It started with a visit to the US by Mayor Shmulik Rifman, accompanied by CEO and partnerships manager Eran Doron and council spokesperson Adva Lloyd. A new partnership was inaugurated with the New Mexico governor, with the signing of a “Twin City” agreement. Our partnerships are getting stronger by the day!
CEO of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, Todd Polikoff, visited us for the first time. Todd is the new Federation CEO, a charming, warm and well-loved man with a future vision. He visited the “Ben-Gurion Archives” at Midreshet Ben-Gurion, learned about the important work of “Desert Wind”, got acquainted with residents of Be’er Milka and the Pitchat Nitzana community and with life there. He met with the “Hamadrega” team which is an incubator program for young startup companies at Kibbutz Revivim, and met with pupils and the educational staff at the Zin Elementary School.
Todd wrote in his personal blog: “The Jewish Federation of Las Vegas is committed to this partnership and we will do everything possible to continue it’s growth and mutually beneficial impact on our community and the State of Israel.”
Welcome to our family, Todd. Together, as partner communities, we can achieve anything! Only the sky’s the limit!
On March 3rd the Davis Scholarship Awards ceremony was held for the fifth consecutive year.
Joan and Lawrence Davis of the Las Vegas Jewish community established and support a student scholarship program. This year, sponsorship for the program has been joined by Mifal Hapais (The Israeli Lottery) and the Perach student mentoring project, collaboration which has enabled us to enlarge the scholarship sums.
This year 136 students from all around the region were awarded higher education scholarships. Our scholarship-recipients study diverse fields, such as medicine, education, life sciences and many others. As part of the scholarship requirements, the students volunteer in the community in several programs including Perach, the Young Adults Forum, and social and/or therapeutic work in the community.
The Davises stayed with us for six days and became deeply acquainted with the people and programs in Ramat Hanegev. Visiting most of the region’s communities they became personally informed and knowledgeable about our challenges, difficulties, successes and our future here in Ramat Hanegev.
Thank you so much, Laurence and Joan Davis, for your continued support of our young people here in Ramat Hanegev! We eagerly await your next visit.
For just one [stormy-weather] day we hosted an important and interesting visit by Larry Maisel, from the Colorado Jewish community, and Michael Steinberg from St. Louis, Missouri. Larry and Michael are good friends and have been Israel activists for many years. They came to visit us spending an entire day touring around the Council, especially in the Pitchat Nitzana area, where they learned about the challenges of life on the Egyptian border and about employment, communal life and the future of these communities in Israel. We are looking forward to seeing you again in Ramat Hanegev.
We were delighted to host, for the first but definitely not the last time, a delegation of seven young adults (aged 20-40) from our partnered Jewish community of Las Vegas! The delegation arrived in the Council, first and foremost, to meet our region’s young adults, to get acquainted with life in the Negev and to create a deep and lasting bond between the communities through joint projects.
Throughout their stay in the region they were escorted by their counterparts from the “Partnership Forum” in conjunction with the Council’s partnerships department, the Young Adults Center and young people representing all of the region’s communities, who mobilized for this special visit and helped this unique visit to take place.
During that special week they experienced: challenge-cycling to Ben-Gurion’s House where they took part in a workshop on leadership through “meeting” the visionary figure and legacy of David Ben-Gurion; a visit to the Desert Agro-research and Development Center to learn about Ramat Hanegev’s innovative, breakthrough agriculture in arid desert conditions; a visit to the Ben-Gurion Archives; a special evening at the 40 Pub with an array of young local music-bands and local arts; a communal life experience at Kibbutz Revivim; Kabbalat Shabbot and home-hospitality with the Retamim community; meeting with young adults from the Bedouin community at the Neve-Midbar School in Nitzana; and seeing first-hand the wide range of programs taking place in the Pitchat Nitzana communities. They also visited the Otef Gaza border area and took part in a dialogue about the way of life and coping with living in this area; from there they went on to visit the Holot Facility and met with refugees living there; visited the Mashabim Elementary School and the “Growing Space” project and, all in all, built and strengthened relationships with our local young adults through a wide range of joint activities which served to familiarize them with our numerous and important projects…
Thanks to this delegation and the fruitful collaboration with the Las Vegas Jewish community, we are working on joint programs in the future for the Council’s Partnership Forum, for our Young Adults Center in Ramat Hanegev and for the young adults of Las Vegas, to further deepen the special bond and create a common future for the two communities.
We want to extend our sincere thanks to the Council’s young adults, the staff, all the communities in the council and to everyone who played a role in making the delegation’s visit happen!
*Written by Jared White, Partnerships Coordinator, Ramat Hanegev Regional Council