PARTNERSHIP 2GETHER - A Living Bridge

The Jewish Agency for Israel launched Partnership 2000 (now called Partnership 2Gether) in 1995, together with the United Jewish Appeal and Keren Hayesod. The innovative program addresses two prime challenges facing the world Jewish community today:
 

  • developing Israel's priority areas - the Negev, Galilee and Jerusalem; and
  • linking Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora to promote Jewish continuity.

Partnership 2Gether offers Diaspora Jewish communities an opportunity for direct involvement in developing Israel's peripheries. The Negev and Galilee hold more than two-thirds of Israel's land reserves, yet house only 17% of the population. The outstanding potential for development and immigrant absorption in these areas remains largely untapped due to high unemployment rates coupled with weak educational infrastructures. Partnership 2Gether links Jewish communities in the Diaspora and Israel in a shared effort to promote regional development in Israel, unity, and Jewish identity.


Diaspora Community Involvement


38 regions and one regional project (Higher Education in the Eastern Galilee) have been matched with 550 Diaspora communities. The Southern New England Consortium (SNEC), which includes the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts' communities as well as communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts is partnered with the Afula/Gilboa region of Israel. These two communities are located in Northern Israel.


Afula:
 

  • Afula has 45,000 residents, of which 13,000 or approximately 33% are new immigrants. 4,000 immigrants arrived from Ethiopia; the rest are from the Former Soviet Union (FSU).
  • The city of Afula, the capital of the Jazreel Valley, is located at an important junction road. The Afula industrial area includes a number of large factories. On the outskirts is "HaEmek" Medical Center, which serves the population of the entire area.
  • Afula has 22 schools, with about 10,000 students.
  • The elderly population, number about 1, 700 people, enjoys a wide range of actives that take place in the community centers in Afula's three main neighborhoods -- Givat Hamoreh, Afula Illit, and downtown Afula.

For more information about Afula, please click here.


Gilboa:
 

  • The Gilboa Regional Council includes 32 settlements. 5 of these are Arab villages that comprise about 40% of the population. The Gilboa Regional Council has absorbed 110 new immigrant families, some of the in the Kibbutzim through the "First Home in the Homeland" program.
  • Gilboa includes all forms of rural settlement, including community settlements that accept residents from all around the country.
  • The Gilboa region is a center of attraction for tourists and visitors, and is one of the most beautiful areas of the country.


Partnership 2Gether Programs
 

We are very pleased to be able support the following programs in our P2G community of Afula/Gilboa for the program year 2015-2016:

 

ISRAEL MULTI-CULTURE FOOD AND WINE TOUR AND WORKSHOPS IN THE COMMUNITIES:
Israel is well known for its wonderful and diverse food and wines. The Afula-Gilboa region is blessed with award winning boutique wineries and wonderful restaurants. The partnership would like to share these talents with the members of our communities in SNEC through workshops, lectures, VIP dinners and other major federation events. We propose to send two local chefs and one wine maker together with a partnership staff person for a tour of our communities.

 

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE (AIR):
The Artist in Residency (AIR) Exchange Program will bring artists from our SNEC communities to Afula-Gilboa for a week to make personal connections with community members through a wide range of artistic disciplines. The AIR program encourages contemporary artistic creation and collaboration in hopes to generate new artistic dialogue between participants and local residents. It is designed to encourage the exchange of ideas and enrichment for communities. These artists will work in schools and other educational frameworks providing workshops or with other local artists in joint projects. The artists will stay at the Partnership guesthouse on Kibbutz Yizreal (two per room). Special visits and activities will be offered that are art orientated (visit to Safed artist quarter, Ein Hod artist village, etc.) Click Here for an update from Tarbut Movement.

 

OLIVE TREE CO-EXISTANCE EXHIBITION AND DELEGATION:
The project is the outcome of collaboration between Mrs. Shila Devori Kasdi, art curator, and Mr. David Moatty, Wizo Afula Community Center Director. The project is a yearlong art program that involves forty women from Afula and surrounding Arab villages. Olive trees are the subject of the exhibit and the uniqueness, personality and perspective of each artist is reflected in their paintings.
These women worked together, sharing their life experiences, and cultures to create these unique and symbolic pieces of art. The women spent hours painting both in the WIZO Afula Community Center and traveling around the country to get inspiration. They painted in one another's neighborhoods, in Emek Israel, and in the Southern Galilee. We would like to send a small delegation of four artists and one staff to tour SNEC communities, showing their paintings and telling their unique story of art and co-existence.

 

MEDICAL CLOWN DELEGATION:
Dream Doctors – The unique Dream Doctors project integrates professional medical clowning into the medical services provided at Israeli hospitals. Established in 2002, Dream Doctors now operates at 20 hospitals throughout the country, with 70 medical clowns active in various pediatric wards and clinics. The program operates at the Emek Medical Center in Afula and is considered a vital service at the hospital.
The Medical Clown Program is a supportive profession in Israel that assists in reducing stress, anxiety and fear patients experience and aids in healing. The medical Clowns are trained in psychology, social work, nursing and theater and work with medical professionals in several areas of medical needs and specific populations, including: Children, aging adults, sexual abuse and PTSD victims, and those with chronic illnesses, among others. They approach each patient individually and work hand in hand with medical staff on each patient. The Israeli Medical Clowns differ from clowns that volunteer in US hospitals whose function is to entertain. The Israeli medical clowns, through their integrative and individual approach, help people heal.

