Electronic Newslitter no' 7

Dear Readers,

We begin a new year with a great feeling of satisfaction and achievement as we look back at a very fruitful year of 2007. Once again I hope you find the information we are offering helpful and significant in maintaining our city of Tiberias close to your heart. Please feel free to contact us with questions, concerns or suggestions as we work to improve services.

Respectfully,

Zohar Oved,
Mayor


Dear loyal friends of Tiberias,

It is this time of the year, when our region is blossoming and exhibiting its glorious green, we continue the task of working and promoting the city. Over a thousand runners from across the globe had the chance to enjoy this splendor during the 31st Tiberias International Marathon which took place in January. You may read more details below.

We have numerous tasks that are in the pipe work. One important project is the computerization of all control systems of water supply, electricity, tax collection and more. Once complete, this will enable us to save on the one hand and improve services on the other. Other initiatives are the beginning of construction of the Power open-air shopping mall at the western entrance to the city; renovations and paving of the lake front promenade; opening of a new service telecommunications center providing 300 new jobs to the residents.

These are but a few of the new initiatives, some of which you will be able to read of in our new issue below.

In addition, this year is the year Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary. We find ourselves leading the Western World in the combat against terror in one of the most politically complex areas in the world. We sincerely hope that our persistence will bring about the peace and prosperity we all are hoping for.

I hope you find this information useful, at least in maintaining our connection to you. We would appreciate any input that you may wish to give as we have shown before we rely on it to improve our work.

We hope you choose to come and visit us in Tiberias and be part of Israel's 60th anniversary. This will no doubt encourage and empower us as we strive to achieve our goals.

Best regards,

Eitan Oved,
Councilman
Incharge of Foreign Affairs and Security
Tiberias Municipality


Events

Hanukah Events
The Hanukah holiday celebration took place December 5th. The celebrations included a festive Torch Parade by all the Tiberias youth movements, marching through the central downtown streets, calumniating in a formal candle lighting on the lake front which included a mass prayer for blessed rains.





Celebrating Humor
December 20. As part of the cultural activities of the Yad Labanim memorial hall for the fallen soldiers of the city, a unique humor and stand-up celebration took place. The proceeds were donated by the Cornfein family who produced the evening in conjunction with Yad Labanim for children with special needs, in memory of their two sons Oded and Eran.

Lighting up Tiberias
December 26, as part of the Ministry of Tourism initiative, a special full day celebration took place with performances of Israel's leading performing artists. Thousands of viewers gathered at the Yad Shitrit cultural center to watch the shows.


Culture

Promoting art of the newly arrived immigrants
December 20. The municipal department of Absorption issued a special catalogue displaying artwork by 6 of Tiberias prominent artists who have recently emigrated from various countries such as: Argentina, the Former Soviet Union, France and more. The project's purpose is to reveal the unique work of these talented artists including: sculptures, paintings, jewelry and poetry. The catalogue was produced in Russian, French and Spanish and will be available to the wide public.

Planning for a new open-air sculpture museum
December 25, announced the establishment of this new cultural project. Sculpture by various Israeli artists including the well known, Tiberias born sculpture Ilana Gur, will be displayed at the picturesque alley near the Scotts Hotel.


Fascinating stories of Tiberias
January 6. The new book launching by Morris Zemah "Tiberias Stories" took place at the Scotts Hotel. Zemah is a well known Galilee educator and guide who gathered an impressive collection of stories and tales of Tiberias past. The stories tell of the varied and unique characters such as the fishermen, the hotel owners, the famous Rabbies and more.


Reading together - A new reading club
January 14. In conjunction with the Payis Lottery Company, the municipal culture department and the municipal library produced this new initiative with the purpose of promoting the quality cultural consumption. Ten gatherings will take place throughout the year, each meeting dedicated to a well known Hebrew or translated book.

Tuesday cultural events continue
The new tradition of cultural events on Tuesdays every week continued through December and January. Various performances for children and adults, theatre and music, were open to the public.


Community

Rape Crisis Center – to be established in Tiberias
December 4. The Tiberias Women Forum announced their intention to establish a rape crisis center for battling the issue of violence against women and assisting women in crisis. The center will operate a 24 hour hotline as well as provide consultation and guidance to victims of sexual violence. In addition, the center will operate special workshops and lectures for raising awareness and prevention.

Leading the culture of housing
January 1. The department of Housing one first prize awarded by the Ministry of Housing for its achievements in improving the housing environment and the involvement of the residents in maintaining their living standards.




Positive conclusion for the Cancer awareness drive
January 2. The event concluding the annual Cancer Awareness Drive took place at the Golden Tulip hotel. The Cancer Association volunteers together with hundreds of school students from across town worked together to produce the positive results. The event included performances by local artists and concluded with the awarding of appreciation certificates to the outstanding volunteers.





Women of Valor - Launching the new center
January 14 marked the launching of the new Woman of Valor center at the Human Resource center in Tiberias. The woman of Valor project has been operating in the past year offering various workshops and support groups for women interested in reentering the workforce.


A new service for divorcing couples
The social services department is offering a new service for couples experiencing difficulties in their marriage. This new support group and workshop will provide and teach parenting skills, effective personal management, communication skills and self awareness.


Education

Promoting safety on the road
December 31. In an effort to raise awareness for safety on the road and prevention of children’s involvement in traffic accidents, Mayor Oved and many of the municipal leaders participated in the morning drive and assisted school students street crossing. The event was initiated by the Or-Yarok (GreenLight) Association for prevention of traffic accidents through community awareness and involvement.


