The aim of this program is to generate dialogue and cooperation between the municipal council of Merhavim and the municipal councils of each of the various moshavim in the area.
During the program, a number of meetings were held with individual communities and the partners who deal with such issues in the community in order to promote the topic of community bridging. The aim of these meetings was to bring the topic close to the hearts of the residents, and to put out feelers to see if the topic was of interest to them.
The meetings were run by the department head, the social worker in the particular community and the community social worker. Following this, an action plan was developed with community bridging counselors which included a meeting of the team on community bridging, coordination of a meetings schedule for the guidance group, a meeting with the town's municipal council and a meeting at which it was agreed that there be full coordination among the various departments.
The first bridging meeting was held in Gilat, attended by the council members, bridging guidance counselors, representatives of the welfare department and the community center director. After this meeting it was decided to revise the marketing of the bridging idea and the entire process. It appears that a great deal of work was invested in the process by the parties involved; and since we are dealing with a long-term process, it will only be possible to see the results of their efforts in the coming years. In April contact was made with the bridging counselor Mariana, whose role was to move forward with marketing the program to the councils.
In the course of their conversation with Mariana the municipal council expressed lack of interest in the bridging process. The message which the bridging guidance counselor transmitted was that it was not worthwhile to begin the bridging process at this stage, since the process requires the commitment and involvement of all of the partners, and it appears that various parties are expressing a lack of desire to be involved.
In summary, it appears that an initial dialogue has begun between the municipal council of Merhavim and the local council in Moshav Gilat. Since difficulties were discovered in the relationship between the two councils, it was decided that each council will go its own way, and an additional attempt at bridging will be made when the parties are ready for it.