The ARSCC has experienced an identity problem since inception and the media has been inconsistent in covering us. The Atlanta Jewish Times (AJT), the main news source for information about the Atlanta Jewish community, has ranged from terrific attention to neglect. With each new editor, the ARSCC was challenged to educate them on the difference between Atlanta’s sister city in Israel (Ra’anana) and the Jewish Federation of Atlanta’s special project – Yochneam and Megiddo which has occasionally been referred to as a “sister city”. Educating the media has always been crucial to the ARSCC’s goal of integration into the fabric and stream of Atlanta Jewish life.

It is often joked that where you have two Jews, you have three committees. The Atlanta Jewish Community has its share - JFGA, MJCC, AISCCSE, AJC, JNF just to identify five majors - has always been key to the ARSCC becoming part of the community’s consciousness. Tom Glaser and the AICCSE integrated Ra’anana into its Invest in Israel strategic plan. He has always said to me; “Ra’anana is a great place to do business, especially in the hi-tech arena”.

Segment of Ahuza Street, Ra’anana’s grand pedestrian boulevard.

Israeli Consul Generals were usually re-posted after 2 – 3 years of serving in Atlanta. Given that a strong working relationship with the Consulate of Israel was essential for effectiveness, it became necessary to meet with every new consul who took over. All of the Consuls have been very supportive of the sister city relationship. Mayor Bielski’s office staff, recognized the need to communicate regularly with Atlanta’s Jewish leaders in order to strengthen the sister city bond.

Published in the Jerusalem Post online edition by Stuart Winer, March 19, 2003:

The mass terror of the Second Intifada spread across Israel but fortunately spar Ra’anana.

Ra’anana – an early settlement in the Sharon District:

Ahusa Street, 1925 – the orange groves in the background have been transformed into residential neighborhoods, industrial and commercial parks, retail centers, schools, parks.

The ARSCC, in the June 18, 2002 Committee Update, stood with Israel during the Second Intifada terror campaign.

The ARSCC Stands with Israel:

Both Mayors Bielski and Hofree have been diligent in their pursuit of strong cooperative relations with the Atlanta Mayor’s Office, Consulate of Israel in Atlanta, ASCC, JFGA, MJCC, AICCSE, Georgia Governor’s Office.

Jack Hoch, President, and Stuart Shalev, Vice President, assumed leadership of Congregation Masorti.

Diagram / rendering of Ra’anana Central Park: The Great Public Space of Ra’anana.

Ra’anana Park Lake – Ra’anana’s “post card” View. The café (across lake right) serves excellent food and is a great place for lunch on the patio.

Two components are critical to the success of any twinning: 1. Political continuity that contributes to long term planning and building, 2. Effective committees on both sides of the partnership. Lydia Weitzman was always seeking out former Atlantans who were living in Ra’anana to recruit.

Ra’anana is a very livable city and has many parks spaced throughout the municipality – Kidpark is viewed with father and son at play.

Mayor Zeev Bielski wrote me on July 1, 2005 to inform me that he had assumed leadership of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Council.

Superintendent of Education Nahum Hofree, after serving as Ostrovsky High School Principal, became the new mayor – this was political continuity at its best.

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue is hosted by Ra’anana Mayor Nahum Hofree

2005 Annual Report - ARSCC Educational Initiatives:

Lydia Weitzman Summarizes 2005 Educational Objectives and Suggests Plans for 2006:

Congregations Masorti and Shearith Israel lost contact for a while.

Sam>

I met with Ronette Throne shortly after. She informed me that JFGA was committed to making the special programs with Yochneam successful and needed to focus resources and energies in that direction.

Small local park reflective of Ra’anana’s description as a Garden City.