Ceremony Twins Sunny Isles Beach and Netanya, Israel
By Susan Simpson, Cultural and Human Services Director
On May 19, 2005 the city of Sunny Isles Beach and the city of Netanya, Israel formally became Sister Cities in an official signing ceremony. The event held in the David P. Samson Commission Chambers was the culmination of many months of communication between the two cities to officially ‘twin’ the cities. During the ceremony, each mayor signed four copies of the agreement, two in English and two in Hebrew. Each city kept one original of each version. Our document is proudly displayed outside Mayor Edelcup’s office.
Mayor Norman Edelcup welcomed Mayor Miriam Fierberg-Ikar of Netanya to Sunny Isles Beach in grand style. The city hosted several events throughout the week to give the Netanya delegation an opportunity to meet department staff, committee members, local businessmen, and the general public, including several who are former residents of Netanya. Before long, the two mayors’ were referring to each other as brother and sister feeling as though they had known each other for years.
Arie Steiger a former resident of Netanya and a current resident of Sunny Isles Beach was instrumental in the formation of the union. It was Arie’s idea for Sunny Isles Beach to have a sister city. With the similarities between the two cities, it seemed like the perfect match. Both cities are located on the beach and are resort communities. The redevelopment that has taken place in Sunny Isles Beach has caught the attention of Mayor Fierberg-Ikar. In one of her many addresses during her stay she mentioned that she would like to see every building that is in Sunny Isles Beach duplicated in Netanya. She was very impressed with the architecture and landscaping that make up the beauty of the condominiums and resorts that have put a new face on Sunny Isles Beach.
Consul General of Israel Dr. Yitschak Ben Gad, the former Deputy Mayor of Netanya, was present at the event to show his support of the union. In addition, he hosted a reception in her honor at his home. He had many compliments for Mayor Edelcup and Sunny Isles Beach stating that the two cities are equal in beauty and attraction.
It was an enjoyable week and the Netanya delegation is grateful to their host for their enlightening visit.