Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Make a Proposal, Win a Grant

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Federations of the New Jersey/Delaware-Arad/Tamar Partnership 2000, we are pleased to inform you about the 2008-2009 Request for Proposal process. The mission of Partnership 2000 is to promote connections between the Jewish communities of New Jersey and Delaware and the Arad/Tamar Region of Israel by jointly identifying needs, developing solutions and implementing programs and projects that are mutually beneficial to and have impact on all constituencies.

The Partnership has identified five priority areas on which to focus its efforts:

· Environment and Education
· Economic Development/Population Growth
· Bringing Arad/Tamar to New Jersey/Delaware
· Art & Culture
· Talented Youth

In the coming funding year, Partnership 2000 is seeking grant proposals of $30,000 to $50,000 per year for new and innovative programming, and will consider multi-year funding up to three years. We strongly encourage collaboration among organizations and look for projects where additional funds can be leveraged. Projects should have clear benefits to both the Israeli and American communities. Partnership 2000 does not fund capital projects or projects which should be funded by the government or municipality.

Please note that while we are sending this notice to multiple professionals in your organization, only one proposal per organization will be accepted. Proposals must be submitted in Hebrew and English and are due on Tuesday, September 2, 2008.

We look forward to your participation in this process. If you would like an application or need assistance throughout the grant development and writing process, please contact Shimon Shamila, Director of the Arad/Tamar Partnership in Israel at or Amy Cooper, Partnership 2000 Coordinator in New Jersey at


Sivia Braunstein, Yehoyakim Gavish, Alison Lawton

New Jersey/Delaware Arad Tamar

Chairs, American and Israeli Steering Committees

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Laura Marder on appreciating Kefiada

Laura Marder
(July 15)

While on my nighttime walk around Arad tonight I paused, took a deep breath, and felt a tiny tear form in my eye. It was a tear of complete happiness, pride, and sense of belonging. I can call Arad, my home. I can call my campers and my friends, my family. I have learned years of lessons in these two weeks and I know this last week is going to bring even more.

The Kefiada camp is absolutely amazing. The camp day begins with a half hour of an English lesson. The campers are nervous to speak English, much like we are nervous to speak Hebrew. The games we bring to them, such as charades and Twister, really help them feel more comfortable and confident with the language.

The learning doesn't stop after the lesson. All day the English speaking counselors are teaching vital English lessons without even realizing it. Just being there, we are representing our Jewish American culture. The campers stare sometimes, with wishful eyes, trying to pull together a sentence in English so they can ask us a question about our friends and family. They teach us as much, or even more than we teach them. It really truly is a partnership. Today I taught my girls an English hand game with the other counselors. Following our game they returned the favor and taught us one of their Hebrew hand games.

When we are out of camp the town and the federation are taking care of us as if we are their kids. I know that I will always have a home in Arad and it will always have a place in my heart. I hope that when I return home I can spread the word that this little city, in the vast desert is a home away from home, and the best Israeli sister city we could ask for.

Laura Marder

Friday, July 25, 2008

Julie France- Visiting Tel Aviv (July 15)

July 15

Hello Everybody!
So, last weekend, in Israel...we explored Tel Aviv. It is a a busy city with something to do 24 hours a day. From my experience, the average weekend in Tel Aviv (for a tourist) goes something like this...This is actually 2 days crammed into one, but you get the idea) Wake up (obviously) and grab a something delicious to eat at a cafe at the corner. The food here is definitely a highlight. Walk around the streets. I was lucky enough to have a friend with an apartment on Dizengoff (I can spell it in Hebrew...English, not so much), which is a main street in the city. We walked around on the port, located just a block away from us. This was comparable to parts of Baltimore by the bay, with restaurants and shops right on the water.

A long walk in the opposite direction brought us to Shuk Ha'Carmel (Carmel Market), the largest Market in Tel Aviv. Here you could find anything you wanted, from clothing to good falafel to exquisite hand-made crafts. It was a very lively place to be, and fantastic to just look around. We went later in the afternoon when everyone had to close down and there was lots of bartering going on and such. It was really interesting to watch and try to understand exactly what was being said. It is definitely something you must go see if/when you are in Tel Aviv.

