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Monday, December 16, 2013

Over 100 Students Travel to Washington D.C. For Pro-Israel Lobbying Mission

This past Thursday, December 12, 9 Tevet, over 100 Yeshivah of Flatbush students from the Israel Activism Commission traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby their member of congress. The quantity of students set a record in both Flatbush's history and the history of the pro-Israel movement. The students lobbied on behalf of the US-Israel relationship, and advocated for Israel's security needs and the importance of foreign aid. The students mentioned how Iran is getting closer and closer to a nuclear weapon capability and the steps that America can take to counter this threat. The students also spoke on behalf of the $30 billion plan President Bush promised to the state of Israel, and which President Obama upheld, to be distributed over a ten year period.
The day started bright and early at 5:00 A.M., as students woke up to arrive on time for the departure at 5:30 and receive breakfast. As it was too early to pray at that time, the students brought with them their teffilin and prayed as soon as they got to GWU's Hillel. After we prayed, we heard an extraordinary introduction speech by our very own alumnus and pro-Israel student leader Joey Cohen-Saban (HS '11). We then went directly to AIPAC headquarters for additional lobbying training (and pictures!). From there we headed to Capitol Hill for the culmination of our hard work. We arrived with enough time to take pictures on the Hill and walk leisurely to our representatives in the House. After arriving, each and every single one of us had the chance to interact directly to the congressperson or staffer, and all groups enjoyed successful meetings!
Andrew Hersh, Israel Activism
 Commissioner with
Mr. Rothbort, Faculty Advisor

Special thanks to Andrew Hersh and Sammy Tbeile for their positions as commissioner and co-commissioner, respectively, and for their hard work in organizing this trip. And a special thanks to our faculty advisors Mr. Rothbort, as well as to the other chaperones, SeƱora Shterenzer, Mr. Brian Katz, and Rabbi Taler, for accompanying us on this trip. We hope to have an even more successful trip in the nearby future! ~Louis Franco

~Pictures by Mark Plushnick