Mar 3, 2009 — Forty-four Yeshiva University undergraduates, representing 18 congressional districts, participated in a lobby mission to Washington, D.C., on February 24, sponsored by the Yeshiva University Public Action Committee (YUPAC), Yeshiva’s Center for Jewish Future (CJF) and the undergraduate student councils.
Students lobbied congressional representatives in support of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Pertinent issues included encouraging congress to stop Iran’s growing nuclear capabilities, Israel’s right to self-defense and the U.S. foreign aid bill to Israel.
“The mission was the ultimate realization of what YUPAC is all about: directly making a difference for Israel by becoming involved in the American political process,” said Liatte Tsarfati, YUPAC president and one of the trip’s organizers.
Before going to Capitol Hill, students met with professionals from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to learn effective lobbying techniques and to receive the latest information about the issues. Each student had two appointments in congressional offices throughout the course of the day.
Students met with Representatives Carolyn McCarthy, Steve Cohen, Jane Harman and Anthony Weiner, as well as with legislative aides from the offices of Steve Driehaus, Elliot Engel, Jim Gerlach, Scott Garrett, Russ Carnahan, John Sarbanes, Henry Waxman, William Pascrell, Frank Barney, Janice Schakowsky, Diane Watson and Gary Peters.
The lobbying mission was organized by members of the YUPAC board, including Liatte Tsarfati, president; Aliza Wolynetz, chairwoman and logistics; Jason Kirshner, chairman; Moshe Broder, campus liaison and photographer; and Max Saltzman, president of the Israel Club on the Wilf Campus.
“Students were empowered to make a difference for Israel,” said Wolynetz. “They are committed to helping other members of the student body become involved in the political process.”
Due to the success of the mission, YUPAC hopes to initiate a fall lobby mission next semester, in addition to the annual spring missions, which have taken place for the last five years.