Jewish National Fund-USA Brings Hope to Akko as Tourist Information Center Reopens
Akko, Israel., January 25, 2022 — Seven months after Jewish National Fund-USA’s (JNF-USA) Tourist Information Center was damaged during a period of civil unrest in Akko, the Center has reopened with big plans to welcome tourists back to the ancient city. After significant philanthropic investments and extensive repairs, JNF-USA will once again welcome tourists to Israel’s north, sending the message that the city is open, safe, and ready to celebrate its storied history.
Originally opened in March 2016 with a philanthropic investment of over $1 million, the tourist information center is part of the organization’s Go North strategic initiative, which aims to strengthen the Galilee region through economic development, tourism promotion, community building, and with the construction of medical centers and other vital infrastructure.
The newly refurbished entrance way of JNF-USA's WGN Tourist Information Center
“We have turned Israel’s Galilee into a must-see destination for tourists from around the world,” said JNF-USA National Campaign Director, Sharon Joy. “By increasing tourism, we create an economic ripple effect that supports jobs and growth throughout the region. And for Israelis, they now see the north as a region with real opportunity rather than just a place to visit. They can envision raising a family there and finding employment in places like Kiryat Shmona and Akko.”
JNF-USA’s rebuilt Tourist Information Center features services for planning customized hiking trails, recommendations for cultural, artistic, and special culinary experiences, and details on where to stay in Israel’s north.
Go North West Task Force Chair, Deb Zaluda, shared her excitement about the center’s reopening noting its importance for the region. “The city of Akko has been through so much, yet we have always been there for them. With the reopening of our tourist information center, we renew our pledge to support this city as we say loudly ‘let’s continue to work hand in hand to make Israel’s north the number tourist destination for travelers the world over’.”
The center is run by Western Galilee Now (WGN), which was established more than a decade ago with the aim of promoting tourism in the area through cooperation between local businesses. Next month, in addition to managing the information center, WGN will hold a 3-hour trip to Old Akko on Fridays once every two weeks, starting at the information center, exploring the winding alleys combined with tastings.
WGN Managing Director, Michal Shiloah-Galnoor, looks forward to welcoming tourists back to Akko and the Galilee
The Center also plans to welcome back local musicians and dance troupes who utilized the iconic building’s visually impressive space to perform for locals and tourists alike.
"We are proud that JNF-USA chose to build the information center and even more proud of the decision to renew the center and reinvest in it in full faith in the future of Akko and the Galilee,” said WGN CEO Michal Shiloah Galnoor. “The coordination and joint activities for tourists in the Western Galilee, with the assistance of JNF-USA, are essential to enabling tourism in the region to become a growing, sustainable, and developing industry.”
Whether you’ve been to Israel a hundred times or never before, plan your dream vacation today at jnf.org/travel. To support tourism, the arts, and cultural initiatives in Israel, contact JNF-USA’s Go North West and Arts & Entertainment Task Force Professional, Sharon Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323.964.1400 x810.
About Jewish National Fund-USA
JNF-USA is the leading philanthropic organization for Israel that supports critical environmental and nation building activities in Israel’s north and south. Through its One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade, JNF-USA is developing new communities in the Galilee and Negev, connecting the next generation to Israel, and creating infrastructure and programs that support ecology, individuals with special needs, and heritage site preservation.