Noa Mintz is a content intern and the youngest member of the Mecomi team. A New Yorker in origin and personality, she now lives in Jerusalem while volunteering and contemplating life’s next moves. When the workload gets light, she likes to tend to her apartment’s community garden and explore Israel’s best coffee stores.
04/19/2021 Noa Mintz
Mecomi: What’s in our name?
Nicolas “Nico” Senerman, the CEO and founder of Mecomi, was searching for a name for the company he was developing that aimed to connect tourists to Israel with residents in the hope of offering them a truer experience and a better appreciation of the country.
And then one day... he figured it out, Mecomi!
What does Mecomi mean?
“Mecomi,” which in Hebrew means “local,” can refer to a place, a person, or even a bus line. It connotes a sense of belonging and familiarity. Even its sound and rhythm—pronounced Meh-co-mee—are soothing. Mecomi also has a secondary, figurative meaning: my place. It conveys that Israel can be a place for anyone, full of communities and people who can make everyone feel at home. “That was my mission for tourists,” Nico explains. “I wanted visitors to understand the beauty of the land and the people. I wanted visitors to consider Israel their ‘place,’ too.”
Why is Mecomi relevant in this globalized world during Covid-19
The word resonated deeply with Mecomi’s original mission of connecting tourists with locals in Israel. Be they Arabs, Christians, or Jews; street vendors, athletes, or teachers, Nico believed that pairing tourists with locals, however briefly, would do more for their understanding and appreciation of Israel than museums, restaurants, or mountains ever could. To truly absorb the essence and heart of a place, nothing tops immersion with the people who call it home.
When the coronavirus broke, making travel impossible, the idea of a “local place” as embodied by Mecomi took on a new meaning. It was time to go virtual.
During Nico’s pre-pandemic travels, he spent time in a Buddhist community in California learning to meditate and chant, among other disciplines. While there, he was struck by the mantra of one guru in particular: “Whenever I sing, I should remember that where I go, that’s my place.”
What type of journeys can you have with Mecomi?
In an aha moment for Nico, he realized that “we don’t need to move to another place to find ourselves. People need to see for themselves that they are fine just where they are. Acknowledging this is one of the biggest struggles of our generation.”
And so, the Mecomi you know today was born. Travel and tourism are on hold. But connection, guidance, and discovery are more important than ever and need to be fostered. Mecomi aims to broaden the virtual place, one that can become a local hangout for every participant-- Seekers and Guiders alike.
What does it take to grow?
When people look outwards to learn, grow, give advice, teach, connect, laugh, cry, wonder or ask, they take risks and transcend comfort zones. We know that personal growth and discovery are not always easy. But when a Seeker and a Guider connect on Mecomi, meaningful relationships are born and opportunities arise.
These journeys of self-discovery may not be physical, but they can take you to faraway places nonetheless. Mecomi—your place, my place—is where the magic happens. Because when you dwell and experience in a space, you are, as a wise guru once said, right where you belong.
Mecomi is everyone’s place.