November 10, 2017

GOA Gives A+ Rating for AIPAC

Nina Robins ‘19

While many teenagers across the country spent their Halloween weekends in costume, a select group spent their time in a different, but equally thrilling, fashion – lobbying for Israel at the AIPAC Schusterman High School Summit.
The selection process for the summit’s applicants was rigorous and GOA was fortunate to send a delegation of two motivated advocates. Their primary motivation was to learn different strategies for presenting Israel education.
“I applied for the High School Summit delegation because I wanted to learn how to present information about Israel to multiple kinds of people on the bipartisan spectrum,” junior Maya Wasserman, a member of the GOA delegation, said.
AIPAC is a bustling conference with several opportunities for Israel-oriented leadership. Attendees participated in information sessions throughout the summit, which closed with attendees lobbying congressmen about supporting Israel in legislation, a moving experience for everyone involved.
“The sessions really were interactive,” Wasserman said. “It’s not really them talking to us, but moreso them talking with us.”
AIPAC is able to draw on its prestige and sound financial status to host an impressive array of guest speakers, many of whom are recognized in secular society as well as in the pro-Israel world.
“These people were really important. One of them was the president of College Democrats and another was the president of College Republicans,” Wasserman said.
The purpose of the information sessions and speakers at AIPAC was to inspire change in the attendees, all of whom were high school students. AIPAC was sure to give students the resources needed to make active use of the skills they learned during their high school tenures.
“The overall thing that was really inspiring was seeing how we can implement what we learned in our personal communities and how we can further our connection to the AIPAC staff and organization through internships and other programs,” Wasserman said.
The GOA delegates gained several resources and tactics from their time at AIPAC and look forward to bringing their new knowledge back to our school community. Wasserman expressed interest in restarting GOA’s Israel Advocacy Club and bringing back programs and speakers from AIPAC that motivated her.
“The National Engagement Director is going to be sending us information about some of the things that she’s doing on college campuses so that we can in turn do them on our high school campus,” she said. “Also, by restarting the Israel Advocacy Club, hopefully GOA could have a bigger and stronger presence at this amazing conference next year.”
More than anything, however, Wasserman and senior Matan Kogen will cherish the excitement of the conference and use their positive experiences as motivation to be better Israel advocates for the future.

“It’s a unique experience to be able to meet other teenagers with the same interest in Israel as you,” Wasserman said. “As high schoolers, we’re the future generation of this organization and we get to value it firsthand. Part of that experience is definitely having fun.”

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