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US Government Leaders Experience Israel

The NACo group with the mayor of Netanya

The America-Israel Friendship League sponsored a mission to Israel with the assistance of the National Association of Counties allowing county leaders from across the U.S. to visit Israel from November 12 -18, 2006.  Additional assistance and cooperation was provided by the Union of Local Authorities of Israel.  Participants included eleven county commissioners, executives and mayors, along with officials from the National Association of Counties.

Colleen Landkamer

Colleen Landkamer is the National Association of Counties (NACo) President and Blue Earth County Commissioner (MN). Radio stations and other media outlets in Minnesota had the opportunity to interview Landkamer from IsraCast Recording Studios in Jerusalem about the mission experience. 

'The AIFL is dedicated to building friendship and strengthening the ties between the U.S. and Israel and we are deeply grateful to these county leaders and the National Association of Counties for their interest in and commitment to this mission,' said William Behrer , the AIFL's Chief Operating Officer.

The group met with peers from a variety of communities in Israel including mayors from the Tel Aviv area, the Mayor of Jerusalem and members of the Knesset. Holy Sites and historical landmarks such as Masada and the Dead Sea were also part of the experience.

'I am delighted to have been invited by the American-Israel Friendship League to participate in this years Mission to Israel,' said NACo President and Blue Earth County Commissioner (MN) Colleen Landkamer.  'There is so much we can learn as elected officials by interacting with dignitaries abroad. I am particularly interested in how elected officials there work cooperatively with their citizens to enhance economic development and security in their communities. I am excited about the opportunity and look forward to sharing the experience with NACo members.'

The NACo group with the mayor of Netanya


Standing (from left to right)
Mr. Larry Naake
Executive Director
The Honorable Peter Corroon
Salt Lake County, UT
The Honorable Colleen Landkamer
NACo President
Blue Earth County, MN

Miriam Fierberg
Mayor of Netanya

Mr. Edwin Rosado
Legistlative Director
Mr. Bill Kennedy
Yellowstone County
The Honorable Valerie Brown
Second Vice President
Sonoma County, CA

Sitting (from left to right)
The Honorable Norman Mitchell, Sr.
Mecklenburg County, NC
The Honorable Eric Coleman
NACo President Elect
Oakland County, MI
The Honorable Sally Heyman
Miami-Dade County, FL
The Honorable Ilene Lieberman
Broward County, FL


About the AIFL

The America - Israel Friendship League (AIFL) is a non-sectarian, non-political, not-for-profit organization strengthening ties between the people of the United States and Israel ; bridging distances to reveal the beauty, the humanity, and the modern democratic values that define both nations.

About AIFL Missions

The AIFL's missions to Israel are a vital part of its success in forging closer links between Israel and the United States. Each year, the AIFL sponsors several missions to Israel .  In 2006, this included judges, financial services executives, scholars, and Generation X and Y journalists.  The AIFL also sponsors visits to the U.S. of Israeli students as part of its Citizenship through Sports Exchange and Youth Ambassador Student Exchange programs.


Colleen Landkamer's page at the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development





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