elctronic newsletter no' 3

Dear Friends of Tiberias around the world,

I am pleased to present to you the third Tiberias-Up-To-Date electronic newsletter. This is a special opportunity for us to communicate with all our friends and supporters abroad and show how important you are to us.

Tiberias is an ancient town with over 2000 years of history, but also a thriving and constantly developing modern town, only beginning to realize its potential. Lying on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the city is surrounded by numerous historical, religious and leisure sites which are unique to the area.

I invite you to keep this connection and continue to be updated of the many exciting events, projects and activities, the vivid fabric of our lives in Tiberias.

Yours Sincerely,

Zohar Oved

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We are pleased to present to you, the third and improved edition of the newsletter.

The Mayor, the Municipal administration together with all the citizens and volunteers are continuing to work on the development of our city through personal and community effort. The projects and initiatives are numerous and varied, and as reflected in this edition, very encouraging and even heartwarming.

The Foreign Affairs committee aims to strengthen and broaden our ties with our friends and supporters across the globe. This is especially important during these trying political times, when the world watches the Middle East and the State of Israel as it struggles to achieve a just and lasting peace for its people. Israel, a democratic state based on ethics and morals, surrounded by enemies who are ruled by totalitarian rulers, some of which are directly supporting fundamental terrorism, is at the forefront of the democratic western world’s struggle for the eradication of hate and religion based persecution.

We believe that striving to strengthen our relationships with the world through furthering our Twin-Cities collaborations and exchanges, reaching out to more communities in the world, we directly impact and empower Israel and its image in the eyes of the world. You, our friends, are our best emissaries and ambassadors in your communities and countries. Your support can be equated to the blood donation flowing directly in to our veins, allowing us strength and hope of a better future. Hopefully we will be able to witness, in time, the promise of God to his people coming true, a prosperous and peaceful land.

I want to reiterate my invitation to you to come to Tiberias. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and we will be more than please to assist you with any question, comment or concern.

Warm Regards,

Eitan Oved, Councilman &
Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Tiberias Municipality

Events, Celebrations and Festivals:

Israel 59th Independence day - Waving the flag proudly :

The annual Independence day celebrations on April 22nd, included the traditional kindergarden demonstration. Hundreds of childrens and their parents crowded the lawn at the First Community Center for a display of flags and public singing of Israeli songs

Rabbi Meir the miracle worker (Baal Hannes) – Annual celebrations

The Annual celebrations in commemoration of Rabbi Meir the miracle worker, of the leading scholars and religious leaders during the period following the Bar-Kokhva revolt against the Romans (2nd Century A.C.), took place on May 1st. This year was the largest celebration since recorded times (over 140 years) with thousands flocking to pray at the site of the grave and light a candle.

The traditional Lag Baomer Celebrations:

The annual Bon-fire celebrations commemorating the victory of the Hebrews against the Romans during the 2nd Century A.C. with Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai and the Hero Bar Kokhva in ancient times took place on May 5th. This year the municipality arranged for central lighting areas equipped with all the necessary equipment (wood, potatoes and marshmallows) and emergency services at hand. Thousands participated in the events, enjoying the festivities and performances by the young women of the National Service corps.

Tiberias Chosen to host the National Congress for Municipal Engineers

The national conference for Municipal Engineers was held this year in Tiberias May 13-15. This was in conjunction with the Union of Urban Engineers and the Local Government Authority. This year the conference topic was: "Transitions from place to place – the crisis and the challenge", dealing with mass transportation, infrastructure, parking solutions and the challenges facing the municipalities especially the possibilities of combining accessible, convenient public transportation with the environment.

Shavuot Festival:
May 20th, the week of Shavuot holiday (the Pentecost) was celebrated in Tiberias with a massive Israeli Rock music concert. Israeli rock stars spanning 3 decades of music performed in front of thousands of local Tiberians as well as the many Israeli guests that filled the hotels for the holiday. The concert took place on the shores of the see of Galilee under the Old City walls.

Memorial Day events

"songs in their memory"

As part of the annual Memorial day ceremonies commemorating the fallen Tiberian soldiers who died while defending the country in the wars since 1948, this year a special ceremony took place, April 19th: "Songs in their memory" at the "memorial of our sons Hall. Various local performance groups appeared, including "Shirei Kinneret", "Daughters of the Lake", The municipal WIZO Conservatorium. An art exhibition of sculptures and paintings by local elementary and middle school students was presented on site.

