Friday, September 26, 2008

Shana Tova Wishes


Wishing You and Your Family

A Joyful, Healthy, & Peaceful New Year.

Celebrating Rosh HaShana at Kindergarten - Photo: Amit Magal

Youth from the TIPS region volunteer at camp in Kiryat Malachi

For 3 weeks in July, 2008, Chelsey Saperstein from Phoenix (a student of the University of Arizona), Elizabeth Mitchel (studying at University of British Columbia) and Darrin Levin (studying at University of Washington) from Seattle, and Ariella Youdelman (studying at Pima Community College) from Tucson helped a group of upper elementary students improve their oral English skills through games, songs, role playing, and art activities.

Ariella, Beth, Darrin, Chelsey, leading a song

Teaching a cheer
The program was sponsored by the Matnas (community center).

Labeling lots of body parts

The four also stayed with host families.

Host mom, Balainish Ayech, and the building where she lives

The experience gave students a chance to see Israelis as they live, quite a different experience than what one sees while on a tour. They also were able to make friendships with peers, that we hope will continue for many years. (Written by Dina Tanners, Seattle)

Seattle Youth's Mitzvah project benefits school in Kiryat Malachi

Harry Michael Simpson, the son of TIPS steering committee member Amy Wasser-Simpson and Chuck Simpson (Z'L) was called to the Torah on September 13, 2008 at his Bar Mitzvah.

Harry's official Bar Mitzvah picture

In the spirit of tzedakah, he chose to help the Mitzvah Store at the Netzach Yisrael elementary school in Kiryat Malachi. At the school, students get points for good classroom behavior, helping others, prayer, and doing well in schoolwork. Then once a week, they can "spend" their points on many different items in the school mitzvah store, which is run by their peers. Items in the store include games, book bags, jewelry, toy cars, flashlights, and cereal.

Window of Mitzvah Store
Tzion, the school building facilitator, in the store

If anyone studying for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is interested in a mitzvah project in Kiryat Malachi or Hof Ashkelon, please contact Dina Tanners at or Ira Kerem at who will be glad to tailor a project to the student's interest. (Dina Tanners, Seattle)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TIPS Volunteer Chelsey Saperstein Says Thank You!

A Cultural Journey Through Kiryat Malachi:
As my summer in Israel came to an end, I sat in the Ben Gurion airport saddened by my impending departure. The country had become a part of me, as had the city of Kiryat Malachi. I had the wonderful experience of spending several weeks in this small and underdeveloped Israeli city, which is part of the TIPS (Tucson, Israel, Phoenix, Seattle) Partnership region supported in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix. I had accepted the challenge, along with three American peers from the other TIPS cities, to teach English to a group of Israeli children. Needless to say, the situation was quite different from what all four of us expected, but it was amazing nonetheless.

When I first arrived in Kiryat Malachi, I was both nervous and excited, feeling somewhat alone in an unfamiliar city. For the first time, I would be living with a host family. It was amazing how quickly I was embraced by not just my host family but by the people of Kiryat Malachi. Their open arms and exuberant smiles helped me feel like I was in my second home.

Chelsey & young friend
Within the first couple of days, we met the three American and two Israeli counselors that I would be working with. Our job was to teach English at one of the few summer camps in the city. We worked with 13 youngsters, few of whom knew any English. It was a surprise to the four of us how our fundamental Hebrew skills came in handy. You see Kiryat Malachi, from my point of view, is a city unlike others I have been exposed to in Israel. English is not widely spoken, the American culture has not infiltrated and in many ways I was really a foreigner. For me, I feel I had the opportunity to live amongst native Israeli’s, different even from my Israeli relatives.

The days that followed are hard to describe since we all experienced a full range of emotions. We pushed each other when one of us was a little down, we learned new things about ourselves and about our inner strengths, but most important, we all learned how much you get from giving.

Our goal was to help the kids develop their English skills. I can’t say that’s what actually happened. I will say that we began every morning teaching them a new song in English; we worked with one little guy who knew how to curse in English, so we had to turn that around. The challenges were endless as were the feelings of frustration, but together we prevailed.

We all have much to thank in our Israeli counselors who became close friends. Luckily the two of them included us fully in their lives during our time in Kiryat Malachi. We visited their homes, experienced Israeli youth culture and had many deep and meaningful discussions late into the night. For me one of the most powerful was learning about Israeli military service. Although I had been to Israel two summers ago and clearly knew about the mandatory service, this was a fairly unique opportunity to talk with new friends about what it was really like.

I have so many different experiences that I could share endlessly about, but one of my favorites was The Festival b’ Shekel. Since personally I am a music lover, for me this was exceptional. I loved the fact that ten thousand people gathered in this somewhat underprivileged town to share and celebrate the joy of music. I also loved how affordable it was, costing 1 shekel (approx. 30 cents), which made this concert available to everyone and anyone who wanted to attend.

