Toronto may adopt Eilat antiviolence plan

Over the past 3 years, Eilat has reduced domestic violence by 51%, and youth violence by 35%.

eilat tourism 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post [file])
eilat tourism 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post [file])
A program that has significantly reduced violence in all spheres of society in Eilat could be adopted in coming months by a UJA-Federation of Greater Toronto program and subsequently be implemented in the Canadian city, according to Morley Brown and Brian Schachter, co-chairs of the federation's Partnership 2000 committee. The two spoke Thursday at the third annual conference on violence in Israel society, which has been taking place in Eilat this week. Following his speech, Schachter told The Jerusalem Post that the federation's "Love" program (an acronym for Leave Out Violence) had been examining the results of Eilat's City of Non-Violence program since it was launched as a pilot three years ago, looking at ways it could help address similar issues in Toronto. "We have been involved in the program since its inception," Schachter said. "We are always looking at how we can help out here, whether it be socially or environmentally. Now they are helping us." Toronto has been twinned with Eilat under Partnership 2000 for the past 19 years. In his address, Brown pointed to the successes of the City of Non-Violence program and congratulated Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi for having created what could potentially become an international model. Over the past three years, Eilat has succeeded in reducing domestic violence by 51 percent, youth violence by 35%, vandalism by 30% and violence in the education system by 40%, with an overall fall in crime of 39%. The program, which includes beefed-up police patrols, closed circuit cameras in trouble areas and prevention programs in schools and for parents, has been taken on by 10 other Israeli cities in recent months and plans exist to expand it to 200 more localities. "I am traveling to Canada on Sunday and if the people of Toronto are interested in adopting our methodology then I will offer them all the assistance they need," Halevi told the Post. "The program is not only applicable to Eilat, it can quite easily be adapted by other cities." Halevi said the key to the success of the City of Non-Violence programs lay in the fact that all those behind it believe that "this is the right way."