World War II Victory Memorial Ceremony

Wednesday, May 9th the Annual memorial ceremony commemorating the victory over Nazi Germany took place at the central memorial Garden near the Astoria Hotel. The department of Absorption has been honoring this tradition for 16 years. The tradition began with the large influx of immigrants that came from the former Soviet Union since the early 90's. This wave of immigration brought to Tiberias a substantial number of former World War II veterans and heroes who fought the Nazis within the ranks of the Soviet Red Army. They established a roof organization in Tiberias in 1991 and was joined to the Department of Absorption immediately upon their establishment

Cultural projects and activities:

Two new publications of Literary Anthologies of newly arrived Immigrant:

March 2007 was marked by the publication of two literary anthologies, one in Russian and one in Spanish written by newly arrived immigrants to Tiberias. This unique initiative is part of the efforts of promoting the absorption of the newly arrived immigrants and emphasizing and strengthening the cultural assets that they have brought with them. The publication gathers together a selection of poems and short stories dealing with the every day life of the immigrants and their challenges. This initiative was lead by the municipal Absorption and Housing Department.

The Annual Convention for Conservatory Orchestras Held in Tiberias this year:

The Municipal Coservatory in Tiberias hosted the Annual Convention for Conservatory Orchestras for Wind instruments on March 6th. The convention took place at the Yad Shitrit cultural hall. This is the second year in a row the convention is held in Tiberias and was participated by 10 youth orchestras from across the country: Tiberias, Afula, Haifa, Kiryat Biyalik, Kiryat Yam, Tirat Hacarmel, Acco and more.

Community & Human Resource:

Empowering the Blind community in Tiberias

April 2007, A collaborative project between the Department of Social Services and the Ridman College for Alternative medicine has produced a unique program for the visually challenged community. The participants are offered a specially designed series of reflexology workshops and treatments by alternative medicine caregivers. The program was designed to suit the visually challenged and the blind that usually have a more developed sense of touch and therefore pose a greater challenge to the caregiver. This is a continuation of the successful citizens empowering programs run by the municipality, the employment service and Ridman College.

Opening of the Human Resource Development Center:

In consideration of the high unemployment rate in our area which was worsened by the war of Summer 2006 and as a result of the collaboration of various municipal organizations such as: Tiberias municipality, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Welfare, the Employment service, Kinneret College, the Israeli Women's Movement, JOINT-Israel, PERACH Student mentoring program and more, on May 15th, the Human Resource Development Center was established. The Center aims at providing various services for professional counseling and training, job placement and higher education guidance under one roof.

"Woman of Valor" project in Tiberias

On Monday May 25th, the completion ceremony for the "Eshet Hayil" program took place at the Human Resource center. This women empowerment program aims at training and advancing women. The project components deal with job and professional placements, professional guidance with special focus on the unique aspects relating to integration of women into the work force: CV writing, preparations for job interviews, empowerment and confidence building, tools for coping on the job and in the workforce.

The program has been successfully running in Israel for several years and this year opened a branch in Tiberias. It is a joint venture of the Israel Women's Lobby, The JOINT, the Social Services department in the municipality, the local Occupation Office and the First Community Center.


Tiberias My City:

The Hamat Archeological Park and visitor's center in conjunction with the department of Education in the municipality organized a full day of activities at the park for all Tiberias 4th graders on March 22nd. Over 500 school students participated in the event for the second year in a row. The activities included experiencing ancient handicrafts and ways of life of the ancient Jewish community of the city during the second temple. This included: coin minting, weaving wool, ancient scribing, mat straw weaving, mosaic work, herbal teas, oil and perfume extractions. The students also heard stories of ancient times and visited the excavations. This is part of the educational program meant to create an affiliation between the students and their town.

Foreign Affairs:

Twin City Agreement signed between Tiberias and Wuxi China:

Deputy Mayor of Wuxi in the Peoples Republic of China paid a visit to Tiberias on April 20th for the signing of the preliminary Twin City agreement between Tiberias and Wuxi. This is the result of a process initiated by the Israeli Consulate General in Shanghai and the Tiberias office of Foreign Affairs. The visit was hosted by Councilman Eitan Oved, in charge of Foreign Affairs. Also participated: Mayor Zohar Oved, who signed the agreement and Owner of the Galtronics High-Tech Company, operating in Tiberias and Wuxi. Following the signing ceremony, the visitors toured the city and were invited to take a boat tour of the Sea of Galilee. Deputy Mayor of Wuxi, Mr. Ma, invited Mayor Oved for a visit in Wuxi to participate in the Annual Sister City conference in Fall 2007.

Councilwoman Lee Seaman of Long Island in Tiberias:

On May 11th, Council Woman, Ms. Lee Seaman of Northhapstead, Long Island, New York, paid a visit to Mayor Zohar Oved and the Regional Poriya Hospital. Ms. Seaman expressed her support for Tiberias and promised to promote exchange initiatives between her region and Tiberias.

Tightening Relationships with our French Sister Cities:

Thursday, May 17th, the Jewish-Christian delegation from Montpellier arrived in Tiberias to express their support to the citizens of Tiberias. It was a very moving event to all those present. Mr. Felix Nataf, delegation leader said that the warm relationship and the united front between Montpellier and Tiberias helps in the struggle against world terrorism.

