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MTA Sends Delegation to Model United Nations

by Rami Nordlicht ('16)


This week, thirteen MTA students traveled to Stamford, CT to partake in the 26th annual Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN). Accompanied by Mr. Sragow, the student delegates were treated to an excellent three days of debating, collaborating, and intermingling with other students from across the country and around the world. The event showcased the students' ability to dialogue, compromise, and find solutions to current world issues based on the stances of the countries they were assigned to represent.

Shortly after their arrival at the hotel on Sunday afternoon, the delegates were privileged to hear opening remarks from Dr. Seth Siegel, the author of the New York Times bestseller, "Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World." Dr. Siegel spoke about the diplomatic challenges posed by shortages of a resource as critical as water and explained how Israeli technological advancements in the field of hydrology will help shape the 21st century diplomatically, politically, and developmentally.

After a few words of greetings from Mrs. Geri Mansdorf, the Director of Admissions at YU, the acting Secretary General officially declared YUNMUN XXVI in session, and the first committee sessions subsequently began. Over the course of the next day and a half, delegates would participate in six two-hour long committee sessions in which they would argue, innovate, and brainstorm as to how world issues should be resolved. The committee sessions resembled conferences that take place at the real United Nations and allowed the delegates to get a sense of what it takes to resolve crises through diplomatic means.

Between the first and second committee sessions, Ambassador Danny Ayalon, a former member of the Knesset, Israeli Ambassador to the United States and envoy to the United Nations, and current faculty member at YU, addressed the delegates. Mr. Ayalon spoke about how the United Nations, an institution that was once viewed upon favorably for its role in the creation of the State of Israel, has in recent years unfortunately evolved into a corrupted organization that disproportionately votes on resolutions against Israel, and he then outlined how aspiring young leaders can help combat negative bias towards Israel.

Additionally, the delegates were also privileged to hear from YU's provost, Dr. Selma Botman, who spoke about the leadership skills that are showcased at Model UN. Dr. Botman stressed the importance of learning the qualities of leadership at a forum such as YUNMUN and showed how the skills one can learn from public speaking can translate into future success. The speech resounded well with the delegates, who were all too familiar with how hard it was to obtain the skills to speak clearly, publicly, and diplomatically.

Finally, on Tuesday morning, the closing ceremony of YUNMUN took place. Initiating the closing ceremony, President Richard Joel, the President of Yeshiva University, spoke about the importance of seeing the world from different perspectives and angles and developing a multifaceted view on the world and the issues that face it. After President Joel's speech, the awards ceremony began. From each committee, awards of "best delegate" and "honorable mentions" were awarded to three delegates. Congratulations to Ben Tzion Zuckier ('17) on receiving an honorable mention in his committee, DISEC, and to the other twelve MTA delegates, who were all key participants in their respective committees. When YUNMUN was finally adjourned, the delegates left with a great sense of accomplishment and we look forward to even more successful delegations from MTA in the future.

To see more pictures, please click here.