Walking around all day makes one very hot. Luckily, Tel Aviv is located on the Mediterranean Sea, which is located just 4 blocks from our apartment. The Mediterranean Sea is absolutely beautiful. With soft sand and fairly warm water it is probably now my favorite beach. It somewhat reminds of the beaches in LA in that surfers crowd the beach, and there are plenty of sports to play on the beach from paddleball to volleyball. The difference in Tel Aviv is so much nicer. The water is clean and has a nice green-ish blue color, and the surrounding city is so clean compared to LA. There are parts of the water that are relatively calm and families play in, and there are parts with the big waves that surfers hang out in. It is a beautiful beach, the perfect place to spend a hot afternoon.

After the beach and dinner the sun starts to come down, and like any big city, Tel Aviv's night life possesses endless options. My group headed out to a popular place for Israelis to hang out, Ha Mosad. It was a 'really happening' place, with several rooms to dance and several different kinds of music, and a roof top filled with big comfy sofas and big projection screens to play video games on. Eventually, we headed out to the beach for a night walk in the sand.

All in all, I must say a weekend in Tel Aviv is rather enjoyable. There is plenty to do and see, and it is impossible to be bored. I must say though, it was nice to get back to Arad which now kind of feels like home. Back in Arad on Sunday camp started back up again. Camp is still really fun, but it is a real challenge to teach the kids English because they really don't want to learn it out of school. It is a good challenge and I like it a lot, I just wish the camp was longer so I would have more time to figure out what works and what doesn't (and the kids I have are in fourth grade and are absolutely ADORABLE. I like them a lot).

After most days of camp, the program takes us out to do see more of Arad. We have been to a glass museum, which was far more interesting then I thought. I was expecting bottles and plates and such, but what I got was an array of optical illusions and beautiful art. We were lucky enough to have the artist come around the museum with us and get our interpretations of the art and then hear his.

We also went to the Earth Museum, which didn't focus on the science of the earth but man's spiritual connection with the Earth. Once again, I was expecting something totally different, but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the trip. The museums were all great, but my favorite activity was by far meditation in the desert. We went to a building about 5 to 10 minutes outside of Arad so all you could see were the rolling desert mountains and the Dead Sea in the distance. The view was absolutely breathtaking. There we practiced Tibetan breathing exercises and some meditation. It was a very relaxing experience, and one that I could not see going so well anywhere else. That's all for now. Coming up next weekend we are going to the Dead Sea, Masada, and Ein Gedi.

Can't wait to tell you all about it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Julie France- Eilat to Arad

July 8
Hey everyone!

The latest news from Israel is coming from Eilat and my camp in Arad. Eilat is a resort town on the southern most tip of Israel, so there wasn't a whole lot to do educational or anything, but it was gorgeous. We spent Thursday night through Saturday evening there. Much of the day was spent swimming in the Red Sea and lounging on the beach. Across the Red Sea I could clearly see Jordan.

By far the most memorable part of the trip was staying up to watch the sunrise over the mountains in Jordan. It was absolutely incredible. Once again, I have pictures that I will send out, but I doubt it will do it justice.

Another thing that has happened is camp has started. I worked 3 days already (Sunday is a work day in Israel) and I already love it. It is funny because everyone told my that Israeli kids are totally different from American kids. The way I see it, they are almost exactly the same. I have fourth graders and as long as they are entertained they are fabulous (as soon as they get bored it is very difficult...much like at home).

The hardest past about teaching them is that the whole camp is inside a science center. There is very little room to run around, and since we are in the desert it is not advised to take them outside for a long time. This is a huge challenge considering all my game ideas were for outside, but I like the challenge.

The first day went really well. We played a competitive game that all the kids liked. The second day was more of an art project with parts of the body. That did not go so well. I guess I learned that competition is a large driving factor here. Lesson learned.

