For decades, Chicago and Israel have been allies for multiple things, like businesses, social care, tourism, among other things. Currently, Chicago is considered one of the most important cities in the world for the Jews, having one of the largest Jewish communities in the United States. To keep and strengthen this relationship, both Chicago and Israel have developed different strategies, like the Consulate General of the State of Israel, the American Israel Chamber of Commerce, or the Sister city program.
For 2015, a population of more than 270.000 Jews was estimated living in Chicago. Furthermore, more than 30 businesses from the United States, like Hyatt, Abbott Laboratories, ITW or Motorola Solutions have a presence in Israel. Israel-based companies, like Sabon, Kenshoo or Bank Leumi have are in Chicago.
Having this context clear, then we can talk about one of the most significant organisms, with great programs and initiatives: The Consulate General of the State of Israel for the Midwest Region.
The Consulate General of the State of Israel
This important institution has served for many years as the official office of the Government of Israel in cities from the Midwest Region, like Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, among others. The main purpose of this entity is to strengthen and improve the current relations between Israel and these cities, establishing commercial agreements, and coordinating working relations for different initiatives.
Currently, the Consulate General of the State of Israel for the Midwest Region has eight departments to get closer people and businesses from Israel with the Midwest Region:
Academic department: this area is responsible for creating and establishing the best conditions for academic opportunities between people from Israel and the Midwest. In other words, the academic department is the connection between the State of Israel and the best educational institutions in this region.
Cultural department: this section is liable for bringing the Israeli and Jewish culture to the Midwest Region, like holidays, food, traditions, among other things, letting people from this region to know and understand in a better way the society from the State of Israel.
Economy department: the economic department is the one who develops the needed environment between the State of Israel and the Midwest Region, for the creation of new commercial relations and the improvement of the existing ones. Put differently, it is who promotes joint ventures both in Israel and the Midwest.
Israeli house program: this department or initiative watches for the living conditions of the Jewish and Israeli people outside Israel, giving them the required tools and means for their existing needs. Basically, is an excellent assistance for those people who live outside Israel and demand support in multiple areas.
Political department: the political department gives to Jewish people all the support they need, related to their diplomatic affairs, in other words, this area helps those Jewish and Israelis to be closer to their political leaders, improving the relations between them and the region where they live.
Press department: this section connects people from the Midwest Region with the principal information and press sites in the State of Israel, giving to them the possibility of better communication with this country and knowing all that they need about it.
Public department: the public department is the responsible for giving to people both from Israel and the Midwest the possibility of knowing the culture from each side. Put differently, it is the link between these two regions to learn about the society from both places.
Besides the departments mentioned before and the activities created by them, the consulate also gives very important services related to immigration and emigration processes, as well as Visa applications, Issuance of passports, among other aids. These services are focused on making easier the way how both Jews and people from the Midwest do the legal procedures they need.
The consulate also helps people with notarization and document verification, payments from the United States to Israel and vice versa, or the certification and digital formats for other formalities they could need.
The Consulate General of the State of Israel not only helps with those procedures and documentation that people need but also makes different events to show and promote the Israeli and Jewish culture. Among the events presented by the Consulate, people can find musical presentations, traditional Jewish food and drinks exhibitions, holidays explanations, and other events, letting the community to know what Israel offers.
In conclusion, we can say that this Institution is vital for the interest both Israeli people and the Midwest Region society, due to what each offers. Particularly, Chicago is one of the most benefited cities with this kind of Establishments, because of all what they trade. In 2015, Chicago imported more than $400 million dollars and exported more than $200 million dollars with Israel in different products and services. This is just a sample of what the relation between these two places means and the importance of it.
Related: One of the most important associations for Chicago and Israel by Yosef Meystel