In Jerusalem - view point from Mt. Scopus
Six women from South Palm Beach County visited Israel and Kiryat Bialik as part of the Women to Women program, in the framework of the Jewish Agency's Partnership 2Gether. Here they were thrilled to reunite with their KB "sisters", whom they first met in Boca last March.
The partnership between Kiryat Bialik and the Jewish Federation of SPBC was established ten years ago. The main goal of the Women to Women program is to create a living bridge between women of both communities, which leads to joint projects of their own choice in the fields of women's wellness and other needs of the community. This is the third round of this extremely successful program.
For some of the Americans, this was their first visit to Israel - or first as adults. Together with their Israeli friends they toured Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Akko, as well as a special visit inside an IDF base, going from one emotional experience to the next. But the highlight of the week, participants said, was the time spent together in Kiryat Bialik. Beit Yad LaBanim (local memorial hall); an elementary school in which autistic children study side by side with normative ones; meeting Ethiopian Israeli women and children, and other experiences exposed the visitors to life in their friends' home city. After a brief visit to the actual homes, they came back for the main event, "Women's Night". Here participants enjoyed an amazing performance from several local talents, and had the chance to meet a wide range of KB women, including participants of various P2G programs, city council members and others. Mayor Eli Dukorski welcomed the guests from Boca and extended his gratitude to their entire community for all of their contributions along ten years of partnership. "We value your ongoing friendship and you are always welcome here: Kiryat Bialik is your home," said the Mayor. Eshel Fram, Partnership director for the Jewish Agency, pointed out the outstanding "living bridge" between the two communities.
Besides reciprocal encounters, Women to Women also includes a follow-up project selected by the joint group. The project of the first group was a playground in KB, while the second group chose to donate adjustable desks for children with special needs. Members of the current group have started exploring ideas for their joint project. Meanwhile, they keep in touch through Facebook, reliving their exciting time together and hoping to meet again very soon.
Visiting Kadima school to dedicate adjustable desks, previous group's project
Visiting Glickman Center for the elderly in Kiryat Bialik, major donation of SPBC Jewish Federation
At the Golan Heights - Gadot observation point