Partnership 2000
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Partnership 2Gether (P2G)
Beit Shemesh - Mateh Yehuda - Washington DC - South Africa

The What and Why of Partnership
Our Partnership creates meaningful engagement between Israelis living in Beit Shemesh and Mateh Yehuda and Jews living in Greater Washington and South Africa. We view this engagement as a vital element in stregthening our communities both in Israel and overseas. Commonly known as P2G, we are part of a global network of over 45 Partnerships whose purpose is to be the central platform for the promotion of cohesion among Jewish communities.

Partnership 2Gether

  • Offers a warm, tangible, face-to-face way of connecting
  • Is a two-way street, focusing on the creation of relationships and meaning, rather than on welfare and infrastructure. It inspires Jews to explore and to broaden their connection to the Jewish People and to Israel
  • Is a laboratory for developing and trying out new ideas and initiatives

Over 20 programs are facilitated annually by our Partnership in the areas of people to people (delegations and other mifgashim), school twinning, leadership development and community building.

The Beit Shemesh – Mateh Yehuda region and its population

  • Our region serves as a rural oasis between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
  • This is where Samson lived, and where David fought Goliath
  • The population of Beit Shemesh ("home of the sun") has grown fourfold to 90,000 over the past 20 years. Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, North America, England, France and Ethiopia joined the veteran poulation who established the city in the early 1950's
  • Mateh Yehuda ("the staff (cane) of Judah") is a regional council comprised of 57 rural communities – mostly moshavim and kibbutzim – with 40,000 residents

Partnership Activity Highlights

  • Over 800 visitors from Washington and South Africa visit our region every year
  • Israeli educators, artists, cyclists, vintners and ethnic cooks bring the inspiring stories of our region to hundreds of community members in Washington and South Africa annually
  • By connecting six Jewish day schools from Washington and South Africa with schools in our region, P2G has created a school twinning platform for educating hundreds of children about Jewish Peoplehood
  • We are currently supporting several initiatives that build bridges between Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) communities and other communities in Beit Shemesh. We are also establishing bridges and dialog between Jews and Arabs in Mateh Yehuda
  • Hundreds of women from our region have taken part in various empowerment, entrepreneurship, and business development courses over the years
  • Our community building activities helped establish the wine route, a network of over 30 wineries; nurtured the development of cycling infrastructure that draws in cyclists from all over the country; and created the first local artist's forum

Click here to read our most recent newsletter.

Greater Washington residents can visit and volunteer in Beit Shemesh. Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering.

How can I get involved?

Visit the Region
Visitors to our Partnership region can explore a variety of sites and activities that will make a trip to Israel memorable and personal. Visit our interactive map to learn about:

  • Derech HaYayim (Wine route): there are more than 30 wineries in this region!
  • Eco-tourism: cycling, hiking and archaeology
  • Art studios
  • Annual Festivals (Sukkot Music Festival, Wine Festival, Arts Festival, and Ethnic Food Festival)

Link Your Organization/Congregation
P2G can help members of your organization learn about Israeli society through the eyes of local residents and provide focus for your organization’s Israel program. Contact us for more information.

  • Include a "mifgash" [encounter] with the locals during your organization’s trip to Israel.
  • Professional & leadership development opportunities help your organization examine the place of Israel in your program.
  • Adopt a project in the region. Your congregation can provide support for the Ethiopian-Israeli community, promote tolerance between religious and secular communities, enhance educational opportunities and support pluralistic Jewish education in the region.
  • Submit a proposal for a P2G local mini-grant for a program that connects your organization to our Partnership region.

P2G volunteers work on projects that address:

  • Community and Welfare: Leadership development and community empowerment
  • Education:  English tutoring, working with special needs children, developing Jewish identity
  • People to People:  Meeting people and forging new friendships
  • Contact us for more information

Israeli Ethnic Food Festival Cookbook

The residents of Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda reserve a special place in their hearts for their overseas friends from Washington and South Africa, who entered into a Partnership with them in 1995. Over the years, a deep bond was created - -a direct result of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership 2000 Program and the emphasis on empowerment of the region and Diaspora involvement.

In May 2011, a delegation of cooks from the Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda region came to the Washington area to delight us with their stories and of course, their cooking. The workshops and dinners drew hundreds of Greater Washington participants to the tastes and aromas of Israel’s rich ethnic heritage.

Each of the Israeli women who traveled abroad brought with them, their rich ethnic culinary flavor, and a story to relate: A story that brings them from countries far and wide, with different cultures, heritage and skills: stories of trials and tribulations, service and sacrifice – stories of their contribution to their communities in the Beit Shemesh / Mateh Yehuda region and to the State of Israel.

Thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Partnership 2000, these women were enabled to improve their status within their own families, communities and society as a whole. They brought you a Festival and a Feast - "Ethnic Aroma". Click here to view the Ethnic Aroma Cookbook.

Award-winning Jewish food writer, Joan Nathan, recently wrote an article for Tablet Magazine that further discusses cooking in Beit Shemesh. Click here to read it!

Printing tip:
To save paper, select the option to print multiple page per sheet, or print landscape.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington welcomed the Peres Center for Peace's "Twinned Peace Sports Program"

The program was launched to promote coexistence and mutual understanding among Arab and Israeli teens by using sports to change attitudes towards the “other” and diffuse stereotypes. 


P2G Partnership 2Gether

Partnership 2Gether DC Community Shaliach, Anton Goodman

For 3 years P2G worked with former Jewish Agency Shaliach, Gilad Golani, finishing his successful term this month.

Anton Goodman is the Community Shaliach & Israel Engager in Washington DC. Anton holds a BA in International Politics from the University of Leeds and is finishing a MA in Public Policy at IDC, Herzliya.