Taking On Global Issues

More Than 400 High School Student Delegates to Participate in Yeshiva University’s 27th Annual Model UN

For the 27th straight year, the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations competition (YUNMUN) will bring together high school students from around the world for an interactive simulation of the inner workings of the real United Nations. From February 12-14, over 400 student delegates from 49 yeshiva high schools and community day schools in three countries will gather at the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Stamford, Connecticut, to play the roles of delegates to actual UN member nations while learning about the complexities of international diplomacy firsthand.

Students at last year's conference tackled complex global issues from the perspectives of a wide range of countries.
Students at last year’s conference tackled complex global issues from the perspectives of a wide range of countries.

More than 60 YU undergraduate students will be on-hand at the event to facilitate discussions between the high school groups from Brazil, Canada and cities across the U.S. on a wide range of issues, including gender roles, human rights and international law.

“Yeshiva University hosts a Model United Nations because it is critical that we consistently reinforce a responsibility for helping shape the destiny of our society,” said Rabbi Kenneth Brander, YU’s vice president for university and community life. “Year after year, YUNMUN receives international acclaim because students come away from the event feeling more confident, with a broad knowledge of world affairs, and having gained numerous life skills, all the while modeling the conduct and respect of a Jewish person in an academic, intellectual and social forum. It is truly an educational, Torah and social experience like no other.”

In preparation for the event, students have been assigned countries and appointed to one of 15 committees dealing with issues of international concern, such as the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the Counter Terrorism Committee and the Disarmament and International Security Committee. To argue their points effectively, students have been conducting extensive research to ensure that their countries’ interests and policies will be faithfully represented.

To add further educational depth to the conference former New York State Assemblyman and current YU Assistant Vice President for Government Affairs Phil Goldfeder will deliver a special keynote address to the student delegates. “It is my greatest honor to participate in YUNMUN as this year’s keynote speaker,” said Goldfeder. “My career in public service, particularly the last five years as a member of the New York State Assembly, has provided me the opportunity to work with so many diverse communities and help keep our state strong. I’m excited to share some of my experiences with these amazing students and provide some insight about collaboration and working with each other for the betterment of every neighborhood.”

The YUNMUN closing ceremonies will include the presentation of awards to the best delegates and honorable mentions on each UN committee as well as remarks from Rabbi Brander.