By Susie Zimmerman, Chair, Saint Louis–Yokneam/Megiddo Partnership 2000 Committee
December is another exciting month for the St. Louis/Yokneam-Megiddo Partnership 2000 family, with news of visits to our sister city community and fun gift exchanging across the miles.
The first weekend of the month was marked by P2K’s sixth Shabbaton. Read all about the 20 St. Louis students studying in Israel this year who were in Yokneam on December 4th and 5th along with Young Israel’s Rabbi Moshe Shulman to share a Shabbat experience with host families. Then enjoy the pictures taken over this memorable weekend.
And for a real treat, view the YouTube video of 6th graders from Daliyot Elementary School singing to Rabbi Shulman. Daliyot is just one of the great schools that participates in another extraordinary Partnership 2000 kesher program, Kesher B’Kitah.
Tidhar Elementary School (also in Yokneam) has a wonderful relationship with The Saul Mirowitz Day School – Reform Jewish Academy. In RJA’s most recent newsletter, Principal Cheryl Maayan writes about the Chanukah exchange going on between the 4th and 5th graders in both schools.
“Studies show an alarming distancing from Israel by American Jews,” Cheryl states; ”but you'd never know it by looking at RJA! Our students connect with Israel when they sing Hatikva with pride; when they learn Hebrew as a living language; when they spend time with from their “big sisters” — two young Israeli women who join us weekly to teach about Israel through Sherut Leumi (community service); and — of course — when they correspond with their Israeli peers at Tidhar School.”
Be sure to read the whole article and see some darling pictures of the kids hard at work and play.
Look for next month’s column when we’ll learn about Roz Hirshhorn’s visit to Hatikvah School in Yokneam that is planned for later in December. Roz teaches at Epstein Hebrew Academy, which has a Partnership 2000 Kesher B’Kitah relationship with Hatikvah and received the St. Louis Outstanding Day School Teacher of the Year Award in 2007. She will be spending time with the first graders as well as participating in other projects in our sister city region.
Another upcoming visit to the Yokneam-Megiddo area is the special Birthright Trip that Rabbi Hershey Novak conducts for college students studying at St. Louis universities. This eager and enthusiastic group of “first timers” will spend some quality time in our sister-city communities on December 29. Can’t wait to see the pictures and hear the stories. Stay tuned!
And speaking of touring, you really should read about the latest developments concerning the oldest Christian church that was recently discovered on the grounds of the Megiddo prison. Read the article that appeared in Haaretz.
Finally, on behalf of everyone involved in the St. Louis – Yokneam-Megiddo Partnership 2000 Committee, I want to wish all our readers a bright, joyous and very Happy Chanukah and New Year.