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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State

The New Jersey-Israel Commission Welcomes
New Legislative Appointments by Governor Murphy

Five legislators have joined the Commission with three reappointments

Trenton, N.J. – The New Jersey-Israel Commission proudly welcomes the latest round of legislative appointments by Governor Murphy including five new and three reappointed Members. These appointments will further the Commission’s objective of strengthening the New Jersey-Israel relationship through cooperation across trade, investment, science, academia, tourism, culture, and other key areas.

In 2020 Governor Murphy made a sweeping set of appointments to the 77 public members of the Commission, helping to revitalize it and open the door for a record amount of New Jersey-Israel bilateral trade, academic partnerships, official visits, foreign direct investment, cultural engagements, and other aspects crucial to the Commission’s work.

These appointments follow the trend set by the Governor and Secretary of State Tahesha Way to enhance the Commission and ensure it is fully operational and delivering opportunities to New Jersey from the State of Israel, a global hub of technology and innovation, and one of the state’s most important international partners.

Under the Commission’s bylaws, the Senate President and Assembly Speaker shall each recommend four legislators from their chambers, split evenly by party, to the Governor for appointment to the Commission.

The Governor has issued the following appointments:

  • Senator James Beach (D-6) – Reappointment
  • Senator Linda R. Greenstein (D-14) – Appointment
  • Senator Robert W. Singer (R-30) – Reappointment
  • Senator Michael L. Testa Jr. (R-1) – Appointment
  • Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D-6) – Appointment
  • Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer (R-3) – Appointment
  • Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer (D-36) – Reappointment
  • Assemblyman Edward “Ned” Thomson (R-30) – Appointment

“I am extremely pleased to see how the New Jersey-Israel Commission has been delivering for the State economically, academically, culturally, and beyond,” said Acting New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “I applaud Governor Murphy for making these key appointments which strengthen the Commission, and join him in our commitment to ensure that New Jersey’s relationship with the State of Israel remains resolute.”

“Thank you to the Governor, Assembly Speaker, and Senate President for these important legislative appointments that will ensure our ongoing success,” said Mark S. Levenson, Co-Chair of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “The talent and leadership within this group is evident and I look forward to their active involvement and contributions.”

“I welcome today’s announcement which reflects not only the great achievements of this Commission but its commitment to a bipartisan, strong, and mutually beneficial relationship with the State of Israel,” said Karin Elkis, Co-Chair of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “Congratulations to each of our legislators and I have no doubt the Commission will benefit from their leadership.”

The New Jersey-Israel Commission has developed a productive partnership built on providing several opportunities for economic growth between our State and Israel,” said Senator Linda R. Greenstein. “Thank you, Governor Murphy, for providing me the opportunity to promote, attract and retain skills and jobs in New Jersey through these mutual efforts. I look forward to joining my colleagues and members of the Commission in contributing to our economic development and further cultural and educational enrichment.”

“I am pleased to be named to the New Jersey-Israel Commission and look forward to working on issues of importance for our state and our closest ally in the Middle East,” said Senator Michael L. Testa, Jr. “As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, I am particularly thankful that the State of Israel provides a home for Jews and ensures the rights of all its citizens, no matter their faith or background in a vibrant democracy. I am proud to work to further the bonds of friendship between Israelis and New Jerseyans as part of the Commission. “

“I am honored to be reappointed to the New Jersey-Israel Commission,” said Senator James Beach. “I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues as we work to strengthen relations between New Jersey and Israel. My hope is, through our efforts, we can continue to have a strong, prosperous relationship with Israel.”

"It is always a pleasure to welcome new people to the Commission and to bring new ideas to the table,” said Senator Robert W. Singer.

“The opportunity to serve on this commission as a freshman legislator is a great honor that comes with significant responsibility. Strengthening New Jersey’s partnership with Israel for future economic prosperity,” said Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer. “I am eager to get to work.”

“It is an honor to serve on the New Jersey- Israel Commission at this historic juncture. Innovative technological advances and global economic ventures are vital for our State’s economic recovery; the Commission has already generated $1.55 Billion in bilateral trade,” said Assemblyman Gary S. Schaer. “I look forward to working alongside committed Legislators as we build invaluable diplomatic relationships and create additional economic opportunities.”

“I am honored to be selected by Speaker Coughlin to serve on the Commission and excited to work alongside the dedicated and passionate individuals of this body to continue to build upon New Jersey’s strong, constructive relationship with Israel,” said Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt. “The partnership our state shares with Israel serves not only to strengthen our commercial and economic ties, but also helps to cultivate the sharing of culture and ideas which is of significant value to our state as many of our residents have a direct connection to Israel.”

“I am honored to be appointed to the New Jersey-Israel Commission,” said Assemblyman Ned Thomson. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and fellow members of the Commission to strengthen our relationship with the State of Israel.”

“The incredible people that make up this Commission are its greatest asset,” said Andrew H Gross, Executive Director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. “I am eager to get to work with our new legislators as we continue delivering a vibrant, productive and innovative partnership between New Jersey and Israel.”

About the New Jersey-Israel Commission
The New Jersey-Israel Commission was established in 1989 to implement the goals of the New Jersey-Israel Sister State Agreement and is under the administration of New Jersey Department of State. The Commission promotes the development of trade, culture and educational exchanges; encourages the development of capital investment and joint business ventures; and fosters a spirit of cooperation between the citizens of the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey.


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