Students attend AIPAC forum, lobby in D.C.

Four sophomore girls attended an American Israeli Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington D.C. last month in an effort to broaden their knowledge of the American-Israeli relationship.

Jessie Goldman ’11, Mandy Leiter ’11, Anna Romanoff ’11 and Danielle Strom ’11 attended the AIPAC conference through a high school summit organized by United Synagogue Youth. All expenses but the flight were paid by USY.

At the conference they attended classes and lectures on subjects ranging from the situation in Iran to how to make petitions. They listened to speeches from AIPAC officials and saw a replay of President-elect Barack Obama’s speech at last year’s conference.

“Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people and it is really important that the United States can help Israel in whichever ways possible to maintain their safety and security,” Leiter said.

High school students from across the country who attended the conference were split up into delegations. The four sophomores were members of the Sinai delegation at the conference.

Participants learned how to lobby a congressional representative and were able to put this brand new skill to test. Each delegation went to lobby their congressperson. The girls had a chance to visit Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office and lobby an aide. The four agreed that this was their favorite part of the trip.

“I came home having had the most amazing time ever and wanting to do it again in a heartbeat,” Romanoff said.