March 2013 Update

April 1st, 2013

Welcome from Sam Witkin

Dear PI Alumni,

The last month brought even more than the typical number of headlines from Israel.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the region for the third time in as many weeks in an attempt to breathe new life into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel just announced plans to visit Israel later this month.  These high ranking visits follow President Obama’s highly successful, recent visit to Israel.

This hyper attention to Israel lately makes me think about the contrasts that Project Interchange shows our participants on our seminars and the immense challenge and honor it is to provide experiences that capture the unique Israeli experience shown in our video The Rhythm of Israel. In celebration of Israel’s 65th Independence Day next week, we thought you might want to revisit the sights and sounds of Israel (in English and in Spanish).  Feel free to share the link to this video (above) widely.

We’re always striving to improve our seminars even further and would love to hear from you: What is your most vivid impression of Israel? This link is a one question survey that asks about your impressions.  We will share the results next month.  If you’d like to reminisce about your experiences in Israel, feel free to share your story with me by clicking on my name below.



Of Interest: Articles About Israel

High Tech
The Seven Israeli High Tech Innovations Highlighted for President Obama

Incubating Start-Ups in the Israeli Classroom

3-D Printers Next Stop: Your Mouth

Israel Taps an Offshore Natural Gas Field

Of Note
Israelis invited to TEDMED Conference: For the first time, Israel was invited to conference bringing together hundreds of doctors and healthcare professionals

18 Cool Things to do in Tel Aviv for Free

A Chef’s Guide to Eating in Jerusalem

Celebrating 30 Years and 6,000 Alumni from 76 Countries

• Project Interchange is celebrating a milestone! We have now brought opinion leaders and decision-makers from 76 countries to Israel for educational seminars that provide direct, in-depth exposure to Israel’s diverse population, democratic system of government and complex strategic and societal dilemmas. As we celebrate PI’s 30th anniversary, please share YOUR photos or memories from your Project Interchange trip to Israel with us!

• American Jewish and Latino leaders from across the country gathered for a two-day AJC National Conversation on the State of Latino-Jewish Relations aiming to strengthen the relationship on a range of domestic and foreign policy concerns. Many of the national Latino leaders participating in the Summit are PI alumni (pictured above) who spoke passionately about their experiences in Israel with PI.

• Congratulations to Ioannis Kasoulides, who was appointed Foreign Minister of Cyprus on March 1. Minister Kasoulides was a Member of the European Parliament for Cyprus for eight years and traveled to Israel in 2011 with a PI delegation of European foreign policy leaders.

• University of Michigan President and PI alumna Mary Sue Coleman (2008 Univ. Presidents Seminar co-chair) signed a $1M agreement with Ben Gurion University. Details here.

PI’s Monthly Conference Call series provided a cutting-edge assessment of theImplications and Outcomes of President Obama’s Visit to Israel, featuring Aluf Benn,editor-at-large of Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

You can hear that call and others in the series here.

Watch your inbox for information about the next Israel Unwrapped briefing or email usfor more information.

Recent PI Seminars: Rhodes Scholars

What do former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Jamaican former Premier Norman Manley, at least 36 Olympians, and several Palme d’Or winners have in common? They are all Rhodes scholars. As the oldest and possibly most prestigious international fellowship, recipients have gone on to become presidents, prime ministers, senators, Supreme Court justices, Olympians, university presidents, NFL stars, Nobel Prize recipients, and more.

In March, PI led its 10th delegation of Rhodes Scholars to Israel. The 12 hailed from six countries: Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Botswana, and South Africa. The delegation met with Members of Knesset, traveled to Ramallah, learned about Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in health and medicine, and attended a concert and private reception with Israeli superstar Idan Raichel (pictured below), heralded for celebrating Israel’s diverse ethnic communities.

Recent Seminars: South African Journalists

“The @Project Interchange trip to Israel was enlightening and gave context to a global issue,” Tweeted Jeff Wicks, during a ground-breaking Project Interchange seminar for South African journalists.

The delegation marked PI’s first-ever South African seminar, and provided the journalists the opportunity to see Israel, meet with political and civil society leaders in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority, and connect with their counterparts. In what we hope will be the first of many seminars for South African leaders, the seminar was coordinated with AJC’s Africa Institute, the South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies and the South Africa Israel Forum. Seminar participants discussed Israel’s strategic environment, learned about Israel’s expertise integrating minorities into Israeli society, met with Members of Knesset, learned about Israeli urban renewal, met with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and attended the ceremony and presentation of credentials by South Africa’s new Ambassador to Israel Sisa Ngombane to Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Read more:
An International View on Youth Problem Solving by Faith Mangope:

Pale by Comparison by Michael Coetzee

With heavy hearts, we regret to note that seminar participant and journalist Randy Rossouw passed away unexpectedly just weeks after her seminar to Israel. All of PI mourns her untimely passing.

Connect with Project Interchange

If you’re not already connected to PI through LinkedIn, connect to us and stay connectedwith PI through FacebookLinkedInTwitter and email for up-to-the-minute information about Israel and Project Interchange.

AJC’s Global Forum

Join us at AJC’s Global Forum June 2-4 in Washington, DC. The Prime Minister of Greece and Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic and Poland are already confirmed. Project Interchange alumni and friends will join together for a special event at the Global Forum. Email usfor more information or Register Now .