Five Pennsylvania lawmakers are set to leave March 2 on a weeklong mission to Israel that’s being funded partially by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
The Democrats taking part are State Rep. Brendan Boyle, who represents part of Northeast Philadelphia; his younger brother, State Rep. Kevin Boyle, who represents the neighboring district; and State Sen. Daylin Leach, whose district includes part of Montgomery County.
The Republicans participating are State Rep. Ron Miller, who represents York County near Harrisburg; and State Sen. Robert Tomlinson of Bucks County.
The trip will focus on economic development and the group will meet with business owners and get a close look at Israeli startup firms. The lawmakers will also tour Philadelphia’s partnership region in the Negev, get a security briefing in the Golan Heights and celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat at the Western Wall, according to Robin Schatz, who directs government affairs for Federation and is staffing the mission.
Such a trip takes place nearly every year and is jointly organized by Federation and the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition. Typically, the Philadelphia Federation, being the largest in the state, funds half the cost of the visit, and the lawmakers pay the other half. Both Leach, who is Jewish, and Tomlinson, have visited Israel on previous Federation missions, so they are meeting the full cost themselves.
Both Brendan Boyle and Leach were recently named by www.politicspa.com  as potential congressional candidates. U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, whose district straddles Philadelphia and Montgomery County, is widely believed to be planning a run for Pennsylvania governor and speculation has already begun about who might fill her seat on Capitol Hill.