One of the organizations that organize and sponsor these trainings is the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF). The AIEF is a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). AIPAC is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. AIEF is AIPAC’s charitable arm and makes grants to AIPAC as well as funds trips to Israel for politically influential Americans, including U.S. Congress members, for meetings with the Israeli political and military elite. In 2017 alone, AIEF sponsored 147 congressional trips to Israel and spent $2.16 million, more than any other interest group sponsoring congressional travel.
The Sheriff’s Department of Daviess County, Kentucky, is among the departments that have sent delegates to Israel. Keith Cain has been serving as Sheriff of Daviess County Sheriff’s Department since 1999. Sheriff Cain attended a training in Israel through AIPAC as a delegate of the AIEF. Cain’s training included visiting a kibbutz and police station near the besieged Gaza Strip and a military bunker in the Occupied Golan Heights. Sheriff Cain was appointed to the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) Board of Directors and elected to a permanent position on the Board in 2007, also serving on the Executive Committee of the NSA. The NSA is a trade association that represents thousands of sheriffs, deputies and other public safety and law enforcement officers. The NSA offers police training and other services to these officials and builds networking relationships among local, state and federal law enforcement, in part to share homeland security programs and projects. One of the primary ways the NSA helps sheriffs offices, departments and associations nationwide is to find and prepare applications for state and federal homeland security grant funding, one of the sources that provide funding for trainings in Israel to local, state and federal law enforcement and public agencies.
Cain teaches Criminal Investigation, Criminal Procedure and other law enforcement courses as a Professor at the Owensboro Community and Technical College, where he chairs the Advisory Committee for the Law Enforcement curriculum.
“Americans and Israelis have a unique bond. Both nations were founded by pioneering refugees seeking political and religious freedom. We share a commitment to our core values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and the dignity of human life. Beyond our shared value system, we have many shared interests: national security, economic development, and technological and scientific research and development. Just as Israel benefits from its strong partnership with the United States, the United States benefits from its relationship with Israel. If we continue to work together and increase cooperation in these important arenas, the U.S. and Israel will continue to be beacons of democracy and freedom.” ~ Sheriff Cain after his first trip to Israel