On an individual basis the kids are a lot like my camp kids back home. The girls are very affectionate and the boys are a bunch of rabble-rousers. I have every basic kind of kid that I have back home. I have the ring-leader of the boys who is great when you talk to him one-on-one, but he loves causing trouble in the group. I also have the boys that follow him, the clingy girls, the whiny boy, and the girl who loves the boys. It is really funny how similar kids are on the other side of the world. Almost every kid I have here reminds of someone from JCC camp.

One thing that is very different from JCC camp is the language barrier. Only one of my kids here speaks English fluently, just about everyone else just only speaks Hebrew (I can talk to a few of my kids in Spanish because they are from Argentina). This makes things very difficult, but it is really fun.

Almost all of the kids try really hard to communicate in the little English they know, and I try really hard to use what little Hebrew I know. Over the past three days I have gotten a lot better. When I think about it, it is shocking how much better my Hebrew has gotten. I can understand a fair amount of what is said, even with my limited vocabulary. I can't wait to see where I am at the end of camp.

My free time in Arad is greatly enjoyed. Not going to lie, a lot of the afternoon is spent sleeping because of the heat and the lack of things to do in the day. When the sun starts to go down everyone starts coming out. My favorite thing to do here is all the sports (and by all the sports I mean basketball and soccer). There is a lit court with soccer goals and basketball nets. So far I have played basketball with the Ethiopians I live with and soccer with mostly Israelis. Both experiences were amazing. It is funny how little girls play sports here. When I first came out you could see the shock in their face that a girl was playing with them. By the end of the night I was getting pats on the back just like some of the boys. It's a good feeling earning respect and such.

The play here is very animated (particularly with soccer). Whenever you make a good move of score a goal there is lots of clapping and cheering (and the occasional playful taunting). I absolutely love it. That's all for now. Can't wait to see you all!

Lila Tov, Julie

Monday, July 21, 2008

Elie's Story: My Time in Arad

This is the journal entry from the week of 7/13 to 7/19: Elie Klein, Central New Jersey

I woke up at 6:30 in the morning. Took my shower and made my usual breakfast; two eggs with toast and yogurt. Ofra and the federation take us once a week to the supermarket to buy food for our rooms that we can cook ourselves. It is very nice and they tell us we can get whatever we want. I have made pasta, tuna fish sandwiches, Israeli salads, etc. Basically, if I was ever hungry in the room, my hunger would be satisfied very quickly.

I leave the absorption center at 7:15 and arrive at the camp at 7:20. Such a long walk! haha. I wait for all 25 of my kids to arrive, greeting them outside with a boker tov and a ma nishma. The kids are great and I love all of them even though sometimes they can get a little out of hand, but they always settle down and are well behaved for my Israeli co-counslers, Chanooch and Nofar, and me.

8:00, we enter our classroom and take attendance, 4 kids are missing today, which is usually the norm. At 8:15 I begin my English lesson. Because today is the cooking day at the camp, I decide to teach them the words in English for plate, bowl, cup, napkin, fork, spoon, knife, etc. Anything I could think of that is related to eating food with, I taught them. I drew everything up on the board, and wrote the English words next the items along with the Hebrew word, thanks to my Israeli counslers, and went over the word in English a couple of times.

After a couple of minutes I erased the English words and wrote them in a column on the side of the board and asked for volunteers to label the correct English words with their items. I was amazed that, besides one kid, everyone had gotten them correct. Now, I wanted to test them even further. I began writing the wrong English words over different items, and the kids corrected me. I felt so proud of them and good inside.

The rest of the camp day, the kids made all different foods: Israeli salad, humus, cheese sandwiches, tahini, etc. It was a great day, and by 1:00 I was wiped out. I took a nap until 4:30ish and then we had a tour of a doll museum in Arad, which was very nice.

Tuesday, the camp had an Earth day. We gathered at the regular camp place, the Tapoach Pius, and at 8:30ish, we walked to the North Park of Arad. The kids played a little scavenger hunt game set up by the counselors until 10:30, when we all gathered under a tent and played games about the earth. There was a DJ there running everything, playing Israeli music with the children dancing, and it was a great day.

