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Jared Morgenstern Photo: Elad Gershgorn
Jared Morgenstern Photo: Elad Gershgorn
 
 

'Like' inventor on hectic tour of Israel

After changing Facebook forever, Jared Morgenstern quits job, heads to Israel. Despite busy itinerary, he hopes to find Jewish bride, say hi to Bar Refaeli

Israel Moskowitz
Published: 07.13.13, 08:09 / Israel Culture

It may not seem like much, but to some, this icon changed a generation. One tiny, bluish thumbs-up became one of the most popular forms of expression, signfying with one click what once may have taken long, agonized phrases. Jared Morgenstern, the man who invented Facebook's Like button, made his mark and decided to quit while he is ahead.

 

Now, with a bursting bank account and a hunkering for a Jewish bride, he travels around Israel.  

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The 32-year-old Morgenstern was born in New York City, revealed a knack for computers as a child and went to pursue his talent in Harvard, where he met Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who was two years his junior.

 

After he finished his MA, Morgenstern founded his own social network around the same time Facebook was launched. But his company, Morgenstern recalled, was less successful.

 

The reason was not due to luck, he said with humility, but was that Zuckerberg is a greater genius, having an understanding of the awkwardness people feel at making personal contacts.

 

After working for another firm, Morgenstern called Zuckerberg and two weeks later started working for Facebook, at the time a 30-employee company at which his main job was to produce more revenue without annoying the users, Morgenstern jokingly explained.

 

After creating a successful application Morgenstern was promoted to lead a new team which eventually came up with the Like button, after four teams failed at the task.

 

The job was intense, and they worked at it for four months, Morgenstern said. At first they were afraid overuse of the Like button will kill the use of words, he explained, but eventually, results showed users kept writing.

 

Good opportunity to learn about Jewish roots

About six months ago Morgenstern's father died and he decided to quit his job in order to spend more time with is family in New York. He sent Zuckerberg a long letter announcing his regretful resignation, but after a few weeks delay at the company they reluctantly let him go, with a heartfelt thank-you note from Zuckerberg.

 

Currently Morgenstern is in Israel, touring for three hectic weeks, planned for him by Amichai Shikli, director of the Tavor pre-military academy, who constructed a special itinerary, including a trip to Nachal Charod, a hike in the Carmel and a jeep foray into the Negev and Jerusalem.

 

The tour was custom-made, Shikli explained, stressing the importance of strengthening the Zionist idea in influential Jews worldwide.

 

For Morgenstern, the vacation is also a good opportunity to learn more about his Jewish roots, but also, he said, being a bachelor, he wouldn't object to meeting Israeli girls.

 

Possibly even Bar Refaeli, he added.

 

 

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