The conference is a three-day ordeal, starting on Sunday the 19th of April up until Tuesday the 21st. I arrived a day early and spent all Saturday in Georgetown, where I met with Angelika (who was part of the birthright trip I staffed last year) and then had dinner with other Austin people at what is probably the best Italian restaurant I’ve been to outside of Italy: Filomena Ristorante. Here’s a photo of Filomena herself (I think) making cavatelli with her own two hands. I wonder if she’s single…
- Outgoing Ambassador of Israel to the U.S. Sallai Meridor.
- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
- Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
- ADL’s Director Abrahm H. Foxman.
- Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page.
On Tuesday, we parted to Capitol Hill in order to meet with people from the office of State Representative Michael McCaul. The Austin delegation was split geographically and I (a total newbie) ended up with the right people: Austin ADL Director Lisa Goodgame and Vice-Chair of the Austin Council of the Anti-Defamation League Jan Soifer.
We focused on legislation that in the following areas:
- Improve federal hate crime laws (in favor!)
- Make the unlawful presence in the U.S. a criminal (not civil) offense (against!)
- Condemn anti-Semitism (in favor!)
Rep. McCaul voting record mostly agrees with the ADL in the international agenda and not so much in the national one. Hard to tell what kind of influence our input has but it’s good to make your voice heard.
All in all, the trip was a great experience. I got to see the inner workings of the ADL and participate in activities that were new to me. I got to learn a lot and see some great speakers. All while having a great time, meeting many people, and drinking lots of coffee.
The full album has been published in The MKX® Photo Central.