Graphic by Rivka Reich ('24)
On Monday, ten KYHS juniors and seniors in the Storm for Israel club had the privilege to go with the Scheck Hillel senior class on a lobbying trip with NCSY’s Rabbi Uri Pilichowski and Daniel Geller. The kids from Boca drove down and kids from Hollywood and Aventura met up at Scheck Hillel, received t-shirts, and then we were off!
Our first stop was at the AIPAC headquarters where Evan Philipson spoke to us about his job overseeing AIPAC’s political activity across the state of Florida. He educates and trains AIPAC activists, facilitates grassroots lobbying efforts, and builds and manages relationships with members of Congress. It was impactful to hear that someone just like us could achieve so much and help Israel-American relations in so many different ways.
After that, we drove up to Hollywood to Club Vault where Joe Zevuloni, an Israeli activist and businessman, generously sponsored a pizza lunch followed by a riveting debate with Rabbi Pilichowski. Zevuloni assumed the Israeli position while Rabbi Pilichowski assumed a Palestinian standpoint. Both made compelling arguments about each viewpoint and taught us how deeply complicated this issue is.
We took a short break and then had the privilege to talk with David Milstein, an advisor on Governor Ron DeSantis’s re-election campaign specializing in Jewish and pro-Israel outreach. He also served as a research analyst for Senator Ted Cruz before taking a break to study at Yeshivat Aish HaTorah in Israel. After that, he became an assistant to David Friedman, the US Ambassador to Israel. Suffice to say, David Milstein is very involved in US-Israeli politics and supporting Israel as best we can from our home here in America and we were incredibly honored to have the opportunity to be able to hear from him and learn about his experiences.
Senior Mishael Sommers (‘23) said, “I had an interesting time at the AIPAC Israel advocacy trip this past week learning about American-Israeli relationships with politicians locally in the role that AIPAC has with lobbying and voter representation, and it was an amazing experience.”
Thank you so much to our Storm for Israel Club, Rabbi Pilichowski, Daniel Geller, NCSY, and all the esteemed individuals who we had the honor to meet with on Monday!
Another educational Israel event this week at KYHS was having Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, come to speak to the entire student and teacher body on JNF’s invitation. Ambassador Herzog discussed the importance of Israel’s relationships with other countries and factors that are vital to maintain the Holy Land’s safety. After his speech, he opened the floor up to questions straight from the students. Students were eager to ask their questions, all of which were insightful and demonstrated previous knowledge on the complex topic. We are grateful to Ambassador Herzog for taking his time to share his wisdom with the students.
Article by Aliza Bokor ('23) and Zohara Lam ('23)