Hundreds of educators from around the world participated in The Jewish Agency for Israel’s School Twinning Conference on Monday, December 10th. During the conference, which was held under the auspices of Israel’s Ministry of Education, an international candle lighting ceremony took place where students from Hong Kong, England, Turkey and Ashdod each lit the 3rd night of Chanukah candles in their own city.
The international candle lighting ceremonies were followed by a live broadcast of prayer notes – written by students from around the world–being placed in crevices at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The Partnership2Gether (P2G) International School Twinning Network connects educators and students at more than 200 schools in Israel with their peers at more than 200 schools in Jewish communities around the world. It provides participants the opportunity to learn from one another and to create ongoing partnerships between their communities.
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky described the importance of this event and ceremony with those present, saying “Direct engagement with Israel creates vibrancy and rich content for Jewish day schools overseas. The Partnership2Gether Network is the main platform for these connections to happen.”
At the ceremony, Ilana Shel, 15, from Ashdod, lit the 3rd Chanukah candle on behalf of her Israeli peers. Shel’s parents immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine in 1990. Shel shared that being picked to light the Chanukah candle at this ceremony helped strengthen her sense of belonging, “It’s a great honor for me to represent Israel at this international candle-lighting event. It helps me feel a part of our big, Jewish family.”
Andrea Arbel, Director of the Agency’s Partnerships Unit, added “The strong connection between these P2G School Twinning Network students was affirmed during the recent Operation Pillar of Defense. Jewish day school kids showed their strong support and were in direct contact with their peers in Israeli schools that were under fire. Now, during the holiday of Chanukah, we’re able to light a different kind of fire-one of solidarity and hope and partnership.”
About The Jewish Agency for Israel
Investing in a vibrant Jewish future, The Jewish Agency for Israel continues to address the greatest challenges of our People in every generation. We connect the global Jewish family, bringing Jews to Israel- and Israel to Jews. We build a better society in Israel- and beyond- energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. At the same time, The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to rescue and bring Jews home to Israel from countries where they live at-risk. More information can be obtained at www.jewishagency.org.