November 9, 2015
House Speaker Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President M. Teresa Teresa Paiva Weed are scheduled to spend the next week in Israel.
They were invited to join the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island on an expense-paid, week-long "Community Leaders' Mission" to Israel, starting this past Sunday.
As their spokesmen explained: "The Alliance hosts these missions for community leaders to build potential partnerships with Israel and exchange information in areas such as government, education and entrepreneurship." A total of 18 people are expected to take the trip.
Among the events listed on their itinerary: "Meet with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv; Receive a geopolitical briefing at the Golan Heights from a military colonel; Meet with officials and military staff at the Israeli Parliament 'The Knesset'; Receive a briefing from David Horovitz, founding editor of the Times of Israel; Meet with Amit Segal, political correspondent and anchorman on Israeli TV; Visit Yad Vashem, the Jewish National Memorial to the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust; Visits to such sites as the Dead Sea, Masada, the Golan Heights, Nazareth, the port city of Jaffa."
As of late last week, those slated to take the trip included: the Rev. Donald Anderson, executive minister, R.I. State Council of Churches; Toby Ayers, executive director, R.I. for Community and Justice; lawyer, Newport Grand lobbyist and one-time House Majority Whip Chris Boyle; Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit; Barbara Cottam, the Citizens Financial Group VP who chairs the state Board of Education; Central Falls Mayor James Diossa; Margaret M. Van Bree, the president of Rhode Island Hospital, and its pediatric division, Hasbro Children's Hospital; and Superior Court Judge Richard Licht, a past chairman of the Jewish Alliance Board.
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