Its one of those visions that becomes so natural in its realization its easy to forget just how cutting-edge it once was.
In 1995, leaders of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles sought to establish a connection with a community in Israel that would be based on intimate and mutually beneficial relationships, not on the rich uncle-poor nephew model that until then had characterized how U.S. Jews related to their Israeli cousins.
The Federation established the Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership in 1997, a sister city network that involved schools, professionals and artists in collaborative projects and exchange programs.
The Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership became the first and eventually largest of the Jewish Agency for Israels Partnership 2000 program, and by all accounts evolved into an international model for fostering a more mature relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.
Now, Federation is putting that relationship under a microscope, to determine what it can learn from the successes of the past 16 years and where there is room for expansion, improvement or elimination of some elements of the program.