Conexx to honor Birmingham Jewish Federation at Atlanta gala

The Birmingham Jewish Federation will receive the U.S. Partner of the Year Award at the annual Conexx Gala in Atlanta on March 22.

With the Gala, Conexx, the America Israel Business Connector, will open the Atlanta area celebrations of Israel’s 70th anniversary.

The Conexx Gala is Conexx’s community flagship event, honoring the people and companies who have contributed most to the Southeast-Israel economic and business relationship. The annual event, formerly known as Eagle Star Awards, opportunity to connect with business influencers, boosting their business potential with investment and partnership opportunities.

Conexx Vice President Barry Swartz said the Birmingham Jewish Federation is the longest-standing current funder of Conexx, with a relationship going back to 1993. “Birmingham has been at the center of Conexx relationships with the Alabama Department of Commerce, Birmingham Business Alliance, Alabama Power, University of Alabama at Birmingham and interaction in the Healthcare, Automotive and Banking/Finance industry sectors,” Swartz said.

“Over the past 20-plus years, the Birmingham Jewish Federation has partnered on many educational programs,” he added, including hosting Aiman Saif, the ranking Israeli Arab civil servant, in 2016.

In September 2005, the Federation sponsored an Alabama Governor’s Trade Mission, coordinated by Conexx. While Governor Bob Riley had to withdraw because of Hurricane Katrina, over 20 government, business, technology and academic leaders from the state went to Israel, meeting with high-level Israeli officials and business leaders.

Steven Brickman, who chaired the Federation’s Israel World Jewry Bureau and participated in the mission, said the mission “stimulated commerce between Israel and the state of Alabama, recognizing that both this state and Israel have much to offer the other economically, academically and technologically.”

Governor Fob James also led a trade mission to Israel in 1997.

The Federation also worked with Conexx on a Buy Buy Israel initiative in 2015, to counter those who seek economic boycotts of the Jewish state.

BJF President Hilary Gewant, who will accept the award for the Federation, said the BJF “is proud of the relationship it has had with Conexx over the years, as this important agency has built substantial economic ties between Israeli companies and firms in the Southeast, including Alabama… We stand with Israel every day in Birmingham and part of that is standing with Conexx as this great organization continues its important work.”

Other awards to be presented at the gala include the Tom Glaser Leadership Award, Israeli Company of the Year, U.S. Company of the Year, Deal of the Year and Innovative Academic Partnership, all of which will be announced soon.

A new award is for Israeli Partner of the Year. The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce will be the honoree, with president Uriel Lynn and CEO Dan Carmeli.

This year’s Gala chair, Tally Korman, will be the first Israeli-born person and woman to chair the event. Relatively new to the Atlanta area, she is a Tourism Development expert with extensive academic and consulting experience working with Haifa University, several European universities, and various policy-making institutions.

Conexx works with Israeli companies seeking entry to the U.S. market, and companies in the Southeastern U.S. who want access to Israeli companies or markets.

The gala will be at the Atlanta History Center on March 22, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $155, reserved tables for 10 are $1800, and there is a raffle for a trip for two to Israel, including a week in a private Jerusalem apartment, for $50 per ticket.

Gala information is available here.