Exciting things are happening with Partnership2Gether (P2G), an inspiring program that builds bonds of friendship, collaboration and understanding between the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and its sister community, Zichron Yaakov, in Israel.

Q: What are local students learning through P2G?

A: Students and local youth are benefitting from P2G’s School Twinning effort, which pairs South Palm Beach congregational schools and Jewish day schools with Israeli classrooms. The program connects students and teachers via email, WhatsApp, Zoom meetings and face-to-face visits.

“Connecting with the Nili School in Zichron Yaakov, our fourth-grade class gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for Israeli culture, customs, and Jewish heritage. These connections go beyond cultural differences and help students realize that they are more alike than different,” said Dr. Cathy Berkowitz, CJE, Education Director, Mirochnick Religious School, B’nai Torah Congregation.

Q: How does P2G connect visitors from Florida to Israel?

A: P2G’s Be Our Guest program offers opportunities for local individuals, families, schools, synagogues and other groups to spend meaningful time visiting Zichron Yaakov, assuring them a “home away from home.”

“Zichron Yaakov is a great town to visit in Israel. A perfect place to visit wineries, stop for coffee or lunch and a little shopping or to see the beautiful Ramat Hanadiv gardens. Our P2G friends took off work to join us. It was quite special,” said L. Tadd Schwab, P2G committee member and supporter of the Be Our Guest program.

Our Onward Israel participants, living and working as interns in Israel this summer, also benefitted from the Be Our Guest program and were welcomed into the homes of Israeli families for a Shabbaton, becoming mishpacha (a close relative) for a weekend.

Q: What programs bring visitors from Israel to Florida?

A: South Palm Beach welcomes teachers, students, youth leaders, athletes and community members from Zichron Yaakov with open arms.

Every year, a group of high school students from Zichron Yaakov visit South Palm Beach county for a week to learn about diaspora Jewry and our connection with Israel. Rebecca Elman’s family hosted teens from Zichron Yaakov, as part of this Youth Leadership delegation visit. The family are members of Temple Beth El.

“The highlight for me was the fact that my son, Nate, was initially reluctant to participate in the program. However, within minutes of meeting Amit and Arbel at the first dinner at Temple Beth El, Nate, as well as my husband and I, immediately bonded with the boys,” she said.

Heather Erez, RJE, director of Youth Education & Engagement at Temple Beth El, echoed Rebecca’s sentiments.

“Watching our students host the Israeli teens in their own homes, school and synagogue was priceless,” she said.

Q: What’s new with P2G?

A: P2G is under new leadership with incoming Chair Shayna Bloom. Shayna said the P2G initiatives are a “gentle doorway” for people young and old to get involved with the Federation and make new connections and global friendships.

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