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
AJC Project Interchange, in collaboration with AJC’s Asia Pacific Institute, brought a delegation of Indian opinion leaders to Israel for a week of educational learning. As the world’s largest democracy, and home to over 160 million Muslims, India’s influence in world affairs is ever-increasing. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, collaboration between India and Israel has soared in a variety of fields, such as defense, science, technology and water resources. This seminar allowed for journalists, politicians, policy analysts and entrepreneurs from India to deepen their understanding of Israel’s geostrategic concerns, and provided exposure to Israel’s political dynamism, ethnic and religious diversity, and its entrepreneurial expertise. Meetings included sessions with Members of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), discussions about Israel’s high tech innovation, a tour of a water desalination plant, and visits to Israel’s Northern border and Southern district to discuss Israel’s geopolitical stance in the region. During the week participants also traveled to Ramallah in the Palestinian Authority and met with Palestinian experts to discuss society and politics.
Photo Gallery: Indian Opinion Leaders — May 2016
AJC Project Interchange, in coordination with the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA), hosted its first delegation of Colombian media leaders for a week of educational briefings in Israel. Colombia is widely regarded as Israel’s most trusted ally in Latin America and the PI seminar developed for this elite group opened up dialogues and collaboration opportunities with Israeli counterparts. Participants met with high-level journalists, government officials and civic leaders from across Israeli society. Sessions throughout the week included discussions about Arab-Israeli society, security challenges in the region, Israel’s foreign policy, Palestinian society and the peace process, co-existence and humanitarian aid, advancements in technology (such as water desalination), and more. The delegation traversed much of Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Northern borders and the Southern region via helicopter, and also visited historic and religious sites of importance. As with all Project Interchange delegations, meetings and site visits occurred in the Palestinian Authority.
We thank the Klaff Family Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Colombia for their generous support of this delegation.
Photo Gallery: Colombian Media Leaders - April 2016
Project Interchange, in collaboration with the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Institute of Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA), hosted a delegation of six Chilean Members of Congress and three prominent journalists in Israel. The seminar focused on Israeli foreign policy and domestic politics, Israel’s relationship with Chile and Latin America, regional dynamics, Palestinian society, the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, developments in high tech, and media reporting in the region. Sessions on the itinerary included high-level briefings with the participant’s counterparts in the Knesset (Parliament) from the Israel-Chile Parliament Friendship Group, and members of the diplomatic corps. The delegation traveled throughout Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Galilee, the Northern border and Southern region, and they also spent time in Ramallah and Bethlehem (within the Palestinian Authority) meeting with Palestinian leaders as well as Palestinian Authority Officials.
We thank the Klaff Family Foundation and the Comunidad Judia de Chile (Chilean Jewish Community) for their generous support of this delegation.
Photo Gallery: Chilean Politicians and Media Experts - March 2016
A delegation of 13 Rhodes Scholars from Australia, Germany, India, Kenya, the United Kingdom, and the United States traveled to Israel with AJC Project Interchange for a week of learning. The participants were all graduate students at Oxford University and were Rhodes Scholarship recipients, one of the world’s most prestigious international graduate scholarships. PI has a long history of developing educational seminars in Israel for Rhodes Scholars and this seminar marked the 13th such program for these elite graduate students. Sessions focused on Israel’s history, society, diversity, and strategic environment, the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, high tech in Israel, the media landscape, humanitarian aid, immigrant integration practices, and more. Meetings with Members of Knesset (Parliament), as well as academic elites and prominent journalists were also on the itinerary. Participants traversed much of Israel, and visited the Palestinian Authority for meetings and site visits.
Photo Gallery: Rhodes Scholars - March 2016
AJC Project Interchange, in cooperation with AJC’s Africa Institute, hosted in Israel its fourth delegation of African leaders, specifically focused on agriculture and renewable energy. Members of the delegation included highly accomplished CEOs and entrepreneurs from Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. While Africa is rich in natural resources, there are important bilateral benefits to be realized through expanded exchange of agricultural technology between Israel and Africa. Studies have shown that advances in agriculture are an extremely effective driver of economic growth in developing economies as it reduces rural poverty, increases food security, and stimulates broad-based economic growth. Since Israel’s founding, the country’s agricultural sector has been tasked with maintaining high yields despite severe and chronic water shortages. For years, Africa has made remarkable advances through the integration of Israeli agricultural technology.
