As elaborated in our October newsletter article, “San Antonio’s Mayor is Leading a Business Delegation to Israel!” Mayor Ron Nirenberg led a 5 day delegation to the Jewish State visiting officials in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. On this historic trip, the Alamo City’s mayor met with Israeli experts in the fields of education, cybersecurity, science, technology, water and energy with the intent on strengthening economic ties with Israel in these areas. Addressing the success of the trip, the Mayor affirmed in his Twitter account, “Our time in Israel has helped San Antonio strengthen relationships abroad and build on our economic focuses back home. Thank you, Tel Aviv!”
As a “city of immigrants” Mayor Nirenberg expressed to The Jerusalem Post that San Antonio’s history is similar to Israel. Beyond noting the historical commonality, the mayor also stated, “We have so much in common from the industry standpoint and the values standpoint.”
The visit also focused on learning from Israel’s experience in the preservation of World Heritage Sites asiIn 2015, the Alamo and four other Spanish Colonial Catholic missions in San Antonio were designated as World Heritage Sites. Thus, this visit provided the Mayor the opportunity to draw from Israel’s experience in this area as the Jewish State has many internationally recognized World Heritage Sites itself such as Masada and the Old City Walls of Jerusalem.
In addition, Mayor Nirenberg, himself a practicing Jew and a member of San Antonio’s Jewish Community, made a visit to the Western Wall and showed off his pride for the San Antonio Spurs by wearing a yarmulke with the basketball team’s name and colors on it. Mayor Nirenberg also showed his Texas pride by posting on his Facebook page a plaque that stated, “Shalom Y’all.”
Overall, from Houston to Chicago to now San Antonio, local leaders are taking the initiative to foster economic relations with Israel. Mayor Nirenberg remarked on the role that such officials can make, “Our job as local leaders is to facilitate local interactions, and I think they are more long-standing than whatever is happening in the White House.”
Update of Trip: http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Jewish-San-Antonio-mayor-tours-Israel-in-first-official-foreign-trip-508412
Nirenberg’s Spurs Pride on Trip to Israel: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Mayor-Ron-Nirenberg-brings-Spurs-pride-to-Israel-12305013.php
Ron Nirenberg Tweet: https://twitter.com/Ron_Nirenberg/status/923010783725813760