St. Paul, Minnesota — Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman will be traveling with a bipartisan group of legislators to Israel and the West Bank December 2nd-13th. The study tour for legislators and community leaders is organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, but participants — like Speaker Hortman and her husband — pay the expenses themselves.
“I’m really looking forward to going to Israel with this bipartisan delegation,” said Speaker Hortman. “This region holds special significance to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. As a Catholic, I’m especially looking forward to seeing sites central to my faith. I’m also looking forward to learning more about the complex political and security issues facing Israel and the region.”
Speaker Hortman will be joined by Reps. Elkins, Kiel, and Theis; and Sens. Bigham, Franzen, and Kiffmeyer, among other participants on the trip.
After arriving in Israel, participants will visit the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, and the Israel Museum, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They will explore environmental challenges related to the River Jordan, and tour East Jerusalem with a Palestinian-American journalist. Participants will also visit a number of Christian and Jewish holy sites, and Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial and museum.
Later, attendees will visit the Palestinian Authority’s headquarters and Moshav Netiv HaAsara, a community that borders Gaza. Participants will stand on the banks of the Jordan River, learn more about Israel’s security situation on its border with Syria in the Golan Heights, visit the ancient port city of Akko, and receive a guided tour describing Israel’s strategic challenges along the Lebanese border. Participants will also visit Medtronic Israel and Minneapolis’ partner community, Rehovot, and St. Paul’s partner community in the Sovev Kineret region.