AIPAC Political Student Leadership Summit: an enriching experience

by | Apr 20, 2023 | Other News

Standing on the steps of the United States Capitol, I was filled with a sense of gratitude and awe as I thought about the generations of Jews who came before me. I imagined how they must have viewed the United States’ overwhelming support for Israel as an unattainable dream, but now, it is a reality. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel, bipartisan interest group, has played a significant role in making that dream come true.

For a weekend this past March, I was selected to participate in the AIPAC Political Student Leadership Summit and contribute to strengthening the strong bond between the United States and Israel. The summit brought together high school and college students from all over the country who were eager to learn more about the U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate on its behalf.
During the first day of the summit, held at the AIPAC headquarters, I was amazed by the diversity of the speakers. We heard from former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, as well as Ester Kurz, the former director of Legislative Strategy and Policy at AIPAC. Their insights gave me a deeper understanding of the U.S.-Israel relationship from a policymaker’s perspective and a lobbyist’s viewpoint. The second day’s informative speakers discussed Iran’s threat to Israel and how Israel’s technology and defense development benefit the United States. On the third and final day, we were split into small groups to lobby members of Congress. I had the opportunity to speak with Congressman Don Davis’ staff, representing North Carolina’s 1st District, and share a story about Palestinian terrorism from when I recently visited Israel.
Not only was the summit informational, but I also met amazing people from around the country that I explored Washington, D.C. with after the speakers were done for the day.
Overall, the AIPAC Political Student Leadership Summit was one of the most enriching learning experiences I have had. The informative and influential speakers, as well as the chance to put my knowledge into action and lobby for a cause I believe in, made this summit impactful. I hope to stand on those Capitol steps in the near future to continue to strengthen this relationship and use my voice as an American Jew.
Drew Goodove