In January 2007, a long-term partnership was established between the Miami Jewish community and the city of Yerucham, Israel. Located in the Negev Desert, and boasting the second largest lake in Israel, Yerucham is a 13-square-mile city founded in 1951 as a transit camp for new immigrants. Today, it is home to a diverse population of approximately 9,400 residents, representing a microcosm of Israel’s many cultural and ethnic communities.
The purpose of the Miami-Yerucham Partnership is to build meaningful relationships in order to strengthen both communities, and to foster and develop a love of Judaism, Israel and the Jewish people. The Partnership encourages people-to-people relationships between residents of Miami and Yerucham. It also promotes mutually supportive initiatives, connecting resources and expertise to achieve sustained spiritual, social, cultural and economic growth for both communities.
Click here to read more about Mayor Biton in The Jerusalem Post
Learn about the Negev Work Group, in which the Greater Miami Jewish Federation is partnering with The Jewish Federations of North America and other Federations to help the State of Israel in development of the Negev Region.
Miami Initiatives with Yerucham
- Diller Teen Fellows Program
The Miami-Yerucham Partnership is proud to be partnering with the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) in funding the Diller Teen Fellows Program, an international leadership program for Jewish teens. Limited to only 40 young adults from Miami and Yerucham, the year-long commitment includes skill-building, social justice activities and a joint project in both Miami and Yerucham. Throughout the year, Diller Teens in North America and Israel participate in educational workshops, weekend retreats, and create and implement social service projects. Highlights also include a three-week Seminar in Israel, the Diller Teen International Leadership Congress, and a 10-day peer exchange in North America during which North American communities host their Israel counterparts. The program develops future generations of leaders who will be dedicated to the Jewish people, Israel and community service.
The Diller Teen Fellows Program will help bring the Miami-Yerucham Partnership, and a deep love for Israel, into the hearts and homes of so many in Miami’s Jewish community. For more information, click here.
- Youth Futures
- One out of every three children in Israel lives below the poverty line. Youth Futures is an innovative program of the Jewish Agency for Israel that focuses on at-risk children ages eight to 18. It provides them with positive role models (or “trustees”), as well as tools for academic and personal success.
Each Youth Futures Trustee works approximately four hours each week with up to 15 children as a group, in addition to weekly one-on-one meetings and activities. Trustees help the children to develop motivation, self-esteem and self-confidence. In time, this leads to improved scholastic performances and positive goal-setting.
- Volunteer Program
Participants live and work in Yerucham for two weeks, lending their time and talents to local businesses and nonprofit organizations where their particular skills are needed. In addition, they teach conversational English to adults for two or three evenings a week. The Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s Miami-Yerucham Partnership is working with Skilled Volunteers for Israel to present this program.
- School Twinning
- Federation and the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education pair Jewish day schools in Miami with schools in Yerucham, so students can correspond, work on joint projects – and become friends.
Read here about one young woman’s experiences in Yerucham.
For more information about Miami’s partnership cities, contact us at IsraelOverseas@JewishMiami.org or 786.866.8495.
“It was incredible to literally build the desert and be part of an idealistic Zionism, and then to return to Yerucham to take part in a tradition in which everyone opens their doors to their neighbors and visits each other. Though I was very far from my family, the experience really made me feel at home.”
Otzma participant sponsored by Miami
After returning to the United States, she decided to move to Israel.
She now lives in an Ayalim Student Village in Yerucham.
- Youth Programs
- Federation supports a variety of programs to instill a sense of pride, leadership and involvement among Yerucham’s children and teens. We also provide spaces, facilities and assistance especially for the region’s at-risk youth.
- Young Communities
- Tzvi (Young People of Yerucham) supports and creates cultural, community and social programs for those ages 20 to 35. The goals are to create a sense of pride and community, and to attract young people from all over Israel to settle in Yerucham.
Ayalim Foundation creates incentives, such as scholarships and affordable housing, to encourage students to live and work in Israel’s Negev region. Students living in Yerucham’s Ayalim Student Village volunteer to help with more than 300 local children, initiating age-appropriate activities and taking part in educational, social and cultural programs.