Binding our hearts and minds to Israel
The Associated’s commitment to connecting Jews in Baltimore with Jews in Israel reaches its apex with the Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership. Ashkelon has been our sister city since 2003, and not surprisingly, the needs of the vulnerable Jews in Ashkelon are similar to the needs of vulnerable Jews in Baltimore. Our two communities have been intimately involved in planning for and meeting those needs together, both here and there. Planning in both cities happens in parallel — with committees of lay-leaders and professionals meeting once a year to determine mutual priorities. The Partnership is chaired by Dixie Leikach in Baltimore and Moshiko Giat in Ashkelon. Connect with us on Facebook
Ties of Jewish Identity
The sister-city relationship provides a wonderful opportunity for Baltimoreans and Ashkelonim to explore Jewish identity and volunteerism together, bonding with their brothers and sisters overseas about issues of shared concern. Young Ashkelonim come to Baltimore to enjoy the variety of Jewish experiences in this diaspora. Each year, more than 1,000 Baltimoreans visit Ashkelon through The Associated, including teens and young adults, as part of a leadership development program.
Ashkelon is a coastal city with almost 8 miles of beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, 44 miles from Jerusalem and 32 miles from Tel Aviv. Ashkelon is rich with archaeological sites - you can see archaeological remains in the Ashkelon National park, in Afridar Center courtyard, and at numerous sites all over the city. Ashkelon has a number of hotels, a marina with restaurants and nightlife hotspots and a scenic clifftop promenade overlooking the sea.
With a population of 128,000 and growing, Ashkelon is a hub of Southern Israel. 40% of Ashkelon’s residents are recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, France and beyond.