No to violence begins in early childhood
December. A new program for prevention of violence has begun operating in all the municipal kindergartens in the city. It is part of the national program operating in Tiberias: “City without Violence”. As part of the program, a task force of 25 social workers and counselors model proper behavior and setting boundaries for the children and the education team at each kindergarten. In addition the program staff operates lectures and workshops for the parents.

Young Leadership Initiatives
The young leadership class in Nofarim Junior High school prepared a special Hanukah event for the Ramat Kinneret home for mentally challenged adults. They also went to the Poriya hospital children’s ward and produced a festive event for the children. On January 28, they met Mayor Oved, to present their plan for contributing to the community. They spoke of the various activities that they are working on, in particular the plan for adopting 2 central municipal beaches which they will maintain on a regular basis, including: cleaning, painting, decorating etc.



Municipal Youth Council Initiative
The Youth Council produced a new youth certificate which allows holders to enjoy discounts in a variety of shops in Tiberias. The Youth Council will promote this initiative in the schools.

Tourism

Stories of Ancient Houses
January. The Tourism department has concluded the project for putting up signs across town at all the ancient sites and historical attractions. The signs are bi-lingual (Hebrew/English) and give an overview of the site as well as the historical context.





Friday morning of events open to the public
January. The Tourism department has produced a variety of events for the public including: guided tours of the historical and archeological sites, an Arts & Crafts fair, visits of the Dona Grazia and the Scots Hotel museums, water sports, Spiritual workshops, Culinary workshops and more.

Tourism on the rise
The general trend of recovery in numbers of tourists arriving in Tiberias has continued. The numbers are evident from the statistics published by the Israel Hotel Association regarding Fall 2007. The statistics show 28% increase in numbers of visits compared to the previous year and 11% compared to 2005.

Environment

Public gardens upgrade project concluded
January. Following 2 years of intensive work upgrading and repairing public gardens throughout the town, the project was successfully concluded in January. Two new active parks were built, Hayim Park and Jabotinski Park in Upper Tiberias, offering a soccer field and various playground facilities.

Employment

Significant decrease in unemployment rates
January 20. Statistics published by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics shows a significant decrease in unemployment rates in Tiberias. The current unemployment rate stands at 5.5% compared to the national rate of 6.6%. Tiberias ranks among the ten towns showing the most substantial decrease.

Emergency Services

Comprehensive emergency exercise
January 3. As part of the preparation for emergency events, the municipal emergency headquarter operated a comprehensive drill including all municipal emergency services. During emergency the town is divided up into 6 sections with local management at each area. The drill included several emergency scenarios and was concluded successfully.

Visits

December 4. Visit of General Manager of the Ministry of the Prime Minister Mr. Raanan Dinur.
January 8. Visit of Minister of Development of the Galilee and the Negev, Mr. Yaacov Edri.
January 29. Visit of Aliza Ulmert, wife of Prime Minister Ehud Ulmert.










Foreign Affairs

Jewish student delegation from the USA volunteering in town
December 30. The Social Services department in collaboration with International Hillel organization, has hosted a group of 22 students from the USA for a volunteering seminar. The group arrived on Dec. 30th for 8 days of extensive seminar and actual volunteering work. The students painted and renovated homes across town, as well as worked with children in various after school centers.




Partnership 2000 projects
October. A women’s mission from the Milwaukee Jewish Federation visited the Sovev Kinneret Tiberias region headed by Ms. Rakefet Ginsburg, Community Shlicha. As part of their 4 day visit in the area they attended the Tiberias Restal Absorption center where they met with single parent mothers who had recently emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel.
January. A Taglit Birthright group of students visited the Tiberias Sovev Kinneret region. Most of the American students came from the University of Minneapolis and the University of Wisconsin which are part of the Tiberias partnership. The students volunteered in various projects, packing food supplies, painting the Restal Absorption center, meeting with peers from the Kinneret Regional college and even participating in a cooking class at the Holiday Inn Culinary school.

One photo is equal to a thousand words…
January 3. Mayor Oved presented Tiberias photographer Joan Krohn with her prize for winning an honorary mention in the International photography contest “Seasons around the world” administered by the Tulsa Global Alliance. Ms. Krohn’s photo depicting a summer sunset over the Arbel Mountain is displayed in the month of June 2008 in the calendar issued with the various winning photos.


Sports


Hapoel national tournament – Significant achievements for Tiberias Kayak rowers
December 21-22. The national tournament took place at the Tiberias Marine Sports Center during the weekend. Tiberias youth rowers won 7 medals bronze, silver and gold.




The Annual Tiberias International Marathon
January 10. Over 1000 runners from 15 countries attended the 31st Tiberias International Marathon this year. This year’s winner was Leonard Muchero Mayena from Kenya, winning for the second year in a row. His time was a new Israeli and event record at 2:10:32 and his prize was 40,000$.



This anchor event drew thousands of spectators and participants who enjoyed a festive atmosphere with the help of students of the Yad Shitrit acting class performing with colorful costumes to the public. Other sportive events that took place as part of the festival were: bicycle contest for the physically challenged; a ten KM race for the IDF soldiers; a 5 KM run for school students; a 3.5 run for families.

The annual basketball tournament in memory of Doron Klein
January 19. This 6th annual event took place at the Tahkemoni elementary school basketball court. The event began with a friendly game between Hapoel Tiberias children's team and Karmiel (39:38). The adults match was played between Hapoel Tiberias and Hapoel Misgav (79:68). Mayor Oved presented the winners with trophies at the end ceremony.


7 new Olympic Kayaks purchased for the local club
January 27. The municipal sports department performed a formal launching ceremony for the new boats. The purchase is part of the general development plan for advancing the competitive marine sports in town and in light of the substantial achievements of the Tiberias Kayak rowing club.

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