Rabbinic Delegation to Israel took place February 8-11, 2016. Chaired by Rabbi Sam Klibanoff of Etz Chaim Synagogue in Livingston, New Jersey, the 31-member delegation of Conservative, Orthodox and Reform rabbis (men and women representing 12 states and 2 provinces) experienced an itinerary that highlighted the mission of Israel Bonds and underscored how the organization helps build a strong Israeli economy.
The program included a look at the tunnels and trestles of the soon to be completed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high-speed rail link, including a slow drive through a recently-completed tunnel. Delegates also visited Citi Technology Innovation Lab - Fin Tech, one of the latest innovations to emerge in Israel's world-leading technology sector. A visit to the Finance Ministry featured a presentation from Chief Deputy Accountant general Yali Rothernberg and his staff, An additional highlight was a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro and his senior advisor, Scott Lasensky.
The delegation featured the Rabbinic Council’s leadership transition. Rabbi Barry Gelman (United Orthodox Synagogue, Houston, TX), whose term as chairman has concluded, was presented with the King David Leadership Award, and Rabbi Ari Goldstein (Temple Beth Sholom, Arnold, MD) was installed as the Rabbinic Council’s 16th chairman.
The delegation was comprised of veteran participants and first-timers, all of whom shared not only the Israel experience and the uniqueness of the program, but also interdenominational camaraderie. First-time participants are always surprised by the quick and deep connections that form almost immediately.
Planning is currently underway for the 30th
Delegates visit the tunnels and trestles of the Tel- Aviv to Jerusalem rail link currently under construction
The group meets with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro (center)