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Echad al Echad: Creating Lasting Bonds with Israel

Echad al Echad (literally “One to One”) is our initiative designed to strengthen the bonds between Oak Park Temple and the Reform movement in Israel.

Founded in 2007, Echad al Echad is a partnership between Oak Park and Kiryat Tivon, a town 20 miles east of Haifa and one of a few dozen communities in Israel with a Reform synagogue, Congregation Ma’alot Tivon. Echad al Echad has been locally recognized with Oak Park Temple’s Best New Initiative Award in 2007 and nationally with ARZA’s Gittelsohn Award in 2008.

Find a way to be a part of this great program. Please contact us for more information.
Contact Amy Kaufman at amy.kaufman@att.net or 708-703-0974
Echad al Echad Chair
B’shalom

Annual Summer Teen Exchange Program

The flagship activity of Echad al Echad is an annual summer teen exchange, where Oak Park Temple and Kiryat Tivon teens visit each other’s city every other year. Every effort is made to run the program as cost efficiently as possible, with an eye towards making this an integral part of our community. When the Israelis visited us this summer, they were housed in OPT homes. We utilized public transportation whenever possible, and we worked hard to find in-kind donations to decrease the financial support needed from the Temple community. Similarly, when our teens visit Israel on alternating summers, they will pay only airfare, and our Israeli partners will cover the rest of the expenses.

Since 2007, there have been groups of Israeli teens hosted by Oak Park Temple families for two weeks each and 3 groups of Oak Park Temple youth who have visited Kiryat Tivon. A recent itinerary was typically hectic, including: a visit to the DuPage County Fair (complete with a demolition derby); a Lake Michigan sail generously contributed by OPT member Ben White; the Miracle Mile; the Willis Tower; a cross-cultural discussion led by OPT member Mark Kaufman; Chinatown; an FLW tour led by OPT member Sue Blaine; the Field Museum and MSI. We enjoyed Shabbat services at OPT and toured KAM synagogue in Hyde Park. Ironically, the only activity we didn’t get around to was going to the beach (due to the weather)!

Sun, August 19 2018 8 Elul 5778