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This is the third year in which Jabotinsky School is leading a unique program of the Jewish Agency's Partnership 2000 Beit Shemesh - Mateh Yehuda - Washington - South Africa of the Jewish Agency, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
The School Twinning program was devised by school staff from Beit Shemesh and Mateh Yehuda and staffs from the Jewish communities in Washington and South Africa, and makes education in Israel and abroad a reality, and consolidates the lifestyles of the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora.
Jabotinsky School works with JPDS, the only Jewish school in Washington. The schools shared a common denominator in their pluralist educational approach to Jewish culture.
Last Thursday, December 2 2010, on the second day of Hanukkah, a Hanukkah party took place and was broadcast live via a videoconference link between the two schools. It was a special celebration, attended by 5th grade students and their parents, with Mayor Moshe Abutboul also present at the special and moving event, in addition to Mr. Richard Peres who is in charge of the Education Department, school principal Mrs. Bracha Gadankin Biton and, naturally, the class teacher Mrs. Zehava David who devised the program for the party.
The mayor made an address, lit the second candle and greeted our children in Israel and the children of the corresponding class who sat in front of the projector screen. Mr. Richard Peres, who always praises the school's educational work, also said a few words.
This kind of gathering is a source of great pride for the students, their parents and the school staff who invest great effort in staying in touch with Washington Jewry. We are confident that, through Partnership 2000's School Twinning program, we are succeeding to inculcate the students with values and knowledge, in a special and unforgettable way which excites the students who are moved by the knowledge that there are Jews in other places in the world who want to draw light from each other - "When a person lights a candle from another candle, the first gains and the other is not diminished." (Rashi, Numbers, 11, 17).
This was undoubtedly an enjoyable experience for everyone present, including the friends overseas. Special thanks go to Eshkol Payis, which made the videoconferencing facility available, to Zvika who operated the technical equipment, to the students' parents who came to watch and to support and, of course, to the dear children who prepared for and were excited by the event.