As the International
Business Program (IBP) expansion marched across the Caribbean from Jamaica to
Trinidad to the Dominican Republic, and south to Brazil and Nicaragua,
and across Europe from England to Estonia, Latvia and Germany,
I wondered; “Isn’t it about time for an IBP school in Israel?”
I contacted the Israeli Consulate and Mr. D.
Scott Crothers, Communications & Public Affairs Officer, referred me to
Institute’s Global Learning and Business Enterprise Program
15, 1998: Response from Joseph Bar-El representing O. I. T. – Ostrovsky
Rachel Peled, English teacher, was the Ostrovsky H. S. Exchange Coordinator and
my host teacher. Rachel was an excellent partner, outstanding exchange
teacher, and a wonderful wife and mother to her family. Rachel and her
fellow Ostrovsky techers provided a fantastic exchange experience and made it
look so easy too.
Mayor Zeev Bielski welcomed the North Atlanta exchange group to his
office. At that point in time, I was serving as the Chair of the Atlanta
– Rio de Janeiro Sister City Committee. I observed how efficient Mayor
Bielski and his staff were and was impressed by the resources and global reach
of a relatively small city. Atlanta was searching for a
city in the Middle East and an idea went off in my head. I walked up to
Mayor Bielski, told him about my position on the Atlanta Sister Cities
Commission, and asked
if he would be interested in twinning with Atlanta. An “are you kidding
me type smile” beamed across his face and he said; “Of course, we’d be
am pictured with former Mayor Zeev Bielski and current Mayor Nahum
Hofree. At the time, Mayor Hofree was the Ostrovsky High School
Principal. A former jet fighter
Mayor Hofree was retrained to become a principal and was a very good one – his
teachers and students loved him. I took great pride in the innovative
joint projects our students engaged in. He later served as and effective
Ra’anana Superintendent of Education before following Mayor Bielski into City
Hall where he has served for almost two terms. The Atlanta – Ra’anana
Committee is well aware that political continuity created by consecutive mayors
strongly supporting the program has been instrumental to our longevity.
photo that included North Atlanta IBP students and their Ostrovsky host
students. The Israeli students were fine hosts and showed their North
Atlanta friends a great time. One of my best moments was watching the
Jewish host mothers kiss my students cheek as if they were their own
daughters. I knew right there that Ra’anana’s soul was kind, generous and
loving and would make a good sister city partner.
photo taken by Lydia Weitzman who, a year later, became the Coordinator of
International Affairs and served the ARSCC for over five years. Lydia
published a news article that described the exchange and program as a great
success. One of my best exchange moments happened during our tour
of Jerusalem. Two Muslim students had the opportunity to worship at the
holy Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. A father, an Iman at the Atlanta
Mosque, had asked me to accompany his daughter and a friend, to the entrance
and let them pray. I cherish the beautiful inter-faith moments that
occurred during this exchange, especially the Junior Achievement Conference in
is one of my favorite group photos. It was taken right after a Junior
Achievement Entrepreneurship lesson that included Muslim and Christian Arab
students from a school in Nazareth, my Christian and Muslim Atlanta students,
and the Israeli Jewish students. Watching the three groups of students
learn together, laugh and have fun like normal teenagers anywhere was one of my
best moments as a teacher. I cherish the good feelings that this photo reflects
and were felt that day between the students.
Junior Achievement student conference on entrepreneurship: Focus – starting up
a company. These three groups of students game me hope that peace in the
is possible if people simply recognize the common humanity in all of us.
See below news article by Lydia Weitzman that described purpose and events of
trip in glowing terms.
Ostrovsky – North Atlanta student exchange groups met Atlanta Journal –
Constitution Middle East Correspondent Larry Kaplow in Nazareth. Mr.
article on the Atlanta students visiting Nazareth that day and Israel in
general. He later published a 1000 word feature on Ra’anana right after
the sister city twinning became official.
Gaynes of Kelly, Kitchens, Gaynes and a close friend brought the below notice
in the American Israel Chamber of Commerce of the North Atlanta student
Ostrovsky High in Ra’anana. Ironically, both Bruce and Tom Glaser,
President of the AICCSE, were both founding members of the Atlanta – Ra’anana
North Atlanta IBP and the Ostrovsky Young Entrepeneurs Program settled into a
nicely lucrative trading relationship for both enterprises. Ostrovsky
students purchased discounted Ahava products and selected arts and crafts for
North Atlanta’s ACTCO (Atlanta Caribbean Trading Co.) and Warrior Warehouse
School Store. Ostrovsky students
a fair profit, shipped the goods to North Atlanta with couriers headed to the
U. S. North Atlanta students priced the Ahava products well below fair
market prices and still made a hefty profit margin.