At the end of June, a delegation of seven young Israeli political professionals visited Washington DC and Nebraska as part of an exchange program between the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) and the Israel Youth Exchange Authority (IYEA). The delegation was hosted by Nebraska State Senators Colby Coash and Adam Morfeld.
The Delegation included members from several different political parties:
- Guy Levi, Parliamentary Advisor- Honorable Mickey Levy-Yesh Atid Party
- Asaf Goldfarb, Parliamentary Advisor-Honorable Mickey Rosenthal-Ha’Mahane Ha’Tzioni Party
- Dor Davidyan, Chairman Youth Movement-Beitenu Party
- Batsheva Mola, Parliamentary Advisor-Honorable Elazar Stern, Yesh Atid Party
- Shai Haik, Media Advisor-Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud Party
- David Etzioni, Personal Advisor-Honorable kahalon-Kulanu Party
- Eliran Garsou, Board Member Likud Youth-Likud Party
While visiting Washington, they met with Facebook, ACYPL Board of Trustees members and Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith. They also attended a taping of Meet the Press with Chuck Todd featuring Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Ron Johnson.
After visiting our Nation’s capital, the delegation flew to Lincoln, Nebraska where they dined in the Haymarket, took a tour of the Capitol, and met with Secretary of State John Gale and Governor Pete Ricketts. They also met with various state senators to discuss policy in regards to education, drug legislation, LGBT issues, and the Welfare System. The Delegation toured a National Guard Base, the Innovation Campus at UNL, an Ethanol plant, and a feedlot.
The delegation then came to Omaha and visited the biocontainment ward at UNMC, and met with folks at Union Pacific Railroad. The Jewish Federation of Omaha (JFO) sponsored a kosher lunch for the delegation at the Greater Omaha Chamber. The delegation, along with JFO staff members, Nate Shapiro and Steve Levinger, met with Mindy Ruffalo, Director of International Business Development to discuss ways to increase the trade relationship between Israel and Omaha/Nebraska.
After the Chamber meeting, the delegation toured The Startup Collaborative (startupcollaborative.co), a startup incubator and accelerator. The delegation was shown a demonstration of Drive Spotter, which prompted a very exciting conversation about the value of the technology in regards to military use. The delegation then met with local designer Alan Tipp and Jeff Slobostki, Founder of Router Ventures, to discuss ways to create partnerships between startups in Omaha and Israel.
The delegation then toured the Jewish Federation of Omaha campus before returning to the airport. The delegation comes at a high-point in Nebraska-Israel relations. Last year, Nebraska became the first and only state in the US to be approved by Israel for import. The Jewish Federation of Omaha believes that one of the most effective ways to support our local Omaha community and our Israeli brothers and sisters is to promote closer business relationships.