Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon among honored guests to visit Israel

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon (D-Munster) was among a select group of influential women from across the United States who were chosen to visit Israel earlier this month as part of a program designed to strengthen relations between the two countries.

“It was my great honor to take part in this trip to visit one of our country’s most cherished allies in the Middle East,” Candelaria Reardon said. “I was particularly pleased to be able to have a chance to meet with Israeli women who have made their marks in so many fields of expertise.”

The tour—organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel in cooperation with the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL)—also gave participants a chance to explore the country, with visits to many holy sites in Jerusalem and on the Sea of Galilee.

“You cannot help but stand in awe of being so close to the history that helped define our world,” Candelaria Reardon said. “It was a very humbling experience to visit such places as the Western Wall, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Christian and Jewish Quarters, Via Dolorosa, the Knesset, and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ Memorial.

“But the thing I will treasure the most about this visit was the opportunity to meet with so many Israeli women who have made their reputations in business, medicine, technology, economic development, and politics,” she continued.

Topics of discussion included community business development, social integration in the workforce, promotion of social justice and equality, platforms for women in entrepreneurship, and municipal and educational opportunities for immigrant communities.

“It always is beneficial to meet with women from other countries who pursue lives of service in both the public and private sectors,” Candelaria Reardon said. “You find many common experiences that you can share, and you have the chance to consider possible solutions that can have a lasting impact on your lives. These are the kinds of friendships that have a lasting impact upon a life, and I deeply appreciate the chance to get to meet so many of these leaders. Together, we can pursue the types of positive changes that can benefit us all.”

Candelaria Reardon’s support for Israel was typified by her role in passage of legislation in 2012 that prohibited businesses that provide substantial goods or services to Iran’s energy sector from obtaining any state or local government contracts in Indiana. The law also barred units of government in Indiana from doing business with financial institutions that provide significant loans to Iran energy operators or invest directly in Iranian oil or liquefied natural gas tankers or pipelines.

For her efforts, Candelaria Reardon received the “Friend of Israel” award from the Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana and the Israel Bonds Committee. When the award was presented, Jewish Federation Director Michael Steinberg said the legislator was “a true friend of the Jewish community” and “a great advocate for her constituents.”

[The photo below shows Rep. Candelaria Reardon with other members of the group at the Knesset in Jerusalem. Rep. Candelaria Reardon is eighth from the right.]

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