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Hispanic Leaders Go on AJC Israel Trip

Twelve Hispanic-American leaders visiting Israel have discovered that Jews and Hispanics share common cultures and traditions.

The delegation, including former U.S. Treasurer Anna Cabral, former New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes Vazquez and TV and radio personalities, are in Israel this week with Project Interchange, an institute of the American Jewish Committee, with the support of AJC’s Latino and Latin American Institute.

“Everything and everyone seems to have a sense of depth. It is a society which exudes conviction, resilience and pride mixed in the passion,” said Mikki Canton, a Cuban-American attorney in international law, and a corporate and public affairs strategist from Florida.

Canton said Hispanics have strong similarities with the Jewish people.

“It is like looking into a mirror and seeing your twin,” she said. “We share a love and respect for family, our culture and traditions. We celebrate our work ethic and economic prowess, yet as a people never forget who we are and where we come from.”

The group was scheduled to visit the Hodayot Youth Village, an educational center for at-risk children, including immigrants, and Babcom Centers, a communications service provider staffed and managed together by Arabs and Jews. The participants also were scheduled to visit the Golan Heights for strategic briefings, tour the Israeli Supreme Court for a discussion of civil rights with Justice Dalia Dorner and participate in a traditional Friday-night meal welcoming the Sabbath.

This is the AJC’s seventh mission to Israel involving Latin American or Hispanic groups. Other groups have included Latin American journalists, Latin American government officials and Hispanic businesspeople.

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