SPECIAL FOR THE AJT //

The coming of each New Year marks a time for both reflection and anticipation. Looking back on 5773 and forward to 5774, we have much to appreciate and celebrate.

Consulate logoThe Israeli economy flourished in the past year, creating ample opportunities for collaboration between the economic missions in the Southern United States and Israel.

The American-Israel Chamber of Commerce to the Southeast (AICCSE) remained a dedicated partner in this relationship, while entering a new era of leadership. After 22 years of inspired guidance, AICCSE founder and President Tom Glaser passed the torch to new President and CEO Shai Robkin.

We welcome Shai and look forward to working together to make his vision for further American-Israeli economic success a reality.

Despite the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, it was a record year for tourism in Israel. More than 246,000 visitors came to Israel in July 2013, a marked increase from previous years.

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The Israeli Ministry of Tourism in Atlanta, expertly led by Joe Diaz, contributed significantly to this achievement, assisting with the visit of local Jewish congregations and senior rabbis to Israel earlier in the year.

With the unprecedented addition of devoted Israeli diplomat Eyal Carlin to the Atlanta Ministry of Tourism office, the coming year is sure to bring even more success, including the Jewish Federation of Georgia’s 2014 Israel mission.

With the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, Israel remains an “island of stability in a sea of instability.” Iran continues to be the biggest threat to not only Israel and the Middle East, but the United States and its allies.

Continued pursuit of nuclear capability coupled with the terrorist activity of its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah creates a continual challenge for the safety and security of Israel, her neighbors, and allies.

The Israeli community in the Southeast was touched by the outpouring of support offered during November’s Operation Pillar of Defense, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s reassuring personal words.

Along with the rest of the world, Israel continues to monitor the events in the Middle East with caution and remain hopeful, yet prepared to react with swift and decisive force should her citizens be threatened.

At the Consulate, we honored the culmination of Deputy Consul General Sharon Kabalo and husband Sami’s five years of work uniting Israel and the Southeast community. We welcome new Deputy Consul General Ron Brummer and his wife, Ayelet, and look forward to their contributions in the coming year.

Want to know more?

For additional information, contact Dena Weiss, Director of Media Affairs, Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast, (404) 487-6511 media@atlanta.mfa.gov.il

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