Partnership 2000 was launched in 1995 by the Jewish Agency for Israel, in cooperation with the United Jewish Communities [formerly the UJA] and Keren HaYesod, with two aims in mind: to link Jews in Israel and the Diaspora through a common concern for the future of the Jewish people and to develop Israel's priority areas in the Galilee and the Negev. Working with grassroots committees that represent broad cross-sections of the Israeli population and are linked with parallel committees in Jewish communities in the Diaspora, projects are proposed, developed, and implemented that impact on Israeli society in far-reaching ways. Through Partnership 2000, initiatives have been launched in areas such as Jewish pluralism, environmental awareness, educational advancement, Jewish/Israeli identity, Diaspora-Israel relations, and citizens' rights.
Through Partnership 2000, communities in Israel and the Diaspora are linked and work together on issues of common concern. To date, 35 regions have been partnered with some 550 Diaspora communities. Within Israel each region is made up of an urban center together with surrounding rural areas, creating an opportunity to build bridges between sectors of the Israeli population which have often been at odds in the past. In the Diaspora, as well, communities are linked through their common partnership with their Israeli region leading to increased cooperation.
The Tzahar Region consists of the city of Tzefat, the Moshava [village] of Rosh Pina and the development town of Hatzor. Through Partnership 2000 the three communities have begun a dialogue on issues of common concern and have created programs in education, environment, economic development, religious pluralism and conflict resolution, among others. The Diaspora Partner communities of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County and the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County have also found that their shared interest in the Tzahar Region has brought them into dialogue on common concerns. Through a series of parallel committees in Tzahar and in Palm Beach County, Israeli Jews and American Jews are talking with each other about the projects they have developed and in the process creating bonds that strengthen our collective and individual Jewish communities.
For more information about Partnership 2000 and the many projects and programs that are impacting on Israeli and Diaspora Jewish communities, as well as to see which region in Israel is in partnership with your local Jewish community,
Tzahar - Palm Beach
There are more than twenty projects receiving funding in the budget for the year 2001. Two programs that exemplify what Partnership 2000 is all about deserve special mention:
First, the Medical Personnel Exchange Program. This project has contributed a great deal to our communities here in the region and has given impetus to increased community involvement by the participating medical professionals in Palm Beach County. The professional and personal connections that have been forged, and will continue to be created, are another excellent example of the strong bonds between the communities in Palm Beach County and our Tzahar Region.
Another program that should be mentioned for its success is the Gesher Hai Teen Israel Experience, which brings together young people from Palm Beach County and the Tzahar Region. Friendships are formed while touring Israel and exploring the teens' common heritage as well as their differing experiences as Israelis and Americans. The connections made are continued through e-mail and return visits.
The budget for the year 2001 reflects the high degree of interest of both the communities and the region in two spheres: people to people connections and tourism development. The major portion of the budget has been dedicated to people to people programs with a special emphasis on the young people of our partnership.
In the area of economic development, the focus is on tourism as the engine that will drive the economy of Tzahar in the future. In 1999 a pilot program in Rosh Pina proved to be very successful, leading to the recently established Tzahar Regional Tourism Authority that will boost the economy of the region and strengthen cooperation among the three municipalities.
Approximate population figures for the three municipalities of Tzahar Region:
Tzefat - 27,000
Hatzor - 10,300
Rosh Pina - 2,500
Approximate area under the jurisdiction of each municipality:
Tzefat - 28,000 Dunam = 7,000 Acres
Hatzor - 5,130 Dunam = 1,282.5 Acres
Rosh Pina - 18,000 Dunam = 4,500 Acres
- 51,130 Dunam = 12,782.5 Acres
Adar 5762 - March 2002