AIPAC group visits India and Israel, building 3-way ties

When AIPAC sent a mission to Israel and India recently, several activists in its Bay Area chapter were on the delegation.

The America Israel Public Affairs Committee mission spent six days in Israel and then went on to India, where the group visited with the Jewish community and met with dignitaries.

As indicated by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to India in September, “there’s a real strategic relationship developing between India and Israel,” said Russ Holdstein of Kentfield, who is chair of AIPAC’s Pacific Northwest chapter and sits on its national board.

“We thought it would be useful for us to understand the relationship and where it’s going, and back it up with our presence,” he said. “India is interested in having a relationship with Israel and the United States, and we stand at the junction of that relationship in some ways.”

Holdstein said the participants were particularly impressed by a dance performance put on especially for them by Jewish teenagers in Bombay.

“Many of us were wishing our JCC could attract teens with the same enthusiasm,” he said. They also visited several of Bombay’s synagogues and one in New Delhi.

The delegation also met with the American and Israeli ambassadors to India, as well as executives from India’s high-tech sector.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."