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February 03, 2005 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-02-03

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Cover Story


Nazareth Ilk:

District capital of the Galilee. Population has
doubled to 50,000 since 1991. As an Israeli devel-
opment town, the 48-year-old city is covered by
the Investment Encouragement Law, which
attracts new businesses to the industrial zones
and commercial centers. The local Absorption
Center, with 400 young immigrants, is the largest
in northern Israel.

Migdal HaEmek:

Founded in 1953 between the mountains of the
Galilee and the Jezreel Valley. Population of
25,000 with many new residents from the former
Soviet Union and South America. The high-tech
city is the origin for 5 percent of all Israeli
exports. The Max Fisher Regional Center prepares
students for future roles in high-tech industries.

Jezreel Valley:

Comprised of kibbutzim, moshavim, community
villages, Bedouin villages and an army base hous-
ing development. Population of about 28,000
works in agriculture as well as industrial and
crafts zones. The Jezreel Valley Academic College
grants bachelor's degrees. The Art Center offers
music, dance and art therapy. Tourism is growing
with emphasis on the valley's rural and biblical
Says Gabi Landau of the Valleys Tourist Board of
the Emek Yizreal (Jezreel Valley) Regional
"It was at the bottom of Mount Tabor where the
Prophetess Deborah led the people of Israel in
war against the Cannanites. King Saul journeyed
to the springs of Ein Dor to seek counsel before
he battled the Phillistines. Kings Solomon and
Ahab built the fortifications that still command
the strategic fortress of Armageddon. It was here
that the Sanhedrin re-established following the
destruction of the Temple
in Jerusalem."

Karen Paran of Ein Dor on an archaeological dig

2/ 3



from page 31

through the Max M. Fisher Community
Center in Ramle and the William
Davidson Community Center in Yavneh,
but no longer through funding.

A Human Bridge

Michigan dollar earmarked for P2K in
search of the kinds of individual and busi-
ness exchanges that can propel the part-
nership into a compelling new era.
"Israel is the heart of the Jewish people.
and this region is the heart of Israel," said
Robert Aronson, CEO of the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. "The
only way to maintain our 'people-hood' is
to know each other and to share with each
other. This is what P2K is all about."

One of P2K's marquee successes is the
summer camp experience for Israeli and
David Techner
Michigan teens at Tamarack's Camp Maas
in Ortonville. Israeli teens also take part in
Federation's Teen Mission to Israel. These
experiences have raised a bridge for bring-
The Early Years
ing together Americans and Israelis.
Over a Mediterranean dinner of Israeli,
Last summer, Emily and Ken Korotkin
Iraqi and Moroccan delicacies at the home
of Southfield hosted camp counselor
of Rachel and Arie Rotbaum of Nazareth
Doron Herman, 18, of Nazareth Illit.
Danny Bitan of Migdal HaEmek
"They gave me the best feeling in the
talked about how friendships began to
world," Herman said. "I felt home. I felt
love and patriotism for both the U.S. and
Marta Rosenthal cross municipal borders and the govern-
ments learned to cooperate thanks to the
P2K influence wrought by the Detroit
The Korotkins, including three daugh-
Federation. I visited the region recently
ters and one son-in-law, plan to go to Israel
with 25 Michigan delegates of the P2K
in March to visit all six campers who they
Steering Committee. We went to partici-
have hosted over the years. "Doron has
pate in the 10-year anniversary celebra-
become my Israeli son," Ken said. "He calls
or writes every week. I cried as I hugged
Home hospitality on both sides of the
him goodbye when the campers left last
Atlantic not only helps build social and
summer. I truly now can say that I feel like
business alliances, but also provides keen
I have family in Israel."
insight to each other's secular lifestyle.
"This connection is very important for
"Ten years ago," Bitan said, "those of us
me and for the worldwide Jewish commu-
in the three municipalities hardly knew
nity," Herman said; "because we've man-
anyone elsewhere; oh, maybe here and
aged to stay bonded through distance,
there, but not in mass numbers. Now we
which is a mitzvah."
are meeting and talking. And our three
P2K also has yielded Israel social service
mayors have learned to sit and to work
and relief programs, hospice care, resettle-
together. We have learned that together
ment, emergency funding, youth programs
we can do things that profit the three
and equality-building programs involving
Israeli Arabs and Jews. The harvest further
Way back when, the Israelis looked at
Sharon Lipton
includes trans-Atlantic Jewish education
P2K as a source of new investment and
programs, leadership development and
support. Central Galilee leaders, drawing
communal interaction.
on the insular thinking of the time, com-
The total P2K investment of Michigan
peted for funding for projects that would
dollars over the past 10 years is $6.5 mil-
benefit their constituents. Michigan Jews
lion, the vast majority from Detroit; nearly
were happy to oblige, buoyed by the
a third has been targeted for regional devel-
desire to stake a claim in their ancestral
opment in the Central Galilee.
homeland. That changed over the years as
Federation and lay leaders in Michigan
lasting trans-Atlantic friendships devel-
admit that most of the tangible benefits of
oped and Michigan's federations sought
P2K have been in the Central Galilee, not
Gabi Landau
more accountability from their Israeli
Metro Detroit, but that's projected to
change beginning this year with greater
In 1997, P2K projects became regional.
emphasis on people-to-people connections
That milestone ended municipal infight-
and business relationships.
ing and allowed the steering committee to
Specific examples of how Detroit Jewry
refocus priorities by viewing the partner-
has benefited over the years include:
with a wider lens.
• Professional exchanges involving physi-
Bitan, a technology leadership consult-
cians, educators and social workers.
ant educated at the University of Haifa,
• Adopting an Israeli eldercare service
captured the essence of why the partner-
program that helps seniors prevent falls.
Tova Dorfinan
ship matters. "I believe that together we
• Learning connections like a joint read-
can find mutual interests and that the
ing project between the Jewish Academy of
impetus for addressing them over the long haul will
Metropolitan Detroit and ORT Regozin High
come from our kids — your kids in America and
School in Migdal HaEmek.
our kids in Israel," he said.
The prevailing mood is to scrutinize every

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