June 17, 2024
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Student Diplomats Debate International Politics @ YUNMUN

New York—Over 450 delegates convened in early February for the Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) conference, held at the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Stamford, CT. YUNMUN XXIV brought together student ambassadors from 46 yeshivas and community day schools across three continents, hailing from 15 states and 39 cities around the world. In addition, 60 YU undergraduates and 65 faculty advisers joined the conference, which is a student-run simulation of the workings of the real United Nations that allows participants to learn about the complex landscape of international diplomacy.

Prior to the event, students were assigned a country and appointed to one of 15 committees dealing with issues of international concern, including the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the International Criminal Court, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Children’s Fund. To argue their points effectively, students conducted research on that country’s interests and policies, adding to their knowledge of world affairs and to their facility with communication and critical evaluation.

This year’s conference included presentations from Ambassador Ido Aharoni, consul general of Israel; Rabbi Kenneth Brander, vice president for university and community life; David Mitzner, Dean of the Center for the Jewish Future; YU President Richard M. Joel; and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought.

Isaac Wolfe, a junior at the Akiva Hebrew Day School in Southfield, MI, attended for the second time. He represented Turkey in the United Nations Human Rights Council and took home the award for best delegate. “The highlight of the event is the people who are attracted to YUNMUN,” Wolfe said. “These people are smart, but they know how to have a good time. Everyone in my committee had an awesome time with each other debating and arguing, but at the end of the day we always found ourselves laughing together.”

“I love the dialogue, the intellectual stimulation and most of all, all the types of kids that come,” said Moshe Klein, a senior at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, MD, who represented the United Kingdom as a member of the Security Council. “I gained a lot of life skills such as public speaking, sociability, and confidence.”

YUNMUN XXIV also featured an updated range of Research and Media Center services open to help facilitate a more productive and interactive conference. Closing ceremonies included the presentation of awards to the best delegates and honorable mentions for each UN committee.

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