By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Federation executive director Bob Goldberg has some exciting news to share about the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and its relationship with Israel.
I’ve visited our Partnership region twice. One of my biggest takeaways was the importance of the interdependence between our Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel. We need each other and these opportunities to connect with one another can’t be underestimated. Here’s Bob:
“The Western Galilee and the City of Akko in Israel have longtime bonds that connect its community with the Jewish community here in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
“This year, our Jewish Federation rejoined the consortium of 14 U.S. cities that partners with the Western Galilee and Akko through the Partnership2Gether Peoplehood Platform. The program has previously been known as Partnership 2000.
“Partnership2Gether, or P2G for short, is operated by staff at the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Agency with a steering committee of volunteers from the U.S. and Israel.
“This platform has existed in its current form for 20 years and involves 45 regions in Israel and 550 Jewish communities worldwide. The Partnership is celebrating its 20th anniversary this coming year with a special mission to Israel from March 31-April 8, 2016. (Editor’s note: Harold Gernsbacher is the national co-chair for Partnership2Gether.)
“The Partnership is a model for building mutually beneficial and enduring people-to-people relationships between our community and our friends in the Western Galilee. Today, Partnership is a cornerstone program of the Jewish Agency and the Federation movement, encouraging joint efforts to foster interaction through programs that strengthen Jewish identity in the U.S. and in Israel, and that reinforce relations between Israel and the U.S.
“Our Partnership works to develop and fund new projects that build living bridges in the areas of: education, medical, arts and community, resource development, and the Budapest connection.
“Emphasis is to create genuine friendships between our communities. Developing personal relationships is key to enhancing Jewish identity and connection with Israel. Projects include exchanges of educators, physicians and/or medical students, teens, and artists, as well as school twinning, educator seminars, performing arts series, and youth missions.
“Since rejoining the program, we have had several groups visit the Western Galilee and Akko, including our Federation Leadership group in March, and our current Federation President, Lon Werner, along with our Immediate Past President Jeff Hochster, and their wives, Laurie and Linda, and friends Richie and Carole Minker during their visit in April.
“Jan Friedman and Kim Goldberg were in the Western Galilee and Akko in May as a part of the Partnership’s Artist in Residency program that this year focused on meeting and photographing people in the Western Galilee, and we are hoping to have this photo exhibit for presentation at the Steering Committee meetings here Jan. 24-26, 2016.
“The Congregation Ahavath Sholom group visited the region and met with Partnership friends during their very recent visit and artist Julie Meetal Berman will be in the region in a few weeks meeting with folks developing a Holocaust research program called ‘The Second Generation project.’
“Events coming to our area soon include a Young Adult visit of Israelis to Fort Worth and Tarrant County during Chanukah, Dec. 7-10, our community is hosting the upcoming Partnership Steering Committee meetings in January 24-26, 2016, and we are working on creating a 10-day Art in Israel mission in April 2016.
“We are excited to re-engage with the Partnership and re-establish our friendships with Akko and the Western Galilee. If you are interested in more information or getting involved, call Bob Goldberg at the Federation office, 817-569-0892.”