By unanimous vote, Boulder City Council ushered in an exciting new sister city partnership with Israel’s Ramat HaNegev region last Thursday evening. JEWISHcolorado congratulates Boulder on this exciting development, which promises to further enhance Colorado’s current alliance with the region. JEWISHcolorado has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Ramat HaNegev which started almost 20 years ago. Last night’s decision came after extensive efforts of the volunteer leaders of Boulder-Ramat HaNegev sister city initiative, and we thank them for their dedication and commitment.
“Having Boulder join us in this partnership with Ramat HaNegev is great news and benefits all of our communities. We share many significant interests with Israel — water conservation and agricultural technologies being some strong examples. We look forward to working with the Boulder-Ramat HaNegev sister city initiative and Boulder City Council on this new endeavor.” said Rabbi Jay Strear, President & CEO of JEWISHcolorado.
Ramat HaNegev is an agricultural oasis in the desert of Israel and is Israel’s hub for renewable energy development and cybersecurity. It is known for innovative water research and agricultural technologies, including a cherry tomato strain sold in grocery stores around the world. Colorado has enjoyed a myriad of benefits from this partnership over the past two decades, through cultural exchanges, technology sharing, and importing state-of-the-art drip irrigation techniques to enhance agriculture in our arid region. More recently, Governor John Hickenlooper launched a new cybersecurity center in Colorado Springs modeled after the hub he visited near Ramat HaNegev.
Last year alone, over 430 Coloradans visited Ramat HaNegev and over 300 interacted with delegations that came from Ramat HaNegev to Colorado.
“We have confirmed the bonds of friendship between Boulder and Ramat HaNegev. In the coming years, we will strengthen those bonds by exchanging ideas and sharing our respective cultures. Boulder is blessed with the opportunity to learn from our brothers and sisters in Ramat HaNegev. Each community will be better for it,” said Boulder City Councilman Bob Yates.
Ramat HaNegev is the modern-day manifestation of Zionism in the desert of Israel and the municipality is working hard to fulfil the dream of an equal and just society for all its diverse residents. JEWISHcolorado supports several projects to bring this vision to reality, including the building of a high school to serve the area’s teens. JEWISHcolorado also provides funding for Nitzana, a world class educational center for youth and immigrant children situated at the Israel/Egypt border. This unique incubator for social activism, ecology and leadership serves Bedouins, Jewish refugees, new immigrants and Israel’s at-risk youth. Other projects include investment in Bedouin tourism to help this traditional Arab nomad tribe enjoy economic success and a therapy center for special needs children. JEWISHcolorado’s partnership with Ramat HaNegev was formalized as part of an international program between Jewish Federations of North American and the Jewish Agency for Israel known as Partnership2Gether.