Gov. Whitmer to spend week in Israel on business trip

The Detroit News

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on a business trip to Israel, she announced Sunday, which will last through Saturday.

In a statement, Whitmer said she was "proud to continue the decades long tradition of Michigan governors traveling to Israel to deepen our relationship."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

During the weeklong trip, Whitmer will make stops in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv, the statement said, "to meet with government, business and non-profit leaders ... and build business ties with startups and mobility companies to help Michigan compete for good-paying, high-tech jobs." 

Former Gov. Rick Snyder sought to strengthen business ties with Israel, leading trade missions there and endorsing the creation of the Michigan-Israel Business Accelerator.

The Israel trip is Whitmer's first time leaving American soil as governor. 

Among the stops listed on Whitmer's itinerary is a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Freidman, GM's Advanced Technical Center, Ford Motor Co.'s New Regional Research Center, and the William Davidson Archaeological Park, named in honor of the late former owner of the Detroit Pistons. A 2009 Jerusalem Post obituary of Davidson described him as "an extraordinarily generous man who gave to many causes in the United States and Israel."

Whitmer will also see the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and tour the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept. 

Whitmer's trip "is being conducted at the invitation of the Israeli government, and hosted by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit," along with the Michigan Economic Development Corp.