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At Ma’ayanot, Advocacy Begins With Education

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“Effective advocacy begins with education,” explains Ma’ayanot senior Eliana Koehler, who, with co-head Arianna Samet (‘16), chairs Ma’ayanot’s Israel Political Action Committee (MIPAC). For this reason, Ms. Koehler arranged to have Mr. Neil Lazarus, an internationally acclaimed speaker from the advocacy group Stand With Us, speak to Ma’ayanot juniors and seniors last week. Mr. Lazarus, who has also been described as “Mr. Israel Advocacy” by the Times of Israel, provided a comprehensive Middle East update that included historical context for both the current conflict in Israel and the broader violence plaguing the entire Middle East. “We grew up in a Jewish community and we are Zionists, but that has to be about more than just loving Israel,” explains Ms. Koehler. “Through MIPAC we want to help our classmates know why Israel is a just cause and an important cause, even beyond our religious ties to the land.”

Five Ma’ayanot students, Avigayil Gottlieb (‘17), Tehila Azar (‘17), Miriyam Goldman (‘17), Avigayil Kaiser (‘17) and Arianna Samet (‘16), took advantage of another advocacy training opportunity when they traveled this past week with faculty chaperon Mrs. Yael Weil to Washington D.C. for the three-day AIPAC Schusterman High School Summit, an invitation-only Israel advocacy and political activism training program. Students spent the first two days of the conference meeting with and learning from AIPAC senior staff, political and Middle East experts and AIPAC Leadership Development professionals, and they were afforded the opportunity to immediately put what they learned into practice on the third day as they spent time on Capitol Hill participating in lobbying meetings with members of Congress.

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