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Students Take on AIPAC Summit

Scheck Hillel students advocated for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship at AIPAC’s 2018 High School Summit in DC. Thank you to Rabbi Uri Pilichowski for guiding our students as our AIPAC faculty advisor and teaching skills for life. Keep scrolling to read student experiences!

By Shira Sredni, Grade 11
I had an incredible time at AIPAC’s High School Summit. From lobbying congressional staff, to meeting with a member of the senior staff of the White House, there’s not one bad thing I can say about this trip.

We arrived and were greeted by hundreds of teens with the same goals as ours: to strengthen the United States-Israel relationship. Teens came from all over the country to learn about Israel’s political situation and greatest threats. This learning led up to my first experience lobbying a member of Frederica Wilson’s congressional staff. We informed the Congresswoman’s chief of staff about Israel’s situation in order to make the congresswoman further inclined to vote in favor of Israel.

Fortunately enough, Rabbi Uri Pilichowski organized a meeting with senior staff member, Paul Teller, in the White House. This incredible experience allowed our Scheck Hillel delegation to ask many questions about the US-Israel relationship. This meeting was, by far, the best part of the trip. We were able to show off our knowledge, ask intriguing questions, and raise important topics to a man of extreme political power.
To conclude, I would really like to thank Rabbi Pilichowski and Scheck Hillel for giving my peers and me an opportunity and experience I will never forget.

By Lily Ellis, Grade 12
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of going to Model UN and participating in a mock panel on issues that I cared about. Following this, I sort of strayed away from the political scene because it frightened me. Yet, when I started taking Judaic Capstone [Seminar] with Rabbi Pilichowski, and he kept urging me to go on AIPAC’s High School Summit. I signed up and agreed to give it my all. I arrived and met many people like me that were also there to learn and participate in strengthening the US-Israel relationship. When I saw how seriously they took it, it lit a fire in me to make this experience a positive one. I participated in every session and made it my mission to be a successful advocate by the time I went back to Florida. So, when I sat in Congresswoman Frederica Wilson’s office, it made a lasting impression. Later, when I went to the White House senior staff, I had the confidence to speak up and voice my opinions. I went home on a high from what I had accomplished. If anyone has the opportunity to go on the AIPAC High School Summit trip, you definitely should.