I think it’s fair to say that I have always promoted the notion that a strong Jewish identity is intrinsically tied to a strong connection to the land and people of Israel. One needn’t blindly support every single government action, one needn’t be totally uncritical and you don’t have to move here (though it would be nice if you did), but it’s important that you know us and love us the way we love you. Project 2000 is a program run by the Jewish Agency For Israel in conjunction with various Jewish Federations whereby said Federations twin their cities with a city or town in Israel. Twinning involves a process whereby visits are exchanged and projects are undertaken between the residents of the two cities.

Sounds kind of cool right? Well, now you don’t have to take my word for it. The Jewish Agency has undertaken a project whereby every month they will release a video, narrated by Professor Gil Troy, where they document one of these visits. Now I have been up and down Israel several times but even I discovered interesting sites and stories! Usually I come across visiting Federation members when their entire group descends upon the shuk while I am frantically trying to fight the crowds and do my shopping, but now that I know more about what brings them to Israel, I’m significantly less annoyed! Apparently service is not just for Hillel students or young adults looking for an interesting post-college experience!

This month’s video features the mystical city of Safed and the Jewish community of Palm Beach in a project aimed at enhancing tourism in the region around the study of Kabbalah.

You can see more videos on the Partner Web site or see all the videos updated monthly on JewTube!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

1 Comment

  • Three of my trips to Israel have been with the Jewish Federation of Long Beach. Each trip has included a visit to our partnership region to meet the people and see the projects for whom we raise funds. There have been countless projects and programs that we have supported from afar: after school programs, reinforced fencing around a kibbutz north of Gaza, ambulances, playgrounds, sports equipment….

    Two years ago I convinced my parents to send monies not to one of their usual charities, but instead to fund music equipment for a youth center in Kiryat Malachi–and of course visited the site when we arrived in Israel.

    On a trip during one of the intifadas (maybe it was the Federation’s General Assembly in Jerusalem) we all collected and brought donated cash and used it to help people we met. In one very quiet restaurant (very few people going to restaurants back then) we got to know a bit about our waitress. She was a student and was struggling to earn enough money to cover her expenses. We left her a $400 “tip” (from the donated cash) on a $150 dinner. (She wouldn’t take it until her manager came over and told her it was ok.) In tears, she told us that the money meant she could pay her tuition and buy books.

    So yeah…some of us adults do come to Israel with service in mind…and spend a lot of our time back at home raising funds necessary to support programs.