By Brenda Ganot
On December 14th over 30 people gathered at the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council for the inauguration of the regional roundtable of the Israel 15 vision.
The goal of the Israel 15 initiative is to leapfrog Israel into the top 15 countries in the world in terms of quality of life (socially and economically). In order to do this a regional "narrative" is to be chosen around which to focus our development.
The regional roundtable is made up of 17 people from Beit Shemesh and Mateh Yehuda including teams appointed by Mayor Moshe Abutbul, and Regional Council Chairman Moshe Dadon, representatives of industry, social entrepreneurs and representatives of Partnership 2000 Beit Shemesh - Mateh Yehuda - Washington - South Africa of the Jewish Agency. The chairman of the roundtable is Raanan Dinur, formerly Director of the Prime Minister's office, and a resident of Beit Shemesh. The initiative is the idea of Machon Reut and the facilitators are from the Praxis organization.
Also attending the round table meeting were over 15 entrepreneurs from the region who were involved in the first stage of Israel 15 where they were invited to tell their own stories and help define a vision for the region.
After six months of meeting with many regional business and social entrepreneurs two main themes were chosen as a focus for the region: A Balanced Life (slow cities) a theme very suitable for Mateh Yehuda and the "Empowerment of the individual and the community" a theme which tells the story of Beit Shemesh.
The next stage in the initiative is to transform the regional vision into a reality. Sub-committees will be created which will include residents and entrepreneurs from the region. They, together with the heads of the regional round table will be charged with the task of coming up with a master plan. This plan will then be taken to the national government, businesses, etc. to ask for resources to help develop our vision for the Beit Shemesh Mateh Yehuda region.
To learn more about the Israel 15 version go to the Machon Reut website: