US Seminars

U.S. Mayors - September 2017

A bi-partisan delegation of Mayors of key American cities is visiting Israel through Project Interchange. This seminar is designed to both build upon and enhance U.S.-Israel relations at the important city/Mayoral level. The delegation is being chaired by Mayor John Giles of Mesa, Arizona, recently named by Money.com as the best big city in the Southwest United States.

Mayors provide an important voice on issues related to the U.S.-Israel relationship, the conflicts in the Middle East, and the presence of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment in the U.S. They shape popular attitudes in these important areas, appear regularly on local, state and national media outlets, newspapers and journals, and speak regularly to the White House on important national issues.

The Mayors will meet with government officials, mayoral counterparts, and community leaders who will give an overview of Israeli culture, history, and society. They will also visit leading Israeli innovators to discuss entrepreneurship and community development, meet with Knesset members, and journalists.

In addition to having the opportunity to visit several historical and culturally significant sites, the delegation will travel to the southern and northern borders and visit the Old City of Jerusalem. The delegation will also travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian government and civic leaders.

Discussion topics will range from Israel’s strategic environment to education, economic development, city administration and technology, along with sessions sharing best practices on technology start-ups and environmental and water management, to absorption and integration of immigrant communities. All of these areas are issues facing the cities and communities the Mayors represent.

The seminar is staffed by Dan Elbaum, Director, AJC Department of Regional Offices and Melanie Maron Pell, Associate Director, AJC Department of Regional Offices.

AJC Project Interchange has led numerous delegations of Mayors to Israel, both from the US and Europe. One recent example is the 2011 Mayors delegation leading to significant Texas-Israel programs on water management and technologies to benefit the residents of Texas, which resulted from then-Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker’s participation in the AJC Project Interchange Mayoral delegation.

Latino Political Advisors - May 2017

AJC Project Interchange, in collaboration with AJC’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA) will bring a delegation of Latino Political Advisors to Israel.

The delegation is comprised of up-and-coming advisors to both Democrat and Republican campaigns, advocacy groups and government affairs. The seminar will highlight such topics as the Israeli political system, immigration, human and civil rights, Israel’s geo-strategic landscape, and the art of bridging cultures within Israel’s politically and ethnically diverse society.

Campus Leaders - December 2016

A select group of 17 Brown University students are traveling to Israel with AJC Project Interchange during their winter break. Students represented campuses clubs and organizations on campus including The Brown Daily Herald, Brown Political Review, peer education and mentoring, and student government.

During their time in Israel, students will hear a range of perspectives about Israel and the broader Middle East, including Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian voices. They will engage in sessions about co-existence, Israeli history and politics, visit Ramallah, meet with members of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), float on the Dead Sea and celebrate Hanukkah, Shabbat and New Year’s Eve.

University Provosts and Deans - December 2016

A delegation of university provosts and deans from across the United States representing Colorado College, Fordham University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers University, Saint Louis University, the United States Naval Academy, University of Georgia, and University of Vermont will visit Israel with Project Interchange.

This seminar will provide a foundation for understanding Israel from a variety of different perspectives, with a particular focus on issues relevant to university leaders. The delegates will also have several opportunities to meet with their peers in order to strengthen existing and create new bilateral academic partnerships.

The first-hand knowledge gained during this seminar will provide participants with a more accurate and balanced understanding of Israeli history, culture, and policy.

Indian American Opinion and Policy Leaders, November 2016

AJC Project Interchange, in collaboration with AJC’s Asia Pacific Institute (API), is hosting a delegation of Indian-American opinion and policy leaders from around the U.S to Israel.

With a population in the United States over three million strong and growing, Indian-Americans have increasing influence in the political, economic and educational spheres of society, and provide an important voice on issues related to the American-Israeli-Indian relationship.

While on the ground, participants will meet with political and civic leaders who are Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, and Palestinian, including Knesset members, representatives of high-tech firms, entrepreneurs, and university professors. Participants will also visit sites of historical and religious importance in order to gain a comprehensive historical and cultural understanding of the region.

The delegation is accompanied by Shira Loewenberg, Director, AJC Asia Pacific Institute, and Nissim Reuben, Assistant Director, AJC Asia Pacific Institute.

Project Interchange has hosted a number of seminars for Indian-American leaders in Israel, including hi-tech experts, civic, policy and advocacy organization professionals, and business leaders.

Latino Opinion Leaders – October 2016

Project Interchange, in collaboration with the Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA) will bring a delegation of high level opinion and policy leaders to Israel.

