“Beyond making friends for Israel, AIFL’s mission is aimed towards increasing Americans’ understanding of the contemporary Israel story – its entrepreneurship, culture, medical research, environmental protection initiatives and so much more. This is a story unknown to most Americans because the media almost always presents Israel principally through the lens of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Broadening that lens is critical to building greater support for Israel.” Joel Klein, AIFL President
“There is a really long list of wonderful things happening here in Israel, and you just don’t hear about it on the nightly news” Jacob LaTurner, Kansas State Treasurer
U.S. State Treasurers from Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington State and Assistant State Treasures from Kansas and Kentucky traveled to Israel with the AIFL, from December 30, 2017 – to January 7, 2018. The participants are members of the State Financial Officers Foundation and were accompanied by the organization’s President, Derek Kreifels, and led by Idaho State Treasurer, Ron Crane. AIFL’s Executive Director, William Behrer also traveled with the delegation.
The group’s program in Israel included high level meetings with David Brodet, Chairman of Bank Leumi; Dr. Karnit Flug, Governor of the Bank of Israel; Prof. Avi Simhon, Head of the National Economic Council and the Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister; Eli Groner, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office; Amb. David Roet and Amb. Liora Herzl, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel Maimon, CEO and President of Israel Bonds. A special tour of the Jerusalem station for the Fast Rail from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (still under construction) was arranged for the Treasurers to showcase one of the many projects being funded by investments in Israel Bonds. The delegation was also hosted at Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) Media Quarters in Jerusalem by its Founder and Chairman, Dr. Erel Margalit, Fiona Darmon, General Partner and COO, and Noa Segre, Head of Investor Relations.
A special meeting was arranged for the delegation by the Israel CFO Forum (CFO’s of Israeli Global Companies), chaired by AIFL Israel board member Noga Kainan, who withKobi Altman, CFO of ICL briefed the group and then led a lively Q & A between the State Treasurers and the members of the CFO Forum . Follow link for full lecture.
At the Knesset the delegation met with MK Nachman Shai, Deputy Chairman of the Knesset. At the Rabin Center they enjoyed a private meeting and tour with Dalia Rabin, daughter of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. They also received a strategic briefing on the norther border of Israel, led by Lt. Colonel (Res.) Sarit Zehavi. The Treasurers were able to look down into Lebanon where several Hezbollah flags flew over locations in the village below, one right next to a UN “peace keeping” team. From their observation point they could also look over into Syria.
A highlight of their itinerary was a visit to Ziv Hospital in Safedwhere wounded Syrian civilians are being treated by Israeli medical staff and social workers. The group was moved by their meeting with a group of young men treated at the facility, and collected a donation to help one young man; a father of two young children who was returning to Syria the very next day.
Additional program highlights included Shabbat dinner with families in Jerusalem, visits to holy sites along the Sea of Galilee and in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem, a discussion with Dr. Kahalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and a night tour of the Western Wall Tunnels. Sadly a planned visit to the Dead Sea and Masada was cancelled due to flooding from a “much needed rainfall”.
2018 SFOF/AIFL Delegation to Israel
Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane & SFOF National Chairman