A Deep And Abiding Friendship

  • Monday, April 2, 2012
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Jersey to Israel

A Deep And Abiding Friendship
Governor Christie Builds Upon New Jersey And Israel’s “Uniquely Important, Mutually Beneficial Friendship”

“Mary Pat and I have decided that our first foreign travel as Governor and First Lady will be to Israel next year … We decided we want to go, and we want to visit for ourselves. It’s an important visit for me personally and an important visit for the folks of New Jersey as well to have the Governor and the First Lady go and visit ... We look forward to continue to strengthen our ties between our states. There’s a great, great, great long-term connection between New Jersey and Israel, and I intend to make that as strong as I can …”
– Governor Chris Christie, Meeting With Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, October 24, 2011

“Since The 1980s and Tom Kean’s days of leading the state, New Jersey governors have been making trips to Israel, and in the process building a uniquely important, mutually beneficial friendship.” (Editorial, “The Record: Christie and Israel,” The Record, 4/1/12)
  • “Such trips carry economic considerations to be sure, both in good times or bad. But there are also long-treasured cultural connections that must be maintained and strengthened. Governor Christie continues the tradition today …”
  • “We wish the governor well in his travels. Just as it is important for the United States to maintain its alliance with Israel in a very volatile region, it is essential for Trenton to nurture its mutually beneficial relationship with Jerusalem as well.”
  • “Financially, culturally and technologically speaking, the world is a much smaller place than it was when Gov. Tom Kean traveled to Israel in 1988. And yet New Jersey’s commonality with both Israel and the Middle East has grown exponentially larger in recent years. We look for the governor to explore that commonality and to nurture it where he can.”

“Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), the only Orthodox Jew in the Legislature, said visiting Israel is paramount to understanding Jewish people in New Jersey.” (Jenna Portnoy, “Visit to Jerusalem puts Christie on world stage,” Star-Ledger, 4/1/12)

“The trip makes sense for the governor of New Jersey, a state that has strong economic ties to Israel and that’s also home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the U.S.” (John Reitmeyer, “Christie gives diplomacy a test run with trade talks on Middle East trip,” The Record, 4/1/12)

  • “Choose NJ will stress the state’s location, educated job force and other qualities while overseas with the governor and estimates the trip has the potential to bring back $281 million in new investment and create 660 jobs.”
  • “‘We believe economic development is very competitive on a global basis,’ [Choose NJ’s Tracye] McDaniel said. ‘That’s why we go on trips like this.’”

“[I]sraelis are attuned to New Jersey political affairs, according to Steven Some, a New Jersey lobbyist who accompanied Christie Whitman and Tom Kean on trips there.” (Heather Haddon, “Christie Takes Trade Mission to Jerusalem,” Wall Street Journal, 4/1/12)

  • “‘Everywhere we went, we ran into people from New Jersey,’ he said. ‘The New Jersey governor is a recognizable figure there.’”

“Gov. Chris Christie and his family touched down at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv this morning and immediately hit ‘go’ on an aggressive four-day agenda that mixes finance, faith and foreign affairs.” (Jenna Portnoy, “Gov. Christie's visit to Israel is off to busy start,” Star-Ledger, 4/2/12)

  • “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and Christie will likely discuss Iran and Syria as well as increasing trade between Israel and New Jersey, which are similar in size and cultural values.”

New Jersey And Israel Share Strong Economic Ties And A Deep Cultural Connection

New Jersey-Israel Economic and Trade Relationship:

  • A Sister State Agreement between New Jersey and Israel was signed in 1988.
  • Israel is New Jersey’s 11th largest trading partner.
  • New Jersey currently has $413 million invested in Israel.
  • In 2011, New Jersey exported approximately $740,921,976 million in products to Israel.
    • In 2010, New Jersey exported approximately $815 million in merchandise to Israel.
  • New Jersey’s top ten exports to Israel in 2011 were:
    • Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof: $180,493,491
    • Industrial machinery, including computers: $158,680,996
    • Electrical Equipment, appliances, and components: $106,792,270
    • Optic, photo, medical or surgical instruments: $90,952,645
    • Special Classification Provisions: $40,822,987
    • Arms and ammunitions: $28,965,374
    • Vehicles except railways: $28,840,282
    • Precious stones and metals: $17,218,418
    • Organic chemicals: $11,151,935
    • Plastics and related articles: $10,440,638
  • Governor Jon S. Corzine led the most recent New Jersey trade mission to Israel in July 2008.  His five predecessors each participated in trips to Israel as well, going back to former Governor Byrne.
  • Based on the state’s current positions, investments in Israel rank #17 for New Jersey.

New Jersey’s Jewish Community:

  • The Jewish community in New Jersey is the 4th largest in the United States, with an estimated 480,000 individuals of Jewish decent.
  • By percentage, New Jersey has the second-highest population of Jews (second only to New York) in the U.S.  
    • 5.5% of the State population is Jewish.
  • The largest populations are concentrated in:
    • Bergen County (83,700);
    • Essex County (76,200);
    • Monmouth County (65,000), and
    • Middlesex County (45,000).
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