How do Jewish Federations make Jewish peoplehood tangible in the 21st century? By building a platform with the capacity to partner the Jewish world and the people of Israel.
Our Federation has been part of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership 2000 program since 1994. Our commitment and involvement have become a powerful catalyst for change in Palm Beach County and Israel’s Tzahar Region, consisting of Tzfat (the ancient home of Jewish mysticism [Kabbalah] and artists), Hatzor Haglilit (a town mentioned in the Bible and home to an archeological site) and Rosh Pina (Israel’s first modern Zionist settlement).
Today, we are one of 550 global communities in 44 partnerships with Israel— sharing ideas, strengths, challenges and models of success to empower all involved.
What Will You Make of It?
1995 Seventy youth from Palm Beach County visit and stay in the region.
1996 Kapell family’s generosity funds three capital projects: renovation of the original winery in Rosh Pina, expansion of artists’ colony in Tzfat and construction of an educational center in Hatzor Haglilit.
1998 Tourism Administration is established in Rosh Pina.
2000 The Tzahar Tourism Association is established, following the success of the Tourism Administration in Rosh Pina.
2001 Project to develop young leadership from the region is initiated, along with corresponding groups in Palm Beach County and St. Petersburg, Russia.
2002 Pesach Project initiated with JDC. Youth from Tzahar and Palm Beach County join together with local Hillel university students to conduct Passover seders in Jewish communities and institutions in St. Petersburg, Russia. • Two young adults from Tzahar are welcomed for a year of community service in Palm Beach County.
2003 Thirty educators from Palm Beach County come to the region through the Educators Exchange project.
2004 New Israeli steering committee chairman is appointed—the first volunteer lay leader rather than one of the three mayors. • Because of the ongoing challenges, a special training program is implemented to help single-parent families, the unemployed and new immigrants find jobs.
2005 Celebration of our partnership’s 10th anniversary includes four separate missions to the Tzahar Region from Palm Beach County. • Representatives from Tzahar attend the joint steering committee meeting in Palm Beach County.
A Decade of Connection
At the first joint steering committee meeting, it was agreed that the partnership would revolve around three main pillars: regional development, education and the living bridge.
We’ve seen some impressive achievements during the first ten years of Partnership 2000. It has become the paradigm for successfully partnering the Jewish world, providing unique opportunities for communities to connect and for interpersonal relationships to flourish. The cities of the Tzahar Region are rich in history and tradition, but isolated from Israel’s primary business, academic and industrial centers. As the area further develops, it needs to increase its social, educational and welfare services to its citizens and ensure employment in a variety of sectors.
A Decade of Mutual Impact
Our visionary partnership has contributed greatly to the educational, economic and social development of the area.
One outstanding example: Launching the Tzahar Tourism Association helped expand tourism as an economic base for the region, despite Israel’s difficult security situation. The innovative Center for Business Initiative and Development (MATI), with our collective help, contributed to an overall improvement in the region’s economic situation, by conducting workshops for the region’s residents and emphasizing entrepreneurial assistance for special groups such as single-parent families and new immigrants.
During the last decade, hundreds of us have visited the Tzahar Region on solidarity, youth and educators missions, and worked together on steering committees.
The mutual exposure of Tzahar and Palm Beach County youth has created strong personal ties—as well as a deeper connection with their own Jewish identity. The Tzahar Region has become a home for us in Israel, and we have helped our counterparts in Israel feel part of a global Jewish world.
We have built living bridges between Palm Beach County and the Tzahar Region through scores of reciprocal visits of teachers, principals, doctors, families, students and volunteers, strengthening both of our communities.
“Our partnership has literally united and connected youth from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles. No other framework has worked as well, and many have been tried over the years. The partnership has proven truly effective in exposing youth to one another, and fostering tolerance and even friendship between young men and women who otherwise never would have even thought to do so.” Gershon Harris, resident of Hatzor Haglilit and present chairman of the Living Bridge subcommittee
“The Tzahar Region has become a second home for many people as programs and events during the past 10 years have drawn us closer together. Our partnership will continue to flourish as we engage people in both communities to build connections and ensure a thriving Jewish future in Israel and throughout the greater Palm Beaches.” Sheryl and Tommy Davidoff, Partnership 2000 Steering Committee Co-Chairs
Together, taking our partnership to the next level
What an extraordinary influence we’ve had so far. Our efforts in the Tzahar Region are leveraging regional resources, boosting entrepreneurial opportunities, creating community leaders and fostering professional exchanges. We are promoting excellence in education and technology, attracting development and creating places where families want to live and work.
At the same time, we are connecting our next generation to Israel in new ways—creating enduring connections that will shape Palm Beach County’s future. A decade ago, our communities boldly grasped this opportunity to make a dramatic difference as one people. Now we’re ready to take this partnership to the next level.