Students Lobby Congress
This week when student Taliah Soleymani, who works with AIPAC as a high school advocate, checked her AIPAC group chat she learned that the House of Representatives would be voting on the Taylor Force Act H.R. 1164. This bill is a bipartisan legislation that would pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop the practice of paying convicted terrorists and their families by eliminating U.S. Economic Support Funds that directly benefit the PA unless it stops these egregious payments.
Taliah was one of several ICJA students who attended AIPAC’s recent Schusterman Conference with Ms. Sennet, where she learned the power of lobbying. She says, “I saw this as a great opportunity to bring to our Israel Advocacy Club.”
She then spoke to Ms. Sennett about having a meeting where we all would call our Representatives to urge them to support the Taylor Force Act when it comes to the House floor. Immediately after getting Ms. Sennett’s approval, three of the heads of the club–Adina Arnett, Ruby Grant, and Molly Stein–began planning the event. With the help of AIPAC, the three of them worked together to make signs, buy snacks, put together background sheets on the bill and publicize the meet.
Overall they got about 45 students to call their district representatives to inform them about the importance of this bill. Additionally, Taliah was able to get a hold of Jan Schakowsky’s Chief of Staff, Cathy Hurwit, who she lobbied when she was in Washington for the AIPAC conference. Taliah says, “She informed me that Jan Schakowsky would be voting for this bill, which I was very happy to hear. Overall, we had an amazing outcome and the bill was passed!”
We are grateful to have such a strong relationship with AIPAC and so impressed with our students’ leadership. Lifelong Jewish leadership begins with active and engaged teenagers.