Milstein Fellow – Their AIPAC Story: Part 1

April 6, 2018

This was my first time being at the AIPAC Policy Conference, and to me, it was one of the most significant experiences in my life. The reason being is my family history, and how I grew up. My parents and older sister are from the former Soviet Union, specifically Minsk in Belarus. They left to Israel in 1989, shortly after my sister was born. They were the first ones in our family to go to Israel. In 1996 I was born, making me the first child born in Israel in my family. Sadly they left a few months before the turn of the century to come to the United States. But since then I have always gone back to visit my family. Growing up, my parents raised my sister and me in a very Zionist household. Along with our beliefs on Israel, my father also installed the appreciation of our political freedom in the United States, and from there spawned my appreciation of American Politics. My current career goal is to eventually become a United States Senator. For those reasons, I wanted to come to the AIPAC policy conference.

When I first arrived, I was in awe of how beautiful the area that Washington D.C. is. This being my first time seeing the Washington Monument, a sight that represents freedom in our country, something no one in my family had been able to experience for thousands of years. It inspired me to take full advantage of the conference. The first morning we left to explore the National Mall, just so I can see it in person for the first time. Afterward, we went to go explore the conference. We sat through all the speakers and listened to what they had to say. In the evenings we enjoyed networking with others at each of the reception events. I even had the pleasure of running into an old family friend that I haven’t been able to see in the past 5 years. Even with all the great things I had the pleasure of experiencing, there would be a few more things I would have liked to experience.

Being a business student, specifically in finance, I would have liked to see more about how organizations are providing students a chance to work with Israeli companies or Jewish ones here in the states. I think it would be more beneficial to target the students in State schools and community colleges, as it would help them see Israel in a better light. It would also undermine the BDS movement as it would take minority groups a new connection to Israel and swaying their opinion on being a part of the Anti-Israel movement. I would have also liked to see a chance for college students to speak to more industry leaders on social issues and how to inspire more people to be Pro-Israel through social media. But without all these changes, I still was excited and enjoyed my time at AIPAC. I can’t thank you enough for giving me this chance.

Written by an AEPi Brother