Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

UCF students endure ice and snow for AIPAC


The Orlando delegation meeting with Congressman John Mica in his office.

A delegation of 17 students from UCF, along with Central Florida Hillel executive director and CEO Aaron Weil and chairman Hank Katzen, attended the AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C. The students met with congressmen and women, sat in various plenary sessions and breakout panels, and realized the importance of being there in person to show support for Israel.

"As a Jew, the AIPAC Policy Conference served as a reminder that the Jewish people are small but mighty; when we all come together with a common heritage and a unanimous love for Israel, we can make a noticeable impact in society. As an American, the conference reminded me of how important it is to support democracies everywhere, especially in a region such as the Middle East where democracy is so rare," said Tamara Zishuk, a freshman from Orlando.

This was the first AIPAC conference for Jordan Bresalier, a junior from Cooper City. Was it what he expected? "My first AIPAC policy conference exceeded my wildest expectations," he said. "The knowledge I gained will impact my decisions for the rest of my life. I hope that I will have an opportunity to attend future AIPAC conferences."

Hank Katzen (r) and his son, Mason

The conference was not only an opportunity for these students to show their support for Israel, but also to broaden their minds.

"The AIPAC conference really opened my thoughts about Israel and their defense system. I did not know how much they needed support from the United States and how Iran wants to abolish the state of Israel. I highly enjoyed Netanyahu's speech and believe that all his points are correct. The conference was eye opening and I would love to be a part of the AIPAC community in the following years," said Nicole Kostiuk, a freshman from Port Charlotte.

In addition to all the sessions and meetings, awards were given out, and Weil was honored with the AIPAC Ally of the Year award for establishing pro-Israel student groups at UCF.


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