Before I knew it, the day was over, but I had a fun evening planned for me. My co-counselor, Chanooch, was having a bbq at his house with his yeshiva friends, and had invited me. I graciously accepted, and around 9:00 I went over to his place and ate kabab and hamburgers with about twenty yeshiva boys. We were dancing, laughing, having a great time, and it was if I had gone to school with them in Beer Sheva all this time. The night lasted until about 2 am! but I was ready for camp the next day, just because I love the kids and Israeli counselors so much.

Wednesday I taught them the days and months of the year, and also how to count up to 20. They had no problem counting to 10, but in the teens they ran into some trouble. So everyday I go over the numbers between 11 and 20 by playing a Hebrew game "qwah qwah", with the numbers in English. We made wax candles that day in camp and sadly another day of camp was finished.

That night we went to the Arad music festival and danced with Israelis and they tried teaching us Israeli folk dancing, which was so much fun, but also very hard. I went to bed fairly early Wednesday night because I would need as much rest as I could get for the following day. It was pool day Thursday which meant I would have tons of kids jumping on me asking me to throw them and put them on my shoulders. We had three pool days at the camp and each day, although I could barely move by the end of it, was awesome. So the kids left, I wished them a good weekend, and needed a nap.

This weekend will be spent in Arad, but will be the best weekend (although Jerusalem was amazing, as was Eilat and Tel Aviv!). Tonight we are going to see the Masada light show and sleeping in a tent, waking up early and climbing Masada in the morning.

The whole Masada trip will be an experience I will never forget, and the next part of the trip I was looking forward to the most since the beginning. Ein Gedi!!! The Ein Gedi spring and waterfalls is one of my favorite places in Israel and this time I went with Israelis, not just my family and other Americans. It was soooo much fun!!!

That night was Shabbat and Ofra invited me and another American Israeli to her house for Shabbat dinner. Shabbat dinner was amazing just as I had expected, and we sat outside and talked for hours and breathed the great air of Arad. Haha, it really is true that the air in Arad is really good.

After we left we met up with the other Israeli counselors at Muza (one of the three pubs in Arad), and hung out. Then sadly, we called it a night, and Saturday, Ofra invited us to her again for Shabbat lunch which was also great. Now it is 11:18 at night on Saturday, and I only have three and a half more days in Israel :(, and I am becoming sad.

This trip, though, has inspired me to want to do an Ulpan next summer in Israel so I can finally learn fluent Hebrew!!!

I'll send you guys pictures as soon as I upload them on my computer at home, and thanks sooo much for this experience the Jewish Agency and Partnership 2000 gave me.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jerusalem Trip by Julie France- written July 1

July 1
Hey guys!

So...last weekend I went to Jerusalem. It was definitely a trip to be remembered. I included some of the most important things in detail, but there is a lot more that I will have to tell you about when I get home.

Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem is Israel's holocaust museum. I don't really know how to describe how moving it was if you haven't been there, if you have been there you know what it feels like.

The most incredible thing about it is when you finish the museum part you come out to a balcony with an absolutely stunning view of the land. It means so much more when you are actually in Israel looking at all the artifacts and information. It serves as an important reminders as to why Israel is so important to Jews everywhere.

The Water Caves
One of the most interesting experiences in Jerusalem were the water caves. First, I have to give a little history because that is important to understand why they are interesting. Jerusalem's only natural water source is at the bottem of a valley, which in ancient times was very difficult to protect, so what people did was they built tunnels going to the spring so they could safely get to the water source in war times. They were also the caves that King David used to overtake the city (If I recall roughly 3000 years ago).

After we went through the first part of these caves we went through caves that King David ordered to be built when he had control of the city. These brought water into the city. Walking through these was a little scary because it was 500 meters of absolutely no light (I lied, I did use my cell phone light a little) and water up to your mid-calf (so places it came up to your waist) and most of the way you had to duck down so not to hit your head. Not going to lie, I was completely terrified, but it really was an experience I won't forget.

The Old City and the Western Wall
This was probably my favorite part of the city. We had a guide take us up on the wall surronding the the old city and show us the different quarters and a look at major land marks from a distance. The whole area is crampled with Shuks (market places) and holy sights.

