Foundation Sponsors Missions to Israel

 Events in the Middle East have been influencing U.S. foreign policy beginning with the seizure of American commerce ships by the Barbary pirates in 1784. Today the region is dominated by the topics of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. In order to gain a first-hand understanding of this part of the world, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott, in conjunction with the America Israel Friendship League (AIFL), has sponsored educational missions to Israel for community leaders of the Greater Prescott area.

Until now, this type of Leadership Mission was reserved exclusively for groups such as the National Association of Attorneys General, the National Council of Churches, national journalists, and prominent Middle East scholars. Working with the America Israel Friendship League, Greater Prescott has been the first small community in the United States to have its community leaders experience this dynamic, in-depth program that explores the importance of Israel’s democracy in the Middle East. The America Israel Friendship League’s missions emphasize Israel’s democracy, its vibrant culture, and the tiny nation’s significant contributions to the world of science, technology, medicine, environmental protection, and the arts.

Since 2007 more than 60 local leaders have traveled on three of these historic Missions. In addition to visiting the important Holy sites of Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, the Temple Mount, and ‘Via Dolorosa’, the delegates toured the leading universities, and the major museums of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. To understand the political importance of the region, mission delegates met with government officials, recognized scholars in Middle East affairs, and experts in terrorism. Other highlights of the missions have included interacting with members of the Knesset, Israel’s legislative governing body and visits with Israeli Supreme Court Judges.