Cohen and Zuckerman travel to the “heart” of Israel to make connection
East Brunswick has a new sister city–Yavne, Israel. During a trip to Israel, Mayor Brad Cohen and Director of Economic Development Robert Zuckerman met officials from Yavne and signed a twin city agreement and a joint statement of intent document to expand ties between Yavne and Township of East Brunswick. It was agreed that the two cities will expand their mutual understanding between them, open links between residents and cooperate in the fields of education, culture, economic development, innovation and technology, according to a recent release from Yavne.
“We are proud of the relationship created today with the city of Yavne, and we discovered a wonderful place that is a fertile ground for inter-community cooperation. We have common values that we would be happy to promote for the well-being of our residents who will enjoy the connection between the cities,” said Cohen. On November 30, the East Brunswick Township Council approved the resolution to acknowledge Yavne as a sister city. All that was left was for the two mayors to sign the official recognition.
Yavne Mayor Roy Gabai echoed the same sentiment: “We are pleased to create partnerships with our new friends from the city of East Brunswick. We agreed to open a joint channel for connections and information sharing when the emphasis will be on sharing communities, environment and innovation in education. The relationship we embroidered today will create value for the residents of the two cities, and we are certain that we will establish a unique cooperation between the cities, which will also strengthen the relationship between the countries even further.”
East Brunswick’s Zuckerman added, “This is an opportunity to develop ties between residents and businesses in both communities. We share a similar vision and dedication for fostering economic development and education in the food and life sciences, technological innovation, and the arts, but the beauty of this relationship is that the possibilities are limitless. It is exciting to explore ways our communities can grow and network together through this mutual relationship. And, I think we can learn a lot from and offer a lot to each other.”
Having roots going back to the Bronze and Iron Ages, Yavne is an important ancient city, with some sources suggesting that it is second only to Jerusalem in significance in post-biblical times. It currently has about the same size population as does East Brunswick, though the population is much younger. Yavne is located in central Israel between Ashdod and Rishon LeZion. Like East Brunswick is to New Jersey, Lavne is literally the “heart” of Israel.
Mayors met the students of the Ben Gurion School, which has a curriculum that includes Israeli traditional music and academic studies, who gave the entourage an exciting and festive welcome with the flags of Israel and the United States flying.
A sister city, county, or state relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. A relationship is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed official from both communities sign an agreement to become sister cities. Each sister city organization is independent and pursues the activities and thematic areas that are important to them and their community including municipal, business, trade, educational, and cultural exchanges and projects with their sister city.
Yavne is East Brunswick’s third sister city. This past spring, the township became a sister city with Rivne, Ukraine, a large city of about 250,000 that is currently besieged in the war in that country. Residents of East Brunswick and South River have sent support to Rivne, which is often seen as an exit point from Ukraine into Poland. East Brunswick is also the sister city of a city in China.
This article was reprinted with permission from TAPinto East Brunswick an all-online, objective daily publication that focuses on news and events in East Brunswick, New Jersey.
Maureen Berzok was named the 2021 Citizen of the Year for East Brunswick. A member of the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists, she received the Awbrey Award for “Community-Oriented Journalism” in 2020.