Saturday, April 01, 2023

During a visit to Israel, East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen signed a new sister city agreement with Yavne around economic development, education and cultural partnerships following ongoing engagement from the New Jersey-Israel Commission.

(Courtesy of NJ Israel Commission) On December 11, the mayor of East Brunswick, Brad J. Cohen, signed a sister city agreement with Mayor Roei Gabay of Yavne, Israel, which will enhance economic, educational and cultural exchanges and partnerships. The agreement was initiated by the New Jersey-Israel Commission of the New Jersey Department of State, and the East Brunswick Office of Economic Development, following months of engagement. The Federation of Local Authorities in Israel and the Consulate General of Israel in New York assisted in bringing the cities together, which will further the special and close relationship between New Jersey and Israel in addition to the spirit of friendship between the communities.

“The agreement aims to develop a mutually beneficial relationship to promote and broaden economic development, art and cultural exchanges, and youth programs between East Brunswick and Yavne,” said Cohen. “We discovered a place with shared values that is a fertile ground for inter-community cooperation. We look forward to exploring an exchange of ideas and resources in fields such as science, technology, sports, health, education, arts and music.”

“We are pleased to create partnerships with our new friends from 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,” said Gabay. “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. I would like to express my appreciation to Mayor Cohen and his team and hope that we will find many ways for cooperation between our communities.”

Both East Brunswick and Yavne share a strong commitment to education and the arts with related programs that have been nationally recognized. The agreement encourages cooperation between their schools to work together and share in mutual commitments to cultural programs, including in music. Notably, East Brunswick is home to a community arts center that hosts festivals, public events, and theatrical programs, and each side looks forward to engaging in these areas.

Yavne’s more-than 3000-year history far surpasses the 160-year history of East Brunswick but, today, East Brunswick, located in the heart of New Jersey, shares much in common with Yavne, located in the heart of Israel. Both municipalities are the home to a diverse community of approximately 50,000 residents and will continue to develop their relationship through engagement, programming and cooperation.

“Thanks to the vision of Mayor Cohen and partnership from the Israeli Consulate and the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel, we finally have another exciting milestone in New Jersey-Israel relations,” said Karin Elkis, co-chair of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “We look forward to assisting both Yavne and East Brunswick to fulfill the mission of this agreement.”

“As we head into Israel’s 75th anniversary next year, now is a time to reflect and build on the great achievements that bind Israelis and New Jerseyans alike,” said Mark S. Levenson, co-chair of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “This agreement reaffirms our state’s special connection with Israel as we share best practices, ideas and innovations that bind our unequivocal friendship.”

“Our Commission congratulates East Brunswick and Yavne for signing this special partnership that is another step in bringing our communities closer between New Jersey and Israel,” said Andrew H. Gross, executive director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “Sistercity agreements like these can bring tangible benefits and will strengthen the already flourishing New Jersey-Israel relationship.”

“This is an opportunity to develop ties between residents and businesses in both communities,” said Robert Zuckerman, East Brunswick economic development officer. “While we share a similar vision and dedication for fostering economic development and education around life sciences, food innovation, technological discovery and the arts, the beauty of this relationship is that the possibilities are limitless. There is no doubt we will learn much from one other.”

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