Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

JFGO partners with Israeli city to foster opportunities

 


Partnership2Getheris a global platform developed by the Jewish Agency for Israel that connects 550 communities around the world in 45 partnerships with cities and towns in Israel. It’s how Jewish communities around the country partner directly with communities in Israel

Through P2G, the Greater Orlando Jewish community has built a long-term partnership with Kiryat Motzkin (an Israeli city, north of Haifa). The partnership fosters educational and cultural opportunities in both cities.   Annually, JFGO makes a direct allocation from its annual campaign to a number of projects in Kiryat Motzkin including: 

• Mashal, an after school facility for students with learning and other disabilities. Students are professionally diagnosed and a developmental treatment program is fitted for each individual in order to improve their social and academic skills, with the goal of keeping them in the regular school system.  Each year funding from JFGO allows low-income families to benefit from another year of remedial teaching in math, in which they show significant improvement upon completion.

• In Kiryat Motzkin, a total of 150 teenagers take part in a young leadership program, operated by KM Youth Unit.  These include youths at risk, children of Olim families (new citizens), and many others who are not active in youth movements or other after-school programs.  This program is an opportunity to develop “tomorrow’s leaders” in Israel.

• Remembering the Holocaust and paying respect to the aging survivors have become significant topics in Israeli discourse. A difficult economic situation demands societal solutions for survivors who thirst for activities of interest and cultural enrichment. In Kiryat Motzkin, many survivors participate at no charge in the activities of Mashmaut Center thanks in part to funding from JFGO. 

• Sifriyat Pijama is a reading enhancement program, the Israeli branch of PJ Library that now operates in Kiryat Motzkin as it does in Orlando. In KM, about 730 children in 21 kindergartens enjoy receiving each month a high quality book to take home. Parents and teachers all speak enthusiastically about the program, and the children wait excitedly every month for the new books, which for some (mostly new Olim and families of low socio-economic status) are the only books they own.

One of the most exciting and far-reaching aspects of P2G is the mutuality of impact.  Through professional and other exchange visits, emissary placements, and other people-to-people projects, Partnership2Gether builds living bridges between the Israelis and the Jewish communities around the world. 

In the coming year, JFGO is focusing on establishing a school twinning project between a school in Kiryat Motzkin and the Jewish Academy of Orlando.  Aided by computer technology, students in seventh and eighth grades will develop relationships with their peers in Israel that will be reinforced when these students visit Israel and meet their friends in person.  JFGO executive director Olga Yorish’s biggest dream is to bring a Jewish Agency emissary from Kiryat Motzkin to Orlando for a year-long stay in the community.  This emissary would bring Israel to schools, synagogues, JCCs, and other Jewish organizations in Orlando. 

These Partnership2Gether projects are made possible with the generous contributions to the Federation’s annual campaign.

 

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