San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that she will be leading a mission to Israel in collaboration with the San Francisco-Haifa Sister City Committee and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Bay Area. The mission, which will take place May 9-14, 2023, marks the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco-Haifa Sister City relationship.
Sister City relationships are essential for exchanging ideas, making cultural connections, and building economic ties. This is her first dedicated sister city trip since the Mayor has been in office. She conducted sister city activities during her trip to Paris last year as part of her European tourism tour.
“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,” says Mayor London Breed. “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.”
While in Haifa, Mayor Breed will join Haifa Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem to officially renew the cities’ sister-city relationship by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Over the years, the partnership between the two cities has advanced diverse fields, including science, medicine, environmental technology, commerce, art and culture, public health, sports, and tourism.
The San Francisco-Haifa Sister City Committee is chaired by Bob Tandler and the 2023 Mission is chaired by Sam Lauter. The mission is being organized by JCRC Bay Area, the largest collective voice of Bay Area Jews.
“This mission aims to advance mutual understanding and strengthen ties between our two beautiful cities,” said Bob Tandler, Chair of the San Francisco-Haifa Sister City Committee. “For example, we will visit the Rambam Medical Center, which has a working relationship with Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on best practices in emergency medicine and trauma. The connections that come from this trip will form further bridges of cooperation and friendship, and we look forward to writing the next half-century of this special relationship.”
“We are proud to bring Mayor Breed on her second trip to Israel. 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,” said Tye Gregory, JCRC Bay Area CEO.
In addition to Haifa, the delegation will also visit Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem, where they will tour cultural and historical sites, and meet with water, environmental, and academic experts. As part of the Mayor’s economic recovery work to attract new industry and bring more businesses to San Francisco’s Downtown, she will hold meetings with business and technology leaders in clean tech and biosciences.
The delegation will also engage with diverse communities, including Ethiopian Israelis, Arab citizens of Israel, Palestinians, and LGBTQ activists. The Mayor will also visit Yad V’Shem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, and the Western Wall, the holy site for Judaism.
In 2012, Mayor Breed visited Israel with JCRC when she served as executive director of the African American Art and Culture Complex.
Haifa has been a sister city of San Francisco since 1973. The San Francisco-Haifa Sister City Committee previously led similar mayoral delegations in 2008 with then Mayor Gavin Newsom and in 2016 with then Mayor Edwin Lee.