In June, a delegation lead by Counsilman Eitan Oved will visit the city of St. Rafael in the French Riviera for the signing of the sister city agreement and then continue on to Montpellier in order to participate in the Annual Jerusalem Day celebrations lead by Mayor Mondroe of Montpellier.

All the way from New Jersey to Tiberias:
The Tiberias MASA project, bringing groups of Jewish American and Canadian volunteers to Tiberias has entered into its second stage May 27th , with the arrival of 18 High school graduates from the Solomon Shechter School in New Jersey for a 2 week volunteering mission in the city. The students toured the city and the region and participated in volunteering activities throughout the city: Educational activities with the children at the Restal Absorption Center for Ethiopian families, Renovating Bomb-shelters, Cleaning and maintenance of boats at the Marine Educational Center and more.

Partnership 2000 - Engliyada - The Language Bridge

The annual Engliyada month project began on April 27th with the arrival of 11 English volunteer instructors from our 3 partnership communities: Tulsa Oklahoma, St. Paul Minnesota and Millwaukee Wisconsin. Over 100 local residents from Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee region participated in spoken English classes. The volunteers provided classes in two cycles every week day in the evening 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. During their stay, the volunteers were hosted by local families during the weekends. During the day they toured the region and met various representatives of the local partnership communities. Especially worth noting is the event on May 11, the volunteers were hosted for a festive Gourmet breakfast by Chefs Ofer Amos and Erez Amos of Holiday Inn Cullinary College. Chef Ofer Amos recently returned from his visit to Tulsa where he participated in a Chef professional exchange. The Engliyada and the exchange program is part of the Jewish Agency Parnership 2000 Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee region initiative


Opening Ceremony for the new "Green Electricity" Power Plant

Tuesday May 5th marked the opening of the new power plant for generating electricity from Bio-gas from the "Talia-Hagal" waste sites. This is a calumniation of 2.5 years of collaboration between the various local institutions: Tiberias municipality, Jordan Valley municipality, Migdal local municipality, Beit Shean regional municipality, and other commercial companies. The plant currently generates 1.1 Mega volts and is expected to reach 3.3 mega volts in the future. The gas reservoir on site is expected to last for 20 years and will soon provide several of the local Kibbutzs in the area with electricity.
Tiberias Rowers in the Lead – Spring Season opening competition in Tel Aviv:
The Skiff rowing competition marking the opening of the rowing season took place in Tel Aviv in the Yarkon river on May 3-5. Four of the major rowing clubs in Israel participated: Tiberias, Haifa and two from Tel Aviv. The Tiberias club included youth, adults and veteran competitors, competing in all types of boats: the single skiff, double, quartet and octet. The Tiberias athletes displayed excellence winning 11 gold medals, 20 silver and one bronze. The team was lead by Councilman Eitan Oved with his share of Gold medals.

Sports news:

Gold Medals for the Tiberias Kayak Rowers:

The Tiberias Junior Rowers won several gold medals in the national Kayak rowing competition that took place Friday-Saturday April 20-21 in Beit Yerach Jordan Valley. Teams from across Israel competed in the races and the Tiberias rowers were very prominent winning first places in the 200 and 2000 meter race for female 12 year old and 16 year old; the 2000 meter race for males 12 years old; the 200 meter race for male 14 year old; the quartet male 2000 meter race; the double Kayak 500 meter race. Yaacov Segev, the Director of the Marine Educational center said this is the result of a year of intensive training of the participants and their coaches.

Gold Medal for the Tiberias Rowers in Croatia:

April 25th, The Tiberias Rowing team, who are the Israeli Olympic team, returned from the Croatia Open Championship in Zagreb. This prestigious event gathered the best of the European rowers to date who are preparing for the various world championships. The Tiberias Olympic rowers competed in several races. Yevgeni Sharmako & Daniel Bilia one firat place in the Olympic Skiff doubles heat for 18 years old after a very close race with their opponents along the 2000 meters.

A massive recruitment drive is currently conducted for the Tiberias rowing club, for the Athletics Excellence program in Rowing which is providing significant results on a national and international scale.

Tiberias Rowers in the Lead – Spring Season opening competition in Tel Aviv:

The Skiff rowing competition marking the opening of the rowing season took place in Tel Aviv in the Yarkon river on May 3-5. Four of the major rowing clubs in Israel participated: Tiberias, Haifa and two from Tel Aviv. The Tiberias club included youth, adults and veteran competitors, competing in all types of boats: the single skiff, double, quartet and octet. The Tiberias athletes displayed excellence winning 11 gold medals, 20 silver and one bronze. The team was lead by Councilman Eitan Oved with his share of Gold medals.

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