19 December 2016
This blog post was written by Adi Golan, senior at Rockville High School.
In November 2016, The Jewish Federation partnered with JCRC of Greater Washington to host the 2nd annual Margo and Yoram Cohen Family Talk Israel teen conference. As part of Federation’s Teen Israel Committee, I helped with the planning and execution of this year’s conference. The turnout was more than double the year before, and we couldn’t have been more ecstatic!
I attended two events that inspired an important realization. Federation and the JCRC’s Talk Israel and the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference collectively demonstrated to me just how many young people there are actively supporting Israel! Each event has made me more and more excited to graduate and begin Israel advocacy in the real world, knowing how many other people there will be to support me. The speakers at Talk Israel and AIPAC were an absolutely inspired group, who instilled upon me the confidence to advocate for what I believe in, unapologetically.
Coming out of all of these events so far, I believe my relationship with Israel and the supporting communities has grown so much stronger. Knowing how many people support the same causes I believe in has instilled within me a new motivation to do everything I can to progress in the right direction. The Engagement Fellowship gave me with many of the facts and information I needed to effectively equip myself as credible source in many situations. Looking forward, I can only see my connection to Israel increase, as I plan to live there at some point.
Applying to colleges now, I have visited several Hillels on different campuses, and been overjoyed at how welcome I have felt. Going to a school with a strong Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel community has been a very important aspect to me throughout the process. As I look towards the future, I know that these programs will have served as a solid foundation to guide me on my academic and individual journey.