When my experience in Kiryat Malachi came to an end but before leaving the country, I had a wonderful week of traveling up North with one of my American co-counselors. In many ways I credit our friendship for helping us to get through this cultural journey so that we could experience the joy and uniqueness that is Kiryat Malachi.

Although I know the Federation has much gratitude for the time I spent in Kiryat Malachi, I want to take this opportunity to thank Federation for this most amazing and one-of-a-kind experience. (Written by Chelsey Saperstein)

Chelsey Saperstein, a Paradise Valley resident and current University of Arizona student, volunteered for three weeks as a counselor in Angliada, a TIPS funded summer camp in Kiryat Malachi designed to enhance English language skills for 5th-7th graders.

Originally launched in 1995, the TIPS Partnership community-to-community program is at the heart of the relationship between Tucson, Israel, Phoenix and Seattle. It is a program that brings volunteer representatives from these Jewish federations together with professionals and entrepreneurs in Israel to work to develop economies, communities and relationships.

Kiryat Malachi is a development town located between the Israeli Metropolitan areas of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheva। Approximately 22,000 residents live in 6,000 households. In the last two decades, over 10,000 immigrants have arrived from Ethiopia, the former Soviet Union and Argentina.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

JCC Day Camp in Seattle

This past summer, 2 teens from Hof Ashkelon and 2 from Kiryat Malachi, together with their chaperone Tal Rozen from Moshav Gea, enthusiastically added great Israel content to the JCC Day Camp in Seattle.

Tal and Campers playing Food Bingo

In addition to their regular daily time with campers, they organized a special afternoon ISRAELAND with 11 booths representing different places in Israel that the campers rotated through.

Yuval teaching a camper to milk a kibbutz cow

Livnat teaching about the kotel/Temple Western Wall before campers wrote messages for it

They also led an hour-long "hoog" on different topics about Israeli Monday through Thursday for five weeks. For more details about their involvement, go to

(Posted by Dina Tanners - Seattle)

The Maslans from Seattle Make a Difference

The Maslans

During July, 2007, Carol and Rabbi Bob Maslan of Seattle visited Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon for a day. Both are members and Carol is on the staff of Herzl Ner-Tamid synagogue, a conservative synagogue in the Seattle area, which has raised funds during its high holiday appeal in recent years for over and above projects in the region.

The Maslans visited the Senior Day Center in Kiryat Malachi and were very touched by the reception they received. They asked if there was a smaller need at the center that their Havurah might be able to help support.

Herzl Morad, head of the Senior Day Center, told them of the need to renovate the "beauty" salon, so the Maslans came back to Seattle and raised over $4500 for the project. The money arrived in Israel in late summer, and we hope the renovations can begin soon!

Herzl with the beautician and Carol Maslan

(Posted by Dina Tanners - Seattle)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Introduction to the Partnership

TIPS is one of more than 45 partnerships developed by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), to help world Jewish communities connect to Israel as partners working together and not in the traditional donor-recipient relationship. The Jewish Federations of Tucson, Phoenix, and Seattle form the TIPS partnership, which works with Kiryat Malachi and the rural region of Hof Ashkelon. Several Jewish Federations in California also have a relationship with those two areas through the Western Region Network.

Kiryat Malachi is an immigrant town of about 23,000 people, located an hour’s drive from both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Today more than 25% of the town is from Ethiopia. Hof Ashkelon is a rural district of stretching from just north of the Gaza Strip to south of Ashdod with 13,500 residents in 19 moshavim and kibbutzim and a “temporary” town of Gaza émigrés. The communities closest to Gaza have often been targets of mortars, missiles, and even land attacks.
The Israeli and American members of the joint steering committee decided in 2006 to place the emphasis of their core budget funds on teenagers in order to change the image of the region and to instill in them a pride for their home communities. The teens themselves created the programs that are now being implemented, which include a first ever regional sports league, a performing arts program in cooperation with the national “happening” - Festival B'Shekel, youth leadership regional clubs, leadership taught through sports, and teen work groups renovating public areas.
The remaining 1/3 of the budget is for exchanges and interaction of people in the 3 US and 2 Israeli communities. Programs include a joint teen trip for the summer of 2009, teen counselor exchanges, an apartment in Kiryat Malachi for Americans volunteering in the town, school e-mail exchanges and visits, and an art contest and a calendar featuring the winning entries.P2K is not just a list of wonderful projects.
We work together to help promote the values of volunteerism, accountability, empowerment, cooperation, and mutuality, as well as the creation of lifelong friendships. Members of our communities are invited to participate.
For more information, contact Adam Tennen in Phoenix (480 634 4900 x 1102), Moshe Babel-Pour in Tucson (520-299-3000 x191), and Dina Tanners in Seattle (