top of page

Six residents within the state’s 18th legislative district were among the 77 public members Governor Phil Murphy appointed earlier this week to the New Jersey-Israel Commission.

The appointments to the Commission were announced on Israel’s 73rd Independence Day, in celebration of the friendship and longstanding relationship between New Jersey and Israel.


Marlene Herman, Gary Minkoff, Allison Nagelberg, Yuri Pilster, Karen Small and Jacob Toporek comprise the sextet of 18th legislative district residents Governor Murphy appointed or reappointed to the Commission on Wednesday.


Governor Murphy said New Jersey has enjoyed a special relationship with Israel dating back decades, adding he is confident the Commission “will continue to strengthen our friendship with the Israeli people and provide further opportunities for collaboration on economic, educational, and cultural initiatives.”


The New Jersey-Israel Commission was established in 1989 to promote the development of trade, culture and educational exchanges; encourage the development of capital investment and joint business ventures; and foster a spirit of cooperation between the citizens of the State of Israel and the State of New Jersey.


The Commission is under the purview of the Secretary of State and its Executive Director, with members appointed directly by the Governor.

The members include leaders in business, journalism, music, diplomacy, civics, religion, technology, medicine, academia, and other sectors, representing the true spirit of the Commission’s mission.

The new appointments reflect a cross-section of individuals who have shown leadership in New Jersey’s special connection with Israel and a dedication to deepening that relationship across the Jewish community and other communities.

The appointments to the Commission raise the bar for the future and usher in a new era of bilateral cooperation focusing on future technologies and the needs of the state. The Commission has seen many recent achievements.

In March, the Governor announced the Institute for Future Technologies with the Presidents of the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Ben Gurion University, which will focus on cyber security and environmental engineering in Newark and Jersey City.

In April, the Commission facilitated a relationship bringing Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel’s largest aviation company, to demonstrate new technologies at Atlantic City Airport designed to keep air travel safe from viruses like COVID-19.

“New Jersey and Israel stand together in countless ways, and (Wednesday’s) announcement on Israel’s Independence Day reflects that incredibly special relationship as we usher in a new era with these outstanding Commission Members,” New Jersey-Israel Commission Executive Director Andrew Gross said.

“Together with (Commission Co-Chairs Mark Levenson and Karin Elkis) and all our members, I look forward to advancing opportunities across business, culture, academia, and beyond that captures the remarkable ingenuity of the State of Israel and pairs it with our state’s exceptional innovative ecosystem.”

Click HERE to read the Governor's complete press release and to view the full list of appointments.

bottom of page