 

P2G@20 DELEGATION TO THE REGION:
P2G@20 is more than a birthday celebration; it is a chance to visit Partnership regions outside your own; explore off-the-beaten-path sites in Israel through the lens of Partnership2Gether; see with your own eyes the breadth, depth, and reach of P2G; witness the creativity and vision of your like-minded colleagues in other areas of Israel and the world; and bring back inspiration to your home Partnership.
We will mark the achievements of the past 20 years while also providing a launching point for motivation and goals that will carry us into the next 20 years – and more.
The SNEC communities plan to join hands and collaborate on a joint partnership delegation. The delegation will visit the region for a few days in addition to the P2G@20 celebrations. The region will host the visitors and provide home hospitality, visit programs and experience the beauty and dynamics of the Afula-Gilboa region.

 

YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM:
The overall aim of the project is to train the next generation of Israeli Jewish leaders how to be better advocates for the State of Israel and leaders in their own communities. We aim to train a select group of promising students a mixture of substantive skills, such as Zionism, the Middle East conflict, democracy, Jewish heritage and about Israel as a modern innovative nation, together with personal skills such as leadership, how to communicate and debate, social entrepreneurship, creative thinking and the art of diplomacy.
In addition to the above mentioned, we hope that this program will be training ground for local teens who are recruited annually to take part in the Young Emissary program. The program is designed for 25 teens in 10th and 11th grade from both Afula and Gilboa. There will be a total of 25 weekly sessions. In addition to the weekly sessions, study and field trips will be held throughout the year. Partnership staff (Youth program coordinator) will recruit the participants and work closely with a company who provides the curriculum and content of the program.

 

YOUNG EMISSARIES (YE) REGIONAL SUPPORT SYSTEM:
The P2G Afula-Gilboa-SNEC Israeli Young Emissary program is a ten month long volunteer service experience sponsored jointly by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the Southern New England Consortium (SNEC). Israeli high school graduates from the Afula Gilboa region (and other localities in Israel) who choose to defer their army service are trained to serve as young ambassadors of Israel to the communities in their partnership region in Southern New England. The mission of the Young Emissary program is to strengthen the ties between the two regions by building living bridges through people to people connections and by strengthening the ties to Israel amongst the Jewish people living in the host communities.
In addition to the Jewish Agency recruitment and training process, the partnership provides additional services to the regional YE program in order to ensure close involvement of the partnership in the program. Afula-Gilboa is keen on ensuring that a significant number of the teens come from the region. We provide pre-screening training as well as training on a local level in order to develop group cohesion and a clear connection to both the region and the partnership.

 

SCHOOL TWINNING AND " THE SAME MOON":
SCHOOL TWINNING:
The Partnership2Gether International School Twinning Network leverages the Partnership2Gether platform to build bridges between schools in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. The program’s success stems from its ability to engage the school community as a whole (pupils, educators, parents) in promoting Jewish Peoplehood, catalyzing development of new educational programs and pedagogic methods along the way. The grassroots school twinning program has evolved into several models of operations, with all of them focusing on Jewish values, Jewish identity, culture and heritage.
We would like to set up a network within the Afula-Gilboa-SNEC partnership of schools, classrooms, educators and students who would work together, get to know one another and build joint projects. The Youth Programs Coordinator will be responsible for laying the infrastructure of the program in the region. In SNEC, we would like to see each and every YE set up at least one connection with an educational institute in his adopted community – whether it be Sunday or supplementary school or classes in a Jewish Day school. The coordinator will facilitate these connections, assisting the Israeli educators as necessary. For further information see the Jewish Agency website for the International school twinning network: http://p2g.jewishagency.org/english/israelschools/partnership2gether-international-school-twinning-network/
"THE SAME MOON" is a project created to establish a connection between young Jewish families in the United States and Israel. The hope is that through "The Same Moon," the families involved will realize that, despite the great distance, their worlds are very similar and they can feel much closer together. Copies of the book will be sent to participating families in the region and SNEC, each unique and special. As a result, no one book will be the same as another. Everyone is as different as the two families who will fill its pages. Together we are all taking part in something big that gives new and diverse meaning to the partnership concept.

 

WOMEN TO WOMEN – VALLEY RAPE CRISIS CENTER:
This project focuses on the peripheral, under serviced “Valley” Communities (including: Afula, Gilboa, Jezreel Valley, Migdal HaEmek, Beit Shean). The goal of the project is to raise the awareness of the Valleys’ inhabitants to the subject of sexual violence and to encourage youth and adults survivors of sexual abuse to contact the Haifa Rape Crisis Center for support and consultation. In addition, through the project the HRCC facilitates outreach educational and training programs within the Valleys’ education, health, social service and criminal justice systems. This project is designed to ensure that Valley residents receive the sexual violence support and prevention services they deserve.

 

For more information about Partnership 2Gether or our Young Emissaries Program contact the Jewish Federation at 508.756-1543 or send an email to lthurlow@jfcm.org or visit the Partnership 2Gether websites www.snecp2g.org or www.partner.org.il/afula/. You may also visit SNEC P2G facebook page by clicking here.