Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wrapped up an Israel trip and returned to Chicago on Monday. On Sunday, he met with the newly arrived U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro--a native of Champaign, Ill.
Quinn also met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Jewish Agency chief Natan Sharansky, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Shalom Simhon--who also handles tourism--Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon---who served at the Israeli Embassy in Washington-- and Ron Dermer, senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Quinn's Israeli visit was covered in a Monday story in the Jerusalem Post:
From the JPost: "Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and National Infrastructures Minister Dr. Uzi Landau signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Jerusalem on Sunday establishing a "Sister Lakes" relationship between Lake Michigan and the Kinneret, to foster an educational exchange for research toward maintaining the two very critical bodies of water."
Also on the trip: Michael Kotzin, executive vice president of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, the organization sponsoring the visit; Illinois State Senators Jeffrey Schoenberg and Ira Silverstein, and Skip Schrayer, chairman of the Jewish United Fund.
And more on Shapiro's Illinois connection, from the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette:
From the News-Gazette: Shapiro's mother and father live in Champaign, "Elizabeth Klein Shapiro, a novelist who is married to University of Illinois professor emeritus Michael Shapiro, spoke proudly of her son's accomplishments, from playing basketball at University Laboratory High School to speaking Hebrew and Arabic to earning an advanced degree at Harvard University."