Shalom! I’m Eilat. As Director of the Israel Center of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, I’ll be sharing stories of connection between Minneapolis and Israel, and helping you experience Israel — whether you’re on the shores of Lake Minnetonka or the beaches of Tel Aviv.
One of the more successful P2G programs is the Global School Twinning Network which received the Jerusalem Unity Prize by President Reuven and Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat on June 1, 2016 for the impact it has brought to thousands of Jewish students both in Israel and the Diaspora.
Over the course of this year, the Minneapolis Jewish community has also begun to embrace the School Twinning program between our community and Rehovot with the first schools being Bet Shalom’s Religious school and Rehovot’s Hadarim school.
With 75% of the students being Ethiopian, Hadarim heavily focuses on closing educational gaps and providing support for families to help the students.
On the Bet Shalom side, led by Gayle Kaplan (a member of the MPLS P2G Steering Committee) and Lynn Fischer, the 5th graders began to form connections with their peers in Rehovot through a few digital exchanges including a skype session in which the classes met each other face to face (almost).
Over the course of the upcoming school year, look for news of additional School Twinning programs in our community and in Rehovot.
A Peek into Rehovot
How does the City of Science and Culture combine these two elements and become a different kind of a hip city?
By introducing a first of it’s kind program in Israel called – Rofeh Al Ha Bar (loosely translated – Doctors on Tap).
On June 8th, 36 high profile doctors of Rehovot’s Kaplan hospital set out to the city’s hippest bar scenes and gave scientific talks about the latest in the science and medicine world to audiences who wanted to get smarter on a night out on the town.
On June 9th, hundreds of people who spent the previous evening with good food and drinks, woke up just a little bit smarter in the City of Science and Culture.
Programs in Israel: Nativ
By Grace Ansel
On September 1st 2015, I stepped off of the bus from Ben Gurion airport, in the outskirts of Jerusalem, in what used to be a grocery store parking lot. Surrounded by 70+ unfamiliar faces, I had no clue what I got myself into. We were shown different parts of Jerusalem from the distant view. There was the religious, the secular, the political, and the high tech parts of Israel all within the view of this abandoned plot of land. We were told that by the end of Nativ we would have a better idea where we fit in Israeli society. I am sure glad that I had nine months to figure that out.
Nativ was so much more than just studying and volunteering in Israel. What made Nativ special was singing in the middle of an empty intersection on Yom Kippur, dancing with the Torah on Simchat Torah, getting tea and life advice from a Bedouin man in the Old City, watching the sun reflect off of Jerusalem the City of Gold when the sun set and rose every day, going banana boating in the middle of the Red Sea looking out at Jordan, Egypt, and Israel all at once, camping under the stars on a beach 30 feet away from the crashing waves of the Mediterranean Sea, jumping off of cliffs and repelling off of waterfalls into springs where the fish eat all of the calluses off of your feet, hiking the Israel trail after work, standing in silence on Mt. Herzl as the whole country pauses to remember the thousands of people who were victims of terror and gave their lives so that people like you and me can live their lives in Israel-that sadness transforming into soulful excitement on Yom Haatzmaut where it is strange if you aren’t dancing on the streets with strangers celebrating the existence of Israel because the Jewish people are finally able to thrive in their homeland after thousands of years of exile.
Every senior is faced with one of the hardest decisions-what to do in the future. What college to go to, what career to pursue. I challenge high school seniors to take their learning outside of the classroom and learn from new experiences, to see more of what the world has to offer. I challenge seniors to take Nativ as an opportunity to grow, explore, ask questions, and leave with more questions.
Israel in the Community
Caravan Peleg, a group of highly talented Israeli boys and girls, age 16-17, will be entertaining our community from July 17-July 27th. Caravan Peleg is part of a larger delegation of 500 Israel Scouts who, each summer, represent Israel at camps and communities across North America.
This year four Tzofim Friendship Caravans will travel throughout the United States, bringing Israeli culture to North America through lively musical programs of song and dance. Come see the Caravan Peleg at one of the following public performances:
Tuesday July 19th Sholom Home East 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday July 20th Sholom Home West 7:00 p.m.
Thursday July 21st Lake Harriet Pavilion 7:30 p.m.
Sunday July 23rd B’nai Israel, Rochester 11:30 a.m.
If you would like to host a Scout, contact Wendy Grosser at firstname.lastname@example.org.