This past Sunday, eight North Shore students, myself included, and our faculty advisor, Mrs. Goldschmidt, boarded a bus to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut to represent Ukraine in Yeshiva University’s thirty-second National Model United Nations. YUNMUN is an annual conference held by Yeshiva University in which students from yeshivot across America come together to act as delegates representing various countries in different United Nations committees. This three-day-long program allows a diverse group of students from all across the nation to learn valuable lessons on diplomacy and public speaking through intellectual debate and discussion. The ultimate goal of a committee is to pass a resolution, which is a paper outlining the solution of a coalition of delegates to a problem that they had been presented with beforehand. Using their respective countries’ foreign policy approaches and actions, delegates must present their viewpoints and compromise with one another in order to write a resolution that is then voted on by the committee. Skills that are learned at YUNMUN extend so far beyond academics; knowing how to collaborate with others and speak in a public setting are critical skills that will last a lifetime.
YUNMUN is not only a place in which delegates thrive academically; at Model UN, students have the opportunity to meet other Jewish kids from all around the world. Delegates from New York and New Jersey all the way to Brazil were present at the conference, and participants were given plenty of free-time to socialize with one another. In between committee sessions, there were breaks in which everyone gathered in the main lobby for snacks and some much-needed downtime. It was so interesting to hear about what life is like in different Jewish communities from students who flew in from places like Memphis and Detroit. When asked about her experience at YUNMUN, tenth-grade student Eve Shusterman said, “YUNMUN was an amazing opportunity to meet and collaborate with other high school kids from so many different backgrounds and yeshivot to solve global issues.” I couldn’t agree more!