(L-R) ii2020 VP of Strategy Inbal Freund, JNF-USA CEO Russell Robinson, Kiryat Shmona Mayor Avihai Stern, ii2020 Founder Dr. Erel Margalit, and Deputy Mayor and Head of Economic Development Ofir Yehezkeli overlooking the city of Kiryat Shmona..
(photo credit: JNF-USA)
Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF) and ii2020, led by investor Erel Margalit, have announced two major projects to help transform the greater Kiryat Shmona region, and provide the area with a strong economic future and population growth. The first – the Beit Asher Food-Tech Quarter, is a food startup and innovation center that will serve as the central hub for companies to study and develop food security, agri-tech, and other technologies to revolutionize the food industry and, in turn, feed the world.
"The Initiative that we are leading in the Galilee will attract multinational companies, create new jobs and leverage the entire region,” said Erel Margalit. “Our goal is to create a new story and new opportunities in the region. No longer will it be referred to as Israel’s ‘periphery.’ ”
A joint investment of $65 million throughout the North, resulting from collaborative efforts between JNF-USA, ii2020, and local and national government agencies, is being directed towards the development of new housing, increased employment and industry, with the goal of making Kiryat Shmona the food technology and culinary capital of Israel. JNF is also planning construction of a regional medical center to respond to and manage the future needs of the local population.
The second project, the JNF International Institute of Culinary Arts, a four-year accredited program, will provide students with advanced, cutting-edge tools and techniques to innovate in the kitchen, and is expected to open in the winter of 2019.
“The Jewish people spread across the globe and found their way back to Israel, bringing with them a multicultural blend of ingredients, cooking techniques, and recipes that fused together in unthinkable ways to create modern Israeli cuisine,” said Jewish National Fund President Sol Lizerbram. “These new ventures are a natural progression of our collective experience that will be greatly enhanced to change the future of Israel’s north for the better.”
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