March 4, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Itinerary for Economic Development and Unity Trip to Israel

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Itinerary for Economic...

Governor Will Travel to Israel March 4 as a Part of Global NY to Explore Economic Development Strategies, Demonstrate Unwavering Friendship and Support in Wake of Recent Attacks on the Jewish Community 


Governor Participates in Roundtable Discussion at Park East Synagogue Prior to Departure


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the itinerary for his economic development and unity trip to Israel. The Governor departed today Saturday, March 4 and will return Monday, March 6. Prior to departure, the Governor participated in a roundtable discussion with Rabbi Arthur Schneier and leaders of Park East Synagogue in Manhattan.

The unity trip will strengthen economic ties with Israel and support the Governor's efforts to create new jobs and attract additional international business investment in New York through the Global NY initiative. Global NY, New York State's international economic development division, has a trade office in Israel, which is New York's fifth largest trading partner. The trip comes at a time when hate crimes are on the rise in New York and nationwide. It reinforces the historic relationship between New York and Israel and is part of the state’s ongoing efforts to combat anti-Semitism.

The Governor will travel with:

  • Howard Zemsky, President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development
  • Linda Mirels, former Chairman of the UJA-Federation of New York
  • Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union
  • Aaron Kaplowitz, Director of Global NY
  • Melissa DeRosa, Chief of Staff to the Governor
  • David Lobl, Special Assistant for Jewish Affairs
  • Major Michael J. Cerretto, Director of the Office of Counter Terrorism
  • Letizia Tagliafierro, Special Counsel for Public Safety


“New York’s special relationship with Israel is cultural, economic, spiritual, and historic, and I am proud to lead this unity trip to strengthen our economic ties and to reaffirm our strong friendship and support,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the recent rise of anti-Semitism, it is more important than ever before to demonstrate the connection between New York and Israel, our intertwined histories and our common futures, and spearhead new economic partnerships to bring our communities closer together."

An itinerary of the Governor's trip is below. Video and photos will be released following each event:

  • Governor Cuomo will tour Yad Vashem with Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of the Libraries.
  • Governor Cuomo will participate in a memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem's Hall of ‎Remembrance with President Reuven Rivlin
  • Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky will meet with automotive technology and venture capital firms to discuss economic development opportunities in New York State.
  • Governor Cuomo will host a New York State-Israel Economic Development working lunch with Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem, key Israeli business leaders and Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky.
  • Governor Cuomo will attend a security briefing at Jerusalem's Old City Police Headquarters with Minister of Public Security and Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan, Director of the New York State Office of Counter Terrorism Major Michael J. Cerretto and Special Counsel for Public Safety Letizia Tagliafierro.
  • Governor Cuomo will tour the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Western Wall with Dr. Chaim Cohen.
  • Governor Cuomo will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Global NY

The economic development trip supports the Governor's Global NY initiative, which includes a $35 million Global NY Fund and trade missions to Mexico, Canada, Italy, China, and Israel and aims to create new jobs and attract additional international business investment to New York.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Governor Cuomo created Global NY to generate trade and investment opportunities for New York State. With offices in Canada, China, Israel, Mexico, South Africa and Europe, Global NY has expanded New York's footprint. Now more than ever, it is important that New York strengthens its economic ties with the international community. This Governor-led delegation to Israel demonstrates the unwavering bond between New York and Israel and its economic, cultural, and historical significance.”

In 2015, Governor Cuomo led a trade mission to Cuba where more than a dozen New York industry leaders worked together with Cuban officials to find economic partnerships, including an agreement between Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo and Cuba's Center for Molecular Immunology to develop a unique lung cancer vaccine with a clinical trial in the United States.

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order directing state entities to divest all public funds supporting the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. The first-in-the-nation action ensures that no state agency or authority engages in or promotes any investment activity that would further the harmful and discriminatory Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in New York State.

Governor Cuomo recently announced new actions to combat hate crimes and anti-Semitism in New York State, including a $25 million grant program to boost safety and security at New York’s schools and day care centers at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs or mission and a new hate crimes hotline and text line to report incidents of bias and discrimination.

New York is home to more than 1.7 million Jews, representing the largest Jewish community outside of Israel in the world. This will be Governor Cuomo's fifth trip to Israel. In 2014, the Governor led a unity trip to Israel in demonstration of solidarity with the State. During the two-day trip, the Governor met with various Israeli government officials, and those impacted by the conflict.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office