September 2008 Meeting:Abq./Israel Sister City partnership announced
Added June 14, 2009 | Updated June 15, 2009

Another great gathering of Yad b’ Yad friends! On September 23rd a group of 40 or so people came together for an evening that promised to be both informational as well as social. Gathered in the foyer of Steve and Harriet Byrds lovely home, people from the usual varied backgrounds came ready to hear the exciting developments that led to this partnership.

Harold Albert,a leader in the local Jewish Community,spoke with joy as he shared how the idea of a sister city in Israel for Albuquerque transpired into reality. Mr. Albert is New Mexico Chairman of Israel Bonds. Following conversation with Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez about what our community could do to strengthen relations with Israel, Albert formed a committee to investigate the sister city concept. Joining with the JFNM, the Southwest Consulate General in Houston, Abq. Sister Cities Foundation and C.O.A. Economic Development Department, Albert pursued his ‘brainchild’ with the Jewish community positively fueling his efforts.

Albert gave credit to everyone who worked so hard to bring this partnership about. By no means a small representation, a group of more than 15 business and education leaders left Albuquerque for Rehovot to speak about how the two cities will benefit through shared interests. The culmination of their efforts was in the signing of the official document that established joint proclamation as sister cities on September 18, 2008 by Mayors Joshua Forer and Martin Chavez.Quoting a news article from the Albuqueque Sister Cities web-site:“ Both mayors believe that this new partnership will leverage the commonalities’ and synergy that already exist between the two citiesin the areas of technology, medicine, renewable energy, and water conservation to name a few areas.”

During our meeting we were captivated by the love and passion that Mr. Albert obviously possessed for Israel and this strengthened ours as well. He led us through the streets of Rehovot so that we were able to experience why this city so far removed from our daily lives was the perfect reflection of our community. He also expressed his love for the Land as he told us of his tour outside the Israeli town …led in part by Mike Unthank (Albert’s proclaimed “# 1” recommended guide in Israel).

Thanks to you Harold Albert and MayorChavez for giving Albuquerque’s citizens a big Yad b’ Yad!

For further information on this visit: http://albuquerque-sister-cities.org