web analytics
September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Philly Jews Rallying to Prevent Closure of Israeli Consulate

The Philadelphia Israel Chamber of Commerce is asking whether it makes sense to shutter a consulate located in the heart of a financial market that sees 25% of Israel's exports to the US pass through its doors?
Photo of Philadelphia on the Israeli Mid-Atlantic Region Consulate website

Photo of Philadelphia on the Israeli Mid-Atlantic Region Consulate website

For years the Israeli Consulate located in Philadelphia has been rumored to be on the chopping block, but each time the executioner’s swing was stayed.

Just last month, however, the word came from Jerusalem that this time Israel’s Mid-Atlantic Consulate which serves Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Southern New Jersey and Kentucky was slated to close, according to insiders.

But local Jews, including many Israelis, are not willing to take the eviction notice as a done deal.

The argument for closing the Consulate located in Philly is that it is believed to be imperative to open a new Consulate in China, and therefore, for financial reasons, an existing consulate has to close.

Israel not only has embassies in Beijing and Ghounzhou, it also has a consulates in Shanghai as well as one in Hong Kong. The location of a new consulate in Chengdou, which is located in China’s central Sichuan region, would place it in an important financial and communications center.  Still, there are fewer than 3,000 Jews amidst a population of 1.3 billion Chinese.

Currently, Israel has 90 embassies and consulates around the world, including nine consulates in the United States.  Those are in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In some countries there are consulates, but very few Jews.  Put aside what might be strategic reasons for maintaining an Israeli presence in most African countries or countries in dangerous neighborhoods which permit the Jewish state to maintain a presence.

It is hard to imagine a strong reason for Israel to maintain an office in, say, Belarus, which has somewhere between 12,000 to 24,000 Jews left. That’s because Hitler wiped out four out of every five Belorussian Jews in 1941.  Still, the numbers continue to dwindle, not swell.

And then there’s Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, which have fewer than 50,000 in the two countries combined. To say nothing of Myanmar, which has few if any Jews left at all. Yet those countries will continue to play host to an official Israeli presence, while the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. is said to be not just on the chopping block, but with the knife already on the downswing.

The Philadelphia Israel Chamber of Commerce has marshaled the strongest financial arguments to keep Israel’s Mid-Atlantic regional consulate open.

“While it is a blow to our community, it would be an even greater loss to Israel,” is how Vered Nohi-Becker, the executive director of the Philadelphia Israel Chamber of Commerce, described the rumored close to The Jewish Press.

“This is a large and important region which is accelerating U.S.-Israeli business development and which plays a key role in maintaining the cultural, political and philanthropic ties to Israel,” Nohi-Becker continued.

One example of those ties is the 10-day trade mission to Israel that Philadelphia’s mayor, Michael A. Nutter, is on right now.

“The consulate was instrumental in making those connections, as is the case with so many different delegations from the area which visit Israel,” according to Nohi-Becker.

Nohi-Becker’s boss, Chamber president Richard Bendit, said in a massive email sent out to its constituents that “approximately 25% of Israel’s $5 billion of exports to the US passes through the Greater Philadelphia region, which boasts the fifth largest Jewish community in the US.”  Those are big numbers.

The local chamber of commerce also initiated an online petition to send to the government of Israel, in order to allow its members to see that the Israeli consulate located in Philadelphia is one that will be sorely missed.

The staff and directors of the Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia were not willing to comment beyond their earlier statement that “no firm decision had yet been made.”

But area Israelis were quick to voice their deep concern.

Sharonna Durry, founder of PhillyIsrael and now executive director of Bnai Zion Foundation’s Mid-Atlantic Region was emphatic: “It will hurt the region if there is no official representative of the government of Israel here,” Durry told The Jewish Press.

