Partnership 2000 was established in 1994 by the Jewish Agency for Israel, United Jewish Communities and Keren Hayesod/UIA. The program links Jewish communities abroad and regions in Israel in a mutual effort to strengthen Israeli society while promoting unity and Jewish identity. At present, 39 Israeli regions are linked to over 500 communities worldwide. Programs are planned and budgeted on an individual region basis and are approved by a regional steering committee composed of residents of the region and representatives of the linked communities from abroad.
Cleveland: General Information
The Cleveland Jewish community has a population of approximately 65,000 people, many of whom live in the city's eastern suburbs of Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Beachwood, and Pepper Pike. The urban area including Cleveland and its 60 suburbs has a total population of approximately 1.5 million people.
The richness and vitality of Jewish life in Cleveland is promoted by the presence of nearly 40 synagogues representing a wide-range of denominations, two Jewish Community Centers, seven Jewish day schools, two homes for the elderly, numerous Judaic educational opportunities for young-adults and adults, and myriad other social, educational, and cultural institutions.
The Jewish community was founded in 1839, when 19 immigrants from Bavaria arrived in Cleveland, escaping the political unrest and economic and religious discrimination of their homeland. Almost immediately, the growing community founded institutions to care for its own: by 1850, two major congregations had formed, and, in 1868, the first regional Jewish charitable institution in the United States, Bellefaire, was created to care for Jewish orphans of the Civil War. The Jewish Community Federation was founded in 1903, when the community joined eight separate fund-raising appeals in one central drive.
Today, the Federation remains the "central address" of the Jewish community, meeting the community's budgeting, leadership development, community planning, community relations, communications, and other needs. The Federation's funds are derived primarily from its annual Jewish Welfare Fund Appeal. In 1996, the JWF campaign raised over $24,500,000, maintaining Cleveland's number one rank in per capita giving of all major federations in North America. Over 1,000 volunteers and nearly 17,000 donors participated in the 1996 drive. The Federation also maintains a highly successful endowments and foundations program, creating permanent fund the income from which support ongoing community programs and scholarships.
The Federation, through the JWF drive, supports 18 vital human service agencies in Cleveland and more than 20 national and international organizations. The largest allocation, to United Jewish Appeal, helps countless Jews in Israel and around the world through the work of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. As of 1996 exactly half of the funds collected went to the UJA.
Beit Shean: General Information
The Beit Shean region is comprised of the Beit Shean Valley Regional Council and the municipality of Beit Shean, which is an urban enclave therein. The main road from Jerusalem to Tiberias cuts across the region, which borders the Arab Republic of Jordan to the east, the Jordan Rift Regional Council and the autonomous Samaria district to the south. Urban centers serving the region's residents are Afula (situated to the west of the region), Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
From a geographic-physical point of view, the region comprises two distinct sectors:
- The hilly sector, serving as the western boundary of the Beit Shean Valley and comprising two separate blocs separated by the Harod Stream: the Gilboa Mountains to the south and Ramat Kochav to the north.
- The Beit Shean Valley and the lower part of the Central Jordan Valley. The Beit Shean Valley is the broadest of all valleys along the Jordan and constitutes the most convenient route from east of the Jordan towards Israel.
Iyar 5763 - May 2003