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 1994, 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 Michigan and The Central Galilee.
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?
1994 Michigan steering committee visits The Central Galilee. • Delegation of Detroit representatives participates in plenary session of the regional steering committee in October.
1995 Leaders of the region’s municipalities visit Detroit area in March. These visits set the norms by which the partnership conducts itself today.
1996 Initiation of economic development activities: technological incubators for cultivating new businesses; a regional tourism development center; economic development units.
1997 First delegations from Israel visit Michigan. Initiation of joint programs such as educators’ mission.
1998 Establishment of regional, joint Volunteer Forum.
1999 Introduction of educational activities to promote Jewish identity and foster Jewish culture and pluralism. • Messages remain consistent across all partnership educational activities, such as the Bar Mitzvah and Tzippori programs. • Formulation of rules for the steering committee; documentation of strategic principles for the partnership.
2000 Development of the Jewish Family Education program and creation of holiday booklets for the community.
2001 Launch of the Excellence in Music, Sport and Technology program for talented teens in the community. This program cultivates young talent and helps propel an excellent cellist, Johann Lieberman, to national recognition.
2002 Introduction of Coexistence, a program of encounters between neighboring Jewish and Arab youth.
2003 Expansion of activities involving Jewish culture and tradition: friendship groups, kabbalat Shabbat and communal celebration of holidays.
2004 Celebrations of our partnership’s first decade. • Initiation of strategic planning process to revalidate our partnership’s fundamental principles and fields of activity. • Extended day program leads to improved academic achievements and a change in school hours in the region and throughout Israel.
2005 Ongoing development of community leadership and initiatives built upon the concept of generating ‘grassroots’ change and the utilization of human resources. Shutafim L’Atid 6 expands the circle of influence. • Ministry of Education recognizes The Central Galilee P2K program promoting excellence in music and adopts it as a regional pilot naming it “Tenufah” and begins to implement it in all of the elementary schools in 5 Jewish and Arab towns in The Central Galilee region.
A Decade of Connection
Our partnership with The Central Galilee region was created in 1994—one of the first in P2K.
From the outset, we focused on involving public officials and volunteers at high levels; meeting with decision-makers and community leaders; and developing initiatives and projects that effectively connect local needs and shared resources. The Central Galilee region comprises three municipalities: Migdal HaEmek, Nazareth Illit and Jezreel Valley. Early on, factories in the region provided most of the employment for city residents, while Jezreel Valley residents made their living from agriculture. Over time, however, many factories closed and valley residents turned to manufacturing and other ventures to combat rising unemployment.
A Decade of Mutual Impact
Very early in our partnership, we initiated a variety of approaches and activities to stimulate economic growth.
Far from Israel’s center, it was a continuing challenge to develop opportunities for this diverse population. We supported technological incubators for cultivating new businesses; the establishment of an economic development unit; a regional tourism development center. Focusing on professional training opportunities and fostering entrepreneurial initiatives, we have created a significant impact on the region’s human capital so necessary to create a new socioeconomic reality. Our visionary partnership has contributed greatly to the educational and social development of the area in the last few years.
Our programs focus on youth at risk and on promoting excellence.
Our programs in Nazareth Illit and Migdal HaEmek support more than 2,000 at-risk schoolchildren with educational enrichment and a hot meal. Because of our support, Nazareth Illit’s students today have among the highest grades nationally, with a 30 percent increase in the passing rates on their matriculation exams. In Migdal HaEmek, there has also been a 30 percent rise in matriculation exam marks. The success of these youngsters will literally change the future of these communities. In addition, we devote significant resources to programs which promote excellence in music and technology.
We have built living bridges between Michigan (Metro-Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids) and The Central Galilee through scores of reciprocal visits of teachers, principals, doctors, families, students and volunteers—strengthening all of our communities.
Our Israeli Camper Program has made summer a magical time and has created connections between hundreds of children in the region and in Michigan. Every other summer we have sent teens on the Teen Mission, and they too have made friends they will keep for life.
““By empowering people of the region to view themselves as responsible for shaping the cultural and social makeup of the region, we’ve enabled them to dream and aspire to a better place in which to live—to educate their children, to take care of the needy, and to follow through and fulfill these dreams. That’s what leadership is all about.” Esti Bar-Sadeh, Chair, Partnership 2000 Volunteer Forum
“Partnership 2000 continues to enhance our relationship with Israel. Through ongoing programs and exchanges, we have the opportunity to personalize this relationship. We have found ‘home’ in the region and ‘family’ in the lasting relationships created there. The opportunities for our volunteers to collaborate on programs enrich our lives profoundly.” Marta Rosenthal, Chair, Michigan Steering Committee
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 The Central Galilee region are uniting our youth, developing 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 Michigan’s future. A decade ago, our communities boldly grasped the opportunity to make a dramatic difference as one people. Now we’re ready to take this partnership to the next level.