U.S. Mayors - September 2017

A bi-partisan delegation of Mayors of key American cities is visiting Israel through Project Interchange. This seminar is designed to both build upon and enhance U.S.-Israel relations at the important city/Mayoral level. The delegation is being chaired by Mayor John Giles of Mesa, Arizona, recently named by Money.com as the best big city in the Southwest United States.

Mayors provide an important voice on issues related to the U.S.-Israel relationship, the conflicts in the Middle East, and the presence of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment in the U.S. They shape popular attitudes in these important areas, appear regularly on local, state and national media outlets, newspapers and journals, and speak regularly to the White House on important national issues.

The Mayors will meet with government officials, mayoral counterparts, and community leaders who will give an overview of Israeli culture, history, and society. They will also visit leading Israeli innovators to discuss entrepreneurship and community development, meet with Knesset members, and journalists.

In addition to having the opportunity to visit several historical and culturally significant sites, the delegation will travel to the southern and northern borders and visit the Old City of Jerusalem. The delegation will also travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian government and civic leaders.

Discussion topics will range from Israel’s strategic environment to education, economic development, city administration and technology, along with sessions sharing best practices on technology start-ups and environmental and water management, to absorption and integration of immigrant communities. All of these areas are issues facing the cities and communities the Mayors represent.

The seminar is staffed by Dan Elbaum, Director, AJC Department of Regional Offices and Melanie Maron Pell, Associate Director, AJC Department of Regional Offices.

AJC Project Interchange has led numerous delegations of Mayors to Israel, both from the US and Europe. One recent example is the 2011 Mayors delegation leading to significant Texas-Israel programs on water management and technologies to benefit the residents of Texas, which resulted from then-Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker’s participation in the AJC Project Interchange Mayoral delegation.