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Department of State

New Jersey-Israel Commission

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State
New Jersey-Israel Commission

About the Commission


The mission of the New Jersey-Israel Commission is to foster economic, scientific, educational and cultural ties with the State of Israel, one of New Jersey's most important trading partners.

Commission History

In 1988, under Governor Thomas H. Kean, a Sister State Agreement was signed between the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey.

The New Jersey-Israel Commission was established in 1989 to implement the goals of this agreement - to promote the development of trade, culture and educational exchanges; encourage the development of capital investment and joint business ventures; and foster a spirit of cooperation between the citizens of the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey.

The New Jersey-Israel Commission was placed under the purview of the Department of State in July, 2007. Prior to this, the Commission came under the New Jersey Commerce, Economic Development & Tourism Commission (which is now the New Jersey Commerce Commission).

Original summary of the Commission

Commission Priorities

The New Jersey – Israel Commission’s mission is to foster economic, scientific, educational and cultural ties with the State of Israel, one of New Jersey’s most important trading partners. The Governor appoints the public members of the Commission, which has five committees that focus on key areas of interest to achieve its objectives.


Business and Trade

New Jersey and Israel share a critical economic and business relationship. The Commission identifies opportunities for increased economic development between New Jersey and Israel, including joint business ventures, business attraction, and capital investment.



The Commission facilitates supports and encourages bilateral higher educational relations, collaborative research opportunities, and building strong partnerships between leading academic institutions in New Jersey and Israel from student engagement to commercialization of technologies.


Culture and Community Engagement

The promotion of cultural programs and people to people interactions between New Jersey and Israel is a priority of the Commission. This includes building awareness and promoting diversity between communities in both states.


Technology, Innovation, and Science

Connecting New Jersey and Israel’s high tech and scientific communities is of high priority. The Commission is focused on encouraging partnerships, programs, and economic opportunities that strengthen this essential bridge.



The Commission maintains a steering committee with a special focus on participation for official Commission business.

Commission Members

Karin Elkis
Mark Levenson

Senate Representatives
The Honorable Robert W. Singer
The Honorable Thomas H. Kean Jr.
The Honorable Loretta Weinberg
The Honorable James Beach

Assembly Representatives
The Honorable Jon M. Bramnick
The Honorable John DiMaio
The Honorable Gary S. Schaer
The Honorable Valerie Vainieri Huttle

Public Members & Members by Committee

Business and Trade
Mr. Michael Feldstein, Chair
Mr. Yoram Behiri
Ms. Sarah Biser
Ambassador Dani Dayan
Mr. Yoram Elgrabli
Hon. Phil Goldfeder
Mr. Abe Halberstam
Mr. Nathan Herzog
Mr. Howard Joffe
Mr. Elias Mattar
Prof. Gary Minkoff
Ambassador Michael Oren
Mr. Pinakin Pathak
Mr. Yuri Piltser
Deputy Mayor Jason Ravitz
Ms. Lori Sackler
Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer
Mr. Joe Shamie
Ms. Tal Shuster
Senator Robert W. Singer
Mr. Daniel Straus
Ms. Debra Tantleff
Mayor Michael Wildes
Mr. Jerold Zaro
Mr. Ralph Zucker


Culture and Community Engagement
Ms. Allison Nagelberg, Chair
Ms. Miri Ben-Ari
Rabbi Yosef Carlebach
Rabbi Menachem Carlebach
Mr. Michael Cohen
Ms. Leslie Dannin Rosenthal
Ms. Betsy Fischer
Mr. Andrew Getraer
Mr. Steven Goldstein
Ms. Archie Gottesman
Ms. Marlene Herman
Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner
Rabbi Aaron Kotler
Mr. Lawrence Lerner
Mr. Alex Rosemberg
Mr. Jason Shames
Ms. Sarri Singer
Ms. Karen Small
Ms. Ariella Steinreich
Mr. Jacob Toporek
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle
Senator Loretta Weinberg
Ms. Audrey Wilf
Mrs. Sharon Levine Corzine


Dr. Margaret McMenamin, Chair
Ms. Lori Klinghoffer, Vice-Chair
Senator James Beach
Ms. Shari Blecher
Assemblyman John DiMaio
Dr. Vivian Fuhrman
Ms. Paula Gold
Ms. Sheri Goldberg
Prof. Janice Harrington Knopf
Hon. Herbert Klein
Council President Ora Kornbluth
Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer
Ms. Harriet Sepinwall
Mr. Calvin Souder


Technology, Innovation, and Science
Dr. Ravit Barkama, Chair
Dr. Bob Benedon
Ms. Angelica Berrie
Mr. Bruce Brafman
Assemblyman Jon M. Bramnick
Mr. John Frankel
Mr. Jonathan Frenkel
Dr. Craig Gotsman
Ms. Laura Herschlag
Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr.
Ms. Wendy Lazarus
Mr. Ari Rabban
Mr. Norman Rokeach
Mr. Leon Sokol
Mr. Ido Zairi


Karin Elkis, Co-Chair
Mark Levenson, Co-Chair
Ms. Ginger Gold Schnitzer
Mr. Michael Pock
Mr. Harry Silver
Mr. Roy Tanzman
County Commissioner Tracy Zur


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