The picaresque region of the Galilee Panhandle in northern Israel has long suffered from low socioeconomic levels and high unemployment. Located on the Lebanese border, the Galilee Panhandle is geographically isolated and vulnerable to security problems. Since the first Katyusha hit Kiryat Shmona in December 1968, many people who had the option to do so relocated to central Israel.
The Coast-to-Coast partnership with the Galilee Panhandle aims to reverse the north’s overall vulnerability by laying foundations for community resilience, emergency preparedness and economic growth.
Seven Coast-to-Coast Canadian communities:
- Atlantic Canada
Partnered with five Galilee Panhandle development towns and councils:
- The Upper Galilee Regional Council
- Kiryat Shmona
- Mevo’ot Hermon Regional Council
- Yesod HaMa’ala
Aimed at strengthening the relationship between communities in both countries, as well as improving the living standards of Galilee Panhandle residents, the partnership focuses on the following three major themes:
- Gesher Chai – focusing on informal educational initiatives for elementary through high school-aged children, these programs promote global Jewish identity and unity.
- Youth and Education – advancing educational standards, from kindergarten to university, and programs in both informal and formal educational spheres are important in order to enhance the region’s social opportunities, attract young families and boost population retention.
- Capacity Building – this theme includes leadership development, volunteerism, young populations, infrastructure, regional development and economic development – all aimed at further developing the region by strengthening its communities.
In addition to the Coast-to-Coast communities’ ongoing partnership with the Galilee Panhandle, Jewish federations of Canada - UIA’s Israel Emergency Campaign (IEC) funds were also allocated in part to the Panhandle region during and following the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Read more about IEC investments in the Galilee Panhandle.