This seminar provided participants with opportunities to explore potential agricultural exchange and collaboration with Israeli counterparts, as well as learn about Israel’s accumulated experience and agrotechnological advances. Sessions with a diverse line-up of speakers also focused on Israel as the Start-Up Nation, Israel’s economy, and Israeli history, politics, society and regional dynamics. Visits to historical and religious sites allowed for an important counterpoint to one on one meetings connecting these important African business leaders with appropriate Israeli start-ups.
Photo Gallery: African Business Leaders - March 2016
In 2015 Israel and Germany celebrated a historic 50 years of diplomatic relations and in February, Project Interchange brought its 8th delegation of German leaders to Israel, coordinated in collaboration with AJC Berlin. As one of the major European countries accepting thousands of migrants, Germany, like many European nations, is struggling to adequately care for and integrate the enormous influx of refugees generated by the Syrian civil war and other conflicts. During this seminar, participants interacted with Israeli experts on immigration and integration, which provided an opportunity to share expertise developed through Israel’s own experience in absorbing immigrants from around the world. Participants also met with Israeli, Arab-Israeli, and Palestinian experts and political leaders. Briefings expanded awareness of Israel’s security environment, media landscape, and contributed to the sharing of best practices in areas such as counter-terrorism, humanitarian aid, and cyber security.
Photo Gallery: German Politicians and Journalists - February 2016
AJC Project Interchange, in coordination with AJC’s Asia-Pacific Institute, hosted a delegation of experts in emergency preparedness and trauma response from Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka in Israel for a week of information-sharing and collaboration. Israel has long been respected for its emergency preparedness and trauma response systems, many of which can serve as models for discussion and exchange with similar systems in countries impacted by natural disasters, such as the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami. Throughout their time in Israel, participants visited hospitals and emergency relief centers, and met with their Israeli counterparts who organize emergency preparedness and trauma response programs. The seminar included a focus on infrastructure improvements to prevent or alleviate future tsunami devastation and provide assistance for people with post-traumatic stress resulting from the tsunami and related devastation. Participants also learned about Israeli politics and experienced first-hand its culture and diverse society.
Photo Gallery: Emergency Management and Relief Experts - January 2016
AJC Project Interchange, in coordination with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Brazil (CONIB) and the Jewish Federation of São Paulo (FISESP), hosted a distinguished group of Brazilian Deputies in the Chamber of Deputies (Members of the Brazilian Congress) in Israel. During their week-long seminar, participants met with a wide range of speakers, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials, Palestinian leaders, academics and tech entrepreneurs and innovators. Topics discussed included Israel’s geopolitical strategy and foreign policy, Israeli-Palestinian coexistence initiatives, humanitarian aid programs, high-tech innovation, media reporting in the region, water technology and agricultural advances. Brazil, known as one of the BRICS nations – the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – is the fifth largest country in the world, (boasting 200 million in population) and ranks as one of South America’s most influential countries. Given its increasing role in international affairs, Brazil’s political voice carries significant weight. This seminar was an opportunity for political leaders to connect with their Israeli counterparts for knowledge-sharing and collaboration opportunities.
Photo Gallery: Brazilian Political Leaders - November/December 2015
AJC’s Project Interchange and Department of International Jewish Affairs hosted a delegation of Eastern and Central European Members of Parliament, diplomats, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs policy advisors in Israel. The officials, comprising the second delegation of European officials to Israel through Project Interchange in as many weeks, learned about Israel’s political and geo-strategic realities, as well as high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship. Officials on the delegation represented Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, all of which are newer democracies and entrants to the European Union (EU). Participants met with a diverse range of government officials and high-level diplomats, as well as academics, business leaders, and journalists and discussed such topics as European-Israeli diplomatic and economic relations, the Iranian nuclear threat, the future of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, Israel’s national security and foreign policy, the diversity of Israeli society, and best practices fostering high-tech and entrepreneurship in an ideas-based economy.
Photo Gallery: European Officials - November 2015