Since 1989, Tirat Carmel and Monheim am Rhein have enjoyed a partnership characterized by enduring friendship.
Tirat Carmel is located on the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa, and is part of the port city’s administrative district. With a population of around 21,000, Tirat Carmel is a small city, but thanks to very extensive urban development and many construction projects in recent years, it is likely to have twice as many inhabitants by 2020. This partnership is defined by regular school exchanges, which have taken place annually without interruption since 1989 and strengthen the special relationship between Germany and Israel.
Fifty young people from four twin towns came together at the Youth Summit in Monheim am Rhein in July 2022. The young delegates from the youth panels of Bourg-la-Reine, France; Delitzsch, Saxony; Malbork, Poland; Tirat Carmel, Israel; and the Monheim Youth Parliament pitched their tents on Kapellenstrasse and spent a week discussing what a youth-friendly "City of the Future" would look like. Apart from the workshops, there was enough space and time for the participants to make friends with each other. At the end of the summit, the young people presented their results to the mayors and representatives of the twin towns.
The Youth Summit was funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.
In March 2022, Tirat Carmel's mayor Arie Tal and a delegation from the council and administration as well as teachers from Shifman High School visited Monheim for a Stolperstein laying ceremony. Together with descendants of the persecuted Herz, Blumenfeld and Dahl families, they participated in the laying of nine more Stolpersteine for persecuted Jewish citizens of Monheim am Rhein on Frohnstraße. Students of the Peter Ustinov Comprehensive School accompanied the ceremony with texts and music.
For 32 years, students from Shifman High School in Tirat Carmel and the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Monheim have been visiting each other. In August 2019, young people from Israel once again spent a week as guests in Monheim am Rhein. Students, host parents, former exchange students and friends of Israel all gathered in the hall of the Peace Church in Baumberg, where they enjoyed an artistic program. These evenings have already become a tradition. During the fall holidays, the Monheim secondary school students travel to Israel for a week-long program of activities with their Israeli friends.
After concerts in France, the youth orchestra from Tirat Carmel visited Monheim am Rhein in June 2018. The young musicians were welcomed by host families arranged by the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium and spent a few wonderful days with like-minded people. The visit culminated in a concert in the Friedenskirche church in Baumberg on 26 June. The wind orchestra entertained the audience with Israeli and Jewish pieces and received a standing ovation for virtuoso clarinet playing. Eli Fedida, who always accompanies the exchanges, was on the road with the orchestra.
In July 2017, Monheim am Rhein invited young people from all our twin towns to compete against our local clubs in the Monheim Friendship Cup, an international youth soccer tournament. Thanks to the particular efforts of both mayors, young people from the youth sports center in Tirat Carmel were also able to travel to Monheim am Rhein, where some great friendships were born.
Not only has a cordial friendship grown between the German and Israeli cities over the last decades, but so has a common culture of remembrance. A new video was produced to commemorate the 80th anniversary of "Kristallnacht" (Night of Broken Glass), an event that is regarded as one of the key events in pre-war Nazi Germany. The video illustrates the different sides of friendship, and how we remember the past together.
Monheim am Rhein owes its contacts with Tirat Carmel to the non-profit association “Arbeitskreis Partnerschaft mit Israel” (partnership with Israel working group), which was set up in 1987. Even in turbulent times, the association continued its work and supported youth exchanges between the two countries – and in recent years, even exchanges involving adults.