Then we got to the Western wall. I don't know how to explain seeing something that means so much to the Jewish people, especially after the 40th anniversary of the Jews being allowed back into the old city. The kids I am here with also decided to wake up early on shabbat and go pray.

We walked there as the sun was still rising, which was amazing in itself. When we got there being able to pray along side of jews from all over the world and from multiple sects (although mostly orthodox) was absolutely incredible. The thought that this one wall could unite these people from all over the world is astounding. It is so much more than a wall, it is the symbol of the Jewish people and their unity.

Among more things that are worth mentioning are the Dead Sea Scrolls. Because of the 60th anniversery of Israel they have brought out one of the original scrolls. The coolest thing about this was the fact that I could recognize all the letters and even read some of the words. It is interesting that the Hebrew language has made it this far (the scrolls date back to around the 2nd century BCE) is an interesting point and made learning Hebrew even more worth it.

Another interesting thing that our guide pointed out was a part of town (the name excapes me right now) which is the only area the Jews and Arabs live side by side peacefully. Seeing this is a little upsetting realizing that in a city this large there is only one neighborhood where people can coexist, but it also shows that people can and gives some hope to the future.

I am sure there are things I am forgetting, but it was so much to take in at one time. Hopefully when I upload the pictures they can say more than I could.

More recently, in Arad, I met the Israeli counselors I will be working with. they took us out to the popular place (really the only place to go hang out). They introduced us to all of their friends and we got a feeling for the Israeli life style.I also meet my Israeli co-counselor. His name is Shai (pronounced 'Shy'). He is fabulous.

We have already started to work on plans for camp this summer, and we are making supplies for activities. He is fun to work with and we get along well. We have similar work styles and agree that a lot of what the adults running the camp say is fun is wrong, so we both tried to change the activities up a bit. He is creative and I can't wait to meet our bunk and start working. this is getting ridiculously long, and I feel like I should probably end for your sake, so I guess I will wrap it up.

Much Love,

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Desert Queen Trip

Partnership 2000 is sponsoring half the cost of this exciting new trip for women in the Negev!

"Desert Queen 60:60"
A Celebration of Israel – A Celebration for Jewish Women

Welcome to "Desert Queen 2008". This year, in honor of Israel's 60th celebration of independence, the Jewish Agency's Partnership 2000 program is joining one of Israel's most innovative and challenging initiatives for women – Geographical Tours "Desert Queen" Annual Jeep Expedition. We invite you to be one of 60 bold & adventuresome women to take part in "Desert Queen" – for the first time ever in Israel.

Only 60 women will be able to take part in this unique adventure celebrating Israel's 60th birthday: 30 Israeli women and 30 women from Jewish communities across the globe – all part of the Partnership 2000 (P2K) extended family. One of the Jewish Agency's flagship programs, for more than a decade, Partnership 2000 has brought together 45 cities and regions in Israel with 550 Jewish communities overseas. A common vision, shared values, strengths and challenges, and people-to-people programming all empower the P2K communities while bringing them into personal and direct engagement.

The participants will have a one-day orientation in Israel prior to departing on this great outdoor adventure. Participants will be divided in 15 teams – four women in each 4x4 jeep. The six-day expedition will take place in the beautiful desert terrains of Israel's southern region, and will present the ladies with physical, mental and organizational challenges. The expedition includes a special Shabbat program.

The expedition is open to women over the age of 20 with a valid driver's license. Registered candidates will be screened for compatibility. Places are limited.

The "Desert Queen 60:60" Jeep Expedition will take place on Sept. 16-22, 2008.
Cost of expedition per participant: $1,200 (not including airfare)Price includes: orientation & full board for the seven-day trek (including jeep)

For more information and registration click here

For additional information please contact us:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Julie France- Written June 25

June 25
Hi Everybody!

So it is only my 2nd day in Israel and I absolutely love it. A lot has happened the last two days, so I will keep this short and to the point.

The Culture
The culture is fabulous here. The people are very helpful and most of them speak English. I did run into someone on the plane who spoke only a few words of english, but we managed to have a conversation in broken Hebrew. Seeing that I was able to overcome the language barrier was exciting and a little (I mean VERY) surprising.

