Initial credit for the concept of twinning cities should be awarded in time of post-WW2 – to the French Prime Minister Charles de Gaulle and the Chancellor of West Germany, Konrad Adenauer 1945. They were aiming at relieving the hostility between the two nations, hoping to allow a direct formation of relationship between the residents as well as the leaders of German and French cities.
Hearing of it in Israel, PM David Ben-Gurion supported the concept, which has gained speed in Israel in early 1960s. The Israeli government and the Foreign Affairs Ministry had contacted officials of local authorities and had encouraged them to formulate relationships with cities in the young state of Israel.
Nowadays, terms such as “partner towns” or “sister cities” are also used to describe the same concept.
Twin cities develop relationships in the fields of culture, sports, arts and creativity, commerce, exchange of knowledge, etc.
By 2001, 89 local authorities in Israel (49 cities and 40 local and regional councils) had twin-city agreements with overseas cities/countries. Numbers have grown since and these days we are looking at a diversity of agreements.
As twinning is not unique to only two unique cities, each city can “twin” with more than one other city….for example:
Tel-Aviv- twins with 26 cities
Haifa- twins with 23 cities
Tiberius- twins with 10 cities
And so on….
Some examples of twinning are:
Jerusalem – New York City, USA
Holon- Suresnes, France
Ramla- Vaughan, Canada
Nazareth– Florence, Italy
Kfar-Saba – San Jose, Costa Rica
Ra’anana- Verona, Italy
Netanya– Gold Coast, Australia
Petah-Tikva – Odense, Denmark
Nahariya– Issy-les-Moulineaux, France
Tel-Aviv– Los Angeles, USA