Abigail Klein Leichman
August 27, 2023

“I am visiting Israel to strengthen our partnership and share best practices, both in terms of promoting goodwill among diverse people and keeping all our communities safe,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams during his three-day visit to Israel last week hosted by the Jewish Federation of New York.

He emphasized the similarities between Israel and the five boroughs of New York City, which have roughly the same population.

“Like Jerusalem, where Jewish, Armenian, Christian, Muslim, and other communities live side by side, we are also a multi-ethnic, multi-national, and multi-religious city,” he said while in Israel’s capital city.

He and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a food-tech exhibition devoted to alternative protein, where they sampled food products made from live animals cells or from plant-based ingredients, including cultured steak, cultured honey and vegan kebabs and burgers.

New York City mayor: Israel feels like a second home
New York Mayor Eric Adams and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sampling cultivated honey at an alternative protein expo in Jerusalem. Photo by Kobi Gideon/GPO

Adams, accompanied by the deputy mayor, senior adviser, deputy police commissioner and other officials, stayed at the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem.

The delegation visited 100-year-old Machane Yehuda Market with Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and toured Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and other sites of religious and historical significance.

Adams met with leaders from Israel’s business, finance and technology sectors as well as people leading the judicial overhaul protest movement and the head of the Binyamin Regional Council in Samaria.

At dinner with Mayor Ron Huldai of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Adams declared that “New York City is the Tel Aviv of America, and Tel Aviv is the New York of Israel. I’m proud that this trip deepened the long-standing friendship between our two cities.”

New York City mayor: Israel feels like a second home
New York Mayor Eric Adams with Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor Ron Huldai. Photo by Rafi Delouya

Honored at a White City Soirée in Tel Aviv co-hosted by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), F2 Venture Capital, and Ximus Forum, Adams hailed Israel’s culture of innovation, and encouraged the audience to look to Israel for inspiration.

“Hard is starting this country being surrounded by people who hated you,” Adams stated. “Hard is figuring out how to do drip irrigation so you can start growing your own products. Hard is building and being not only a startup nation, but now leading a number of startups you’re seeing across the globe. And the reason you’ve survived layers and layers of difficulties and you’re still here, it is not because of the soil but because you’re made of good quality. It’s the people, folks!”

He noted that although this was his first mayoral trip to Israel, has been to the Jewish state twice before.

“Each time, I have felt a deeper connection to the country: the people, the food, the culture – and I look forward to deepening that bond even further,” Adams wrote in an op-ed. “Israel and New York City have so much in common, the country feels like a second home to me.”

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