By Staff –
Mayor Lovely Warren and International Sister Cities of Rochester (ISCOR) president and City Councilmember Carolee Conklin recently met with a group of 11 city youth who are preparing to travel to Rochester’s sister city, Rehovot, Israel.
The student exchange is designed to help overcome the challenges of youth poverty, and is based upon the concept that overseas travel may help at-risk youth envision a “world” of possibilities, city officials stated.
The program began last summer when twelve Israeli teenagers visited Rochester to interact with local teens, and to learn about their respective cultures at various City R-Centers.
Select participants from the city’s “Youth Voice One Vision – the Mayor’s Advisory Council” will be joined by students from Edison Career and Technology High School for the trip.
“This unique educational trip gives our youth the opportunity to share their experiences, promote international understanding, cooperation, and development through a variety of dynamic exchanges, and will show our young people the world beyond our city limits,” Mayor Warren said. “I am proud of our local youth delegation, and grateful to the community partners who have made this overseas trip of a lifetime possible.”
The group, along with six adult chaperones, will leave Rochester for Rehovot on Aug. 21.
In Rehovot, the youth will meet with Mayor Rahamim Malul, tour Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and visit the Dead Sea.
Funding for the trip was provided by a grant from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, and housing will be provided by the Hebrew University College of Agriculture dormitory in Rehovot, city officials said.
“Both Rochester and Rehovot are home to young people who could benefit from a strong support network, and a better understanding of the value of education,” Conklin stated. “This project is a perfect example of what sister cities can accomplish in cooperation with volunteers, and community organizations. I am confident that Rochester’s youth delegation will be enlightened, and I’m excited for them to envision what they might accomplish as adults.”
Rehovot, located southeast of Tel Aviv, was founded in 1890 by Polish Jews, and is home to 140,000 people.
According to the city, Rehovot is best known for its world-recognized Weitzman Institute of Science, and is home to large communities of immigrants from Yemen, Ethiopia, and the former Soviet Union.
The Rochester-Rehovot Sister Cities relationship began in 1972.
Visit www.cityofrochester.gov/sistercities for additional information regarding the program.