His Excellency Arun Kumar Singh, India’s ambassador to the United States, addressed a special joint meeting of JUF and the American Jewish Committee on Thursday.
Singh, who previously served as his nation’s ambassador to Israel, spoke about the long history of Jewish life in India and his experience engaging with Israelis of Indian origin.
“They would tell me Israel is my fatherland and India is my motherland,” Singh said.
Echoing remarks earlier in the meeting by Israeli Consul General to the Midwest Roey Gilad, Singh discussed the growing bilateral trade between Israel and India in high-tech, agriculture and defense, which will reach $4.5 billion this year. Of particular importance to India’s development are 28 agricultural centers using Israeli technology that have been established in nine Indian states.
Both diplomats also mentioned the importance of tourism between the countries, which helps deepen people-to-people connections. One indication of the burgeoning bilateral relations is President Pranab Mukherjee’s plan to visit Israel in the near future.
On a local level, the Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park, whose leaders attended the meeting, has launched a project with the neighborhood’s Indian community and others to advance community business initiatives, while JUFis organizing a mission to India in November.