Last week, New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way visited Israel with a delegation of 10 other Secretaries of State from across the United States, as part of American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange.
In 1988, under Governor Thomas H. Kean, a Sister State Agreement was signed between the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey.
The New Jersey-Israel Commission was established in 1989 to implement the goals of this agreement - to promote the development of trade, culture and educational exchanges; encourage the development of capital investment and joint business ventures; and foster a spirit of cooperation between the citizens of the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey.
The New Jersey-Israel Commission was placed under the purview of the Department of State in July, 2007. Prior to this, the Commission came under the New Jersey Commerce, Economic Development & Tourism Commission (which is now the New Jersey Commerce Commission).
The New Jersey – Israel Commission’s mission is to foster economic, scientific, educational and cultural ties with the State of Israel, one of New Jersey’s most important trading partners.
The Governor appoints the public members of the Commission, which has three committees that focus on three key areas of interest: economic development, education, and culture & tourism.
The economic development committee identifies opportunities for increased economic development between New Jersey and Israel, including joint business ventures and capital investment.
Economic Committee - Mark Levenson, Chair
The Commission facilitates supports and encourages collaborative research projects, University to University Exchanges, and educational programming beneficial for schools, universities, and the general community.
Education Committee - Dr. Marlene Herman, Chair
The Commission actively supports art exhibits, film festivals, and cultural missions on the state and local level, group events, and other tourism exchange programs to build awareness and understanding between the citizens of Israel and New Jersey.
Culture Committee - Jerry Enis, Chair