Governor Gretchen Whitmer travels to Israel this week to meet with different leaders to strengthen relationships and build business ties.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans to travel to Israel from Nov. 17-23, 2019, and to meet with government, business and nonprofit leaders.

She indicated that her plan is to strengthen relationships and build business ties with startups and mobility companies to help Michigan compete for good-paying, high-tech jobs.

In Israel, the governor will participate in the Water Technology and Environmental Control Conference and hold meetings with Israeli Minister of Energy Dr. Yuval Steinitz, the team of Start Up Nation Central, Mobileye CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua. She will also visit GM’s Advanced Technical Center, Ford Motor Company, the William Davidson Archaeological Park, and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

The governor’s trip is conducted at the invitation of the Israeli government and hosted by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in coordination with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Whitmer’s seven-day mission seeking investment in Michigan is coming at a time when the MEDC’s business and tourism-attraction budget is in flux.

The two religious landmarks in her plans are the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Shrine of the Book museum in Jerusalem, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed.

Crain’s reports that an unusual addition to Whitmer’s delegation is Col. Joseph Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “I think that in the Jewish community, there’s a real need and interest in making sure they’ve got good, strong relationships with law enforcement,” Crain’s reports Whitmer said when asked why Gasper is attending.

“Obviously, here’s been an uptick in hate crimes, and I think that’s an important relationship. I also know that when it comes to security, Israel is a leader. And I think there’s some unique opportunities for the colonel to take part in,” Whitmer added.