The America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) honored Former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat with its Partners for Democracy Award at its November 29th annual awards dinner, recognizing the mayors’ lifelong careers in public service and strong commitment to enhancing the friendship between the United States and Israel.
The highlight of the evening, taking place at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, was a conversation with the honorees hosted by the newly elected AIFL President, Joel I. Klein.
“The world needs more individuals like Mike Bloomberg and Nir Barkat. Both men are successful businessmen and didn’t need the job as mayor of their city, yet they wanted to make life better for others,” said Joel I. Klein, AIFL President.
“The support for Israel throughout the world is diminishing; sadly, this is also true within the Jewish community in the U.S. Further, despite recent events, which clearly demonstrate that the war on terror is a worldwide struggle, Israel continues to lose international support and impact, including with its traditional supporters. We thank Michael R. Bloomberg and Mayor Nir Barkat for their outstanding contribution to the world and to the Jewish people,” said Kenneth J. Bialkin, AIFL Chairman.
As a longtime leader of the Jewish Community of the United States, in addition to serving as Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Chairman of the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL), Mr. Bialkin served as National Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League; Chairman of the American Jewish Historical Society; and President of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. He is presently of counsel at the prestigious law firm: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP.
The AIFL was established in 1971 to promote a strong and enduring friendship between Americans and Israelis. The friendship envisioned by AIFL’s founders continues to thrive on Israel’s and the United States’ mutual understanding and shared commitment to democracy. To this day, the America-Israel Friendship League remains committed to the vision of its founders who were a distinguished group of American civic, political, and religious leaders who foresaw the critical need for preserving America’s best interests in the Middle East.
Neither a political nor a sectarian organization, AIFL mobilizes broad support for people-to-people exchanges between Americans and Israelis of all ages and faiths, ethnic backgrounds, and political persuasion. Each Year, AIFL sends delegations to Israel to meet with their Israeli counterparts and visit religious, cultural and archeological sites. These delegations include State Attorneys General, business leaders, scholars, third year law school students, school superintendents, professors of law and Middle Eastern studies and many others.
Visit aifl.org to learn more about how we build America-Israel Friendship.