Fifteen members of the New York City Council are heading off Sunday night for a weeklong visit to Israel, where they will meet elected officials and combine business and touring with some peacemaking.
The trip, headed by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, also includes Jewish lawmakers or those with significant Jewish constituencies. The other travelers are David Greenfield, Brad Lander, Mark Levine, Mark Treyger, Ritchie Torres, Helene Rosenthal, Cory Johnson, Donovan Richards, Antonio Reynoso, Eric Ulrich, Andrew Cohen, Jimmy Van Bramer, Rafael Espinal and Darlene Mealy.
The delegation is scheduled to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, as well as other Knesset members and city councilmen from Yerushalayim. They will visit Sderot and Ramallah, where they will meet a group of female Fatah council members who recently returned from a trip to the United States to learn about municipal management.
“New York City has very close economic ties to Israel,” a Council statement said. “There are currently over 200 Israeli startup companies in New York City, with new ones opening at an average rate of 10 per month. Additionally, New York State is ranked as the number-one exporter to Israel out of the 50 states.”
Mark-Viverito said that the trip will allow the lawmakers a unique perspective on the Middle East country.
“This trip will afford us the opportunity to meet with political leaders and opinion makers from across the Israeli spectrum and to visit many locations of significance all across the country, from historic sites to centers of innovation,” she said in a statement.