Three whirlwind days at the America Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference 2009. Amazing. Heard from both presumptive nominees (Obama and McCain), candidate Senator Hilary Clinton, the Speaker of the House Pelosi, Leader of the Republican in Congress, Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli Minister Natan Sharansky dozens of Senators and Congresspeople, and more. It was a clean, crisp event, well-managed, well-produced. We fretted about the threats from Iran and its underlings (Hamas, Hezbollah and others), talked about the Palestinian-Israeli challenges, and considered the strangehold oil has on our country.
Or Ami’s delegation of 11, represented the same percentage of membership that the larger LA synagogues had. Led by Faculty member Patti Jo Wolfson, we comprised different political backgrounds and multiple perspectives on how to solve the problems of the Middle East. We came together in that we all are pro-Israel, pro-American and concerned about the future for both and the whole world.
Learn more about the Conference here (or read about my experiences listening to Senator Obama and Senator McCain elsewhere on this blog).
Thank you to participants: Patti Jo Wolfson, Shirley Wolfson, Cindy Walkov, Fariba Cooper, Bob Rothstein, College Students Max Cohen and Chaniel Cooper, teenager Kenya Rothstein, Mishpacha and Temple Teen Night Faculty member Lauren Gottlieb, and myself. Former intern Rabbi Brett Krichiver was also in attendance.
Or Ami is committed to doubling our participation at next year’s Policy Conference (May 3-5, 2009). If you are interested, Rabbi Kipnes.