Monday, May 4, 2009

In today’s society, it is extremely difficult to be united with so many people that you share such a strong passion for something with. AIPAC policy conference brings Jews and non Jews alike, who are in Washington DC because they all share a common love and passion for the existence of the state of Israel. Rev. Kenneth Flowers, the Senior Pastor from the Great New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan, talked about the common bonds shared between African Americans and Jews alike. Through his speech, and his discussion panel, the participants were able to see comparisons between the Bible and Torah, the Civil Rights movement, and the Holocaust, both of which are subjects that I have always been extremely interested in learning about.

-Matthew Newman THE Ohio Northern Region

Today I attended a motivating breakout session led by Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV), a BBG alum. Listening to her talk about women in leadership roles in the American government was inspiring. Congresswoman Berkley explained that women in politics play a pivotal role: women voice different opinions than those of most men and are also able to use their instinctual relationship building abilities to motivate others to pass important pieces of legislation.

Congresswoman Berkley was joined on a panel by Betsy Berns, a female sports writer as well as Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton’s campaign manager. Multiple times Congresswoman Berkely attributed her success and interest in leadership to her involvement in BBYO. I know that I, and the other BBGs with me at the session felt honored to know that such a phenomenal and engaging individual was one of our own.

- Happie Hoffman, Cotton States Region

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A group of the BBG AIPAC Delegation with Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, from the First Congressional District of Nevada (and a proud BBG Alum!)

Being at the AIPAC Policy Conference has been a really great experience. Hearing the nations leaders profess their support for Israel has been really eye-opening. The number of people who are supportive of Israel is absolutely amazing. They don’t fall into the categories that you would expect. Pro-Israel activists are Jewish and Christian, black and white, old and young. There is no “typical AIPAC member.” Instead, there is diversity here, which makes sense – Israel does not appeal to any one person for the same reasons that it appeals to another person. The thing that is most in common is support for the Jewish State.

- Daniel Cooper, Northern Region East, D.C. Council

Saturday, May 2, 2009

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Before this year's AIPAC Policy Conference, I wasn't sure what to expect. I have been to Policy Conference before, but each year, the atmosphere changes. There are always a variety of speakers - high powered, influential government officials who make important statements about the United States and their commitment to Israel. But it is never the speakers that make the conference - it is the atmosphere. The excitement and electricity of a group this big.

The most recent announcement is the confirmation of Vice President Joe Biden's speech on Tuesday. I am extremely excited for the rest of the week.

- Evan Herron, South Jersey Region
The BBYO AIPAC delegation has made it to Washington D.C., and we are excited for the conference to start tomorrow. All we have done so far is register and pick up our materials, but even that has been eye-opening and, to be honest, a little awe-inspiring. This whole event is much bigger than we expected. There are secret service, police and AIPAC staff everywhere we look. We never expected to see to see so many pro-Israel people in one place, and we can only imagine the magnitude of the crowd when everyone shows up to the opening plenary tomorrow. We can't wait for the morning - so many powerful people all rallying around a cause we believe in. It's going to be great.

- Michelle Wildman and Rachel Edelman, Rocky Mountain Region