Many visitors stand outside of the well-guarded President’s Residence on Jerusalem’s HaNasi Street, hoping to catch a glimpse of President Reuven Rivlin himself, but few people ever see the inside of his home. Last month, however, Masa Israel’s very own Israel Government Fellows were lucky enough to enter and even meet President Rivlin.
The Fellows were invited to the reception celebrating the launch of the Menachem Begin national-liberal policy book series. The event opened with speeches from President Rivlin and Herzl Makov, Head of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, which hosts the Israel Government Fellows Program.
Following the speeches, President Rivlin had a political discussion with Dr. Karnit Flug, Governor of the Central Bank of Israel. The conversation, which was moderated by a senior economic journalist, focused on the challenges facing the Israeli economy. President Rivlin and Dr. Flug discussed how to better integrate the Arab and Haredi communities into the labor market and reduce economic inequality.
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In addition to the engaging speeches and discussion, the Fellows experienced some of the finer parts of the residence. “Before the event started we had time to walk through the beautiful gardens surrounding the building, eat the most delicious cake, fruit, and pumpkin soup and speak with some of our previous IGF program speakers,” participant Nomie Turnbull said.
After rubbing shoulders with high-level members of Israeli Government, some of whom the participants already met during their enrichment seminars, it was time to meet the President.
Before the Fellows left the residence, President Rivlin spent some time speaking with the Fellows, welcoming them to Israel and commending them for spending a year working for the Government of Israel and some of its most important NGOs and think tanks.