New Jersey’s East Brunswick Township and the central Israeli city of Yavne signed a sister city agreement this month, the New Jersey-Israel Commission announced on Thursday.

“The agreement aims to develop a mutually beneficial relationship to promote and broaden economic development, art and cultural exchanges, and youth programs between East Brunswick and Yavne,” said East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen. “We discovered a place with shared values that is a fertile ground for inter-community cooperation. We look forward to exploring an exchange of ideas and resources in fields such as science, technology, sports, health, education, arts and music.”

Cohen inked the agreement during a visit to Israel on Dec. 11 in a meeting with Yavne Mayor Roei Gabay following months-long discussions.

“We are pleased to create partnerships with our new friends from East Brunswick. We agreed to open a joint channel for connections and information sharing when the emphasis will be on sharing communities, environment and innovation in education,” said Gabay. “The relationship we embroidered today will create value for the residents of the two cities, and we are certain that we will establish a unique cooperation between the cities, which will also strengthen the relationship between the countries even further. I would like to express my appreciation to Mayor Cohen and his team and hope that we will find many ways for cooperation between our communities.”

The agreement encourages cooperation between East Brunswick and Yavne schools and cultural programs, including music. Both municipalities are home to roughly 50,000 residents. East Brunswick, a suburban town located less than 30 miles from New York City, is home to Hatikvah, a charter public school dedicated to a Hebrew language and culture-focused curriculum. 

The agreement was initiated by the New Jersey-Israel Commission of the New Jersey Department of State and the East Brunswick Office of Economic Development. The Federation of Local Authorities in Israel and the Consulate General of Israel in New York helped to bring the cities together.

“Our Commission congratulates East Brunswick and Yavne for signing this special partnership that is another step in bringing our communities closer between New Jersey and Israel,” said Andrew H. Gross, executive director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “Sister City agreements like these can bring tangible benefits and will strengthen the already flourishing New Jersey-Israel relationship.”

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