Washington, DC: October 29, 2017
On October 29, Hebrew Academy High School students Rina Reich, Eden Grosz, Shani McCarley, Jacob Rosmarin, and David Gilinski traveled to Washington, DC to attend AIPAC’s Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit. For three days, the students attended intensive seminars about lobbying and college campus advocacy with 450 of their peers from around the nation. In addition to learning how to voice support, they studied and learned about the issues confronting the US-Israel relationship. Specifically, our delegation stressed support of the sanctions on Hezbollah, ending Anti-Israel boycotts, and the continued bipartisan support for a tough stance on Iran.
The culmination of the Summit is a trip to Capitol Hill to lobby a current member of the House of Representatives. This year, our delegates were fortunate to lobby the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Her staff was exceptionally receptive and hospitable, inviting our delegates to sit in the Congresswoman’s office while they prepared Cuban coffee for our visit, which was made more comfortable by the presence of Maya, the Chief of Staff’s dog and office mascot. Walls adorned with mementos of Ros-Lehtinen’s remarkable career and gift of appreciation from foreign dignitaries served as the backdrop for an enthusiastic and positive meeting with her staff, who were as knowledgeable as they were courteous. The meeting was very smooth, and the extensive preparation of our delegates was evident. Our conversation continued far beyond the issues at hand, due to the Congresswoman’s well documented support for the issues at hand. We stayed for over an hour and had easily the most positive lobbying session of the last several years. Our delegates returned on Tuesday evening, exhausted, accomplished, and prepared for their roles as advocates for the US-Israel relationship.
History Department Chair
Grant Matla gave the opening remarks at AIPAC's Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit. See his full speech below: