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Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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Every year Ma’ayanot seniors grapple with essential questions on Interdisciplinary Day. Integrating multiple disciplines to unpack the core ideas behind an enduring issue in society allows students to see the way each field interacts with each other “in the real world.” Seniors voted on various issues and chose to explore different dimensions of the theme of Crime and Justice. Dynamic presentations filled the day including; “The Devil Next Door: Is There A Time Limit On Identifying and Prosecuting Nazis?” “When Jail Fails: Alternative Sentencing in Criminal Law” and “Jews in Prison: A Discussion With a Volunteer Prison Chaplain.” Seniors were also fortunate to hear from attorney Alyza Lewin about her experiences as a lawyer. Lewin is the president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law. Most notably, in 2014, Lewin argued the Jerusalem Passport case before the U.S. Supreme Court, a case involving the constitutionality of a law granting any American citizen born in Jerusalem the right to list Israel as the place of birth on their U.S. passport. That case paved the way for President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the Golan Heights as being part of Israel. Meira Shapiro (‘21) was born in Hadassah Hospital and became very emotional during Lewin’s talk. “I was born in Jerusalem, Israel and have been following Ms. Lewin’s case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry, for as long as I can remember, waiting for permission to have Israel recognized on my U.S. passport. About a month ago, Ms. Lewin’s 18 years of effort finally paid off. It was so surreal to hear her speak and to be able to personally thank her for making my dream into a reality!!! I can’t wait for my new passport to come in the mail!” Lewin also successfully represented families of terror victims in the landmark case establishing the right of American victims of terror to obtain damages under American law against organizations that knowingly provide financial support to international terrorist groups. The class of 2021 enjoyed a full sampling of issues emerging from the rich sessions and were inspired to see the values and ideas actively present in the pursuit of justice today.

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