PRESS RELEASE: Federation CJA and CIJA-Québec comment on Mayor Denis Coderre’s visit in Beer Sheva

For Immediate Release

November 14, 2016

Montreal, QC—Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is currently leading a high-profile business and education delegation in Israel together with the Chambre de commerce de Montreal and Montreal International. Federation CJA and its advocacy arm the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs-Québec (CIJA-Québec) are pleased to be participating in this important mission exploring business and partnership opportunities between Montreal and Israeli cyber-tech companies and higher education institutions. CIJA-Québec co-Chairs Patrick Benaroche & Rabbi Reuben Poupko, as well as Vice-President Eta Yudin are travelling with the delegation.

Earlier today Mayor Coderre spent some time in Beer Sheva, the fast-growing high-tech hub in Southern Israel. While the delegation focused on exploring the city’s dynamic cyber innovation ecosystem and Ben Gurion University’s leading role in cyber tech development, as well as the signing of an agreement signed by the university and Concordia University, Mayor Coderre also found time to promote urban diplomacy and learning about the Montreal Jewish Community’s special relationship with Beer Sheva’s fast-paced development.

Mayor Coderre visited the Federation CJA-sponsored Montreal Start-Up Centre, Israel’s first empowerment centre for young adults, with a focus on retention in the region by offering comprehensive tools to support them at key junctures, including academic guidance, scholarships, career advice, and business and leadership programs. There, he was also briefed about Federation CJA’s programs which over the course of 28 years significantly contributed to the development of the Beer Sheva/Bnei Shimon region, Federation CJA’s sister region since 1988.

Federation CJA President, Evan Feldman, commented: “I personally witnessed the transformation of Beer Sheva into a thriving high-tech hub, now home to leading multi-nationals such as Oracle, Paypal and Lockheed Martin. Today, the capital of the Negev provides an attractive business environment that shares with Montreal many fields of expertise. We are thrilled that Mayor Coderre identified Beer Sheva as a natural partner for Montreal’s own vibrant high-tech sector.”

Mayor Coderre also met with the Mayor of Beer Sheva, Mr. Ruvik Danilovich, who signed the Montreal Declaration on Living Together, a formal pledge taken by several world cities to promote social cohesion and tolerance. “Beer Sheva is an exemplary city in terms of peaceful coexistence and cooperation between its Jewish and Arab populations. It is completely natural and we are pleased that the city joined the International Observatory of Mayors on Living Together and Mayor Coderre’s urban diplomacy initiative, laying the groundwork for future cooperation between Montreal and Beer Sheva on best practices regarding social integration,” noted Reuben Poupko, co-Chair of CIJA-Québec, who attended the signing ceremony.

Later in the day, the Mayor made a stop at Tel Aviv University where the delegation explored the university’s developments in cyber security, smart cities and transportation, start-ups, la Francophonie and cultural studies. The university also signed its first agreement with Concordia University and expanded its current partnership with Université de Montréal.

The Mayor’s mission to Israel will continue throughout the week as he visits several other key cities and higher education institutions throughout the country. CIJA-Québec will be accompanying the mayor throughout as new partnerships and agreements are drawn up, strengthening the relationship between Quebec’s metropolis and Israel.

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