San Francisco Mayor London Breed (left) with Israel's Deputy Consul General Matan Zamir.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed (left) with Israel's Deputy Consul General Matan Zamir.

Mayor London Breed heading to Israel for 50th anniversary of S.F.-Haifa Sister City relationship

Mayor London Breed will travel to Israel next week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco-Haifa Sister City relationship.

The trip, organized by the San Francisco-Haifa Sister City Committee and Jewish Community Relations Council Bay Area, will take more than 30 delegates to Haifa, as well as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, from May 9 to 14. This is Breed’s first trip to Israel with JCRC as mayor. Her first was in 2012, when she was executive director of the African American Art and Culture Complex.

Breed will meet with Haifa Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem to renew the sister-city relationship and with Israeli business leaders in technology, clean tech and biosciences.

“I am proud to be part of this historic mission to commemorate a half-century of shared history and collaboration with the city of Haifa,” Breed said in a statement. “Our two cities have much in common, from our vibrant tech scenes to our rich cultural diversity, and this anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on our shared goals to improve the quality of life of the people we represent, recommit to the exchange of ideas that have made our cities vibrant and resilient, and build stronger economic ties.”

The delegation will visit cultural and historical sites, meet with experts and connect with Israel’s diverse communities, including Ethiopian Israelis, Palestinians and LGBTQ activists, according to the JCRC statement.

“The itinerary of our Sister City Mission reflects the shared values of San Francisco and Haifa, such as our commitments to democracy and civic engagement, empowering diverse communities, celebrating arts and culture, and promoting innovation in health and sciences,” JCRC CEO Tye Gregory said in a statement.

The Haifa-San Francisco Sister City Committee is chaired by Bob Tandler, and the mission is chaired by Sam Lauter.

The sister city relationship dates back to 1973. Many delegations have visited the Israeli city, including one in 2016 that included S.F. Mayor Ed Lee, in 2013 to honor the 40th anniversary of the relationship, and in 2008 with Mayor Gavin Newsom. Former Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav visited San Francisco in 2010.

Lillian Ilsley-Greene
Lillian Ilsley-Greene

Lillian Ilsley-Greene is a J. Staff Writer. Originally from Vermont, she has a BA in political science and an MA in journalism from Boston University. Follow her on Twitter at @lilsleygreene.