On November 13th, 7 students from the Hebrew Academy went to Washington D.C. for the AIPAC Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit to learn about Israel advocacy and how to lobby effectively.
During the conference, students went to Capitol Hill to lobby Congresswoman, Debbie Wassermann-Schultz.
“Lobbying our local congresswoman was easily one of the most empowering experiences I’ve had the privilege of taking part in,” said Raquel Zohar (10th). “I now realize even the smallest gestures can make an impact and that when people unite for a cause, our voices are heard and the possibilities are truly endless.”
The day before students went lobbying, they heard lectures on how to present their case. After they understood all this they each received a topic. They had to elaborate and try to convince the congresswomen to vote in favor their topic. They talked about many things, including the Iran sanctions and the 3.1-million dollar aid deal for Israel.
When they first arrived, the Congresswoman was in a meeting so they waited. They first congratulated her for her reelection, then presented their cases. Students called it a humbling experience, saying their voices were heard.
“Meeting congresswoman Wasserman Schultz was such an honor,” said Yael Bramy (11th). “I felt like I was really making a difference. It was a very humbling experience. I felt like I was doing something that I believe in. It was an even greater honor to actually meet her in person and not only her staffer.”
The night before they lobbied, they went on a monument spree. It was amazing for each and everyone of them. They saw many memorials, including the World War 2 memorial, the Female soldier’s memorial, the Vietnam memorial, and the Abraham Lincoln memorial. They also enjoyed visiting the White House and Lafayette square.
“We did awesome”, said Mr. Matla. “Synced, prepared, articulate. Best lobbying delegation yet.”
By: Michal Cohen (11th Grade)