web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



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

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Ukraine Shul Firebombed
Ukrainian Synagogue Firebombed (Video)
Latest News Stories
Ukraine Shul Firebombed

Antisemitic attacks have escalated with the firebombing of a synagogue in the Ukraine. Watch the video of the attack…

ancient skull discovered Gush Etzion

A surprised group of hikers stumbled across human bones in a Gush Etzion cave. But what they actually found was even more astounding.

FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden

Many Pakistanis consider bin Laden a “hero of Islam.”

Two major obstacles have kept Israel from joining the program: Allegations by U.S. officials that Israel has discriminated against Arab- and Muslim-Americans seeking entry, and a proliferation of young Israelis traveling to the United States as tourists and then working illegally.

A Lebanese man who was arrested in Thailand on suspicion of belonging to Hezbollah admitted to targeting Israelis, Thai media reported.

On Friday afternoon, Syrian fighter jets hit opposition/rebel targets and villages on the Syrian side of the Ramat HaGolan (Golan Heights), in the Quneitra region. Large pillars of smoke are seen rising from struck areas. Quneitra is the site of an official crossing between Syria and Israel on the Golan. IAF jets were sent out […]

As Rabbi Stav said, “You’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew?”

Chimpanzees and Orangutans eat Matza, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Passover holiday, at the Ramat Gan Safari on Thursday, April 17, 2014. I hope they can digest it. On Passover no leavened bread (Chametz) is allowed in Jewish possession, and that includes food we feed our animals.

Following intelligence reports of further expected Arab rioting and violence on the Temple Mount today, the police have placed restrictions on Muslim entry to the Jewish holy site, according to a report on Arutz-7. Entry will be limited to Muslims over the age of 50, and women, also they must be Israeli citizens or residency […]

PA President Abbas’s refusal to publicly condemn the terror attack that killed Baruch Mizrachi is putting a damper on the parade.

The Shas political party, founded and run by the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, has a appointed a new spiritual leader, according to a Galei Tzahal report. The rabbi chosen to replace Harav Ovadia and be the new president of the party’s Council of Torah Sages is Rabbi Shalom Cohen. Aryeh Deri is the political leader […]

In 1941, the Jews of Kiev received a similar leaflet. When they showed up the next day, more than 34,000 were murdered.

Teen stabbed in South Florida high school.

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden

Many Pakistanis consider bin Laden a “hero of Islam.”

Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.

In 1941, the Jews of Kiev received a similar leaflet. When they showed up the next day, more than 34,000 were murdered.

Teen stabbed in South Florida high school.

Ron Pundak was involved in many leftist “peace” initiatives. Pundak died on Friday.

Another failed anti-Israel Divestment measure. This one at Cornell University.

The US may pretend it was forced to give up Pollard, but it is US that most wants to continue talks.

Hirsi Ali’s critics wanted her silenced; Brandeis granted their wish.

Brandeis buckled to those who embrace diversity and tolerance only of their own views.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: