Students Attend AIPAC Policy Conference

Jason HeissererUncategorized

Three Crossroads seniors, Yossi Rovinsky, Gabe Felsher, and Tova Cohen were among over 18,000 people who attended the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington DC on March 20-22. More than 4000 of them were high school and college students. Not all attendees were Jewish. Many of the Pro-Israel activists were African-American, Evangelical Christian, and from the Latino community. The policy conference is an annual event that takes place in Washington DC, but this year was the largest and strongest delegation, and our students along with their parents, Rabbi Michael and Selena Rovinsky, Jonty Felsher, and Nathan and Linda Cohen and Crossroads alumna and sister, Shayna Cohen (2007), made up the 78-person delegation from St. Louis. The policy conference was especially exciting since it is an election year. All the Presidential candidates, both Democratic and Republican, except for Bernie Sanders who declined to attend but offered to speak remotely, were present and gave speeches to the delegation about their Pro-Israel policies. AIPAC is a bi-partisan organization, and its main mission is to strengthen the US/Israel relationship. The first two days of the conference are designed to educate the delegation about what is happening in the US/Israel relationship and the challenges that face Israel. It all culminates in lobbying appointments on Capitol Hill where the students were given the opportunity to exercise the constitutional right to petition Congress for the “redress of grievances.” Our students got a firsthand opportunity to lobby their representatives on a legislative agenda designed to enhance the US/Israel relationship.