The Importance of Teaching Advocacy

This past week, I attended the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference. 18,000 Americans representing a variety of political affiliations, races, religions, and backgrounds came together from both sides of the aisle to advocate for a strong relationship between Israel and the United States. 

I attend AIPAC each year because it is important for me, as a Zionist, to advocate for what I believe in and it is imperative that my voice is heard by our lawmakers. I show up to ensure that I understand how to discuss the complexities of the modern state of Israel with each one of our Gesher students so that I am not just teaching about the Israel of the past, but educating students about the Israel of today and tomorrow.

Each year, what catches my eye most is the younger generation (the students) that show up. I began attending AIPAC in high school because my parents thought it was important for me to learn about advocacy. This year, there were over 4,000 students from all over the country, excited to learn

 and let their voices be heard. I was most proud, however, to see some of our Gesher Alumni represented in that student delegation. Not only were our alumni in attendance, with exuberance, but one of our alumni, who had studied the issues in-depth, presented before Senators Warner and Kaine. While he may not yet be able to vote, he ensured his voice was heard.

At Gesher we take great pride in teaching our students to speak up and make a difference. We intentionally teach students to advocate and make their voices heard when issues are important to them. I am proud to say that our Gesher students understand the importance of speaking up and speaking out for Israel.