- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is traveling to Israel next week.

This will be de Blasio’s first trip to Israel as mayor. Trips to Israel are a rite of passage for New York mayors, who represent a large Jewish constituency.

A spokeswoman for the mayor said he’ll be arriving in Israel on October 16 and staying until the 18th.

De Blasio will be the keynote speaker at a conference of mayors’ event sponsored by the American Jewish Congress and other organizations.

Mayors from around the world are expected to attend. De Blasio’s spokeswoman said he will discuss ways to combat anti-Semitism.

The spokeswoman said that travel expenses are being covered by an Israeli entrepreneur named Baruch Eliezer Gross so the city will not incur any costs.

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