I am also pleased to report that the growth in services, which we have all
supported with our time and contributions, has continued. The Ariel Cultural
Center, consisting of three architecturally integrated buildings, is not
progressing as quickly as we had hoped.
1.The Community Center is completed and has now been functioning for well over
a year. It still needs important recreational equipment.
2. Construction on the second component, the Municipal Library, will be
finished this summer. Adjoining the high school; this facility may remain a
shell unless we, the Friends of Ariel around the world, can provide the funds
needed to furnish and equip it.
3. The third wing of the complex, the Center for Performing Arts, is about
one-half completed but construction has been halted because there are not
enough funds to continue.
Over the summer, we will intensify our fund raising efforts to finish
these projects and help provide the families of Ariel with the religious,
medical and social services they require.
If you and your family plan to be in Israel, I urge you to visit Ariel. If
you have friends who are planning a trip, encourage them to visit as well. You
can call our office in the U.S. (305-340-9550) or in Israel (972-3936-4406).
Dina Shalit and her staff will be pleased to arrange a tour of Ariel. I can
assure you that you and your friends will be warmly received by the wonderful
people to whom your support means so much.
American Friends of Ariel
STONE BY STONE
This has been a fruitful spring for the people of Ariel -- despite the
anxiety over the ongoing negotiations with the PLO and the proposed
redeployment of our IDF troops.
It has been a particularly busy time for Mayor Ron Nachman. Just before
Passover, the eldest of his four daughters, Adi, was married. A measure of the
great respect in which he is held was the presence at the wedding of many of
Israel's leaders from across the political spectrum, among them President Ezer
Weizman, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu and many others. A few weeks
later, municipal elections were held in Ariel and Ron was returned to office
for a third term with a remarkable 85% of the popular vote.
Earlier this year, there was also an unusual discovery in Ariel -- an
extraordinary cave dating back to ancient times (see article on page 6). These
astonishingly beautiful stalagmite and stalactite formations symbolize what
Ariel means to so many of us -- an historic opportunity to help shape the
contours of the future upon the legacy of the past. These caves were formed
eons ago, in aquifers that provide much of Israel's precious water resources
today and will become a magnet for tomorrow's growth in tourism to Ariel.
In large measure, I believe it is the growing awareness of the depths of
our Jewish roots in the rocky soil of Samaria that has contributed to the
growth in the number of people who are helping to fund vital programs and
services through the American Friends of Ariel. This growing support is coming
not only from traditional advocates of Jewish settlement. We are finding,
throughout the U.S., many people who have always supported Israel through
major philanthropic organizations are channeling contributions into specific
projects to ensure the quality of life in Ariel.
Director of Development
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