State treasurers, other elected officials join Israel Bonds leadership group

“We can’t stay neutral. It is very clear to me that if we stay neutral, we are going to benefit Hamas,” Ohio State Treasurer Robert Sprague told his fellow officials.

Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague (pictured) is the general chair of the new Israel Bonds Government, Industry, and Financial Services Leadership Group. Credit: Ohio Treasurer’s office.
Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague (pictured) is the general chair of the new Israel Bonds Government, Industry, and Financial Services Leadership Group. Credit: Ohio Treasurer’s office.

Israel Bonds has formed its new Government, Industry, and Financial Services Leadership Group, which features many high-profile treasurers and elected officials — including Ohio State Treasurer Robert Sprague, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Oklahoma State Treasurer Todd Russ and Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller Joseph Abruzzo.

The group was established by Israel Bonds Vice President of National Sales Stuart Garawitz, in conjunction with Israel Bonds Palm Beach Advisory Council Chair Norman Taplin, Israel Bonds Palm Beach Executive Director Mark Ruben, and Israel Bonds Professional Divisions National Director Ethan Behling, to grow the organization’s governmental relationships throughout the country and to help develop new relationships with corporate and institutional investors. Israel Bonds President & CEO Dani Naveh opened the program, highlighting the importance of investing in Israel bonds, especially at this time, noting that it is not only a strong investment but also an expression of support for Israel.

More than 15 U.S. state and municipal governments and institutions have invested in Israel bonds since the war broke out in Israel. The new investments have come from the State of Florida, State of New York, State of Alabama, State of Arizona, State of Ohio, State of Illinois, State of Texas, State of Oklahoma, State of Georgia, State of Nevada, State of Louisiana, State of South Carolina, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of Indiana, Broward County, Franklin County, County of Palm Beach, City of Miami Beach, KeyBank and Cross River.

During a virtual event on Dec. 7, the leadership group’s first general chair, Sprague, extended a general invitation to be a part of this committee on a go-forward basis and shared his immediate actions following the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel, stating, “We can’t stay neutral. It is very clear to me that if we stay neutral, we are going to benefit Hamas. It benefits the aggressor, the attacker. And I think that is what they want—for everyone to stand on the sidelines and do nothing.”

Speaking on his state’s investment in Israel bonds, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said, “The United States has a special relationship with the only democracy in the Middle East, and this is affirming that relationship.” He continued, “Soon after October 7, my staff and I were sitting around asking what we could do. We reached out to our friends at Israel Bonds. We initially invested $10 million and then another $20 million.”

Pennsylvania State Treasurer Stacy Garrity said, “I will always stand with Israel. If Hamas stopped fighting today, there would be no more war. If Israel stops fighting, there will be no more Israel.”

Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller Joseph Abruzzo shared, “About two Saturdays ago, right down the street from our office, we had a very large protest of, I would submit, antisemitic individuals… I’m here to say that not only will I not adhere to their calls, we are going to make a larger investment in Israel bonds.”

Oklahoma State Treasurer Todd Russ closed the program by speaking about his state’s values and saying, “I’m honored to be able to support this cause and, like some of the others have said, this is about Israel but this is also about America. This is about… democracy and what that means to the rest of the world.”

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Israel Bonds is a broker dealer with affiliates around the world that has played a pivotal role in Israel’s economic development since its founding in 1951. With a mission to build a prosperous and secure future for Israel, Israel Bonds offers investment opportunities and fosters strong partnerships between global investors and the State of Israel. For more information about Israel Bonds and investment opportunities, please visit www.israelbonds.com.
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