New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is leaving Sunday for a weeklong trip to the Middle East.

The governor and his family will be in Israel through Holy Thursday. They will then got to Jordan, staying there until Easter Sunday.

Besides his family, Christie will be traveling with members of his staff and business leaders. He's billing the trip as a trade mission.

Travel to Israel has become a gubernatorial tradition since Gov. Tom Kean signed a Sister State Agreement with Israel in 1988. The New Jersey-Israel Commission was established the following year to promote trade, culture and educational exchanges. And every subsequent governor has renewed the agreement.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno will be acting governor while Christie is away.

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