Jacob Schwartz, the son of the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Phoenix, celebrated his bar mitzvah in Israel at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai on June 7th. Jacob has had a lot of person connections to people from the TIPS region as many have come to visit Phoenix. So his family decided to have his bar mitzvah in the region and not at the Kotel, as many others have done.
Adam stated in his blog, "One of Jacob’s many connections with Israel came as a result of meeting several of these women (of Ethnic Flavors/Taamei Ami) during their visit to Phoenix last October. This became one of many elements to help link our son, his becoming a bar mitzvah and Israel."
At the end of the Bar Mitzvah day, Adam writess: "... when I asked Jacob what the highlight was for him, he commented 'All of it' adding 'How many people get to celebrate their becoming a bar mitzvah, watch how honey is made, see cows milked, a battlefield and climb on tanks all in the same day?' Seems like the desired connections have been made."
Kiryat Malachi & Hof Ashkelon in ISRAEL, in partnership with TIPS - Tucson, Seattle & Phoenix in the U.S. Working together, to make a difference.
TIPS is one of more than 45 partnerships developed by the Jewish Agency for Israel 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).