A delegation of influential American Latino leaders from across the United States spent a week in Israel this month, learning about the wide range of complex issues with which Israel contends.
Participants learned about local practices for the integration of immigrants – a fundamental issue in both Israel and the US. They also heard about Israeli high-tech initiatives that foster effective co-existence between Jews and Arabs.
The delegation met with top government officials for sessions pertaining to human and women’s rights, as well as models for educating dispersed populations about their cultural and religious heritage – a challenge relevant to Latino and Jewish communities.
The visitors were briefed on the status of the peace process; Palestinian politics and society; Israel’s strategic position with regard to Iran and other regional players; and humanitarian efforts in Latin America (mainly in Haiti). They also met with various Latin American and US diplomats stationed in Israel.
They came under the auspices of Project Interchange, a non-profit institute of the American Jewish Committee, which regularly brings prominent figures to Israel for week-long educational visits.
Sam Witkin, Executive Director of Project Interchange, said that “… we hope participants will leave Israel with a stronger understanding of the similarities between their communities and those in Israel.”