The annual AIPAC Policy Conference held on March 2–4 was attended by 14,000 delegates, including five students from the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls and Ms. Raizi Chechik, principal of grades 9–10. It was an exciting three days of meetings and learning, and it provided the SKA students with an incredible opportunity to understand the alliance between America and Israel. The girls heard from Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary of State John Kerry, and many others; it was three days of learning how to have a voice for the sake of Israel’s survival.
SKA Junior Dalya Hirt, who is involved with SKA’s Israel Action Committee, had always wanted to go to the AIPAC Conference after hearing Jonathan Kessler, leadership development director of AIPAC, speak. She attended the AIPAC High School Summit in November; after noticing that many non-Orthodox students were at the Summit, Dalya strongly felt that SKA, as a Zionist Orthodox school, should have representatives at the Conference and diligently worked to make this happen.
Dalya, Naomi Dure, Juliana Gershbaum, Rachel Kaufman, Rebecca Kellner, and Ms. Chechik all expressed how inspirational the Conference was and how it strengthened their connection and commitment to the State of Israel. They gained a better insight into America’s role in Israel’s safety and Israel’s role as America’s partner as the only democracy in the Middle East and an innovator in business and technology.
Ms. Chechik spoke for the SKA Israel Action Committee: “I am deeply impressed with the initiatives of the SKA students regarding Israel. Dalya connected us with AIPAC, and facilitated a relationship that includes participation in their educational programming for high-school students throughout the year. Seniors Rebecca Kellner and Tehilla Ebrani and sophomore Malkie Zeidman were instrumental in arranging an inaugural SKA Parent/Daughter bus to the important NORPAC Mission to Washington, D.C. in April, which will include a special session at SKA to train in lobbying our elected officials.
The Israel Action Committee at SKA, with over 100 members and 40 student leaders, has innovated programming including ‘Israel Moment’ videos after tefillah, weekly fundraisers in support of Israeli causes, a webpage with links to current events and Israel advocacy, and a general infusion of Israel awareness throughout the school community. This presence at AIPAC’s Policy Conference is just one aspect of the love and support for Israel that are so crucial to our school culture.” v