By: Ben Kessler
My name is Ben Kessler and this past week I went to DC as part of the antisemitism Tikkun Group. Our job is to advocate for this issue and learn the nuances and skills needed to advocate for change in the nation’s capital. At the start, we as a group, weren’t sure of how to bring antisemitism to our level, seeing as how general the issue is. Eventually, we decided to focus on antisemitism in high schools. This specifically hits close to home as we now had the ability to share our personal stories and truly focus on the issue at hand. Our first two meetings, with the ADL and AJC, taught us what was necessary and what we had to do in order to get our points across. After this, we went to Congresswoman Wasserman Schyltz’s office to speak with Sarah Arkin, but she only had five minutes. In the limited time we as a group stayed calm, stuck to the plan, and were able to get our point across. We also were able to speak with a different staffer in the same office and this experience truly showed us what it’s like in DC and how you must hope for the best but expect the worst. Our group was prepared and had a new and unique opportunity to speak about antisemitism. Sometimes we, as both campers and teenagers, get
stuck on how to act professional and above our age. What we don’t realize is that we are supposed to act our age and just by speaking about the issue and being prepared we are making a difference. No matter how much you get stuck on the clothes you wear way you speak and these different minor things in the end it doesn’t matter. In the end all that matters is the issue at hand. Even though we only had five minutes we pushed through and did exactly what we came to do. Overall these new experiences made the DC trip one I will never forget.