I had the pleasure of spending Passover in Ariel with Mayor Ron Nachman, Deputy Mayor: Tamarkin, Dina Shalit and their families and many other friends. With them, I saw the changes in ~Ariel. You may recall that at the outset of the current government's term of office, a "freeze" was imposed on Ariel. The government sealed newly-built homes and would not allow them to be put on the market. Recently, the contractor of 142 housing units managed to bypass the "freeze." Within weeks all those homes were sold and are now occupied. People are still moving to Ariel - new immigrants and Israelis alike - and there are hundreds of other families waiting for additional homes to become available.

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.

Harry Posin

American Friends of Ariel



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.

Howard Stone

Director of Development

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