Since the beginning of Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration in 2018, foreign direct investment between New Jersey and Israel is up $447 million, a 36% increase. In 2022, the year-over-year trade between the two states increased by 11%. And New Jersey ranks second in the Northeast in 2021 for Israeli investment.
These numbers may not necessarily be a surprise to many, considering the longstanding relationship between the state and Israel.
This statement might: New Jersey and Israel accomplished all this growth without a dedicated office of the state in Israel. That changed Tuesday.
Choose New Jersey, the state’s leading nonprofit economic development organization, announced the official opening of its new office in Tel Aviv.
The New Jersey Israel Center will be led by Peres & Associates Global Advisory, a leader in creating global connections to the Israeli innovation ecosystem. Its aim will be to grow commercial, academic and cultural collaborations with Israel and support Israeli businesses looking to expand to New Jersey.
The center’s opening was celebrated during Choose New Jersey’s fifth mission to Israel since 2018.
Gov. Phil Murphy, who was not on trip, said the center’s opening is another demonstration of his administration’s commitment to developing strong economic ties with Israel.
“The opening of the New Jersey Israel Center is the result of a special bond between New Jersey and the state of Israel,” he said in a statement. “Through numerous trade missions to Israel and continued engagement with Israeli businesses, universities and government, we have strengthened our shared cultural and economic ties.
“New Jersey offers an incomparable suite of opportunities, and we are eager to support Israeli businesses looking to expand to the United States. The New Jersey Israel Center is another significant link connecting us that will allow for sustained economic growth and easier business between our states.”
That growth already is evident. In addition to the previous statistical statements, New Jersey has seen recent expansion in the state from numerous Israeli companies, including Teva, Bluevine, Kernit Digital and OwnBackup.
The New Jersey-Israel Commission, part of the New Jersey Department of State, supported the center through a grant that was won by Choose New Jersey in 2022. The grant awarded funds to open an office in Israel to attract investment and business development leads for the state. The New Jersey Israel Center fulfills this mission.
Choose New Jersey CEO Wes Mathews said the office will have impact.
“I am thrilled to announce the opening of this center, which will undoubtedly deepen our economic relationship with Israel, its business leaders and its people,” he said. “As we seek to grow New Jersey’s innovation economy, Israel will be a critical global partner for the state.”
Mathews gave a tip of the hat to Peres & Associates, too.
“I can think of no better team to lead the day-to-day operations of the office than Peres & Associates,” he said. “I look forward to working with the team to strengthen existing partnerships and create new ones, to the benefit of both of our states.”
Nadav Tamir, of the Peres & Associates team that will head the New Jersey Israel Center, returned the compliment.
“I am honored to represent New Jersey, a state that has strong economic and cultural ties and a firmly established knowledge and respect for Israel, here at home,” he said. “Gov. Murphy has planted strong roots in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem over the years. With the support of Choose New Jersey, I have no doubt that the New Jersey Israel Center will tap into the vast economic opportunity in Israel.”
Karin Elkis, co-chair of the New Jersey-Israel Commission, said the importance of the opening of the center cannot be overstated.
“The New Jersey Israel Center is an enormous success for the Murphy administration and the people of both New Jersey and Israel,” she said. “The opening of this office is a natural next step for our state, as we continue to advance our position in the global economy.”
New Jersey-Israel Commission Executive Director Andrew Gross agreed.
“While New Jersey’s relationship with Israel transcends economic potential, we see on Israel’s 75th anniversary how this key partnership is creating jobs and strengthening innovation at home,” he said.
“In addition to developing collaborations with Israeli businesses and New Jersey, the Murphy administration continues to prioritize these important ties to Israel, built on our shared common values, across all sectors.”
Choose New Jersey board member Mark Levenson said the opening of the center shows the state’s commitment.
“With the opening of the New Jersey Israel Center today, New Jersey continues to expand its presence in key economies across the world, increasing trade and investment possibilities for our residents and businesses,” he said. “The enhanced New Jersey-Israel partnership creates even greater opportunities for our citizens to achieve their economic and educational goals.”