We have been able to go to out the last two nights, and I was even able to catch the Turkey-Germany game in a pub.
They are much more interested in soccer than Americans (what a surprise). All the tables were full and they projected the game onto a big screen. The energy there was amazing. It was something I haven't seen before in the States.

The other cultural highlight was Israeli folk dancing. Our make-shift mom/sister, Shani, took us to her class the first night we were in town. Now, I have Israeli danced before at camp and sunday school which was always a little lame, so I thought that, like in the States, it would be a little dull. I was absolutely wrong. There were all kinds of people there from older hassidic Jewish
women to secular children. Once again, the Israelis brought incredible spirit. Being able to interact with the local Israelis has brought out the spirit of Israel. It is truly something unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced.

The Sights
I have only seen a few sights so far, but they are vastly different and equally fascinating. I landed in Tel Aviv which totally contradicted the typical image of Israel. The little bit that I saw was busy and very modern.

As a car ride continued to Arad you could see the terrain changing. Very shortly after seeing these busy roads and modern buildings, all of the surrounding area was farmland. Even more quickly it became desert. Before I knew it, the traditional vision of Israel was surrounding me. We saw several camels along the road and the occasional mosque in towns along the way. Then we were in Arad.

Arad is much larger than I thought. It has several large buildings (the building I'm in, 'WJUS' is 7 stories high). Despite the size of the town it does not feel metropolitan.
This evening we went to a look out point on the outskirts of the town. It was absolutely incredible. I cannot put into words how incredible this country is after seeing this. All I could see for what seemed like forever was desert. I was so entranced by my surrondings I almost felt dizzy walking out too the lookout point because of the endless sandy mountians. This area could give the grand canyon a run for its money. In the distance our friend Shani pointed out the Jordanian border. Seeing this in person made me realize why anyone would fight so hard for this strip of desert. I will send pictures when I get them on the computer, but it will not do it justice.

Contrary to popular belief, not all of Israel is a war zone. In fact, I feel far safer here any time of day than I do in Wilmington at night. I understand you need to be very careful in certain places, but the Israelis are doing their part to keep people safe when they can. We went to the mall to pick up some basic items, and before we entered someone was there to check our bags. This apparently is not uncommon.

That is all for now. Tomorrow I leave for Jerusalem until Saturday night (we will stay late because the program keeps shabbat, so we cannot leave until there are three stars in the sky Saturday night). I will also be going to Massada, Ein Getty, and the Dead Sea. I cannot wait to tell you all about it.

Much Love,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Laura Marder, Kefiada Shlicha, Speaks

Here is a brief update from Laura Marder, one of the counselors on Kefiada.

So far we are absolutely loving Arad. It is the most peaceful beautiful town ever. We did an amazing tour in Jerusalem last weekend and this weekend we are taking a trip to Eilat. The other counslers and I are really bonding and growing close to the culture and people in Arad. We have done everything from going to folk dance class to the local pool.

Today we met the mayor of Arad and expressed our love of his beautiful city to him. There is a unique quality of peace here, the air is so clean and clear and people are always walking around with a smile.

This is only the first week here so i can't imagine how much more attached to the city i will be in 3 more weeks. I hope the Arad counslers are having as much fun as we are here!

Laura Marder
Cherry Hill Federation

Monday, July 14, 2008

Welcome to Partnership 2000

Welcome to the New Jersey/Delaware-Arad/Tamar Partnership 2000 blog.

Its purpose is to provide the vehicle for communicating and learning about the New Jersey/Delaware-Arad/Tamar, Israel Partnership 2000. It's an opportunity to connect communally, organizationally and personally with people who value the process and accomplishments that result from a shared vision and working together to achieve common goals.

We encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas and respond to others’ thinking. Hopefully, this will strengthen existing relationships and start many new ones. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sivia Braunstein
American Steering Committee
Yehoyakim Gavish
Israeli Steering Committee (Arad)
Alison Lawton
Israeli Steering Committee (Tamar)