The following Partnership 2000 Steering Committee members, from Rochester and from Modi'in, were asked what's exciting to them about being involved in the Partnership, and what they hope to see happen for our communities.
Rochester Partnership Co-Chairs Lorraine Wolch and Don Onimus:
"What's exciting to us is the opportunity to create personal connections with Israelis, and to work with members of the Rochester Jewish community who share our commitment to Israel and the Jewish people.
"We want to generate greater interest and support for Israel and the Jewish people in general through heightened awareness and personal involvement with Israelis. We want to increase community involvement with Federation, synagogues, the JCC, JFS, and all other Jewish organizations."
Modi'in Partnership Chair General Amos Malka:
"My personal involvement in Partnership 2000 as chairperson of the Modi'in steering committee is a modest way to contribute to the community where my family and I live. More than anything else, I am fascinated by the creation of something new - a new relationship network that will hopefully produce extensive and varied activity in many realms of life.
"Modi'in is the only city that has been built in Israel in recent years. Its planners foresee it growing into the fourth-largest city in the country. I believe that at this time it is important for the residents of Modi'in to strengthen their interpersonal ties with a Jewish community from the United States, and to enhance discussion of Jewish identity and the unique relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. I believe that as more residents become involved in one way or another in the partnership, this will increase community awareness and residents' involvement in the community."
Avi Golan, Modi'in Partnership Marketing Chair
"As one of the founding residents of Modi'in, it is my honor to participate in such an exciting project, P2K. Modi'in is a dynamic, young and growing city. It has much to offer the residents of the city and as a model to communities at large. Through the P2K project I know that Modi'in will be able to share it's growing experience as a new Israeli community with our partners and also learn from Rochester as it is a well founded Jewish community.
"We are excited to pass the word on the P2K project in the city and to involve as many Modi'in residents as possible in the project. The connection between the two cities will strengthen the feeling of "community" within both cities. I look forward to my involvement in the project and to getting to know my partners from Upstate New York!"
Richard Markus, Chair of the Scholar in Residence sub-committee:
"The partnership can serve to make closer links to Israel, to Judaism, and create more advocacy for Israel. I think that it helps to put a face on Israel, that when we have these contacts with people from Modi'in, we're developing personal relationships. It's not just numbers, but people.
"When we have people visit Israel, we are going to encourage them to visit Modi'in, where they'll be treated like family. When you have "family" in Israel you're more of an advocate here at home."
Jackie Braverman, Chair of the Yom Ha'atzmaut sub-committee:
"The excitement is like the old El Al ad used to say, ‘You may have friends in high places, but here you have mishpocha.' I met a woman from Modi'in when I was in Israel in November. We e-mail one another and when I go back to Israel, I will absolutely get together with her.
"Modi'in is beautiful. It's a model community; the way it's been planned takes into account the beauty of the terrain."