What Is Partnership 2Gether?

[by Shiela Steinman Wallace]

When the Partnership program began in 1997, it was known as Partnership 2000, and Louisville was part of the initial group that led the way in this new experiment in international relations. Could we build one-on-one partnerships with Israelis in the Western Galilee in partnership with Jews from a select group of American cities? What could we accomplish? What would this confederation look like?

Several years later, the Partnership had definite shape. There were exchanges in the arts, education and medicine and collaborations on business ventures. Israelis were making trips to the Midwest Consortium communities, including Louisville, to teach and study, to make music and to be camp counselors, and more.

And Louisvillians and their counterparts from other American communities were traveling to the Western Galilee to learn to handle mass casualty emergencies, to teach and learn, and to make art and music.

Real one-on-one friendships developed and blossomed. The year 2000 had come and gone, but the program was thriving, so it became Partnership with Israel.

Today, the Partnership remains strong, and Budapest, Hungary, has now joined in some of the activities. The program, more than ever, is an exchange of knowledge, ideas and creativity that connects people to people. It is not a one-way street, giving to Israel. So once again, the Partnership has a new name, Partnership 2gether.

The Jewish Community of Louisville remains an active participant. Recently, six Louisvillians participated in a clergy and lay mission to the Western Galilee, led by Rabbi Stanley Miles; and two groups from our Partnership region – some kindergarten teachers and some teens – visited Louisville. See stories on these two pages for details.

The Midwestern Consortium includes Akron, Canton, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown, OH; Indianapolis, Northwest Indiana, and South Bend, IN; Louisville; Des Moines, IA; Omaha, NE; and Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Tarrant County, San Antonio and Waco, TX. The Western Galilee includes Akko, Western Galilee Hospital and the Matte Asher region.

Partnership with Israel receives support from the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Federation Campaign.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Louisville’s Partnership Co-Chairs Jon and Laura Klein, or Jewish Community of Louisville Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sara Klein Wagner, 238-2779 or swagner@jewishlouisville.org.

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