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Chai! 18 years of Partnership

A day of celebration in the Yokneam-Megido and Atlanta Partnership-marking 18 years of a wonderful Partnership-2-Gether relationship
with the Atlanta Jewish community.
Approximately 300 members of the Atlanta Jewish community arrived excitedly to the Yokneam - Megido region in order to celebrate 18
years of Partnership-2-Gether.
For many years, the Partnership between the Atlanta Jewish community and the communities of Yokneam Illit and Megido has cultivated
personal connections and operated numerous special projects that contribute to the region's development.
In a festive opening to the visit, the distinguished delegation was received at Tel Yokneam by heads of the municipalities Simon Alfasi of
Yokneam and Yizhak Holavski of Megido. The guests, who were transported in six buses, toured Yokneam schools and were welcomed
warmly by the students. They visited Lotam Center in Kibbutz Dalia, Emek Hashalom, and the moshav Eliakim where they met with
a Yeminite group. Other stops in the guests' itinerary included: a visit to the Sulam barrier, where they heard Border Police soldiers de-
scribing various security challenges they deal with; taking part in workshops with artists in Yokneam Moshava; a visit to the Biosense hi-
tech plant in Yokneam where they met ORT Yokneam students who described the cooperation between the hi-tech industry and the high
school. Young adults on a Taglit-Birthright mission arrived on
a separate bus. They met with young people from Yokneam
Illit who organized a social get-together at Kibbutz Hazorea
including a poolside activity.
About 100 families from Yokneam Illit and other local
communities in the Megido council opened up their homes
and hearts to the guests and hosted them for dinner. "The
motto of the Jewish Agency's Partnership Unit," s
ays Levana Caro, director of the Partnership, "is that we are
'Your Home Away from Home'. This is such moving and
emotional way to show it." In this, his first visit to Israel,
Howard Feinsand, incoming president of the Jewish Federa-
tion of Greater Atlanta, said: "I've found new friends here and
have felt totally at home, as if among family members." He
added that this was a very emotional day for him and stressed
the importance of developing this relationship between the
partner communities.
Towards sunset, all of the guests from Atlanta and their hosts gathered for a heart stirring event in Nahal Keret Park.
On this occasion, the heads of the municipalities thanked the Atlanta Jewish community and the Federation for standing with us stead-
fastly at all times. Yizhak Holavski, head of the Megido Regional Council: "Today we celebrate 'Chai' – 18 years of partnership between
Yokneam Illit-Megido and Atlanta, and we have every reason to be happy and proud. The impressive demographic growth we've seen in
the Regional Council comes in harmony with the generous assistance of the Atlanta community as well as the outstanding educational and
social projects it makes possible. I wish us many more years of successful partnership that will deepen our relationship with the Atlanta
Jewish community and assist the Regional Council, its local communities and institutions in growing economically, socially and culturally."
Yokneam mayor, Simon Alfasi: "We've been happy to host our friends from Atlanta and show them our wonderful city and its impressive

history. They are seeing firsthand the valuable endeavors they
help make possible for the sake of the city's population and the
optimal integration of the
Ethiopian community into Israeli society. We are proud of our
18 years of joint activity and are profoundly appreciative of the
Atlanta community's major contribution to the region. This rela-
tionship has been important to me from the very
beginning, because firstly and foremost we are all one nation
and of one heart. Together we will work to guide this relation-
ship for many years to come- for the good of Yokneam, Megido,
and Atlanta. I want to thank Bernice, Levana, Yael and everyone
else who have accompanied this visit and worked to assure its
A very touching Partnership film was projected on a screen
while young people from Yokneam Illit together the Deseta
dance group and the Megido choir entertained the gathering
with song and dance, making for a most pleasant evening.
To cap off this emotional day of love and appreciation, both the
Americans and Israelis sang Hatikva in unison. Embracing each other, it was hard to say farewell as everybody looked forward to gathering
again in the future.

16 Megidon | February 2015
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