The delegation is comprised of political and business leaders with strong influence on local, state and national levels. The participants will hear a variety of perspectives from Jewish, Arab-Israeli and Palestinian leaders in order to gain a better understanding of Israel’s diverse political and social landscape. A helicopter tour to Israel’s Northern borders will highlight the geopolitical challenges facing the region. Also on the agenda are visits to sites of historical and religious importance, and tours of companies leading the way in innovation and technology.

Miami Entrepreneurs - September 2016

A delegation of influential Miami entrepreneurs and leaders in the tech start-up community is in Israel with AJC Project Interchange (American Jewish Committee), to learn from the country’s thriving tech and innovation sector while sharing best practices and making connections.

Now in its second year, the knowledge exchange launched in 2015 with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Last year’s inaugural delegation of Miami entrepreneurs resulted in a landmark Miami-Israel Startup Nation Conference and a knowledge-sharing agreement between Tel Aviv University and the Miami-Dade College Idea Center.

The intensive trip and workshop in Israel’s globally-recognized tech and innovation sector, dubbed the “Start Up Nation,” is intended to provide participants the opportunity to broaden their networks and encourage collaboration. The delegation will gain exposure to Israel’s highly diverse tech sector, which has helped fuel and sustain rapid economic growth in Israel.

The delegation will participate in Tel Aviv’s DLD Innovation Conference, designed to connect international tech and entrepreneurial communities with high tech and business leaders in Israel. Workshops will highlight key drivers of innovation in these areas, introducing the delegation to leading entrepreneurs and investors, including policies that foster and encourage innovation and practices that can be replicated in Miami.

University Presidents and Chancellors – May 2016

A delegation of presidents and chancellors from top U.S. universities and colleges visited Israel with AJC Project Interchange to learn about Israeli innovation and discover opportunities for bilateral academic partnerships. Participants from Claremont McKenna College, George Washington University, Oberlin College, Occidental College, Saint Louis University, Syracuse University and the University of California system met one-on-one with their counterparts from Israeli universities and discussed areas of mutual interest. Through sessions with renown experts and site visits throughout Israel, participants were exposed to the complex issues facing Israel and the region. Discussions with Israeli and Palestinian government officials, academic, and civil society leaders focused on high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship, diversity in Israeli society, coexistence programs for Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, the peace process, and Israel’s approach to humanitarian aid.

Photo Gallery: University Presidents and Chancellors - May 2016

Latino Media and Entertainment Professionals - February 2016

With a population of over 50 million, Latinos are one of the fastest growing minorities in the U.S. with strong influence on local, state and national levels. From February 24-29, Project Interchange, in collaboration with the Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA), brought a delegation of leading Latino journalists and entertainment professionals to Israel. Throughout their seminar, participants were provided with a variety of perspectives from Jewish, Arab-Israelis and Palestinian leaders. Meetings allowed these media and entertainment professionals to connect with their Israeli counterparts, offering opportunities for collaboration and information-sharing. Sessions focused on the media landscape from the Israeli and Palestinian experiences, the peace process, the ways cinema and TV tell various narratives of Israeli society, regional dynamics, and Israeli history and high-tech innovation. Also on the agenda were visits to historical and religious, both Jewish and Christian, sites and a helicopter tour to Israel’s Northern borders.

Photo Gallery: Latino Media and Entertainment Professionals - February 2016

The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation Seminar in Israel for California Student Leaders - December 2015/January 2016

Project Interchange gratefully acknowledges the generous support of The Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, without whose support this seminar for California student leadership would not have been possible.

A select group of 16 California students traveled to Israel with AJC Project Interchange during their winter break. Students represented campuses throughout California, including California State University, San Diego State University, University of Southern California, University of California – Berkeley, University of California – Davis, University of California – Irvine, University of California – Los Angeles, University of California – San Diego, and University of California – Santa Cruz. All participants were campus leaders involved in interfaith/intergroup clubs and student-run newspapers, as well as local city councils, honor societies, and peer-to-peer organizations on campus. During their time in Israel, students heard a range of perspectives about Israel and the broader Middle East, including Israeli, Arab, and Palestinian voices. They engaged in sessions to help develop their leadership skills and discuss interfaith relations and intergroup collaboration, Israeli culture and diversity, Israel’s geopolitical situation, high-tech innovation, Israeli-Palestinian coexistence programs, and integration of minority communities into Israeli society.

Photo Gallery: California Student Leaders - December 2015/January 2016