During his first official visit to Israel, Prime Minster Stephen Harper made history.

Prime Minister Harper was the first Canadian Prime Minister to ever speak at the Knesset - the national legislature of Israel. He did so on Monday, January 20th, 2014.

Our own Rabbi Menachem Matusof was one of 10 Chabad rabbis from across Canada invited to participate.

The delegation was comprised of approximately 200 people from which just over 20 were clergy.  They were joined by lay leaders of Jewish organizations from across Canada along with Members of the Canadian Parliament and Cabinet Members.

Calgary had a representation of five people on this historic tour.  In addition to Rabbi Matusof, representing the Calgary Jewish Community were (in alphabetical order):

  • Mr. Aaron Bickman - President of Jewish National Fund Calgary
  • Dr. Marvin Levant
  • Mrs. Carol Ryder - representing The Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs
  • Mr. Drew Staffenberg - Executive Director of the Calgary Jewish Federation

Below, you can share in their experiences. 

Highlights From the Historic Visit

Including Prime Minister Harper's Historic Knesset Speech, his visits to Yad Vashem and the Kotel, receiving an honourary doctorate from Tel Aviv University, cornerstone laying at the Hula Valley Bird Sanctuary, and more.


Additional Stories and Highlights

Read about chance encounters and first-hand experiences along the way. 


Video and Photo Galleries