TRENTON – A group of measures sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Bob Gordon, which would help to promote relations between New Jersey and Israel was approved today by the Senate State Government Committee.
One measure, S-2240, would codify Executive Order 49 to permanently establish the New Jersey-Israel Commission.
“The trade and cultural exchanges that we have with Israel are reason enough for us to celebrate its 60 anniversary; however, to those of us who practice Judaism, these 60 years have had even more meaning,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate State Government panel. “As our greatest ally in the middle east, we are delighted that the Legislature offers these congratulations to our ‘Sister State.’”
“Twenty years ago, New Jersey and Israel entered into an agreement to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel,” said Senator Gordon, D-Bergen. “By codifying the Commission, we would be protecting the current agreement covering exchange programs we have with Israel, while also congratulating our ‘Sister State’ on reaching this new milestone.”
The Commission was initially created through Executive Order 208 in 1989. Prior to the creation of the Commission, New Jersey and Israel entered into a Sister State Agreement, which called for the development of educational, cultural and trade exchanges, as well as joint business ventures and capital investment development, the Senators said.
Under the bill, membership of the Commission would be changed from a maximum of 100 to a set number of 85 members, including 77 public Governor appointees, and 8 members of the Legislature. Appointment terms would last three years for public members and two years for Legislators.
A second measure, SJR-62, would congratulate Israel on its 60th Anniversary, which took place on May 14, 2008.