Bnai Zion is a 101 year old service organization that raises money for humanitarian projects in Israel and America. Durry explained that the current Consul General, Yaron Sideman, came to a Bnai Zion event on October 23.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “Philly Jews Rallying to Prevent Closure of Israeli Consulate”

  1. Basha Kline says:

    It seems that many areas are relegating Jews and Israel to the "back of the bus!" – - What happened to Philadelphia's slogan "City of Brotherly Love?" – I guess the sign is hanging and squeaking in the breeze on a its last remaining nail!

  2. Lloyd Bergner says:

    Am Yisrael Chai

  3. If anybody can stop this it's ,"The Broad Street Bullies"Maybe if they exported Kosher Cheesesteaks it would help,or some Kosher prezelswith mustard and some Water Ice maybe and a Mumser I mean Mummer.

  4. On one hand these days the government of Israel changing its policy toward Israelis living abroad. On the other hand, Israel shut the Israeli consulate in Philadelphia, cutting valuable programs for the Israeli community which are planed and executes by PhillyIsrael THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENS!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Arab terrorists at the traffic circle in Ras al-Amoud May 2011
Children Evacuated as Arabs Attack JM Neighborhood of Maaleh HaZeitim [video]
Latest News Stories
Anti-Semites have a message for Jews in the Diaspora, but some people just don't understand it.

Jews are becoming as safe in France as they are in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

Arab terrorists at the traffic circle in Ras al-Amoud May 2011

Children were rushed to bomb shelters in the Jerusalem neighborhood when Arabs began throwing explosives at the neighborhood and at Jewish toddlers playing near their nursery schools.

Leonard Nimoy and Tar Trek's Jewish stars, William Shatner.

Volkswagen tries to cleanse its Nazi-linked past.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed for a much deserved lunch in Midtown Manhattan with Sheldon Adelson, at Fresco by Scotto, accompanied by 30 security guards. Bibi had the veal chop.

Rabbi David Kushner’s Ford Explorer was torched next to the Rodef Sholom Synagogue in Atlantic City on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

How can Netanyahu say that Iran, which hangs innocents, is like ISIS, which beheads them?

More than 500 Jews now live in the City of David and Silwan Valley.

ZIM may not call on the Port of Oakland again, certainly not until the ILWU 10 has a contract and guarantees to unload ZIM ships. Other shipping companies wary of the port’s unreliability may also consider the same.

Dozens of Jewish graves and gravestones on the Mount of Olives were desecrated during Rosh HaShanna.

An intruder actually made it to the East Room of the White House earlier this month, much farther than previously reported.

The following is the speech delivered by PM Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly on September 29, 2014:

The new Jewish Temple will offer millions of pilgrims underground parking, according to a new plan that just received the endorsement of hundreds of supporters who put their money where their faith is.

Subject to government approval, EL AL will place its “LY” code on select JetBlue flights to and from JFK and Newark, which will presumably expand the options for EL AL customers throughout the United States.

The Oklahoman called it a bizarre coincidence. On Friday, a second man was arrested for threatening to behead a coworker.

ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran all share a fanatic ideology, Israeli PM Netanyahu warned the UN General Assembly on Monday. No freedom or tolerance.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
PLO executive committee member Saeb Erekat, pictured in Jerusalem on Dec. 30, 2010.

PLO member and PA spokesperson Saeb Erekat ridiculed state dept. spokesperson for Abbas criticism

John Kerry (L) with new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (R) who took the oath of office on Sept. 29, 2014.

Suicide bombing reported as new president of Afghanistan sworn in.

Israeli car pelted with rocks as it traveled on the road near Tekoa.

Thousands of people protested outside of the Metropolitan Opera for staging an anti-Semitic opera.

ISIS urged all Muslims to kill all non-Muslims, and referred to Kerry as an ‘uncircumcised old Geezer.’

British Muslims launch social media campaign against ISIS, called #NotInMyName.

Canada will strip citizenship from those who travel abroad to join ISIS or other terrorist groups.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/philly-jews-rallying-to-prevent-closure-of-israeli-consulate/2013/11/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: