It was 1943, in the midst of World War II, the Axis powers were not only waging world war against America and Europe but also seeking the mass murder and systematic extermination of the Jewish people. Alabama led the nation as the first to call for the establishment of Jewish state and homeland.
The state of Alabama, in an incredible act of leadership and friendship, stepped out front against such horrors against humanity like the atrocities committed against millions of Jews.
The state of Israel, the one Jewish country and homeland was established years later in May of 1948.
This friendship has lasted the decades and resulted in state to state agreements, trade agreements, joint cooperation on agriculture ventures, an official “Stand with Israel Day”, leading up to the most recent act of cooperation this year, 2016, of denouncing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the highest ranking Israeli official, the deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Hilik Barr visiting the state of Alabama.
Because of this unique friendship, the Alabama-Israel Task Force was created to help build bridges of cooperation and support between Alabama and Israel. Their first project is to build an Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Center in Israel with the Israel Leadership Institute to train both Israeli and Alabamian civilians to be equipped and trained in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response. In times of crisis – whether from a natural or man made disaster – history has shown that a civilian response provides an invaluable and life-saving companion to state and government responses. This will be a unique opportunity for cross-leadership training and development in a field of great interest to both states.