The American Jewish Committee’s Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey Chapter has unveiled a new program aimed at educating foreign diplomats based in the Philadelphia region about the concerns of Israel and the American Jewish community.
Through its Diplomatic Liaison Initiative, AJC is seeking to deepen its relationships with the roughly 35 diplomatic consuls in the Philadelphia region, the majority of whom serve as honorary functionaries, but several serve on a professional basis.
Rabbi Mark Robbins, director of AJC’s Philadelphia branch, said the initiative mirrors the agency’s mission of building relationships among Israel, American Jewish leaders and key opinion shapers in other nations.
Robbins said the program is about “influencing attitudes on the issues that we care about” — whether it’s Iranian nuclear ambitions or global anti-Semitism.
The inaugural event took place last month at Congregation Mikveh Israel. More than 50 people received a tour of the synagogue and were given an explanation of High Holiday traditions.
The program pairs AJC lay leaders with participating foreign diplomats. The plan is for lay and professional staff to meet with the individual diplomats several times a year and become familiar with each other’s global policy concerns. AJC is also planning to put on one or two large events a year related to the program.