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High School Students Lobby for Israel at AIPAC’s Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit in Washington, DC

On October 28, Hebrew Academy students Jack Benveniste-Plitt, Yael Bister, Samantha Ebner, Daniel Ohana, Yehuda Cohen, and Jeremy Dobin 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 420 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 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen US-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, and Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act.
The culmination of the Summit is a trip to Capitol Hill to lobby a current member of the House of Representatives. Once again, 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. The meeting was very smooth, and the extensive preparation of our delegates was evident. The Congresswoman’s legislative assistant, Mr. Geoffrey Bendell, was quite impressed with the work of our delegates, and complimented them on their presentation. Our conversation continued far beyond the issues at hand, due to the Congresswoman’s well documented support for the issues at hand—and authorship of one of the bills discussed. We stayed for a half 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.
Grant Matla
History Department Chair
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