Delaware’s Jewish governor brings mission to Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, the only sitting Jewish governor in the United States, is visiting Israel with a delegation of his state’s business leaders and entrepreneurs.

The weeklong economic development mission that began Monday includes meetings with local economic and government leaders, as well as Israeli high-tech and biotech companies.

The mission was planned to highlight Delaware’s strong economic ties to Israel and further raise Israeli business interest in the state.

The delegation was set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro, as well as the  president of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Esther Levanon, among others.

Thousands of Israeli-based businesses are incorporated in Delaware.

“We’re really trying to focus in on opportunities to create more partnerships between Delaware and the evolving and emerging high-tech economy of Israel,” Markell told The Jerusalem Post in an interview upon his arrival. “In the midst of a volatile region, Israel has been this incredible beacon of stability, which is truly remarkable and impressive.”

Markell, who has served as governor of Delaware since 2009, also heads the National Governors’ Association.

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