The UJA-Federation of New York is investing $250,000 in the northern city of Tzfat (Safed) to turn it into an international heritage site.
Tzfat is one of the four traditionally holy cities in Israel, the others being Jerusalem, Hevron and Tiberias.
A 36-person senior UJA-Federation of New York delegation met with Tzfat Mayor Ilan Shohat during a tour of the city and the country.
The new project, prepared by the Reut Institute, is based in part on the unique assets of Tzfat, such as its storied heritage, the Old City, and its new medical school. The project also aspires to encourage business and entrepreneurship throughout different sectors in the city.
"New York’s Jewish community attaches great importance to strengthening the periphery of Israel as part of ensuring its thriving future,” said David Mallach, Managing Director of COJP at the UJA-Federation of New York.
"The new project in Tzfat is an important pilot for us in our efforts to build strong and successful Israeli communities,” he added.
A central part of the new project is its plan to build and renovate community centers around the city. The centers are to be constructed or rebuilt in all six districts of the city and will feature activities in all areas of life for residents of all ages, including arts and crafts, sports, professional training, development and participation in municipal decision-making processes.
The building and renovation of the community centers is expected to begin in 2013.