Conference of Presidents Visits Africa Before 45th Annual Meeting in Jerusalem
JNS.org – The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is currently holding its 45th annual National Leadership Mission to Israel in Jerusalem, featuring Elan Carr, who was recently appointed as the US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, addressing the event later this week, announced the US State Department.
The annual conference consists of discussions from Israeli national security to entrepreneurship. Delegates will be briefed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog and IDF Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi.
Before arriving in Jerusalem, the organization traveled to Kenya and Uganda.
“We selected Africa, as it is emerging with serious challenges and great opportunities for Israel,” said Arthur Stark, the Conference of Presidents’ new chairman.
The visit occurred in the aftermath of last month’s attack at a Nairobi hotel that killed 21 people.
“We stand with emerging democracies and wanted to show unity as a Jewish community,” explained Stark. “It was greatly appreciated by the leaders we met, that we came under those circumstances. … There is very high regard there for Israel. We came away with a very strong sense of rebuilding ties between Israel and Africa, and between the US and Africa.”
Presidents’ Conference executive vice chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said, “What they [the Africans] need, Israel has on offer.”
He remarked on the sincere friendship the group’s delegates experienced, offering that “the president of Uganda [Yoweri Museveni] gave us a lecture on why the Jews have an historic right to be in Israel, even citing biblical references.”
“Africa is a new frontier,” said Hoenlein, “and these countries are on the front line of these developments.”