Mar 19, 2007 — Six Yeshiva University (YU) undergraduates, under the leadership of Avi Posnick, president of the student-run Yeshiva University Public Action Committee (YUPAC), were awarded Activist of the Year honors last week at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington DC. The award recognizes the students’ work in strengthening the US-Israel relationship on campus.
They were part of a group of 14 Yeshiva University students who attended the conference along with more than 1,200 students from 391 college and university campuses in all 50 states.
This was the second year that YU attended the conference and the first time Yeshiva University students have won this significant award.
According to YU President Richard M. Joel, “These are critical times for Israel. By turning their beliefs into action, our students confirm their dedication both as Jews and as citizens of the United States and the world.”
Avi Posnick, a senior at Yeshiva College studying political science, says winning the award is significant because the students have demonstrated that they can be a powerful asset when it comes to political activism and pro-Israel advocacy.
“Over the past three years, we’ve augmented our own commitment to Israel with the guidance and resources provided by AIPAC,” said Mr. Posnick. “This is only a small example of what YU students have to offer and we believe that by receiving this award we will encourage more students to get involved.”
YUPAC has over 200 members, with four or five board members for each campus and about a dozen dedicated core students.
Jackie Saxe, a communications and political science student at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, took on the role of AIPAC Campus Liaison because she “believes that her peers have unlimited potential to influence the political system in ways that support Israel.”
The other YU award winners are Alex Boris, Maytal Fligelman, Shira Lankin, and Shira Orbach.
Activism and advocacy through the political system “require taking a further step,” says Mr. Posnick. In addition to the two AIPAC conferences, YU’s Israel activist students have participated in political leadership conferences, an Advanced Advocacy Mission to Israel, and have spent time interning at AIPAC offices in Washington, DC and New York.