A Living Bridge of Friendship with Israel through Our Sister City
6,500 miles away, our Federation’s sister city, Kiryat Bialik (KB) keeps getting closer through our P2G: Partnership2Gether program. A very committed group of lay leaders in both SPBC and KB work together each year to plan compelling programs that will engage both communities in a meaningful way. The “joint steering committee” is committed to the “living bridge” programs that have been building ever-strengthening bonds of friendship, collaboration and understanding with residents, leaders and institutions of our two communities. Women, teens, educators, students of all ages, and other professionals continue to be enriched through visits, video conferences, conversations, and other joint projects.
While some projects continue from previous years, the year ahead will offer even more opportunities for direct KB connections, including:
• The fourth Women to Women exchange is information; one of our most successful exchanges, it brings delegations from each community across the globe to stay in each other’s homes, travel, learn and engage in community service projects.
• School Twinning continues to expand the living bridges built between both communities. This project connects local religious schools, preschools and day schools to their counterparts in Kiryat Bialik. Using email, Skype and other video chat platforms, students and teachers create and develop new relationships while continuing to maintain and enhance established friendships.
• P2G funding is helping Sifriyat Pijama,, the Israeli version of PJ library, get started in Kiryat Bialik. This reading enhancement program with a strong Jewish perspective connects Israelis from all types of Jewish families within Israel and throughout the world. This will also be another platform for connections among our local families those in KB.
• P2G funding will also support a new program to help the integration process for adult Ethiopian olim in Kiryat Bialik. Its goals are to teach the olim about Israel, strengthen their connection to the country and provide them with volunteer opportunities in their communities.