18 September 2014
ROCKVILLE, MD – This evening the board of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington voted to introduce a new paradigm of engagement with Israel. Under this new model, The Federation expects to significantly expand the number of people in our local Jewish community who have a meaningful personal connection to Israel and Israelis, with a focus on different populations, topics of interest, major issues, and geographic areas. This shift will mean the conclusion of The Federation’s participation in The Jewish Agency for Israel Partnership 2Gether (P2G) platform.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has been a proud and active participant in the P2G platform for 19 years, sharing a three-community partnership with Beit Shemesh / Mateh Yehuda and South Africa. In that time, the three communities have achieved many successes and milestones including the launch of the School Twinning program, which connects schools, teachers and students in Greater Washington with their counter parts in Israel for shared learning experiences, the establishment of the region’s wine route and cycling infrastructure, and bringing hundreds of educators, artists, cooks and others to each community creating meaningful personal connections.
However, as the Greater Washington community has grown and changed over the past two decades, the leadership’s vision for the relationship they want with Israel has evolved. “After a number of years contemplating the question of “how to best connect our community with Israel,” our leadership has come to a decision that we need to move on from the P2G platform for our community,“ said The Federation President, Liza Levy.
The Federation expects that under the new model, it will continue with select projects that seek to maintain – and even grow connections with people in Beit Shemesh / Mateh Yehuda. Wendy Rudolph, The Federation’s Vice President for Community and Global Impact – Israel stated, “We anticipate that, without the constraints that inevitably accompany working in a partnership and being tied to a particular geographic community, The Federation will be able to expand its impact in Israel and focus on projects that create more meaningful opportunities for connection between our local community and the people of Israel.”
The Federation remains committed to the Partnership through this fiscal year (June 30, 2015). Between now and that time they will phase out their involvement with P2G through a thoughtful exit strategy developed in collaboration with lay and professional partners in Israel and South Africa.
“Our relationship with Partnership2Gether has been longstanding and meaningful, and has built greater understanding and personal bonds between our respective Jewish communities. It has strengthened each of our communities in good times and has allowed us to help each other through difficult times. The Jewish community of Greater Washington is all the stronger and more enriched because of our participation in P2G” shared The Federation’s CEO, Steven A. Rakitt.