On his first visit to the Pittsburgh area last week as Israel’s consul general to the Mid-Atlantic Region, Yaron Sideman invited Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to visit the Jewish state.
The invitation was extended Tuesday, June 4, when the two men met Downtown for a discussion about ways Israel and Allegheny County can build bridges.
“Sometime in the future, I’d like to take a trip to Israel,” Fitzgerald told the Chronicle. “I’ve never been to Israel, and he [Sideman] extended an invitation to do that.”
In return, the executive offered to open doors for Sideman to establish business relationships here with the Jewish state.
“I wanted to set up meetings with [local] business leaders [for Sideman], and I can certainly help do that and pave the way for some of those things,” Fitzgerald said.
Sideman held several meetings on his two-day swing through the area, which included the University of Pittsburgh. He met with University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, Federation and other Jewish leaders.
The consul general also spoke at an Israel Pride program in Wilkinsburg.
The Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh arranged his visits, which according to Sideman, highlighted the importance he and Israel place on relations with this region.
“It’s the fourth time consulate officials are visiting Pittsburgh in seven months,” Sideman said in an interview with the Chronicle, “so we attribute a great deal of importance to the Jewish community here and the vast potential of developing ties between Israel and Pittsburgh.”
(Lee Chottiner can be reached at email@example.com.)