Tulane 2016 Policy Conference Delegation
Organized by: Tulane Israel Public Affairs Committee
EVENT DATE Mar 20, 2016
Have you heard of Policy Conference? Or, better informally known as “AIPAC” or “The AIPAC Conference” by many. If you haven’t, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference is an annual, priceless experience, in which 20,000 people of all ages gather in Washington, D.C. to listen to senators, congressmen, candidates, experts, and layleaders and to discuss the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship – and its right around the corner, taking place this year from March 20-22.
Last year marked my first Policy Conference, and I was honored to be one of the 3,000 student activists walking the halls of the Convention Center. From a breakout session with AIPAC Leadership Development Director Jonathan Kessler and AIPAC President Bob Cohen, to an address by U.S. Permanent Representative of the UN Samantha Power, to a concert featuring Jewish American musician Matisyahu, I felt the collective energy of American and Israeli pride as thousands united to learn and discuss the past, present and future of the U.S.-Israel relationship and the Middle East.
I attended a myriad of breakout sessions ranging from topics on “A History of Modern Zionism” to “A Taste of Israel: A Culinary Close-Up.” leading to much dialogue and new and varied insight for me to bring home to Tulane. The true bipartisan nature of AIPAC was demonstrated when Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) shared the stage. Never before have I felt a more a part of history than when I listened to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak from my chair by the AIPAC podium and then on the Congressional stage from my laptop the following day. I have never been surrounded by so many individuals not just passionate about maintaining a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, but driven to act.
The participants around me had awesome diversity of states, parties, backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities. Despite our disparities, Policy participants’ shared love for Israel was overwhelming, and it reinvigorated all to go forth from Washington, lobby their representatives, and give a strong and steady voice to our movement.
Policy Conference changed my life last year, and made me more determined than ever to be active in the American pro-Israel community. I am now the President of Tulane Israel Public Affairs Committee, and leading a Tulane delegation of 20 students to Policy Conference – by far the biggest student delegation from Tulane yet. This is an amazing opportunity for these students – and also for Tulane to have a significant presence on the national stage. The average cost per student in our delegation is only $126 – a total of just over $2,000 for a life changing experience. Please help us make sure that all participants can attend!
My warmest regards,
Tulane Israel Public Affairs Committee President