Yeshiva University Students Travel to Washington to Advocate for Israel

Apr 10, 2006 — The Yeshiva University Public Action Committee (YUPAC), the Yeshiva University Israel Club (YUIC) and the Joseph Dunner Political Science Society organized a lobbying trip to Washington D.C. from March 18 through 20.

Eighteen Yeshiva University undergraduate students met with members of their Congressional Representatives’ offices to lobby in support of the Iran Freedom and Support Act, Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act and Israel’s foreign aid package.

“These are important to students because of their support for Israel,” said Laya Pelzner, vice president of YUPAC and one of the trip’s organizers. “The American Foreign Aid Bill and the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act relate directly to Israel, and lobbying against nuclear proliferation is extremely important in light of the President of Iran’s statement to wipe Israel off of the map.”

Students met with professionals from The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday to learn about effective lobbying techniques and to receive the latest information about the issues. Each student had two appointments in Congressional Offices and a second meeting at AIPAC to debrief.

Students met with legislative aides from the offices of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Rush Holt, Rep. Van Hollen, Rep. Elliot Engel, Rep. Steven Rothman, Rep. Gary Ackerman, Rep. Nita Lowey, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Anthony Weiner, Rep. Jim Saxton, and Rep. Allyson Schwartz.

While they were in Washington, students visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. They also met with Suzanne Anziska, deputy chief of staff for Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY, and Maury Litwack, legislative aid for Congressman Chris Cannon, R-Utah. Ms. Anziska and Mr. Litwack discussed their jobs and their experiences as observant Jews working in politics.

The lobbying mission was organized by Avi Posnick, YUPAC president on the Wilf Campus; Aviva Horowitz, YUPAC president on the Beren Campus; Yael Schiller, Israel Club president on the Beren Campus; Avi Narrow-Tilonsky, Israel Club president on the Wilf Campus; Ariel Rosenzveig, former president of the Joseph Dunner Political Science Society; and Laya Pelzner, vice president of YUPAC. This was the second annual spring lobbying mission and was made possible by funding from YU’s Center for the Jewish Future and YU’s undergraduate students councils.

“The students on the mission all came back inspired and energized,” observed Ms. Schiller. “Those of us who attended the mission are looking for new ways to get the student body more involved in the political process.”

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