Ilan Sztulman 311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
RIO DE JANEIRO - Foreign Ministry official Ilan Sztulman, a Brazilian who made aliya in the 1970s, was appointed recently to Israel’s long vacant consul position in Sao Paulo.
Sztulman, 52, will take the post, which has been open for seven years, in South America’s largest metropolis. Born in Sao Paulo, Sztulman immigrated to Israel at the age of 18. He will leave his current position as deputy director of public affairs at the ministry, where he has been in charge of ministry’s multimedia efforts for foreign news bureaus based in Israel.
“In recent years, we have signed cooperation agreements in various areas,” Sztulman said in interviews with the Brazilian press. “There is mutual good will and the environment is ideal to improve the relationship even further. Let’s draw these bilateral relations even closer.”
The Israeli Consulate in Sao Paulo has been closed since 2003 reportedly due to budget cuts; the embassy in Brasilia remained Israel’s only diplomatic representation in Brazil. The consulate general in Rio de Janeiro was shut down in 2002, but an honorary consul was named last year.
Besides serving Israeli tourists and business travelers, the consulate
in Sao Paulo also will serve Brazilian tourists to Israel, including
members of the Jewish community and Christian pilgrims.
“Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv are sister cities. There is a very important
Jewish community in Sao Paulo,” said Raphael Singer, an Israeli diplomat
who works in the embassy in Brasilia.
Indeed, half of Brazil’s 120,000 Jews live in Sao Paulo. Another 40,000
Jews live in Rio de Janeiro and the rest are scattered across the
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is slated to visit Brazil in August.