The speaker of the Israeli parliament toured earthquake-damaged Christchurch on Monday and had a message of support for residents.
Three Israeli men died in the quake on 22 February and Ruby Rivlin says the people of Israel were shocked by the disaster.
Mr Rivlin said his government has praised the way the New Zealand emergency services handled the disaster.
He said the people of Israel can empathise with Cantabrians because both know what it is like to live through devastating times.
Christchurch residents must resist the temptation to move away and stay committed to where they live, as future generations are relying on them to hold fast and rebuild, he said.