By Debbie Stone, Masa Israel Teaching Fellows in Netanya alumna; Masa Israel Alumni Fellow
Having heard about the AIPAC Policy Conference for years, I was honored to attend this year’s conference as a Masa Israel Alumni Fellow. During my year as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Netanya in 2013-2014, I became highly involved in the Masa Israel community, which helped me to develop a more profound connection to Israel.
Since I returned from my summer in Israel, Masa Israel has given me endless opportunities to stay in involved. Being a Masa Israel Alumni Fellow allows me to connect with the Jewish community as well as other Masa Israel alumni, both locally and nationally. At AIPAC, there was no shortage of support from Masa Israel and reunions with old friends from across the country, not to mention the exhilarating experience of the attending conference for the first time.
It was incredible – there were so many people and so many interesting sessions to attend, but I was most inspired by the involvement of non-Jewish attendees. When I think of AIPAC, I think of Jewish people; yet, the support of Israel goes far beyond our community. I was moved by the African American speakers, motivated by the highly energetic Evangelical speakers, and deeply moved by veterans of the U.S. Army. The conference united Jewish and non-Jewish attendees around a common theme: Israel. From Susan Rice proclaiming her views on the current situation with Iran to seeing the ever- charismatic Prime Minister Netanyahu,  to hearing a paraplegic veteran declare his hope that he may walk again because of Israeli technology,  we all shared one thing: a passion for Israel.
Attending the AIPAC Policy Conference with the Masa Israel Journey delegation deepened my love for Israel and all those who support it. Being surrounded by 16,000 other people who rally to support Israel was humbling and I am thankful to Masa Israel, which allowed me to have that life-changing experience, and continues to provide opportunities for me, here in the U.S., so I can stay involved and give back to Israel and the Jewish people.
Want to get involved in the Masa Israel Alumni Community? Join our LinkedIn group to find out about local and national events and opportunities.

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