The Mayors of the
Village of Great Neck Plaza, New York, U.S.A and the City of Tiberias,
Israel, after a meeting in June, 2002 in Great Neck, decided to
establish a "sister city" affiliation. It was realized that
these two communities have many areas of common ground and mutual
concern and can benefit by a cultural exchange of information and
sharing experiences with each other.
First and foremost,
officials of both communities share a common desire for friendship,
good will and person-to-person ties to work for peace, better
understanding of all cultures, tradition, values and cultural heritage
among citizens of both municipalities, and to improve the quality of
life for its citizens.
It is anticipated
that this sister city affiliation will involve a large number of
citizens and organizations in both communities engaged in continuing
projects of mutual interest. Within the sister city program, as
envisioned when created by United States President Dwight D.
Eisenhower in 1956, municipalities and their citizens should exchange
people, ideas and culture in a variety of educational, municipal,
professional, technical and youth projects.
The sister city
program will enable Great Neck and Tiberian citizens to become
directly involved in international relations in unique and rewarding
exchanges which will benefit everyone. It will enable all who
and develop friendship with their counterparts in another culture
on a direct personal basis.
identity as members of the global family involved in the
constructive process of building world peace.
Develop a way
for the many and diverse elements of each community to come
together to enjoy and profit from a cooperative program.
dialogues with the people of another culture to find unique
solutions to improving the quality of life of all citizens.
Participate in a
program with a real partner in another country so all members of
the community can feel they are contributing to international
understanding in a direct personal way.
understand their own community by interpreting their way of life
to the people of another culture.
11 Middle Neck Road
The Village of Great Neck Plaza, incorporated in 1930, is one of
nine incorporated Villages that make up the 11.4 square mile Great
Neck peninsula on the northwestern edge of Nassau County. The
Village is only one third of a square mile in area, but encompasses
the main commercial business district along Middle Neck Road, which is
a high-end shopping district with a vast array of boutique shops,
restaurants and services. Great Neck's four zip code areas are
some of the most exclusive and desirable places to live in the United
States. It is an area comprised mostly of residential apartment
buildings as opposed to single family homes that line Great Neck
Plaza's immaculate streets. Great Neck Plaza is also home to the
Long Island Rail Road's Great Neck station. While its resident
population is only approximately 6,300 persons (according to the 2000
Census), its daytime influx of people to the train station, office
buildings and commercial district is close to 35,000 to 40,000 daily.
The history of Great
Neck Plaza is a distinctive one, full of stories ranging from those of
luminaries to humble working men and women. Known as the
Gold Coast in its heyday, celebrities and great personalities, such as
Groucho Marx, Eugene O'Neill, W.C. Fields, Fanny Brice, P.G. Wodehouse,
Sid Caesar and of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald, once called Great Neck
Home at one time or another.
Great Neck Plaza's
residential areas, in walking distance of the downtown, are steeped in
history - from the modest workers homes on Pearce & Walnut Streets, to
the elaborate Wychwood Cooperative Apartments. Famous business
and community leaders in the 20th century, including William R. Grace
and Walter W. Davis were responsible for building these neighborhoods,
graced with a multitude of famous artists, actors and writers.
Great Neck Plaza has
marvelous buildings with splendid architecture and character that can
be appreciated by all. The Village has a long history of caring
and protecting its history, beginning in 1976 when the Village adopted
its first landmark ordinance. Since then, it has established a
Historic Preservation Commission that will be actively involved in
preserving its history and culture. The Village is currently
developing programs and archival projects so that future generations
can learn about the history of the community. A walking tour
brochure and map are available from the Village free of charge.
Call (516) 482-4500 for a copy.
Great Neck Plaza
encompasses a busy commercial district, three parks, as well as a
residential section comprised of many multiple family dwellings and
private single family homes. Although small in geographic area,
only one-third of a square mile, it boasts:
26 rental apartment
260 retail stores
35 office buildings
1 nursing home
1 independent living
facility for seniors
1 senior assisted
1 performing arts
center (Great Neck Arts Center)
1 movie theater
The Village provides
a variety of services for its residents, merchants, office occupants,
shoppers as well as residents of the entire peninsula. Great
Neck Plaza also furnishes parking facilities for shoppers and
commuters coming from all parts of Long Island. The Plaza has
two parking garages and four outdoor parking lots. Both indoor
garages are free weekdays after three o'clock and all day Saturday and
is very active in the Plaza and works hard to develop streetscape
improvements, safety and beautification projects throughout the year.
Board meetings are held the first and third Wednesdays of each month
and are open to the public. The Board of Trustees is comprised
of a Mayor and four Trustees. Elections are held every March and
the elected official's term is for two years.
Tiberias, founded between the years 18 C.E. and 20 C.E. by
King Herod Antipas, is located on the western shore of the Sea of
Galilee. It was named in honor the the King's friend, the Roman
Emperor Tiberias. In the 5th and 6th centuries, Tiberias was at
its peak as the capital of the Galilee and the spiritual center of the
Jewish nation. Today, Tiberias is an international tourist
center, in close proximity to all the holy sites in the Galilee.
The topography of
the city varies from a low of 212 meters below sea level at the Sea of
Galilee to a height of 220 meters above sea level on the east at the
hills of the Golan. It was a walled city. After an
earthquake destroyed the city in 1033, a crusader general
reestablished the city north of the original site. Towers were
built right into the Sea of Galilee to prevent the waters of the sea
from washing up over the shoreline. Today, the tower houses
restaurants, shops and a tourist spot known as "The Galilee
Experience", which is an audiovisual presentation of the story of the
Galilee and the Sea of Galilee and their historical and religious
significance. It was in Tiberias that the Jerusalem Talmud was
written and compiled. In the 8th century, the Tiberias School of
Hebrew Vocalization developed and this system is still in use today.
In addition to tourism and the area's religious sites, its hot springs
are also a main attraction.
Today, Tiberias has
a population of approximately 50,000, of which 43% are children under
the age of eighteen. Over the last decade, more than 7,000 new
immigrants have joined the population of Tiberias and 10% of the
children in Tiberias are new immigrants. It is an important
tourism and recreational center, visited by hundreds of thousands of
pilgrims and tourists.
The city suffers
from serious negative emigration problems, mainly by the young and
educated who leave Tiberias in search of higher education institutes,
which are not available locally. Once they leave, they generally
do not return. The average monthly income per person is NIS
1,579, which includes wages and welfare support. The rate of
unemployment surpasses the national 8.8% average and presently exceeds
10.3%. Of the employed, 43.5% earn less that the minimum
statutory wages. Consequently, almost 40% of its population
receives welfare treatment from the Municipal Social Services
Department and 43% of the total municipality's budget is designated to
welfare and education.
Sea of Galilee
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