Archives for June 2013

Mayor of Migdal HaEmek Promotes His City

In an effort to promote the Israeli city of Migdal HaEmek as a destination for American olim, Mayor Eli Barda met with representatives from across the Jewish non-profit world on June 4. At a luncheon sponsored by the American Zionist Movement and the World Zionist Organization and hosted by AZM leader Marlene Post, the Mayor praised his city and shared its merits with leaders from a range of religious and ideological backgrounds, including MASA Israel Journey, Hadassah, Mercaz, ARZA, Neot Kedumim and the Jewish Agency. Barda was joined by Migdal HaEmek’s city planner, Ronen Peleg.

According to Barda, Migdal HaEmek’s population is comprised of immigrants from many countries. But, knowing how much the city has to offer, he noted that he’d like to encourage Anglos to move there and create their own communities. He emphasized that the city is open to people from any and all religious backgrounds, and that there are plans to build 4,500 housing units that will accommodate varying religious and communal needs.

The beauty of the Galilee and Migdal HaEmek’s convenience to several large cities are major selling points. In addition, the city focuses on education and has won several awards in recognition of its educational system. This is reflected in its job market: due to its many industrial zones, the city is known as the “Silicon Valley of the North” and has numerous job opportunities.

On this trip, Mayor Barda is visiting New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago as part of a promotion sponsored by Habayta, the WZO’s Aliyah Promotion Unit. By traveling to these major metropolitan areas, executives from Habayta hope they will reach both prospective American olim as well as advocates for local Jewish organizations who will continue to spread the word about Migdal HaEmek’s qualities.

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AZM Organizations March in the 2013 Celebrate Israel Parade

DSCN0100With banners waving and signs held high, hundreds of people proudly marched with the American Zionist Movement and the World Zionist Organization at the 2013 Celebrate Israel Parade on June 2. Every year, more than thirty thousand people march in the parade to show their support of and love for Israel, and hundreds of thousands of spectators crowd sidewalks to cheer for their communities.

This year, AZM and WZO brought many of their constituents together as a “cluster,” with representatives from member organizations Amit, Ameinu, Mercaz, Hashomer Hatzair, and Habonim Dror as well as area synagogues Or Shalom, Hebrew Tabernacle, and Congregation Habonim. Hadassah, Young Judaea, ARZA and B’nei Akiva followed, making a delegation of upwards of 1,000 Israel supporters. In keeping with the Parade theme of “Picture Israel,” AZM members carried signs in the theme of “Visualizing Israel,” each featuring elements of how Israel has contributed to the Jewish community and to the world at large. Phrases included “Realizing Jewish Values,” “The Zionist Dream – Now a Reality,” “Using Science to Benefit All Humankind,” “Developing High-Tech Education” and more, visually unifying the group and underscoring the message.

While waiting to march on the parade route, the AZM contingent and passersby were treated to several performances by the Tzofim Friendship Caravan, a summer delegation of Israeli teenagers who travel around North America and promote Israeli culture through music and dance.