Governor’s Economic Development Mission to Israel


On Thursday, February 17, 2022, Governor Ned Lamont left for Israel on a week-long economic development mission designed to encourage Israeli businesses to conduct operations and create jobs in Connecticut. Accompanying him on the mission, among others, are the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, leading professionals of Connecticut Innovations, senior officials of the University of Connecticut (including the Interim President) and a number of Connecticut business leaders.

The Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT) helped to plan the mission and its Executive Director, Michael Bloom, will accompany the Governor and his team in Israel. JFACT is a nonprofit organization formed and funded by Connecticut’s seven Jewish Federations to ensure that Jewish values are represented at our State Capitol and in other forums. Your contributions to the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut help JFACT to be impactful in many ways in our State, and this mission is one meaningful example of its impact.

The purpose of this mission is to promote economic development for our State. There are already more than 20 Israeli businesses operating in Connecticut. With the team that the Governor has assembled to accompany him on this trip and the meetings that have been scheduled with numerous innovative Israeli enterprises, there is every reason to believe that new and deeper relationships between our State and Israeli businesses will result from this mission. However, the Jewish community should recognize that this trip signals another message that our Governor is sending: Connecticut is proud to partner with Israel.

At a time when there is so much hateful misinformation being spread about Israel from so many sources, our Governor and other political and business leaders understand the truth about Israel and are comfortable visiting and working with Israel and its people. Just over two months ago, in this space, I thanked Governor Lamont for holding a press conference with Connecticut’s Jewish Federations announcing his support for our statewide “Shine a Light on Antisemitism” campaign. I also thanked him for issuing an Official Statement in support of that campaign endorsing the IHRA definition of Antisemitism which helps make it clear that certain kinds of criticism attacking Israel can cross the line into Antisemitism.

The Governor’s mission to Israel provides a meaningful opportunity to thank him again. I encourage you to do so. 

Please continue reading to learn more about the Governor’s mission.

Governor Lamont’s Trip to Israel

For the first time in twenty-five years, Connecticut’s Governor will visit Israel. Governor Ned Lamont will join with leaders of public and private industry accompanied by JFACT to strengthen and enhance business relationships between Connecticut and Israel.

While in Israel, JFACT will assist in furthering Governor Lamont’s knowledge and understanding of the special relationship between the Jewish communities of Connecticut and Israel, with special focus on the partnership between the seven Connecticut Federations and the municipalities of Afula and Gilboa. JFACT will also connect the governor to leaders of successful Israeli companies and Israeli dignitaries.

An attractive location, Connecticut offers much for Israeli companies with an east coast time zone, a business-friendly environment, sought-after talent and proximity to New York and Boston. More than twenty Israeli businesses already call Connecticut home and JFACT will continue to work collaboratively to encourage many more, highlighting the vibrancy of Connecticut’s Jewish communities.

JFACT is proud to support this historic mission of Connecticut’s executive and business leaders and looks forward to building on the relationships forged to further economic opportunities to benefit all of Connecticut’s residents.

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he will join representatives from Connecticut’s public and private sectors on an economic development mission in Israel later this month focused on strengthening connections between the state and members of Israel’s innovation ecosystem, including venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators, and thought leaders.

The delegation from Connecticut will include representatives from Raytheon, Hartford HealthCare, Digital Currency Group, the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and Connecticut Innovations.

The visit, which will occur February 17 to 24, will culminate with a VentureClash event, led by Connecticut Innovations, the state’s venture capital arm. The event will include pitches from innovative companies seeking to expand in the U.S. and have a compelling reason to come to Connecticut. In addition to meeting with business leaders, Governor Lamont will meet with several Israeli government officials.

“Part of growing Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem includes adding diverse businesses from all around the world,” Governor Lamont said. “Israel continues to lead the way in innovation and has one of the strongest economies in the world to back it up. This is an opportunity for Connecticut to strengthen its ties with Israel and provide these innovative companies with an option for any U.S. expansion. I look forward to meeting with these business leaders and government officials to learn how we can strengthen the bond between our two regions.”

“While in Israel, we will be spending time with some of the brightest minds in the small business ecosystem,” Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman said. “We hope to carry home best practices on how we can work more closely with Israel to provide startups with a soft landing when they arrive in our state.”

“As an important part of our global recruiting strategy, we will meet with innovative companies looking to create a U.S. headquarters in Connecticut,” Matt McCooe, CEO of Connecticut Innovations, said. “Through VentureClash, we not only have the opportunity to connect with promising companies, but also we will expand and strengthen our network of co-investors who will work on future deals with Connecticut Innovations.”