ADL National Leadership Conference

Austin GLI Class
Austin GLI Class
I joined this year’s Glass Leadership Institute class a few months ago.  This is a program instituted by the Anti-Defamation League to teach young professionals on the core mission and principles of the ADL. While this is a year-long program, the highlight is right at the middle: A trip to the ADL’s National Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., which includes a visit to the office of Michael McCaul, my State Representative, in order to raise some of the issues that the ADL is concerned about.

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…

Hand-made Cavatelli at Filomena's
Early morning on Sunday they took everyone who was already in D.C. to a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This museum is considered by some to be even better than Yad Vashem, and anyone visiting D.C. should definitely see it. They had a temporary exhibit about the propaganda of Nazism that was very, very interesting.     Finally, in the afternoon, the conference itself started. There were some very interesting sessions and had a chance to see some very important and engaging speakers, including (in no particular order):

Rahm Emanuel and Janet Napolitano made the biggest impression of me. It is hugely refreshing to hear first hand from two high ranking government officials the new direction that the U.S. is going. They seem to be very smart and very capable people with their priorities in the right places.
Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel addresses the ADL National Leadership Conference
Napolitano speech
Janet Napolitano addresses the ADL National Leadership Conference

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:

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.

Outside the capitol
At Capitol Hill before meeting with the office of State Representative. Marcos does not look like a computer geek with a jewfro on this photo.

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.

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