When my wife Meryl and I were in Israel in June, Heidi Kuperman, missions director of our Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, was able, on very short notice, to arrange for us to meet with Amir Shacham, the associate executive VP of Global Connections, who is based in Israel. We were interested in what federation was doing in Arad, and Amir orchestrated a comprehensive visit with himself, Yardena Haiman, operations coordinator of the Arad/Greater MetroWest Partnership2Gether (P2G) program, and Daniel Ages, Living Bridge coordinator, Arad/Greater MetroWest.
Thanks to our federation, in partnership with other Jewish agencies, Arad is an attractive and growing city nestled in the stark beauty of the Negev desert. After some sightseeing around the city we went to NetGev, an organization funded by the Ness Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest that supports small businesses and startups by providing office space and facilities along with access to video conferencing facilities that can connect customers and suppliers in all parts of the world. We also learned about an Arad/Greater MetroWest P2G-organized sunrise half-marathon run to Masada which, in a few short years, is bringing over a thousand runners to the area annually.
Arad is one of seven partnership areas where our federation is making important contributions to the growth and success of Israel. Seeing first-hand the effectiveness of their work in Israel has inspired us to increase our commitments to Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest.
We are proud to be a part of their efforts.