The following media release was issued by the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations on May 15, 2018.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY CELEBRATES WITH ISRAELI AND JEWISH-AMERICAN LEADERS FOR ISRAEL’S
70TH ANNIVERSARY OF STATEHOOD
GOVERNOR MURPHY SIGNS JOINT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTIONS SJR56/AJR63
(Trenton, 5/15/18) Yesterday the State of New Jersey gave official congratulations to representatives of the State of Israel as we marked the secular date of the Declaration of Statehood by the Israelis in 1948. The moment was marked in Trenton with a private bill signing at which First Lady Tammy Murphy, as well as Danny Dayan the Consul General of Israel in New York, legislative sponsors and leadership of New Jersey’s Jewish federation system were also present. These included prime sponsors Senator Jim Beach (D-6) and Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-18), Gordon Haas, NJ State Association of Jewish Federations President, and Jacob Toporek, its Executive Director.
Governor Murphy marked the solemnity and joy of the occasion by reading the official response from President Harry Truman upon being informed of the creation of the State of Israel in which he gave recognition of the authority of the new State on May 14, 1948, despite world opinion to the contrary. The Governor also read highlights from the Joint Legislative Resolutions, SJR56 and AJR 63 which he was poised to sign, including:
“Whereas, Despite hostility and conflicts, the people of Israel have built a strong nation and forged a dynamic society, creating a unique and vital economic, political, cultural, and intellectual life for its citizens; and . . .
“Whereas, Israel, a nation the size of New Jersey, shares a very special partnership with New Jersey, highlighted by, among other things of mutual benefit, a trading partnership of more than $1.6 billion and New Jersey’s enactment of both Iran sanctions and legislation opposing Israel boycotts,” and . . .
“Whereas, Given the close political, economic, and cultural ties between the State of Israel and the United States of America as well as between the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey, the Governor and the Legislature find it fitting and proper to recognize the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.”
Ambassador Dayan next offered remarks in which he expressed appreciation for the friendship between Israel and the State of New Jersey, as well as a commitment to furthering future mutually beneficial cooperation and partnership. He has been serving in his role since August 2016 with a catchment area of the tri-state region including New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Other legislative sponsors in attendance were Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, and Assemblymen Gary Schaer and Roy Freiman. A total of 54 legislators signed onto the parallel joint resolutions SJR56 and AJR63, each of which met with a unanimous affirmation on the dates of their passage (38-0 on 3/26/18 in Senate and 72-0-0 on 4/12/18 in the Assembly).
Also attending the signing ceremony were Marlene Herman, incoming president of the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations and past presidents Roy Tanzman and Lenny Posnock; and Federation executives Jennifer Dubrow Weiss of Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, Drew Staffenberg of Jewish Federation of Ocean County and Mark Merkovitz of Princeton Mercer Bucks Federation. Other leadership included Presidents Stephanie Goldman of Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and Jeff Schwartz, of Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, and, as well as Linda Scherzer, and Ariella Noveck, Community Relations directors of Greater MetroWest and Northern New Jersey federations, respectively, and Dan Fahrer, campaign director of Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren.
Many of those present are members of the NJ-Israel Commission, which Governor Murphy is exploring ways to reinvigorate, as he has announced the intention to personally travel with an official delegation to Israel in the fall of 2018 to further opportunities for trade and mutual exchanges.
The State Association of Jewish Federations, which pursued and championed the legislative measure to recognize Israel for her 70th Anniversary, also led its third bi-annual Legislators Mission to Israel, whose delegation included several of the legislative sponsors of the joint resolution signed today. Since 2014, a total of nearly 30 legislators have traveled with the State Association of Jewish Federations for such educational missions in which they are exposed to the historic, political, religious dynamics and economic innovations of this singular nation. As the 2018 mission took place during Governor Murphy’s first Budget Address on March 13th, he demonstrated his connection to the State of Israel when he opened those remarks with an acknowledgement of the legislative delegation who were watching via satellite link from a hotel on the Sea of Galilee.
Gordon Haas commented, “On behalf of the NJ State Association of Jewish Federations, I want to thank Governor Murphy and the Legislature for their ongoing support of the State of Israel. I look forward to growing the NJ-Israel relationship as key trading partners and for a mutually strong economic future.”
Jac Toporek added, “I gratefully acknowledge Governor Phil Murphy and the NJ State Legislature for standing side by side with the people of Israel in recognizing Israel’s seven decades of statehood, democracy, accomplishments shared with and of significant benefit to the world.”
As further recognition of the 70th Anniversary of Israel’s statehood, the State Association of Jewish Federations, in partnership with StandWithUs, has mounted an educational exhibition at Goldfinch Square in the State House basement near the Café NJ, from Monday May 14th through Thursday May 17th. Featured are engaging displays about The People of Israel, Israeli Innovation, Green Technology, and Humanitarian Aid around the world, among others.
Members of the legislature and staff, as well as members of the public are welcome and invited to visit the display.
From the left: Lori Price Abrams, V.P., Government Relations, MWWPR, Governor Murphy, Gordon Haas, President, NJ State Association of Jewish Federations, Jacob Toporek, Executive Director, NJ State Association of Jewish Federations