- Rick Stream
- Participant on Federation-sponsored trip to Israel
- Missouri State Representative, Chair of Missouri House Budget Committee
- Broadening global understanding
“The trip gave us a full scope of what Israel is really like.”
Israel was much greener and developed than Missouri Representative Rick Stream expected. “From news reports and other information, I tended to think of it as dry and barren, but it’s not,” says the chair of the Missouri House Budget Committee. “The Israelis are an intelligent, ingenious people who have created a paradise in the desert.”
Thanks to Jewish Federation of St. Louis and the Missouri Biotechnology Association (MOBIO), Rep. Stream was given an insider’s view of how the Israeli government works with the business and educational institutions to develop technology that makes a difference in Israel and around the world. Rep. Stream and his wife, Ellen, seven other state legislators and their spouses, and representatives from the governor’s office, Jewish Federation and MOBIO traveled to Israel in December 2012. Federation facilitated the trip as part of its efforts to engage decision-makers in a connection with Israel.
Rep. Stream and his fellow travelers stayed at a kibbutz, met with Israeli government officials, journalists and members of the Israel Defense Forces, visited historical and religious sites, and learned about technology at businesses, hospitals and universities. “The trip exposed us to the various aspects of life so we could get a full scope of what Israel is really like,” says Rep. Stream. “Israel is advanced in the areas of nanotechnology, medical research, plant science growth technology, genomes, and computer technology. The government encourages entrepreneurship and start-up businesses. It was so enlightening to see how Israel is bringing together people with immense knowledge and using it to help the country thrive.” Beyond technology, Rep. Stream was impressed with how welcoming the Israeli people are. “They treated us with friendship and hospitality,” he says.
For Rep. Stream, the trip was both emotional and inspirational. He was able to bring some of what he learned back to Missouri and apply it in his job. “Primarily because of what I learned on the trip, I introduced legislation for pilot programs for at-risk children and prisons.”