Mayor Errick D. Simmons journeyed to Israel to participate in an all-expenses paid educational seminar sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) from January 30, 2016 to February 7, 2016. The trip was sponsored by AIEF and no city funds were used.
GREENVILLE, Miss. (February 10, 2016) Mayor Errick D. Simmons journeyed to Israel for a seven-day trip to participate in an educational seminar for Southeast African American Leaders sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). Participants included elected officials, civic leaders, and political activists who seek to gain an in-depth understanding of modern Israel and the U.S – Israel relationship. The intensive educational seminar explored critical policy and security issues affecting both Israel and the United States. Simmons and others had domestic and international discussions with current and former Israeli government officials, Palestinian Authority representatives, and leading academics and journalists.
Also, Mayor Simmons and others participated in strategic surveys of Jerusalem and the Israeli borders with Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. Simmons stated, “It was humbling to tour religious sites in Jerusalem, including but not limited to, the Temple Mount, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Golgotha Hill, Jesus’ tomb, Jordan River, and St. Peter’s House in Capernaum. The once-in-a-lifetime experience to visit, stand, and see historical religious sites in the Bible was breath-taking. I also was able to speak to business persons about business and economic opportunities for Greenville and the Mississippi Delta. I looked at the economic relationships to maybe see what Greenville can mimic in the success of Israel,” he said, adding Israel became its own state in 1948 and since then has had several startup successes, earning them the name “Startup Nation. I met with three startup companies and learned how they made it in an effort to make the City’s Entrepreneurship and Incubator Program successful (which will be launched during my administration).”