept to Israel, though it has been a widely used idea throughout the western world since 2007 as office spaces with witty names like Independents Hall in Philadelphia and Manhattans Nutopia workspace have popped up.

So far the space has attracted 12-15 nomadic workers a day, both collaborating on projects and working on their own.

"We really felt Jerusalem could be a world leader in social innovation," co-founder Aharon Horwitz said. "All it needed was a hub."

Image of non Mike Judge related office space courtesy of PresenTense.

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