New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday announced plans to travel to Israel in his first official visit abroad as governor. Christie said he and his wife, Mary Pat, would make the trip next spring. The announcement came as the governor hosted Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, at the New Jersey Statehouse.
“It’s an important visit for me personally and an important visit for the folks of New Jersey as well,” Christie said. “We look forward to continuing to strengthen the ties between our states. There’s a great, great long-term connection between New Jersey and Israel. I intend to make that as strong as I can along with the ambassador.”
Oren said he looks forward to advancing Israel’s trade, security and tourism relationship with New Jersey. He said the state has had “a long and very proud history of supporting the state of Israel.”
Nearly every recent governor has visited Israel. Gov. Jon Corzine made an official trip to Tel Aviv in 2008 to promote trade. At the time, Israel ranked as New Jersey’s ninth-largest trading partner, up from 22nd in 2006. It ranks 11th today.
Christie’s trip most likely will be in April; details are still being worked out by the New Jersey-Israel Commission.
Christie and Oren also share some personal connections. Both grew up in the Livingston area and were high school football rivals.