by David Aaronson (’14)

2013-03-14 11.19.29This past Thursday, forty-five MTA students, along with ten faculty members, traveled to Washington DC for HaTzioni’s first annual MTAPAC mission.

The exciting day began with Shacharis at 6:25am in the Beis Medrash. Shortly after davening, we boarded the bus and departed for a five hour bus ride.

Once we arrived in Washington DC, our first stop was the Israeli Embassy. We were greeted there by Eli Groner, the Minister of Economic Affairs in the Netanyahu government. He discussed with us the current status of relations between Israel and the United States. We are grateful to Ambassador Michael Oren and his staff for their generosity and willingness to host us.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a delicious lunch that was catered by Sammy’s from Teaneck (special thanks to Natanel Niazoff for arranging that!)

2013-03-14 15.40.27Following lunch, we went to Capitol Hill and divided up into groups that visited the offices of various political leaders, including Senators John McCain,  Bob Menendez,  Richard Blumenthal,  Marco Rubio and Mark Warner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressmen Eliot Engel and  Chris Smith,  and Congresswoman Grace Meng. All participants had attended various training sessions in school over the past couple of weeks to help us prepare our talking points and to teach us how best to lobby for the causes we care most about.

Following an hour at the Smithsonian Museums, we then went to Congregation Kesher Israel for Mincha/Maariv and a Chinese dinner.

After a long day, we returned to MTA at 11:30pm Thursday night. Thank you to everyone who organized and attended the trip, thus making it a true success. Special thanks to Shlomo Annapole (’13) for taking the lead in putting this together, David Aaronson (’14) for all his help in coordinating, and Rabbi Eli Cohn, Hatzioni’s faculty advisor.

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