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U.S. Ambassador Visits New Tourist Information Center in Akko

 
March 3, 2016
 
Contact:
Adam H. Brill, Director of Communications
212-879-9305 x222
 
U.S. Ambassador Visits New Tourist Information Center in Akko
By: Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod
   
      Akko2.jpg
As Alon Badihi of JNF-USA's Israel office looks on, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro signs
the registry at JNF's new Western Galilee Tourist Information Center.

Akko 1.jpgU.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro paid a recent visit to the new Jewish National Fund (JNF) Western Galilee Tourist Information Center in Akko to show support for the organization’s efforts to increase tourism and employment growth in northern Israel.  While in Akko, Shapiro praised the region’s multiculturalism and ongoing commitment to coexistence and “shared citizenship.”

Ambassador Shapiro spent a day visiting with local authorities and others to discuss development in the region.  His stop at the Tourist Information Center included tastes of local delicacies presented by representatives of Western Galilee Now (WGN), a grassroots consortium of over 30 tourism-related businesses in the area.

Akko 3.jpgThe Tourist Information Center, poised to open next week, on March 8, was designed by local Galilee architect Ella Jungerman (in photo at left) as a joint project of JNF and WGN as a way to encourage tourists to explore the Western Galilee area beyond Akko itself.  The centuries-old space in the heart of the old city was badly abused as a furniture shop, but is now clean and bathed with natural light reflecting from stone walls and a high, arched ceiling, with vivid bright blue trim to match other local buildings.  

The Western Galilee Tourist Information Center will be open Sunday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with special hours on Friday and Saturday. The center’s website is Westgalil.org.il and additional information can be obtained by emailing gjnftourist@jnf.org, or by calling 04-601-5533. 

During Ambassador Shapiro’s visit, Jungerman presented him with an artist’s concept drawing of the center as a keepsake, along with a “goodie bag” for Shapiro that included memorable and delicious treats from several WGN member businesses around the region.

While in Akko, Ambassador Shapiro also visited Western Galilee College, participating in several discussions with the college’s diverse student body. 

Akko 4.jpg“It's very exciting,” Shapiro said during his visit.  “Especially here in the Western Galilee, [where]  Jews, Arabs and Druze all live together…opportunities to build shared citizenship where every Israeli citizen no matter what background they come from feels a part of it.”

Ambassador Shapiro also toured northern Israel last year to commemorate Earth Day, participating in cleanup efforts along the Jordan River and throughout northern Israeli parks.” 

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JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (JNF) began in 1901 as a dream and vision to reestablish a homeland in Israel for Jewish people everywhere. Jews the world over collected coins in iconic JNF Blue Boxes, purchasing land and planting trees until ultimately, their dream of a Jewish homeland was a reality. JNF gives all generations of Jews a unique voice in building a prosperous future for the land of Israel and its people.

JNF embodies both heart and action; our work is varied in scope but singular in benefit. We strive to bring an enhanced quality of life to all of Israel’s residents, and translate these advancements to the world beyond. JNF is greening the desert with millions of trees, building thousands of parks, creating new communities and cities for generations of Israelis to call home, bolstering Israel’s water supply, helping develop innovative arid-agriculture techniques, and educating both young and old about the founding and importance of Israel and Zionism.

JNF is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and United Nations NGO, which continuously earns top ratings from charity overseers.

For more information on JNF, call 888-JNF-0099 or visit www.jnf.org.

 

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