Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

Bethlehem and Arad

Burlington first developed sister city relationships with the Palestinian city of Bethlehem and the Israeli city of Arad in 1991. In October of 1996, Mayor Peter Clavelle and our Sister City Committee hosted a four-day visit by Professor Walid Dajani, who represented Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij, and by Arad Mayor Bezalel Tabib. Together, representatives of the three cities signed cooperative agreements - the first-ever sister-city pacts among American, Palestinian, and Israeli communities.

The Burlington-Bethlehem-Arad Sister City Program has sponsored numerous dialogues, exchanges, and projects aimed at developing mutual understanding and building people-to-people relationships. We have sponsored film showings, speakers, and panel discussions. At an educational forum in Burlington, we brought together the Israeli Consul General from Boston and a representative of the Palestinian Mission to the United Nations General Assembly. Our sister city program sponsored teenagers from each of the three cities to attend the "Seeds of Peace" camp in Maine, a highly regarded summer program whose mission is to build peace in the Middle East "one friend at a time." We've also established, in cooperation with local colleges and the Sheraton Hotel, a three-month internship in hospitality and hotel management for students from Bethlehem University. Over the past year, Burlington's Sister City Program has raised funds to aid a variety of organizations providing medical, educational, and humanitarian aid to the people of Bethlehem.

For further information contact Mousa Ishaq at or feel free to attend a meeting.  The meetings are held the first Monday of every month at 6:15pm at the Miller Center (130 Gosse Court).