2017-12-06 / Local News

Sen. Jim Beach among chairs of legislators’ mission to Israel


SEN. JIM BEACH…will co-chair the NJ Legislators’ Study Mission to Israel in March. SEN. JIM BEACH…will co-chair the NJ Legislators’ Study Mission to Israel in March. The NJ State Association of Jewish Federations announced that State Senators Jim Beach and Kip Bateman and Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi and Valerie Vainieri Huttle have agreed to serve as Honorary Co-chairs of the State Association’s “2018 NJ Legislators’ Study Mission to Israel.”

Scheduled for Mar. 6-17, 2018, the Mission to Israel is the third sponsored by the State Association and its constituent member Jewish Federations. In 2014, 12 legislators visited Israel. Fifteen legislators were members of the 2016 Mission.

“Taking state legislators to Israel reinforces and strengthens the historic ties that exist between New Jersey and Israel,” stated Gordon Haas, president of the State Association.

“With Senators Beach and Bateman and Assemblywomen Schepisi and Huttle we not only have a bi-partisan expression of support from the NJ Legislature, but their leadership and respected status among their legislative colleagues will certainly help in recruitment efforts,” Haas added.

Senators Beach and Bateman and Assemblywoman Huttle are participating on their second Legislators’ Mission. Assemblywoman Schepisi, who served as an Honorary Co-chair for the Mission in 2016, will be a three-time participant. “Each of our co-chairs felt a connection to the State of Israel, its people and its unique and inspirational story as a result of prior missions. It is a connection, which, through their leadership of the 2018 Mission, the senators and assemblywomen would like to share with their members of the legislature,” noted Haas.

Senator Beach, a Democrat who represents the 6th District (Camden/Burlington), said, “I’m so excited to return to Israel with the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations and even more thrilled to serve as Honorary Chair for the upcoming mission. Visiting Israel for the first time in 2016 reinforced my long-held belief that our states benefit from a strong relationship, rooted in a history of friendship and mutual respect. The 2018 Legislators Mission will strengthen that relationship and provide an opportunity to learn from one another.”

Sen. Bateman is a Republican who represents the 16th District, including parts of Somerset, Middlesex and Mercer counties. Assemblywoman Schepisi is a Republican serving the 39th District in Bergen County. Assemblywoman Huttle is a Democrat representing the 37th District in Bergen County.

Jacob Toporek, executive director of the State Association, enthusiastically reflected on the effectiveness of providing NJ legislators with the opportunity to visit Israel, “As the government affairs arm of the state’s seven Jewish Federations, we are often called upon to secure legislative support on the priorities of the Jewish community, especially strengthening the bonds of friendship between the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey. Those personal and meaningful moments experienced by legislators in Israel are a priceless education on the value of the NJ-Israel relationship.” s

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