ADAM BENDER DIRECTOR OF TEEN ENGAGEMENT
Lior Malul is a 19-year-old Israeli who is here for the year on a gap-year, working within the Jewish community in Westchester as a Shinshinim (Israeli emissary). His job is to be the face of Israel to hundreds of students of all ages in our area.
Last month, I had the pleasure of taking Lior to the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. This is the fourth Policy Conference I have attended, and each one is special in its own way. Bringing Lior allowed me to see the conference through fresh eyes.
The first thing Lior noticed was just how overwhelming the crowd was. Before we even entered the first general session, you could see thousands of people walking about the conference center, Jews and non-Jews alike. The feeling continued as we entered the first general session, where 18,000+ pro-Israel delegates sat together for the first time. As an educator and as Lior’s mentor, I could tell just how powerful an experience he was about to have. For me specifically, I was reminded yet again of why we show up.
What stood out most to Lior was the general sessions. At one point, I even saw tears well up in his eyes, as thousands stood together chanting Am Yisrael Chai. I could see the pride in his eyes, that so many people not native to Israel, cared so deeply for the security and future for the place he calls home.
It was an honor to get to travel with Lior and give him this opportunity. I hope to get the chance to take your teens in future years.
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