Kriseman to Visit Israel with Mayors’ Delegation
The week-long, bipartisan seminar is designed to further enhance U.S.-Israel relations at the municipal level.
ST. PETERSBURG – Mayor Rick Kriseman is joining a bipartisan delegation of U.S. mayors visiting Israel with AJC (American Jewish Committee) Project Interchange for intensive dialogue and briefings.
The week-long educational seminar marks the first delegation under the auspices of a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Conference of Mayors and AJC, the highlight of which is an annual mayors’ delegation to Israel.
Underwritten entirely by AJC Project Interchange, the seminar is designed to further enhance U.S.-Israel relations at the municipal level. This delegation is chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The seminar is intended to provide these policymakers with a first-hand understanding of Israel, dubbed the “Innovation Nation” for its economic and social entrepreneurship. The mayors will learn about Israel’s vibrant democracy, diverse society, and regional challenges. They will meet with influential figures across the political and social spectrum, including Israel President Reuven Rivlin, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and civil society leaders, Jewish and Arab, throughout Israel.
Importantly, the mayors will meet with their Israeli counterparts to discuss best practices for their home communities on economic development, technology start-ups, urban revitalization, and city administration. The delegation also will observe how Israel balances the preservation of its heritage with modern municipal management and the provision of social services.
“I am looking forward to this extraordinary opportunity to visit Israel with fellow mayors from across America,” Kriseman said. “Every time I visit somewhere new, I am grateful for the chance to learn about new ideas that may work well in St. Pete. Even better, I am looking forward to talking about all the amazing things happening in the Sunshine City – from arts and culture, to our new pier and police headquarters, to our food scene, to some of the best waterfront parkland in North America. I want to thank the AJC for making this remarkable trip possible. I also want to thank Mayor Eric Garcetti for his leadership in serving as chair of this delegation.”
Said Melanie Maron Pell, AJC managing director of regional offices, who is accompanying the delegation: “AJC has worked closely with mayors and municipal leaders for decades on issues of mutual concern. The mayors will learn a great deal about hi-tech and economic development, immigration absorption, diversity, and emergency services that will assist them in their governance of their respective cities.”
In addition to visiting significant historical and cultural sites, the delegation will visit Tel Aviv; Haifa; Israel’s borders, including the Lebanese border; and Jerusalem, including the Old City. The delegation also will meet with Palestinian civic and business leaders in the Palestinian Authority, located in the West Bank. Several sessions dealing with Israel’s strategic environment, diversity and coexistence, and interreligious cooperation are also on the agenda.
In 2017 and 2018, bipartisan delegations of U.S. mayors, also organized by AJC Project Interchange, visited Israel. The new MoU, signed in January, formalizes and expands this cooperation.
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