Despite Shabbat Observance, Shalhevet Scores at Model Congress


Despite missing nearly a third of the competition because of Shabbat, students at Shalhevet high school took home 14 individual awards and one team award at the Princeton Model Congress held in Washington, D.C., a competitive simulation of the U.S. government for high school students from across the country. The Shalhevet delegation of 25 students — the only school from west of the Mississippi and the only Shabbat-observant Jewish school to attend the annual competition — missed one of four committee sessions and one of three full sessions that occurred on Friday night and Saturday.

In Model Congress, students create, amend and debate legislation that they try to pass through committees. Conference staff then chooses bills that made it through committee to go to full sessions of the House and Senate. About 1,300 students from 45 schools participated, and each committee session and full session awards a best delegate and two honorable mentions.

The Shalhevet delegation placed second overall and won eight honorable mentions and six best delegate awards in committees such as judiciary, foreign relations, and the environment and public works. Shalhevet’s winning students were: Rose Bern, Justin Brandt-Sarif, Trevor Brandt-Sarif, Josh Feder, Ari Feuer, Deanna Grunfeld, Nathaniel Kukurudz, Zach Miller, Daniella Newman, David Rokah, David Soroudi, Eitan Spitzer and Bracha Stettin. Debate coach Christopher Buckley coached the team.

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