Relationship established 1996
Tiberias is a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Lower Galilee, Israel. It was named in honor of the emperor Tiberius.
Tiberias was built around 20 AD by Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, on the site of the destroyed village of Rakkat, and it became the capital of his realm in Galilee.
Tiberias's name in the Roman Empire (and consequently the form most used in English) was its Greek form, Τιβερι?ς (Tiberiás, Modern Greek Τιβερι?δα Tiveriáda), an adaptation of the taw-suffixed Semitic form that preserved its feminine grammatical gender.
During Herod's time, the Jews refused to settle in Tiberias; the presence of a cemetery rendered the site ritually unclean. However, Antipas forcibly settled people there from rural Galilee in order to populate his new capital. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish court, fled to Tiberias. It was in fact its final meeting place before its disbandment. Following the expulsion of all Jews from Jerusalem after 135, Tiberias and its neighbor Sepphoris became the major centers of Jewish culture. The Mishnah, which grew into the Jerusalem Talmud, may have begun to have been written here.
In 613, Tiberias was the site where the Jewish revolt started coming into aid of the Persian invaders.
Under Byzantine and Arab rule, the city declined and was devastated by wars and earthquakes in the Middle Ages. Despite this decline, the community of masoretic scholars flourished at Tiberias from the beginning of the eighth to the end of the tenth centuries. These scholars created a systematic written form of the vocalization of ancient Hebrew, which is still used by all streams of Judaism. The apogee of the Tiberian masoretic scholarly community is personified in Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, who refined the vocalization system now know as Tiberian Hebrew. During the crusades it was the central city of the Principality of Galilee in the Kingdom of Jerusalem; the region was sometimes called the Principality of Tiberias, or the Tiberiad. Saladin besieged it during his invasion of the kingdom in 1187, and in October of that year defeated the crusaders at the Battle of Hattin outside the city. Around this time the original site of the city was abandoned, and settlement shifted north to the present location.
In 1558, Doña Gracia, a former marrano Jew, rented the site from Suleiman the Magnificent. She restored the city walls, built a yeshiva and encouraged European Jews fleeing the Inquisition to settle the city. Tiberias flourished again for a hundred years. It was devastated again, and again resettled by Hassidic Jews.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Tiberias received an influx of rabbis who established the city as a center for Jewish learning. During this time Tiberias became one of the Jewish Four Holy Cities, along with Jerusalem, Hebron, and Safed.
Today, Tiberias is Israel's most popular holiday resort in the northern half of the country.
Sister City Structure/History
Tiberias was made a Sister City on June 26, 1996 to catalyze development in the Kinneret region. Three organizations were originally involved with starting the Tiberias twining with St. Paul: American-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, United Jewish Fund and Council, and Jewish Community Relations Council (now known as Jewish Community Action).
One of the activities of Partnership 2000, a program launched in 1995 by the Israeli government in conjunction with US-Israeli cooperative groups worldwide, is an economic networking program, whereby businesspeople in the community serve as mentors for businesses in the partnered cities and regions.
The partnership between St. Paul and the Tiberias Region is very strong and successful. Their focus has been mainly in the area of creating people-to-people connections through programs such as artist exchanges, creating an “Education Bridge” between students in St. Paul and the Tiberias area, and sending volunteers from St. Paul to Tiberias to teach English and work with new immigrants and youth at risk.
Director of Young Leadership and Israel Programs
United Jewish Fund and Council of St. Paul
790 South Cleveland Avenue #227
St. Paul, MN 55116
Relationship established 1981
Hadera is a city in the Haifa District between Tel Aviv and Haifa in Israel.
Hadera was founded in 1891, at the dawn of modern Zionism by Russian and Eastern European immigrants who were members of the Zionist group Hovevei Zion. Its first settlers were decimated by nearby malaria-breeding swamps as the city's cemetery bears witness. The name Hadera comes from the Arabic word khadra, meaning "green." It referred to the wild weeds which covered the marshes.
There is a synagogue in the middle of town, along with remnants of an Arab inn, which was purchased with the land and served as the first house of the pioneers.
View of Hadera
Hadera, considered a relatively safe place by its citizens, was jolted by several acts of terrorism over the course of a few years, including a suicide bomber who blew himself up at a falafel stand on October 26, 2005, killing five civilians. However, since the construction of the nearby West Bank barrier, the frequency of such incidents has dropped dramatically.
On August 4, 2006, three rockets fired by Hezbollah hit Hadera. Hadera is fifty miles south of the Lebanese border and is the farthest point inside Israel that the terrorist group has hit. Five people were treated for shock. Hezbollah claimed to carry out the attack using Khaibar-1 rockets.
Sister City Structure/History
St. Paul’s involvement with the city of Hadera began on April 28, 1981, when it was made one of St. Paul’s Sister Cities. The Sister City relationship was established to support the Ivot Olga project.
One of the activities of Partnership 2000, a program launched in 1995 by the Israeli government in conjunction with US – Israeli cooperative groups worldwide, is an economic networking program, whereby businesspeople in the community serve as mentors for businesses in the partnered cities and regions. Currently, Hadera does not have an active Sister City Committee.
Excavation at Tiberias
View of Sea of Galilee
Tiberias at night
Greek Orthodox Church
Beach at Hadera
Monument in Hadera