How do we make peoplehood tangible in our 21st century world? We’re doing it. The impressive achievements of the first ten years of our partnership demonstrate our collective force when we partner in common purpose.
Since 1996, when leaders from our community stepped forward to become part of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership 2000 (P2K), our commitment and involvement have become a powerful catalyst for change in Arad-Tamar and in New Jersey and Delaware.
Today, we are one of 550 global communities in 44 partnerships with Israel. Sharing ideas, strengths, challenges and models of success, our P2K partnerships have become the paradigm for successfully partnering the Jewish world.
What Will You Make of It?
1996 Arad-Tamar’s Economic Development Unit (EDU) begins operating. • Initiation of a program to help new immigrants in Arad. • The Kefiyada Summer Camp pilot program is launched. It remains a keystone of our Living Bridge efforts.
1997 We fund enrichment programs for the students of Ein Tamar and Ein Gedi schools. • Our partnership sponsors the first Dead Sea Marathon, which becomes a popular annual event.
1998 We focus on renewing the Arad Science Center to serve all the children of Arad. • For the first time, individual scholarships are given to students.
1999 We focus our attention and funding on Living Bridge programs. • Launch of flagship “Maccabi Games” project. Athletes from Arad and Tamar join athletes from our communities in New Jersey and Delaware at the annual JCC Maccabi games. The program is now in its eighth year in Arad–Tamar.
2000 The amazing Youth String Ensemble of Arad tours our communities.
2001 New Jersey sends many visitors to Israel on solidarity missions.
2002 The Tamar singing group “Sof Haolam Yemina” tours New Jersey and Delaware to rave reviews.
2003 We send a mega—mission during Arad’s 40th anniversary celebrations and inaugurate the Partnership 2000 Circle. • Launch of Living Bridge “Ivriada” program. Counselors from the Arad-Tamar region volunteer in summer camps in New Jersey.
2004 Afternoon educational program for kindergartners in Arad is initiated with extra funding. • A special mission from Stockton College—and jazz concert—becomes an annual tradition. • A new Artists’ Quarter is established in Arad with help from the Economic Development Unit.
2005 First Teachers Mission to Arad and Tamar. Visiting teachers from New Jersey establish a working connection between schools across the ocean. • The region’s first young emissary, Idan Kligerman, comes to Delaware and southern New Jersey for a year of volunteer work in our schools and community centers.
A Decade of Connection
Ten years ago, our remarkable partnership came together: ten New Jersey federations, the Jewish Federation of Delaware and the Arad-Tamar region.
At the Negev’s northern border, Arad is the southern gateway to the Judean Desert. In 1996, thousands of new immigrants began arriving in Arad, straining communal resources. The Tamar Region also faced daunting changes. Home to 1,200 residents living throughout this large, isolated area, the majority were dependant on agriculture, an industry becoming increasingly less profitable. But with high unemployment and the exodus of young people, Arad-Tamar lacked the resources to attract or develop new businesses.
A Decade of Mutual Impact
Our partnership was determined to change the dynamics throughout the region.
During the first decade, we focused on economic development through financing the Arad–Tamar Economic Development Unit (EDU). This joint project has promoted critical economic projects in both regions that would have been difficult to advance on their own. Just as we have advanced cooperation between these neighbors, we have introduced programs to enhance communication among all of our communities. We have worked with Arad to restore the luster of its educational system and supported vital educational and social projects for immigrants.
Clearly, we never settled for a partnership on paper, but rather a deeper commitment to the region.
The pilot program for the Kefiyada Summer Camps began in our region—since being adopted in P2K partnerships throughout Israel. Young people from our communities volunteer as camp counselors, teaching English to the region’s children. The corollary program, Ivriada, sends IDF veterans to New Jersey and Delaware as counselors for our youngsters. The Maccabi Games, bringing together groups of Israeli and American youth, began in Arad as a model for the entire country.
We have built living bridges between New Jersey-Delaware and Arad-Tamar through scores of reciprocal visits of teachers, principals, doctors, families, students and volunteers—strengthening all of our communities.
“After a decade of activity, Partnership 2000 has contributed directly to virtually every child in Arad. Through contact with their American counterparts, the entire younger generation gains a different point of view regarding world Jewry, intensifying the sense of responsibility to the community among the younger generation.” Yehoyakim Gavish, Arad-Tamar Partnership 2000 Steering Committee Chair
“Partnership 2000 brings to life the concept of all Jews being responsible one for the other. P2K creates a link, on both a community level and an individual level, that gives us a new perspective and understanding of each other. By working together for a common cause, we’ve not only built a bridge that will connect our communities throughout our lifetimes, but also throughout the generations. I’m honored to be part of such a meaningful project.” David Mulgrum, P2K Chair
Together, taking our partnership to the next level
What an extraordinary impact we’ve had so far. And it’s really just the beginning. Our efforts in Arad and Tamar are uniting our youth; creating community leaders and fostering professional exchanges. Promoting excellence in education and technology; attracting development; creating places where families want to live and work.
At the same time, we are innovating to connect our next generation to Israel in new ways; creating enduring connections that will shape the future of New Jersey and Delaware. 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.