GALA RECEPTION AT THE FEDERATION OF ISRAELI MAYORS

Once again, I must emphasie how incredible the Mayors’ conference in Israel has been. I have met so many amazing people and terrific leaders whose constitutents’ lives will be changed for the better because of information learned and shared at this conference.

I also must repeat how proud I am to be a working with such a special person like Jack Rosen. Jack is a phenomenal Chairman of the American Jewish Congress and there is nobody better to explain how delightful this conference can be and how impactful its results will be throughout the world.

In fact, Jack gave a tremendous speech at the Gala Recepotion for the Federation of Israeli Mayors, and I could not possibly do it justice with a mere recap, so below is the speech in its entirety……

JACK ROSEN

“MINISTER LEVIN, THE MINISTER OF TOURISM, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

LET ME BEGIN BY THANKING THE FEDERATION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES, OUR LONGTIME PARTNERS IN THIS INITIATIVE, FOR ONCE AGAIN WORKING WITH US TO BRING ALL OF YOU TOGETHER TODAY, AND FOR THEIR VITAL WORK WITH ALL OF ISRAEL’S MUNICIPALITIES.

ONCE AGAIN, WE HAVE WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE FEDERATION AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION HAS BEEN INVALUABLE. OUR THANKS ARE IN NO SMALL PART DUE TO ITS LEADERS HAIM BIBAS, WHOSE RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF AND CANNOT GO WITHOUT MENTION. HAIM, ALONG WITH RUTH WASSERMAN LANDE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN ISRAEL, AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS BOARD MEMBERS DR MUNR KAZMIR, VIVIEN WEISMAN HOWARD AND MARC APPEL, AND ALL OUR VALUABLE PARTNERS IN THE PROGRAM, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO AND FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS CONFERENCE A SUCCESS.

(MAYOR AL SALLAM, LAST YEAR YOU HOSTED US IN NAZARETH FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE MAYORS CONFERENCE, WE WERE GLAD TO MEET YOU AND THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO JOIN US AGAIN THIS YEAR.)

MINISTER LEVIN, ISRAELI MAYORS, VISITING MAYORS, IT’S GREAT TO HAVE SO MANY OF YOU JOIN US TODAY AT THIS EVENT — WE HAVE WITH US ISRAELI MAYORS, ISRAELI ARAB AND BEDOUIN MAYORS, REPRESENTING SO MANY DIVERSE CITIES, NATIONS AND PEOPLE. THIS EXTENDED DELEGATION REFLECTS ISRAEL’S DIVERSE CULTURE AND PEOPLE, MADE UP OF ISRAELI JEWS AND ISRAELI ARABS LIVING AND WORKING SIDE-BY-SIDE TOGETHER. ON THIS THE 32ND INTERNATIONAL MAYORS CONFERENCE, OUR AIM IS TO PROMOTE SOLIDARITY WITH ISRAEL AND DIFFERENT NATIONS AND COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD. PROGRAMS SUCH AS THESE NOT ONLY FACILITATE MEETINGS BETWEEN FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS, THEY ALSO ALLOW OUR GLOBAL LEADERS TO SEE ISRAEL AT FIRST-HAND, TO MEET WITH ISRAELI POLICY FORMERS, AND DECISION-MAKERS AND THE ENTREPRENEURS BEHIND THE INNOVATIVE START-UPS DEVELOPING SOLUTIONS FOR ISSUES IN YOUR OWN CITIES. THE STARTING POINT OF ALL GOOD INITIATIVES IS DIALOGUE — DIALOGUE BETWEEN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES, DIFFERENT LEADERS, DIFFERENT CULTURES AND DIFFERENT NATIONS — THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO SEE COMING OUT OF THIS PROGRAM.

