International Seminars

German Politicians and Journalists - February 2017

AJC Project Interchange, in coordination with AJC Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations, is hosting its ninth delegation of German leaders in Israel. The delegation is comprised of high-level political and civil society leaders, including representation from the Foreign Office and Parliament offices, and elite journalists from a number of Germany’s major publications.

Participants will meet with Members of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), academics from top Israeli and Palestinian institutes, and prominent Israeli, Arab-Israeli, and Palestinian media experts. The delegation will travel throughout Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Israel’s Northern and Southern regions, and Ramallah in the Palestinian Authority.

Briefings will expand the participants’ awareness of Israel’s security environment, media landscape, entrepreneurship and innovation, and promote sharing of best practices in areas such as counter-terrorism, humanitarian aid, and co-existence. Also on the itinerary are visits to historical and religious sites, and discussions about Israeli-Palestinian relations, regional dynamics, and international law. The delegation will be accompanied by AJC Berlin Director Deidre Berger as well as AJC Berlin Public Affairs Officer, Fabian Weissbarth.

UN Ambassadors - December 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon escorted a delegation of ambassadors to the UN on a trip to Israel, organized by AJC Project Interchange and led by Ambassador Aaron Jacob, AJC Director of Diplomatic Affairs, and Myra Clark-Siegel, Director of Communications and Senior Strategic Counsel, AJC Project Interchange.

The delegation of 14 ambassadors from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America marked the fifth time that AJC (American Jewish Committee) brought a group of UN Ambassadors to Israel, and the second time this year the group is led by Ambassador Danon and AJC.

To provide a deeper understanding of the geopolitical and security challenges Israel faces, the ambassadors traveled throughout Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Northern border and Southern region. Visits to hi-tech and agricultural research facilities will demonstrate Israel’s role as a world leader in innovations with global impact.

They met with Israeli officials and academic experts, as well as with Israelis representative of the country’s diverse population. Meetings took place on topics specific to the United Nations 2030 Global Agenda, including special needs, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and food security.

The delegation also traveled to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian government officials and with Palestinian entrepreneurs, to discuss co-existence opportunities, including the new joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian Industrial Zone.

Both in Israel and in Ramallah, the ambassadors will discuss with officials current challenges to advancing the peace process.

U.S.-Based Diplomats - December 2016

Project Interchange will sponsor a delegation to Israel of U.S.-based Consuls General, Ambassadors, and other high level diplomats.

This diverse group of diplomats, based in New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, represent countries with current and emerging partnerships with Israel, including Azerbaijan, Chile, Lithuania, Macedonia, Myanmar, Philippines, Spain, Uruguay and Vietnam.

High-level briefings and site visits throughout Israel will give participants a first-hand understanding of the geopolitical difficulties facing Israel and the region, an overview of Israel’s strategic environment and the diversity and richness of Israeli society. Meetings with the Palestinian Authority and other Palestinian leaders will provide additional insight into life in the PA and the complexities of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Sessions will also be devoted to Arab-Jewish coexistence efforts, human rights, and international law.

Participants will travel to Israel’s Northern and Southern borders to view life in these regions up close. The delegation will also have important discussions with Members of the Knesset (Parliament), Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, and academic experts focused on the peace process, Israeli foreign policy, and domestic politics. Important site visits will include the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Jaffa.

German Muslim Civic and Political Leaders, November 2016

In coordination with AJC Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations, Project Interchange will be hosting a delegation of German Muslim Civic and Political Leaders in Israel. Participants on this seminar include both influential and emerging leaders from a variety of fields including journalism, local politics, and civic organizations.

Throughout this seminar, participants will learn about Israel’s successes and challenges through meetings with top-level experts and informative site visits. Key sessions for this delegation include Israel’s approach to Arab-Israeli coexistence through education; Israel’s national agenda and foreign policy; media coverage in the Middle East; and a meeting with former Ambassador, poet, and historian Reda Mansour to discuss the role of minorities in Israel.

Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the geopolitical challenges facing the region by traveling to both Israel’s northern and southern borders. Participants will also visit areas of importance around the country, including the Old City of Jerusalem, the Druze village of Daliyat El-Carmel, and Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

French Civic Leaders, November 2016

AJC Project Interchange in cooperation with AJC Paris has organized a delegation of French civic leaders to visit Israel. The seminar will highlight the role of minorities in Israel’s civic, political, educational and intellectual life as well efforts to further co-existence. The delegation will meet with key political leaders including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, leadership of the Palestinian Authority, diplomats, and current and former Members of the Knesset (Parliament).

Other sessions will focus on higher education for minorities; Israel’s approach to humanitarian aid; integration, equality and socio-economic gaps in the Israeli Arab sector; and interfaith relations. The itinerary also includes visits to the Old City of Jerusalem, the Palestinian planned city of Rawabi, the Jewish-Arab Community Center of Akko, the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, and Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

European Officials - October 2016

Project Interchange will host a delegation in Israel of European Officials representing Germany, Romania, Slovakia and Belgium in coordination with AJC’s Transatlantic Institute. High-level briefings and site visits throughout Israel will give the officials a deeper understanding of the geopolitical difficulties facing Israel and the region, an overview of Israel’s strategic environment, and the diversity and richness of Israeli society. Meetings with Palestinian leaders will provide additional insights, including the complexities of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Sessions will also be devoted to Arab-Jewish coexistence efforts, human rights, and international law.

