AJC Celebrates 50 Years of German-Israeli Diplomatic Relations

May 20, 2015, 14:43 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, May 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC was honored last night at an historic ceremony marking 50 years of German-Israeli diplomatic relations.

The Tuesday evening program, held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, was highlighted by remarks from UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, German Ambassador to the UN Harald Braun, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, German Consul General Britta Wagner, and Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni. More than 250 invited guests attended the event, including diplomatic representatives from 33 countries.

"AJC laid the groundwork for the occasion we are celebrating. And, for the past 50 years, AJC has continued to be a key partner for Germany in its dialogue with American Jewry and in our transatlantic relations," said Braun, who presented the award to AJC. "It is obvious that no other institution could be more deserving to be honored for its immeasurable achievements and its unwavering commitment to the betterment of the relations between our three countries - to be honored on this 50th anniversary day of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel."

"First and foremost, we want to pay tribute to the two visionaries—Konrad Adenauer and David Ben-Gurion—who, despite external and internal pressures, laid the foundation for this truly historic diplomatic bridge," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Looking to the next 50 years, we hope that similarly inspired leadership can help propel the German-Israeli partnership to new, unimagined heights."

Earlier in the evening, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor presented an Outstanding Achievement Award to Katharina von Muenster, who has worked tirelessly to advance German-Jewish and German-Israeli relations at Action Reconciliation Service for Peace. AJC has long hosted German volunteers from this group in its New York, Washington, and Berlin offices.

Besides last night's event in New York, AJC regional offices in more than a dozen cities across the U.S. are working with German and Israeli consulates to mark this diplomatic milestone. 

AJC was the first global Jewish organization to re-engage with Germany after the Second World War and to establish, thanks to the generosity of Lawrence and Lee Ramer, a full-time presence in Germany in 1998. Today, the office is directed by Deidre Berger, and co-chaired by Anthony Meyer and Steven Wisch.


SOURCE American Jewish Committee