Dec 6, 2016

Announcing Federation’s New Israel Partnership 2Gether Community

The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County is proud to announce an exciting new relationship with the town of Zichron Yaakov in Israel. This community-to-community, person-to person-partnership is part of the highly successful Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) Partnership 2Gether (P2G) program to bring Jewish Diaspora and Israeli communities together in meaningful, ongoing connections through unique projects and growing personal relationships.

“Here at Federation, our extended family in Israel is never far from our minds and hearts, and their well-being and security have always been vital to our mission,” said Eric Stein, Chair of Federation’s Israel & Overseas (IOC) Task Force. “In addition to providing ongoing and emergency assistance through our overseas partner agencies, another important Federation role is actively building connections throughout our community with the land and the people of our homeland.”

This fall, Stein traveled to Zichron Yaakov with Task Force Vice Chair Gail Greenspoon and members Mona Fleisig, Mandy Hurwitz (who co-chairs Federation’s P2G Committee with Hal Klein), and Judi Schuman.

“We could not have been more warmly welcomed in Zichron Yaakov, or more impressed with how compatible our two communities will be,” said Greenspoon. “We saw a community as vibrantly diverse in its Jewish life, backgrounds, culture and observance, as committed to caring for and educating its residents, and as beautiful as our own – overlooking the Mediterranean on one side and the Carmel Forest on the other. We returned home greatly inspired and eager to engage South Palm Beach County residents in building what we know will be a living bridge ever-strengthening with bonds of friendship, collaboration and understanding among residents, leaders and institutions across 6,500 miles.”

“A steering committee comprised of members from both communities will soon be getting underway to plan a variety of shared projects including educational and professional exchanges, help for those most vulnerable, and enrichment for all,” said Marla Weiss Egers, the Federation’s Executive Vice President, who also traveled with the IOC Task Force members. “We have been in touch with Zichron Yaakov’s leaders since the town sustained serious damage from the recent fires that raged across Israel, and are exploring ways to help. They know we will be there for them.”

“This coming November, we’ll have a major celebration of our partnership in Zichron Yaakov during our 2017 Spirit of Israel Community Mission, said Stein. “It will be a perfect time for people from across Jewish South Palm Beach County to get involved in this exciting project that will be so rewarding personally, professionally and so much more, for both us and our new P2G community in our homeland.”

With a population of 25,000 and located about 20 miles north of Haifa, the town of Zichron Yaakov was founded in 1882 through the generosity of Baron Edmund de Rothschild. Named for his father, Yaakov, it is among the earliest established towns in Israel, the town occupies just over 12 square miles, a quarter of which has developed into urban areas, with the remainder zoned for agriculture. It is particularly popular with tourists for its rich history, quaint areas amid contemporary culture, the breathtaking Baron de Rothschild memorial botanical gardens with a nature park and ecological research station, and local wineries including Carmel, Tishbi and Binyamina.

For more information about Federation’s P2G partnership, the November 2017 Spirit of Israel Community Mission, and other Israel engagement opportunities, contact Barbara Kabatznik at 561.852.6050 or barbarak@bocafed.org.