It is a great honor for me to take the place of my good friend Ilan Gael-Dor, and to represent the city of Beit Shemesh as part of the Partnership 2000 Twin Cities agreement. The bond between Washington, South Africa, Beit Shemesh and Mateh Yehuda, together with Danny Taragan, is a link that connects the Jewish people from all Diasporas the world over.
Partnership 2000 bonds Jews from all over the world with Zionism, a genuine and healthy bond which is reflected not only in financial support but also in many exciting projects – social and educational alike. The principal areas of operation include: reinforcing the bond between Diaspora Jewry and Israel and its citizens, strengthening the periphery through wonderful educational programs and projects, and developing opportunities and entrepreneurship, and business activities between these cities.
Partnership 2000 makes a significant contribution to Israel’s economy and its social and educational strength. I see my role, as Beit Shemesh’s representative, as a true social and Zionist mission.
The book of Genesis relates the hatred of Joseph’s brothers towards him, a fierce sibling hatred fueled by Joseph’s words to his brothers and which they considered a reflection of his arrogance. This hatred culminated in the sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites, who were en route to Egypt. The end of the struggle between the brothers was marked by unity between the brothers, by their bonding – a unity that did not blur the differences between them. I believe that Partnership 2000 is a sort of remedy, for the occasional inability to find that which bonds us instead of that which separates us.
This is a project of all Jews from all over the world, on behalf of their brothers. Jewish communities lend their support for unique projects in Israel’s periphery, while Israel embraces these Jews with great warmth. This is a true partnership.
My hope is that we will know how to work together, the Jews of the Diaspora and the people of Beit Shemesh and Mateh Yehuda, to develop the city and to help it achieve economic prosperity and social strength.
Hanukkah is approaching and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all, and your families, a happy feast of lights!