Scheck Hillel Community School delegates of the 2019 Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) included Jonathan Abbo (‘19), Anna Freiman ('21), Samuel Levy (‘20), Elliot Shiro (‘20), Ilana Stiberman ('21), and Alex Wagenberg (‘20). The program is a student-run simulation of the workings of the real United Nations that gives students an opportunity to experience and learn about the complex landscape of international diplomacy. Playing the roles of delegates to actual United Nations member nations, participants represent a variety of positions, often ones with which they may not agree. In advocating for a given country, students must conduct thorough research of that country's interests and policies across a wide range of issues and concerns, adding both to their knowledge of world affairs and to their appreciation of and facility with research, preparation, communication and critical evaluation.
Written by Jonathan Abbo (‘19) In past years, our school has represented a vast range of countries, from Venezuela to Peru to Germany. This year, our delegation was assigned to represent Singapore; this meant that we'd spend the next few months preparing on how to best represent our designated country's point of view for the entirety of the conference. Each member of the delegation was assigned to a different committee so they were tasked with learning about a certain aspect of the country’s affairs. The committees these students were a part of include the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). In addition to learning general information about their country’s geography and political state of affairs, (including things like neighboring countries, exports, and demographics), each student had to learn specific information pertaining to their assigned committee. While preparations were all done as a group, individual research was needed for when the students would break up into their respective committees. YUNMUN is a terrific experience and one that couldn't be done without the help of Rabbi Elie Ganzand Ms. Cecilia Grano de Oro, our two chaperones for the trip. Rabbi Ganz deserves significant credit for his years of planning the trip; from our team-bonding day in New York City to flight coordinations, Rabbi Ganz was involved in every aspect of the trip. Yeshiva University’s National Model United Nations is a great experience for any student interested in a future in politics, debate, or public speaking and is an excellent avenue to learning more about the way the United Nations functions.