March 26th was a meaningful and productive day for the MTA students who participated in the school’s annual lobbying mission to Washington D.C. The ‘Hatzioni’ members who partook in the event had prepared for weeks in advance researching bills, familiarizing themselves with specific members of congress and seeking to understand the minutiae of government policy. Groups were divided into roughly six or seven members per senator or member of congress and each had a faculty advisor to guide them through the lobbying process. But it was the students themselves who took charge, led by an experienced upperclassman modeling for the younger students. The MTAPAC students took pride in lobbying for Israel.
Each student had researched his respective congressman or congresswoman, the representative’s view on Israel and their Israel-centric legislation. The bills they studied discussed the Iran nuclear crisis and economic cooperation between the United States and Israel. By way of their research, the students sharpened their foreign policy skills.
The participants were able to build upon public speaking, research and presentation skills. Every student and faculty member gained the experience of speaking one-on-one with a representative, a senator or a congressional staffer. This early exposure to politics gave the students a nuanced understanding of lobbying, government policy and old West Wing jokes.