Seniors at Frisch traveled for their annual mission to Washington, D.C. this past Tuesday to advocate for a stronger U.S.-Israel bond on Capitol Hill. Faculty member Rabbi David Sher oversees the mission each year.
Rabbi Sher prepares students for weeks prior to the trip by delivering daily lessons to educate them on specific issues for which they will be advocating. These issues included urging Congress to approve foreign assistance for Israel; passing the Combating BDS Act of 2016; and ensuring Iran keeps to its end of the recent U.S.-Iran deal.
Students arrived in Washington ready to speak powerfully and eloquently on behalf of Israel when they met with congressional aides and other political staffers.
“What makes the Frisch mission to Washington unique is how central the students’ involvement is to its success,” explained Rabbi Sher. “The students are the ones who schedule the appointments with the staffers [of] Congress members, and, after learning about the issues, they undergo their own research and craft their own specific talking points. In groups of 10-12 students, they visit the congressional offices to present these issues without a faculty chaperone. This is an empowering trip for our seniors as they take an active role in advocating for the Jewish state.”
Students rehearsed their presentations with faculty members before the mission, and refined their conversations and tactics based on the feedback.
The group left early on Tuesday morning, spent the day on Capitol Hill, enjoyed a barbecue dinner at the University of Maryland’s Hillel house—where some Frisch alumni stopped by to say hello—and returned late that night.
“It was really wonderful for me and my friends to take ownership of advocating for Israel with politicians,” said Talya Kornbluth ’16, who knows a little something about politics as the daughter of Ora Kornbluth, a councilwoman from Bergenfield, New Jersey. “I met with Georgia Senator Isakson’s aide, Ally White and Utah Congressman Chris Stewart’s aide, Gordon Larsen, who were both very receptive to hearing what I had to say on the Iran deal. This trip was a great springboard for the kind of advocacy many of my peers will have to do on behalf of Israel on college campuses. I’m grateful to Frisch for preparing all of us in this critical way.”