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Friday, April 21, 2017

Flatbush Students Attend AIPAC Policy Conference 2017

Last month, students from the Yeshivah of Flatbush Israel Activism commission along with Rabbi Beyda attended the annual AIPAC Policy conference in Washington D.C. For two days the eleven students were given the opportunity to attend sessions with intelligent and well-known speakers, meet and collaborate with other Israel activists from around that country, and hear political celebrities in the general sessions. They learned about Israel’s political system, world relations, the US-Israel relationship, how to deal with BDS and other anti-zionist and anti-semitic movements, as well as many other things. The students met with teenagers such as themselves in high school and colleges from around the country to learn from each other how to be active about Israel on their own campuses and how to help in the continuous fight for peace in the Middle East. Max Shemtob, senior, said, “It was an educational and enlightening experience where we learned all about the different parts of Israel and met many influential people that could shape policy for years to come.”
Our students met famous Israeli Knesset members such as Amir Ohana, Mickey Levy, and Ayelet Shaked. They also met with Lior Raz, an Israel Activist famous for playing the role of Doron in Israeli TV show Fauda. They even got a chance to hear Mike Pence, Bibi Netanyahu and Nikki Haley. Our very own Israel Activism commissioner, Amanda Heskiel, even got to participate in a panel about High School Activism seen by hundreds of people! Amanda said, “It was an exhilarating feeling to be speaking in front of 1,100 people representing the school.” We are proud of how far she has come and how influential of an activist she is, along with her peers.
Overall, through sessions, collaborating with activists with similar interests, peacefully conversing with some protesters to get a feel for the other side, and gaining an overall understanding of the American-Israeli relationship positively impacted the students. We are now thinking about how we will bring what they learned and were inspired by to our Yeshivah. ~Ezra Faks, Class of 2019