Illinois Governor Pat Quinn visitng Israel this week with JUF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

Source: Jewish United Fund, 7-19-11

Gov. Quinn

State of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn arrives in Israel today for a week of meetings with a number of high-ranking Israeli officials along with briefings from experts on a range of issues of interest to the people of Illinois, including hi-tech development, energy, environmentalism, education, security, and disaster preparedness. Early stops include visits to the “Solutions” facility maintained in Israel by Motorola, one of the largest Illinois-based companies, and the offices of Better Place, a battery-operated car innovator.

On Thursday the Governor will participate in a ceremony at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba at which officials of Ben Gurion University and the University of Illinois at Chicago will sign a formal Agreement on Academic Cooperation to establish a wide-ranging relationship. The agreement will promote faculty exchange, student exchange, joint research projects, and other academic activities of joint interest.  The agreement grows out of and greatly expands joint efforts in which the two universities have already been involved in the field of Public Health.  Rivka Carmi, President of Ben Gurion University, will preside over the ceremony, and the University of Illinois at Chicago will be represented by the Dean of the School of Public Health, Paul Brandt-Rauf.

On Sunday Quinn will join Dr. Uzi Landau, Minister of National Infrastructures, in signing a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a “Sister Lakes” relationship between Israel’s Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) and Lake Michigan. The latter entity borders the state of Illinois and is the fresh water source for Chicago and its surroundings. The agreement references joint concerns regarding water purification, invasive fish species, and other issues.

Quinn will visit sites along the Kinneret itself, on a tour led by key figures in Israel’s Oceanographic & Limnological Research.

The Governor’s Educational visit to Israel is organized by the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago and made possible by a generous donor. The visit is part of a JUF initiative that for years has brought influential non-Jewish leaders to Israel. Joining him on the visit are Illinois State Senators Jeffrey Schoenberg and Ira Silverstein, along with Skip Schrayer, Chairman of the Jewish United Fund, Michael Kotzin, Executive Vice President of the Jewish United Fund, and several Illinois business leaders.

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