Kfar Yona: Our Sister "Matnas"
About Kfar Yona:
- Established in 1932 on lands purchased in 1928
- A 12,000 acre town in the central district of Israel
- Located just 7 kilometers east of the city of Netanya
- Named for the president of the Belgian Zionist Movement Jean (Yona) Fisher who immigrated to Israel in 1927
(Yona Fisher’s younger brother Joshua and his son Maurice founded Kfar Yona in his memory)
- Current population is estimated at just over 19,000
Our partnership with the Matnas (JCC) of Kfar Yona was established in 2008 as a way for our community to develop personal connections to the Land of Israel and its people. Our board and staff members have visited Kfar Yona through the numerous delegations sent to Israel over the past 10 years. These trips and experiences have helped solidify our partnership and continue our efforts to go from strength to strength.
In 2011, forty of our JCC teens traveled to Israel to compete in the Maccabi Games and were hosted in the homes of Kfar Yona families. In 2013, when the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest were hosted here in Orange County, Kfar Yona brought thirty teen athletes, artists and chaperones to join Team OC for this historical community event.
In October 2014, JCC Cares visited Kfar Yona as part of their mission to Israel. Part of their visit included a joint community service project with members of the Kfar Yona community.
In November 2015, we extended our partnership globally to include Mexico City, launching the JCC Global Teen Fellows. As part of this exciting new program, teens and adult chaperones from the Merage JCC and the JCC or "matnas" in Kfar Yona traveled to Mexico City in June 2015 to celebrate the inaugural partnership between the three cities. In June 2016, the teens and adults from Kfar Yona and Mexico traveled to OC and had a fantastic time encountering one another as well as the sights and sounds of Orange County. In July 2017, this program culminated with our teens as well as those from Mexico spending time in Kfar Yona, by way of diverse programming and touring Israel as well as experiencing home hospitality.
In November 2017, a new three year JCC Global Teen Fellows program began with the continuing partnership of OC and Kfar Yona, but with the new addition of Club Náutico Hacoaj, an Argentine sports club headquartered in Buenos Aires. All of the teens will be gathering in the summer of 2018 in OC for the JCC Maccabi Games. Future programs are scheduled for 2019 in Buenos Aires and Kfar Yona in 2020.
In January 2018, some of the JCC staff and board members met at Kfar Yona to further explore this special relationship. Some of the future plans include increasing staff and board interactions between both organizations, exchanging scholars-in-residence, developing opportunities to make the relantionship "real" and tangible to our members and community by way of utilizing digital resources and employing concierge services for visitors to experience their sister communities when traveling to our respective communities.
- Municipality website: http://www.kfar-yona.muni.il/ (in Hebrew)
- Kfar Yona JCC website: http://www.mky.org.il/ (in Hebrew)
- Map: http://www.kfar-yona.muni.il/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/KfrYnMp10.pdf