ST. CLOUD -- A bipartisan delegation of state lawmakers have just returned from a trip to Israel.

Representative Tama Theis of St. Cloud was one of the 32 people on the trip. She says, given that is it Christmas time in the Holy land, she wasn't surprised to see a lot of American tourists.

There were a lot.  They speak English there very well, and so we heard a lot of English speakers, but every once in a while you'd hear something and we were like, "oh where are you from?".  We saw quite a few Minnesotans.

Theis says the group had a chance to meet with the Israeli government, they went to the Gaza strip and met with Palestinians, and spent time at the Dead Sea.

The Jewish Community Relations Council organizes the trip. This is the third time they've taken a delegation from Minnesota. Seven of the people on the trip this year are current state lawmakers.

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