If you were given a budget and told you could create any project that would bring Israelis and South Africans together, to learn about one another and strengthen their connection and their community – what would you do? What would you create?
It doesn’t happen often that we can dream and make our dreams a reality, but this is exactly what P2G allows us to do. In late January a group of professional and lay leaders from our Partnership2Gether communities (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Beit Shemesh and Mateh Yehudah) got together for the annual steering committee meeting. At the meeting, the different members learned about the needs of each community and came up with an exciting plan for 2020 that would benefit all partners.
The projects include ongoing programmes like school twinning which is a partnership between the teachers of the Herzlia primary schools and Herzlia Middle School with teachers in Israel. This twinning has been going on for many years and has developed some valuable educational programmes.
Another ongoing project we decided to continue is sending Israeli madrichim from our partnership region to work with the youth movements at their machanot, either in summer or in winter. The projects also include new programmes like a professional twinning between welfare organisations in Beit Shemesh / Mateh Yehudah and welfare organisations within the Jewish communities in Cape Town and in Johannesburg.
A delegation from Cape Town’s JCS and Johannesburg’s Chevra Kadisha went to Israel at the end of 2019 on a pilot trip to meet their potential partners. They will continue working together in 2020, learning from each other and hopefully establishing the best way to collaborate and foster personal and professional relationships. We hope that this professional twinning will be used as a model to connect people from other fields through their common interests or occupation.
There are many new initiatives, including extending the school twinning to delegations of pupils who will be hosted by their peers. The first delegation will be hosted by Herzlia Middle School in March 2020. A group of 16 grade 9’s from Tzur Hadassah will spend a week in Cape Town.
Another new project will be #MyCommunity photo exhibit, made of photos created by people in all four communities depicting how they choose to capture their sense of community.
An exciting new project was presented whereby a group of young professionals from all four communities will go on a journey to a different country where together they will bond, learn about their heritage and bring back what they have learnt to their communities. There are many more programmes and ideas and we are always looking for more fresh and exciting ways to create a people-to-people connection.
By Michal Ilan, Community and Aliyah Shlicha
Visit the SA Zionist Federation Cape Council website www.sazfcape.co.za for more information and news.