On November 12 at 1:00 am, I glanced at my phone. Buzz after buzz, I am alerted to the news I dreaded to hear.
Rockets were being fired from Gaza at Israel; an unfortunate reality. I want a future for my country. As both a Jew and an American I find myself feeling responsible for the well-being of Israel. A shot at Israel feels like a shot at me. Israel is my home.
After processing what I could at that time of night, I turn on do not disturb and go to sleep. This is why I fight for Israel.
My heart dropped. Sitting in class, I get a message from Kaylee Zaveduk, a close friend from my home chapter of Jane Beber Abramson BBG #2514. She is studying abroad in Israel at Alexander Muss High School in Israel. Kaylee goes to my school. How could this happen? She is okay. Her day trip to Tel Aviv was canceled. She would live another day in Israel safely.
I find myself wondering how this is the reality for so many people and it feels like nothing is being done about it. I stand up for Israel because I believe Israel should be able to defend herself.
On November 3, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for Israel. I had the opportunity through BBYO to attend AIPAC’s (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) Schusterman Advocacy Institute High School Summit where I learned about the Middle East conflict and lobbied for Pro-Israel legislation.
The U.S.-Israel relationship is an essential relationship to both countries. Israel provides vital humanitarian aid to many countries across the globe and serves as a resource for many struggling nations. Technology in Israel surpasses most other countries in this decade and will continue to thrive as the years go on. The safety of Israel is unknown at times as the Israeli Defense Force can only do so much.
As a proud American, a proud Jew - I must use my voice to save my home.
Going to this conference was outside my comfort zone. Until this summer, I would not consider myself a Pro-Israel advocate. Of course, I believed the state should exist, but I did not know much more. Attending the SAIHSS was my chance to fight for Israel. The three days I spent at this conference have changed my life for the better.
Now, I know much more about the conflict in the Middle East and know where I stand on these issues. The conflict in the Middle East will not resolve itself. I must fight for American support.
If I do not fight, I do not know who will.
As time has gone by, it seems that people allow politics to get in the way of ethical reasoning. Luckily, this conference changed my mindset. I do not have the privilege to let these issues be as they are. I must use my voice to make a change.
The state of Israel is in a delicate state. One wrong move and there could be a war. Who am I if I do not help aid? I have decided to dedicate my time and energy to the safety and security of my home.
I could not feel more fortunate to have gone to this conference and will continue to fight for Israel.
To learn more about the conflict in Israel, go to:
Amanda Press is a BBG from Jane Beber Abramson #2514 in the Great Midwest Region. She loves to sing in the car with friends.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
Mateo reflects on his own Jewish thinking, and meaning of following Halachic ritual and standards.
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