Leo Baeck 12th grader Noa Widmann, 11th grader Or Lauterbach-Goren, and 12th graders Lottem Arava and Dana Shtainberg, participated in The Israel Middle East Model United Nations (TIMEMUN), a student-led international model debate conference simulating the United Nations, now in its 16th year, held at the Walworth Barbour American International School in February.
Leo Baeck’s delegation joined the more than 550 students from Israeli and Arab schools as well as schools abroad. This year, Leo Baeck represented Australia and Serbia. Noa, who received a special award for an honorable delegate, represented Vladimir Lenin of the USSR in the Crisis Committee, Or represented Riyad Al-Maliki of the Palestinian Authority in the Special Committee, and Lottem and Dana served as student advisers to our delegation. Leo Baeck English teacher Michael Lipiner, the delegation adviser, provides more information about the TIMEMUN project and the conference program on his website.
Student delegations represent countries and try to pass resolutions on various important world issues, such as the environment, security, development, and peace. Through this learning experience students experience the intensity and rewards of dealing with global politics, researching and debating issues, drafting policy papers, and interacting with peers from different cultures and countries. In additional to honing their academic and leadership skills, students learn about cultural differences and to view issues empathetically from multiple viewpoints.
Comments by Leo Baeck participant Lottem Arava:
“Being a part of this amazing experience made us comprehend the change one can make in our world. We are thankful we had the opportunity to fill the shoes of ambassadors at the UN, and hopefully we filled them pretty well. The pluralistic environment of TIMEMUN exposed us to stimuli that challenged our minds and opened our hearts to new opinions. We met people that we would not have known otherwise. We hope to bring the esssence of this experience back to our own lives.”