Myrna Cohen, Vice Chair of the Atlanta – Ra’anana Sister City Committee, visited Ra’anana, Atlanta’s sister city in Israel, on November 14, 2019. The major aim of her visit was to support the Daffodil Project by planting five hundred daffodil bulbs to honor the memory of the 1.5 million children that perished in the Holocaust.

Myrna Cohen and Arnold Heller at the 2016 Atlanta Sister Cities Commission annual Holiday Party.

Myrna presented a letter from Chair Arnold Heller to Ra’anana Mayor Chaim Broyde that described Myrna’s mission, presented six possible future joint projects for consideration, and celebrated continuity.

Myrna hoped to plant two saplings along with the five hundred bulbs – three hundred were planted earlier by member Rena Kahn for a total of eight hundred so far. Ra’anana was also the first city and Israel the first country outside the US for planting. According to AM Yisrael Chai Director Andrea Videlefsky, about 500,000 bulbs in approximately thirty countries have been planted worldwide to date.

Myrna also brought a sign to be added to the garden that honored the memory of her late husband Saul Cohen who passed away July 15, 2019. For more information about Saul and their happy sixty-three year-long marriage, please access memorial web page

The Daffodil Project was started by AM Yisrael Chai Sandy Springs, an organization associated with Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs, GA. The Atlanta – Ra’anana Committee strongly supports the Daffodil Project and the outstanding annual Holocaust Education programs that AM Yisrael Chai meticulously produces every January.

Rabbi Bent Melchior of Copenhagen, Denmark, the next featured speaker, is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2020. The 2019 event video can be accessed at Holocaust Remembrance Events. The 2018 event video is placed right below the 2019 event video.

Mayor Broyde awarded the great seal of Ra’anana to Myrna.

Mr. Alexander Brener, a Holocaust survivor and speaker, described his WW II experience to the gathering. Ra’anana teacher Adi Sivan Geva took her Meitarim School students to help plant bulbs and learn from Mr. Brener.

Mr. Brener’s remarks were affecting and Mayor Broyde showed his appreciation to the gentleman who bared his soul to the group.

Myrna and Mr. Brener planted the first bulbs – the gathering would plant the rest.

Myrna, Mr. Brener, Mayor Broyde, municipal aides, and Meitarim School students in a group picture that displays the bulbs.

Mayor Broyde, Myrna Cohen, and Alexander Brener provided the students with an excellent life lesson.

Continuity is extremely important to the success of any sister city program. The Atlanta – Ra’anana Committee partnership has been fortunate the past eighteen years to
have all mayors on both sides strongly supporting the twinning. We recognize Mayors Bielski (twice), Hoffree, Ginsberg and now Broyde for their unwavering commitment to the twenty-year-long partnership.