For almost 20 years, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has had an important partnership with two communities in southern Israel, Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon.
We work as part of the Partnership2Gether (Israel, Seattle, Phoenix and Tucson) Partnership to bring volunteers together from these Jewish communities with the people of Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon to help develop and support one of Israel’s most economically challenged regions. Learn more about the specific projects we support. Partnership2Gether is one of more than 46 partnerships developed by the Jewish Agency For Israel to help world Jewish communities connect to Israelis as partners working together and not in the traditional donor-recipient model.
Adisa Ayaso Tassma's Seattle Speaking Tour
Adisa Ayaso Tassma, a community leader in Kiryat Malachi, visited the Seattle area in January 2014 to share her unparalleled story of courage and survival.
Adisa was one of four amazing Jewish women in the spotlight at Connections 2014, held on January 26. In addition, she spoke at Herzl-Ner Tamid on January 24 and 25.
Adisa also spoke January 26 at The Summit at First Hill.
Her story is compelling. Born in Ethiopia, Adisa was only 3 when her family set off on Operation Moses, a journey to Israel. During a grueling three-month trek across Sudan's desert, she lost 11 siblings and other relatives along the way.
At a very young age, Adisa was confronted by death, starvation and cruelties no child should have to endure. Adisa overcame the suffering, and today, she is married, the mother of one child, holder of an associate's degree in criminal justice, and a community leader working with at-risk youth in Kiryat Malachi's Ethiopian community.
Adisa's moving story is an inspiration to people everywhere.
We have helped judge entries in the sixth annual Chuck Simpson-Netanel Peretz Memorial Art Contest, in which children from seven day and supplemental schools participated. Children submitted great drawings consistent with this year's theme of the 12 months in the Jewish year. Winning submissions from children in Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon, and from children in Washington State, Phoenix and Tucson were used to produce a beautiful 5774 calendar. Two examples of submitted art work, from students attending school at Congregation Beth Israel in Bellingham, are presented here for your viewing pleasure.
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There are many ways to become part of this special connection:
- Host a visiting Israeli, for several weeks during the summer or several days during the school year.
- Join the local Partnership2Gether committee.
- Spend time volunteering in Kiryat Malachi.
For more information on volunteering in Israel or locally with Partnership2Gether, contact Benjamina Menashe.
About Kiryat Malachi
Kiryat Malachi is centrally located between Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheva. It was established in 1951 by the Israeli government with new immigrants, including people from Romania, Iraq and Morocco, to supply labor to the surrounding farms. Approximately 22,000 residents live in the town, and more than 25 percent are immigrants from Ethiopia. The town has a wonderful mix of cultures and friendly caring people. The town faces economic challenges, as the percentage of children living in families receiving supplementary income or welfare services is more than twice the national average.
About Hof Ashkelon
Hof Ashkelon is a region of 20 rural communities, 19 moshavim and kibbutzim plus one “temporary” town of émigrés from the Gaza Strip. It is located from just north of the Gaza Strip north to Ashdod, with 13,000 people in the area. The difficult security situation and economic depression in the region have had a major impact. After the summer 2006 war in the north between Israel and Hezbollah and the unilateral pullout of Israel from Gaza, missiles from Gaza into Hof Ashkelon were a daily occurrence. After the Gaza Action in January 2009, the rocket attacks decreased dramatically, but more rockets have been stockpiled in Gaza. The people there are upbeat and will not leave because Hof Ashkelon is their home. It is a beautiful area.
To learn more about the two areas in Israel, Partnership2Gether, and to read about what volunteers have done, please check out the blog at http://www.tips-kmha.blogspot.com