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This year, BBYO was invited to host an official reception at the AIPAC Policy Conference, which took place on March 3-5 in Washington, DC. The BBYO Reception, hosted by the BBYO Board of Directors and themed “When did you first fall in love…with Israel?” welcomed BBYO teens, Community Engagement Fellows, alumni, advisors, supporters and friends to reminisce about when they first fell in love with Israel and to learn how BBYO is inspiring thousands of teens to develop relationships with Israel as well. The reception was also an opportunity for friends of BBYO to learn about BBYO programs such as the Friends and Alumni Network, Beyond, Israel travel programs and summer leadership programs.

Six BBYO GMR teens traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the conference.

"I knew that one person could make a large difference," said GMR Regional Sh'licha Jenna Shaw. "But sitting in a room with 15,000 passionate Israel advocates made me realize that my voice is much more than just an 18-year-old kid from Chicago. The policy conference solidified within me the knowledge and will to change the world."

Younger members also attended the conference, expanding their BBYO horizons.

Sophomore Jake Horwitz (Armand Hammer AZA) reflected, "I never knew how important and influential I could feel until I lobbied my congressman about pro-Israel affairs. [It was] such an inspiring experience to listen to some of the most powerful people speak and learn about what is going on in Israel, while networking and meeting BBYO members and alumni from around the country."

Another underclassman, freshman Zach LeVay (Ometz AZA), said "It was one of the best trips of my life and everyone should think of applying next year!"

Learn more about AIPAC and the annual AIPAC Policy Conference 

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