DIVERSITY OF CULTURES AND EXPERIENCES IS VITAL AND DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, ISRAEL OFFERS A GREAT CASE STUDY IN SUCCESSFUL DIVERSITY. IN THIS COUNTRY, YOU WILL SEE ARAB AND BEDOUIN CITIES WORKING TOGETHER UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF THE ISRAELI STATE. RECENT STATISTICS HAVE SHOWN THAT THE NUMBER OF ARAB STUDENTS IN ISRAELI UNIVERSITIES GREW BY 78.5% OVER THE PAST SEVEN YEARS, AS A RESULT OF GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES TO HELP INTEGRATE THE ARAB ISRAELI COMMUNITY INTO HIGHER EDUCATION, WHICH IS THE KEY TO BETTER INTEGRATION OF DIFFERENT CULTURES INTO SOCIETY AND INDUSTRY. THIS ISN’T, AS MY PRESIDENT MIGHT SAY, “FAKE NEWS”. YOU WON’T HAVE SEEN THIS ON CNN, BUT THIS IS THE REAL ISRAEL.

MAYORS ARE AMONG OUR MOST IMPORTANT LEADERS. THEY ARE THE ONES TASKED WITH LOOKING AT THE REALITY OF LIFE IN OUR CITIES AND FINDING INNOVATIVE WAYS OF IMPROVING THE SITUATION ON THE GROUND FOR ORDINARY PEOPLE. HISTORY HAS SHOWN US THAT THEY ARE THE LEADERS OF THE FUTURE ON A GLOBAL STAGE. WE AT THE INTERNATIONAL MAYORS CONFERENCE HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH IN PREVIOUS YEARS TO HOST ARGENTINIAN PRESIDENT MAURIZIO MACRI, FORMER ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER AND MAYOR OF FLORENCE MATTEO RENZI AND THE FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK BILL DE BLASIOIN AS PART OF OUR DELEGATIONS. OF COURSE, WE HAVE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO BRING TOGETHER JUST A SMALL NUMBER OF MAYORS FROM ISRAEL AND AROUND THE WORLD ALL WORKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THEIR CITIZENS. WE ARE LOOKING TO BUILD A COMMUNITY OF MAYORS WHO ENGAGE WITH EACH OTHER IN ALL AREAS, TO BUILD A SENSE OF COMMUNITY BETWEEN COUNTRIES AND THEIR LEADERS. WHO KNOWS, MAYBE SOME OF YOU PRESENT TODAY WILL MEET AT A FUTURE G20 SUMMIT OR AT THE UN AS YOU CONTINUE TO SPREAD OUR MESSAGE OF INCREASED DIALOGUE AND COOPERATION. WHETHER AT MEETINGS OF FOREIGN MINISTERS, BETWEEN DIPLOMATS AND BUSINESS LEADERS, WE KNOW THAT BY WORKING TOGETHER WE CAN ALL BETTER MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR CITIES AND OUR CITIZENS, UTILIZING EACH OTHER’S KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE AND BUILDING A LASTING FREIDNSHIP.

SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS AND WE HOPE THE SUCCESS OF THE START-UPS, ENTREPRENEURS AND MAYORS YOU ENGAGE WITH IN ISRAEL WILL HELP SPREAD THE SEEDS OF PROGRESS AND INNOVATION TO YOUR OWN CITIES. THE SUCCESS OF THIS CONFERENCE DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON YOUR VALUABLE PARTICIPATION. WE HOPE TO BE A PART OF YOUR FUTURES AND THE FUTURE OF YOUR CITIES.

ALL THE MAYORS HERE PRESENT UNDERSTAND BETTER THAN ANYONE THAT ASIDE FROM INVESTMENT, IT TAKES SKILLED POLITICAL LEADERSHIP TO CREATE THE BEST ENVIRONMENT FOR GROWTH AND PROGRESS. AS YOU ALL KNOW, THE KEY IS TO ADDRESS THE FACTORS DIRECTLY AFFECTING THE WELL-BEING OF YOUR CITIZENS AND WORKING TO PROMOTE AND IMPROVE THEM. THAT IS THE KIND OF INTELLIGENT LEADERSHIP THAT BREEDS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION, THAT IS THE ROUTE TO ACHIEVING PROSPERITY AND TO CULTIVATING AS ESSENTIAL SENSE OF COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU”

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