Rishon LeZion

South of Tel Aviv, Rishon LeZion is the fourth largest city in Israel, with a population of about 250,000. Project Renewal, which focused on the disadvantaged neighborhood of Ramat Eliahu, now called Neve Eliyahu, was the beginning of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ's partnership with the city in 1978. Although Project Renewal ended years ago, Federation maintains an active relationship with the neighborhood, and has developed a close connection with the entire city and the various municipal departments. The city of Rishon LeZion now also has a twin relationship with Essex County. The many programs undertaken over the years include:

  • Improvement of housing in Neve Eliyahu. 
  • Creation of parks, including the Lautenberg Park and the Alisa Flatow Rose Garden. 
  • Building the Neve Eliyahu community center, which serves all ages and segments of the population. The community center is the base for projects including: soup kitchen; Maas for the disabled; fitness center; swimming pool; library; summer camp subsidies for Ethiopian children; and volunteer options. 
  • Programs within the community center to help various populations including the mentally disabled, soup kitchen for the elderly, a fitness center, and sport facilities for the extended population. 
  • Cultural Exchanges. 
  • Direct absorption of olim from Cherkassy and Argentina, done in partnership with The Jewish Agency and the Municipality of Rishon LeZion. 
  • Operation Atzmaut – A unique initiative to assist the Ethiopian community of Rishon LeZion, done in partnership the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Municipality of Rishon LeZion and the local Ethiopian leadership. 
  • Religious pluralism and Jewish Identity projects including TALI Kindergartens. 
  • Rishonim project – a year of service for youngsters from Rishon LeZion in the MetroWest community. 
  • Subsidizing security guards in the community center as part of the Israel Emergency Campaign.