On the night Shontel Brown won the Ohio District 11 Democratic primary, she spoke about a transformative trip she took to Israel.

“In 2018, I got the invitation to go to Israel. It changed my life.”

That trip was made possible by the American Israel Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIEF works to identify current and future leaders from across the ideological spectrum to take to Israel because the best way to understand Israel is to experience it. In fact, the prior congresswoman from the 11th District, Marcia Fudge, now the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, went on a similar trip early in her career. Later, as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, she led the Caucus’ first trip to Israel.

These trips are important because they are effective. AIEF exposes the participants to the dynamic and complicated reality of life in the Middle East’s only democracy. Participants return with a deep understanding of how crucial the U.S.-Israel relationship is to both countries and our shared values and interests.

AIEF played a critical role in strengthening the relationship between Israel and both the former congresswoman and the current Democratic nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 11th Congressional District. Even better, these trips are for current and emerging leaders all over the country. We are blessed to have organizations like AIPAC and AIEF doing this important work to ensure that the longstanding closeness between the United States and Israel continues.

Jason Wuliger

Kirtland

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