Lifestyle & Belief

Ashton Kutcher in Israel for spiritual, tech retreat


Ashton Kutcher was the 500th customer to sign up for billionaire Richard Branson's venture to take paying tourists into space, it was announced on March 19, 2012. The venture, known as Virgin Galactic, will involve a suborbital trip into outer space.



Actor Ashton Kutcher is in Israel for a three day visit to meet with investors in Israeli technology startups.

Kutcher, an entrepreneur, is a follower of Kabbalah and timed the visit to coincide with the holiday of Shavuot.

He last visited in 2010 with ex-wife Demi Moore. This time, he was sighted arriving sans new girlfriend (Mila Kunis) at a Tel Aviv party attended by Israeli supermodel, Bar Rafaeli.

"Mila Mi?" or "Mila Who?" blared the headline of Mako, a local Israeli news site. 

Local papers and social media-savvy teen age girls were thrilled to report on the talk he gave at a high-tech gathering Monday night, which he attended with his business partner, Guy Oseary, who also happens to be Madonna's Israeli-born manager.

More from GlobalPost: Ashton Kutcher tops Forbes list of highest-paid actors

Kutcher, an early adapter on Twitter, has invested in a number of tech startups including Spotify, Groupon, and Airbnb.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to come here several times,” Kutcher said in a recent interview. “The last couple times I came here, I started meeting a few people that were in the tech space, and started realizing that a lot of the innovation that comes out of here."

He also plans to visit Tel Aviv's Kabbalah Center, where he first visited in 2010.  The Hollywood phenomenon of "Kabbala" is somewhat mystifying for most Israelis, for whom Kabbalistic practice remains a learned and esoteric form of Judaism with orgins in the seminaries of Eastern Europe's Pale of Settlement. 

But "Kutcher praised Israel for being the at the epicenter of Internet innovation," writes Jewish Business News, "saying that the country is 'a place that’s managed to embrace its neighbors and create peace within an environment that can be very hostile.'"