Scheck Hillel Community School delegates of the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) XXVIII included Jonathan Abbo (‘19), Michael Berenstein (‘20), David Lechter (‘20), Samuel Levy (‘20), Elliot Shiro (‘20), Alex Wagenberg (‘20) and Mauricio Woldenberg (‘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.
Mauricio Woldenberg, Class of 2020
YUNMUN (Yeshiva University National Model United Nations) is an imitation of the operations of the real United Nations, led by high school students. Model UN provides the students with a chance to experience and learn, on a deeper scale, more about the complicated process of maintaining international peace and security, cultivating friendly relations between nations, as well as promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
Participants play the roles of delegates from member countries of the real United Nations. Students have the task of representing and enforcing their country’s position, which they may not often agree with. Having to represent and advocate for their given nation, participating students need to research thoroughly regarding their country's policies and interests when applied to a spectrum of issues and crises. From this incredible experience, our participating Scheck Hillel students improved their writing, public speaking and debating skills, as well as on their critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.
Michael Berenstein, Class of 2020
As the day approached to go to the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) conference, a student-run simulation of what happens in the real United Nations, I was very excited that we were able to represent and advocate for Germany. Germany is a country with a vast amount of resources and advantages. We prepared with great amounts of research for this conference and we were very proud of all the knowledge we had acquired about this country we were assigned.
After a delayed flight, we arrived Sunday night at 1 AM, exhausted and stressed from missing the first session but enthused with a great deal of energy and excitement. As I started debating in my sessions, I began to feel more comfortable, although I was the only sophomore in my council. I personally was assigned to be a delegate to the security council representing Germany, which turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.
The security council was the most intense council and was given a very powerful assignment that began Sunday at 3 AM in the morning and lasted until 7:45 AM. When I joined the group at 3 AM, we were given a world crisis to resolve as if we were in the United Nations. We spent hours debating and coming to a final resolution. I improved my ability to speak publicly and negotiate to come to a final agreement. After a lot of coffee and not enough sleep, we were able to come to a conclusion in which every delegate agreed to sign.
It was a great pleasure to have such a wonderful team of classmates join me in this experience. Thank you to Rabbi Elie Ganz and Ms. Junelle Wright for guiding us and advising us to serve as successful delegates. Looking forward to going back to YUNMUN next year.