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Philadelphia-area Labor Leaders Meet to Support Israel

As part of an effort to recognize the recent national labor leadership elections in Pittsburgh, celebrate the Jewish New Year, and stand in support of the state and people of Israel, thirty Philadelphia-area labor, government, and community leaders gathered at the Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia on Thursday, September 24, to honor the relationship between the U.S. and Israeli labor movements.
Sharing hosting duties were Patrick Eiding, President of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, along with Consul General Daniel Kutner; the event was MC’ed by Deputy Consul General Raslan Abu Rukun.
Patrick Eiding related the close organizational and personal relationships between Philadelphia labor, the local Jewish community and the Israeli trade union movemwent. Edward F. Mooney, Vice President of District 13, Communications Workers of America, and Bernard Fisher, Past President of the local Coalition of Black Trade Unionists discussed their participation in a July 2007 labor leaders’ study trip to Israel. The personal remembrances of Mooney and Fisher were “life changing,” they reported, discussing how they explored all sides of the issues, from Jewish and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian perspectives.
Israeli Consul General Kutner gave a brief account of Israel’s founding of Israel, and the role of decades of hard work by the pre-state Israeli labor movement to build a socially just society.

The program ended with a full hour of networking. To follow up in the success of the program, the cosponsors plan to meet to develop follow-up activites.
Among the labor, community and government leaders in attendance, in addition to those mentioned, were local Philadelphia and state union presidents Jerry T. Jordan, President, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 3; Ted Kirsch, President, American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania (AFTPA); James Weyrauch, Exec. V.P, National Council of Field Labor Locals, AFGE; & V.P., PA AFL-CIO; Alan Greenberger, Interim Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Commerce Department, City of Philadelphia; Nancy Gilboy, President & CEO, International Visitors Council of Philadelphia; Sallie Glickman, Chief Executive Officer, Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board; Matt Goldfine, Chief of Staff, Office of State Rep. Tim Briggs; and Seth J. Kaplan, Deputy Chief of Staff, Representative Brendan Boyle, 170th Legislative District.
The event was co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee; the Philadelphia Israeli Consulate; the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO; State of Israel Bonds; and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia.