BBYO Teens Join Hundreds of Teen Activists in Nation's Capital in Support of Strong U.S.-Israel Relationship
October 18, 2010
More than 125 teens representing BBYO, the world’s leading pluralistic teen movement, traveled from across the United States to Washington, DC, from October 3-5, to participate in the sixth annual Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit. More than 500 students from 28 states and 131 high schools attended the Israel advocacy and activism seminar.
"The AIPAC High School Summit has given me an outlet for my passion about Israel,” said Rebecca Pinsky, a delegate from Richmond, VA. “I plan on using what I now know to continue to advocate for the U.S.-Israel relationship with other BBYO teens in my community."
This year’s AIPAC High School Summit focused on heping participants vocalize why they commit to AIPAC, emphasizing the importance of lobbying year round and broadening the base for engagement at home.
Conference highlights included:
- A series of breakout sessions – including ones titled “Advanced Advocacy: Debate, Dialogue and Engagement” and “Engaging Congress and Candidates” – focusing on AIPAC’s legislative objective and techniques for lobbying Congress year round.
- A visit to Capitol Hill where participants urged policymakers to oppose Iran’s nuclear ambitions and support the continuation of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
- A variety of advocacy skills workshops including Customizing Engagement Petitions, Utilizing New Media and Social Networks, Public Speaking, Crafting an Effective Resume and Pursuing a Career in Washington.
- The first-ever open space college campus landscape fair featuring 40 Campus Peer Facilitators, an elite group of AIPAC-trained college activists who were invited to help mentor high school participants.
“Strengthening U.S.-Israel relations is dependent on developing strong Jewish leaders today,” said Matthew Grossman, Executive Director of BBYO. “It is our job to inspire today’s teens to feel connected to Israel and to want to take action in support of their homeland.”
During High School Summit, BBYO introduced Speak Up!, a global Israel advocacy campaign that will engage Jewish teens across the nation to get more involved in pro-Israel activism. Speak Up! will launch in local communities during the two weeks following the 2010 AIPAC High School Summit, from October 17th – 24th, as teens hold programs and mobilize their peers to support and advocate for Israel.