Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Academy Hebrew/Judaic Studies Principal Maya Scwartz shared the following after a visit from staffers from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) prior to the school’s seventh grade trip to Washington, D.C. The session was arranged by Gadi Soued, AIPAC Palm Beach Area Director, with Lauren Schulman, Florida Political Director; Jessica Meldon, Deputy Political Director for Florida; Felicia Goldstein, District Director for Congresswoman Lois Frankel; Wendi Lipsich, District Director for Congressman Ted Deutch.
AIPAC works to strengthen the ties between the United States and Israel. As America’s leading pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC works with political parties – Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- to enact public policy that enhances the U.S.- Israel relationship.
Meyer Academy’s seventh graders watched a role-play on how to lobby for a cause, and they were interested to know who represents them in Congress and to understand the power of getting involved. The students asked and answered meaningful questions pertaining to lobbying, lawmaking, the importance of bipartisan support and why the relationship between Israel and the United States is important.
Student Aaron Simons asked, "How does AIPAC get both sides to come together and agree?"
The AIPAC response was that this process happens through discussion, lobbying and – most importantly – educating representatives on the issues that are important to their constituents.
Classmates Cole Kitroser and Simon Guritzky both said it was important to have bipartisan support through their statements, "Having bi-partisan support gives the issue power" and "You never know who will hold the power at any given time," respectively.
To round out the lesson, representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Lois Frankel and Congressman Ted Deutch spoke to participants about the important work done in Congress. AIPAC Palm Beach Area Director Gadi Soued said AIPAC was impressed with Meyer students who “asked some very good questions and have clearly been well- educated about Israel.” Soued added “We certainly expect to see some of them at our Policy Conference when they get to high school and college!”
The Meyer Academy group was fortunate enough to also meet with representatives of both Frankel and Deutch’s when they visited Washington D.C. on their class trip. These kinds of real-life lessons are part of Meyer Academy Middle School’s International Baccalaureate program’s philosophy.