May 20, 2024
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YUPAC Takes Meaningful Mission to Washington

On April 10, 150 students from the Beren and Wilf campuses of Yeshiva University embarked on their second lobbying trip of the year to Washington D.C. This trip, organized by the students of the Yeshiva University Political Action Club (YUPAC), is typically an annual spring event. However, the trip was moved to November in response to the October 7 attacks and the urgent need for support for Israel. Given the ongoing conflict and knowing that more could be done, Allie Orgen (SCW ‘24) and Moshe Wolff (SSSB ‘24) led a team of YU students in planning a second trip, this time to focus on expressing hakarat hatov to those who have stood by our side.

Three buses departed early in the morning from both campuses, and once in Washington, students broke into 16 groups, each meeting with two congressional offices. The schedule was filled with lobbying appointments, insightful talks from guest speakers, hand delivering thank you notes, and an exclusive tour of the U.S. Capitol.

Over the course of the day, the students met with dozens of senators, representatives and congressional staffers to advocate for legislation supporting Israel, addressing Iranian aggression and combating antisemitism, particularly in academic settings.

The meetings were organized specifically with members who have been exemplary in their support for Israel and the Jewish people, never wavering even when under pressure to do so. Our meetings included the sponsors and cosponsors of major pieces of legislation, members who have been consistently vocal in their support for Israel, and many of the Democratic Representatives who voted to censure Rep. Tlaib for her antisemitic comments.

Wolff reflected, “In a time when so many people have turned their backs on the Jewish people and the state of Israel, I believe that it is crucial to continue to thank and support those who have stood by our side.”

Hillel Golubtchik, co-president of YUPAC recalled, “On the Sunday night prior, Yeshiva University hosted Jonathan Polin, father of Hersh Goldberg-Polin who is currently being held in captivity by Hamas, who expressed his gratitude to the students who were about to make their way to Washington. He remarked how much our advocacy provides comfort and strength to the many families like his in these difficult times. In the halls of Congress, our group of students bumped into Polin while on the Hill advocating for his son’s release, reinforcing the importance of our efforts.”

Notable congress members addressed the students, including Senator John Fetterman (D-PA), Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5), Brian Mast (R-Fl-21), Jim Jordan (R-OH-4), Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), and Mike Lawler (R-NY-17). These leaders emphasized the critical importance of sustaining bipartisan support for the American-Israeli relationship, and the importance of standing strong against antisemitism.

A memorable moment occurred when Rep. Gottheimer (D-NJ) came over and hugged Rep. Mast (R-FL) during his speech to the students, both of them stressing the importance of bipartisan cooperation in support of Israel, and both calling each other Israel’s strongest supporter.

Rep. Mast told the students of YU, “When you’re supporting something, don’t just let it be in the virtual world of social media and Facebook or Twitter, find a way to go out there and use the work of your hands in the cause that you believe in.” That is exactly what these committed students did on April 10 and will continue to do; standing up for the cause they believe in and taking action to ensure its wellbeing.

The day concluded with a dinner at the AIPAC Headquarters where Karli Krasnipol, leadership development director at AIPAC, spoke to the students. After a day rich with advocacy and learning, the motivated students returned to New York. As Rep. Gottheimer expressed to the students, “It really matters that you show up, it really really matters, so thank you for showing up.”


Jacqueline Englanoff is a senior at Yeshiva University and the President of YUPAC.

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