The delegation will travel to Israel’s Northern and Southern borders to gain a better understanding of Israel’s security concerns. The delegation will also have important high-level briefings with Members of Knesset (Parliament), Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Visits to the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza and Galilee Medical Center will demonstrate Israel’s approaches to humanitarian aid. The itinerary also includes an inside look at Jerusalem’s diverse society, a guided tour of Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust Museum and Memorial), and visits to Rawabi (the first planned city by and for Palestinians) and Start-Up Nation Central in Tel Aviv to learn about Israeli entrepreneurship and cutting-edge high tech innovations.

The delegation will be accompanied throughout the seminar by Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels.

Chinese Academic Leaders — August 2016

AJC Project Interchange, in coordination with AJC’s Asia Pacific Institute (API), hosted a delegation of nine Chinese academic leaders in Israel for a week of experiential learning and knowledge-sharing. The participants represented a diverse group of universities and think tanks from large cities and small towns all throughout China. During their week in Israel, the delegation engaged in briefings with high-level Jewish and Arab-Israeli leaders and officials, and met with top Israeli scholars on the Middle East and Asian Studies programs from Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, and Haifa University. Meetings with speakers who represented start-ups in the Arab-Israeli and Jewish sectors and with prominent journalists were also on the schedule. The group visited the Einstein Archive, Israel Museum, Shrine of the Book and Yad Vashem Memorial Museum, which provided them with an orientation to Israeli culture and history.

Photo Gallery: Chinese Academic Leaders — August 2016

UN Ambassadors — July 2016

Project Interchange, in coordination with the Israeli Mission to the UN, hosted its largest seminar in Israel of UN Ambassadors, which included eleven ambassadors representing a diverse array of countries. Despite being the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel routinely faces harsh criticism and condemnation at the United Nations. Throughout their week in Israel, UN Ambassadors were provided with a deeper understanding of the geopolitical and security challenges facing Israel, Israel’s perspective on foreign policy, and the diversity and richness of Israeli society. Visits to sites around the country demonstrated Israel’s role as a world leader in innovations with global impact and its progress as a multi-faceted nation. Additionally, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, who recently became the first Israeli to head a permanent committee in the UN, attended many of the sessions with the delegation. The ambassadors engaged in high-level briefings with Israeli officials, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein, and Ambassador Dore Gold, Director General at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additional private meetings took place on topics specific to the United Nations 2030 Global Agenda including: special needs, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and food security. The delegation traversed much of Israel, including the Northern border and Southern region, and conducted meetings with leaders in the Palestinian Authority.

Uruguayan Political Leaders — July 2016

AJC Project Interchange, in collaboration with AJC’s Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA) and the Jewish community of Uruguay, hosted its first seminar in Israel comprised of senators, congressmen, and other top political leaders from Uruguay. The strong relationship between Israel and Uruguay began when Uruguay became the first country in South America to officially recognize Israel and opened the first Israeli Embassy in Latin America in November 1948. This seminar included high-level briefings with members of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and government officials, such as Yuval Steinitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water, along with site visits throughout Israel, provided participants with first-hand understanding of the geopolitical difficulties facing Israel and the region, an overview of Israel’s strategic environment and the diversity and richness of Israeli society. Also on the agenda were meetings with the Palestinian leaders who provided additional insight into life in the Palestinian Authority and the complexities of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Sessions of special interest to Uruguayan leaders included: Israel’s approaches to water reclamation and management, innovations in agriculture, challenges facing secondary educational systems, and Israel’s prison system and approaches to reducing recidivism. Speakers also discussed Arab-Jewish coexistence efforts, human rights, and Israel’s legal system.

This seminar was made possible through the generous support of the Paul and Balbina Schifter Memorial fund.

Photo Gallery: Uruguayan Political Leaders — July 2016

EU Officials – May 2016

In coordination with AJC’s Transatlantic Institute, AJC Project Interchange hosted a delegation of European diplomats and advisors to MEPs (Members of European Parliament) from Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovak Republic and Spain in Israel. Through site visits and meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials and experts in foreign policy and security issues, participants gained first-hand views of important issues they often face in their roles in the European Parliament and European Union. Private meetings and dinners with the participants’ counterparts in the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) provided a platform for knowledge-sharing and relationship building. Sessions throughout the week also focused on Israeli-Palestinian coexistence initiatives, Israel’s geopolitical strategy and challenges, high-tech innovation in Israel, diversity in Israeli society, and humanitarian aid programs. Additionally, participants travelled to the Palestinian Authority and met with Palestinian officials and experts.

Photo Gallery: EU Officials — May 2016