The Fourth Estate
Sophomores Attend Panim El Panim in Washington, DC Monday, May 23, 2011 By ZOE SERBIN
ver the break, four of Laguna’s Jewish students packed their suitcases, donned their kipot, said ‘shalom’ to the nation’s capitol. Olivia Berci, Cassidy Shevitz, Justin Palmer, and Zoe Serbin headed to Washington, D.C. for a conference called Panim El Panim. The trip was made by 14 students in Congregation B’nai B’rith’s Confirmation class of 2011. Sophomores from Laguna Blanca, Santa Barbara High School, Dos Pueblos High School, San Marcos High School, and Bishop Diego High School went on the trip. The four-day conference brought together a group of 150 students from all over the United States to talk about issues currently facing them and their community. "The most interesting thing I heard was when the homeless speakers talked. It made me realize how real of an issue homelessness is," Justin said. Groups such as the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) spoke to the students Other activities students participated in, other than seminar classes, included watching "Waiting For Superman," and lobbying issues of interest to congresswomen Barbara Boxer and Lois Capps. Justin and Cassidy lobbied issues such as support for Israel and health care to Representative Boxer. Olivia and Zoe tackled issues such as supporting after-school programs in schools and funding better rehabilitation programs in prisons on their visit to Capps’ office. "I will never forget crying at the Holocaust Museum and lobbying on Capitol Hill," Cassidy said.