Ra'anana Israel

Ra'anana Profile


 Ra'anana is known locally as 'Little America' because so many settlers came from New York.  By the 1947 War for Independence, it was a village of 3,000 residents.  In the 1980's, Ra'anana was declared a city and occupies six square miles.

Ra'anana's industrial zone in the north of the city is home to the Renamin Mall and many hi-tech companies that include Emblaze, Hewlett-Packard, NICE Systems, SAP, On Target Communications and Texas Instruments. 

Microsoft's head office in Israel and Amdocs are located in an office complex at the eastern edge of the city, close to the Ra'anana junction.  Ahuza Street, Ra'anana's main boulevard, runs through the city from east to west and is lined with shops, restaurants, and a government and cultural center.

Ra'anana is renowned for its excellent school system - there are twelve elementary schools, ten middle schools, and eight high schools.  The world class K - 12 Music Conservatory nurtures young prodigies; Aviv High School has one of the world's best robotics education programs.  Ra'anana is also home to the Open University and Ra'anana College.

Ra'anana Park is the largest and most beautiful in the Sharon District - it offers walking and bike trails, sports fields, a zoo and petting center, and a lake which is surrounded by a botanical and other special gardens.  The Founder's Museum presents the story of Ra'anana's original settlers in dioramas that capture the city's frontier spirit. 

Ra'anana is home to Lowenstein Hospital, a national rehabilitation center.  The main soccer club of the city is Hapoel Ra'anana - Briel Hasharon is the best basketball team and plays in the Metro West High School.  With a large America expatriate population, the Ra'anana Express competes in the fast developing Israeli Baseball League.

Ra'anana is also home to Beit Issie Shapiro, an institute dedicated to providing innovative therapies and education to people with special needs that is a model for the world.  The Atlanta - Ra'anana Sister City proposed that a Friends of Beit Issie  and Atlanta's Marcus Center for Autism (Children's Healthcare Network) Committee be established and sponsor the sharing of best practices, information, and technologies.

The Atlanta - Ra'anana link

The Atlanta - Ra'anana Committee formed out of student exchange between North Atlanta High School and Ostrovsky High School Nov. 22 - Dec. 1, 1998.  At that time, Dr. Arnold Heller applied to the Atlanta Sister Cities Commission for Ra'anana to become the seventeenth sister city partnership. 

The first twinning mission took place from May 11 - 17, 2001 - Councilwoman Cleta Winslow represented Mayor Bill Campbell and was accompanied by Ass't. Marketing Director Sheila Jack and Dr. Arnold Heller, ARSCC Chair.

The second took place on July 27, 2001, when the proclamation was signed as a highlight of the 2001 Sister Cities International Convention in Atlanta.  Mayor Zeev Bielski and former Mayor Bill Campbell are featured signing the proclamation.  The Atlanta - Ra'anana link celebrated its fifteenth anniversary on July 27, 2016.

Atlanta - Ra'anana activities

Themes and objectives:

The main focus of the Atlanta - Ra'anana Sister City Committee - ARSCC - has been to nurture friendship and economic development between the peoples of the two cities, and facilitate social, cultural, educational and athletic exchanges.  

In the area of economic development, the ARSCC works closely with Conexx (formerly Atlanta - Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Division) and Director Guy Tessler; Israel Consul General Mrs. Judith Shorer, the Atlanta Mayor's Office, and the Georgia Department of Trade to strenghthen economic life in both cities and regions.  There are currently six Ra'anana-based companies - Amdocs is the largest - that have made an investment impact in Atlanta that is estimated at more than $200,000,000. 

The 2014 re-election of Zeev Bielski re-invigorated the partnership that led to the past two years of triumph and resurgence. 

The main goal of 2016 was following up on ARSCC collaboration in Conexx' March 21 - 27, 2015 Georgia Cyber Tech Mission to Israel led by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. The cyber-security theme brought together Israeli hi-tech executives with Georgia's technology leaders to foster joint ventures. For more details, access www.arnoldheller.org/Rededication & Renewal - The Two Mayors Meet. 

For 2017 and economic development intent, Dr. Heller has proposed that the Atlanta Sister City Commission build on the cyber-security theme by inviting mayors and experts from our eightteen sister cities to a conference modeled on the Tel Aviv mission to learn of best practices and information in this field. 

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Ra'anana Chair Dr. Arnold Heller and Ra'anana Mayor Zeev Bielski

The ARSCC encourages the ASCC to work closely with Conexx, Director Guy Tessler, and Israel counterpart Bracha Schlomo in the organization of an Economic Development Conference on the issue of cyber-security, a growing danger to our nation and others. 

Ra'anana is first city in Israel to plant a Holocaust Memorial Daffodil Garden.

The Daffodil Project is a global effort to plant 1.5 million daffodils worldwide in memory of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust.  ARSCC member Rena Kahn serves on the Am Yisrael Chai Atlanta Committee, the group that created the project and is pictured planting daffodil bulbs in 2016 with Mayor Bielski.  Michael Hirsh Negri, Vice President of Administrative Faculty of Bartov Elementary School and his sixth grade students planted the 80 bulbs in the Ra'anana Botanical Garden.  Am Yisrael Chai Atlanta is planning to repeat the Ra'anana daffodil planting in 2017.

Over 300,000 daffodils to date have been planted; Atlanta was the first city and has planted more than 30,000 bulbs.  

On Jan. 22, 2017, Rena Kahn and AM Yisrael Chai will commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day  by presenting Magda Mozes Herzberger, a Holocaust survivor, to speak on Fortitude and Endurance: Surviving with Faith, Hope, Love and Dreams.

The Atlanta - Ra'anana Committee plays a supportive role in attending numerous events sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Community during the course of the year - Israel Independence Day celebration, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Kosher Barbecue Event at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody, and annual ASCC Holiday Party.  

Atlanta and Ra'anana - moving forward together.

The ARSCC leadership in 2017 envisions a number of amibitious continuing projects that reflect both short and long term goals.

1. Establish a Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro and Marcus Center for Autism Committee to promote the sharing of best practices, information, technologies, applications for special therapies and education.  An annual gala would raise money to sponsor joint programs and projects to advance education and therapy for special people. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta manages the Marcus Center and supports a Beit Issie - Marcus Center partnership. 


2. Sponsor a collaboration between the Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra with Ra'anana's Music Conservatory Youth Orchestra.  The ARSCC's supports Director Limor Akta and Ass't. Director Guy Porat's wish for the two youth orchestras to play and learn together; we hope Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony Director, will join with us in this endeavor.  Phase 1 of the Music Center's master plan (see below rendering) is complete; phase 2 will include a coffee shop for the school's talented performers to exhibit their talents and earn money for their programs.

3. Joe Barry Carroll Artists in Residence Program is collaborating with the Atlanta Sister Cities Committee to sponsor artists from their respective cities.  The former basketball star has opened his home to visiting artists from participating sister cities to produce great art.  Sessions may range from 14 - 30 days.  Sean Atkins, Atlanta - Nuremberg Committee Chair worked with Mr. Barry to create this vision.  The ARSCC looks forward to sponsoring interested artists to take advantage of this creative opportunity.

Atlanta - Ra'anana Sister City Committee members and guests attending Jan. 11, 2017 Atlanta Sister City Commission Holiday Party.

Dr. Arnold Heller, Chair

Mrs. Myrna Cohen, Vice Chair

Mrs. Rena Kahn

Mr. Nadav Sivan

Dr. Cedric Suzman

Ms. Mardi Forman

Mrs. Patty Morrison

Mrs. Andrea Videlefsky

Mr. Yoshi Domoto

Mr. Robert Johnson