Model Congress team brings home 13 awards from Princeton’s conference

WINNERS: Jonah Gill, Boaz Willis, Sigal Spitzer and Daniel Soroudi celebrated this morning in Washington, D.C., after the Firehawk debate team learned of its awards this morning at the Princeton Model Congress competition.

WINNERS: Jonah Gill, Boaz Willis, Sigal Spitzer and Daniel Soroudi celebrated this morning in Washington, D.C., after the Firehawk debate team learned of its awards this morning at the Princeton Model Congress competition.

Anna Gordon, Staff Writer

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The Model Congress team received 13 total awards from their time at Princeton Model Congress in Washington, D.C. this past weekend.  Of 24 students on the team, half brought home awards.

Of those thirteen awards, four were gavels, which is the highest honor in a committee and full session, and nine were honorable mentions.

“I think we accomplished so much and I learned all these speaking skills that I can now use in Town Hall,” said freshman Maya Golan, who won an honorable mention though it was just her first conference. “Overall it was such a learning experience and was also a great way to bond with people.”

Students at the conference are split into different committees, where they debate bills related to their topic. Committees range from Foreign Relations to Appropriations to Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  The committees also consolidate into larger groups called full sessions, where they debate bills that passed in the various committees.

Sophomore Boaz Willis won Shalhevet’s first-ever gavel in a Senate full session at Princeton’s conference.

“I’m astonished at the fact that I won,” said Boaz. “It was an unexpected delight, and it proves that even though we don’t participate during Shabbat we still have the best debaters and can still win the most prestigious awards.”

Winning in full session is often considered particularly difficult because there are more delegates competing, and Shalhevet students miss an entire session for Shabbat. Students also miss one committee session that happens Friday night.

Junior Sigal Spitzer’s bill, which required the Navy Seal and Army Ranger battalion units to allow females to serve, was signed into law by the conference’s cabinet.  This is just the second time this has happened for Shalhevet–last year, Erin Sharfman ’13 had her bill signed into law as well. The Cabinet is a mock Executive Branch, complete with a delegate president and advisors.

“I’m very pleasantly surprised at how well we did,” said Christopher Buckley, the team’s advisor. “We lost a lot of people from last year and I didn’t think we would do this well.”

The four gavels were awarded to Boaz, Sigal, and sophomores Jonah Gill and Daniel Soroudi. Honorable mentions went to seniors Liat Menna, Tamar Willis, and Sarah Soroudi; juniors Max Helfand, Daniel Steinberg; sophomores Boaz Willis, Nicole Newman, and Noah Schechter; and freshman Maya Golan.

Here is the complete list of awards won by Shalhevet’s Model Congress team at the Princeton Model Congress competition in Washington, D.C.

Boaz Willis, Golden Gavel in Full Session, Blue Senate

Max Helfand, Honorable Mention in Full Session, Orange Senate

Sigal Spitzer, Gavel, Judiciary Committee

Jonah Gill, Gavel, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee

Daniel Soroudi, Gavel, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee

Maya Golan, Honorable Mention, Environment and Public Works Committee

Liat Menna, Honorable Mention, Foreign Relations  Committee

Nicole Newman, Honorable Mention, Foreign Relations Committee

Noah Schechter, Honorable Mention, Appropriations Committee

Sarah Soroudi, Honorable Mention, Foreign Relations Committee

Daniel Steinberg, Honorable Mention, Environment and Public Works Committee

Boaz Willis,  Honorable Mention , Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee

Tamar Willis, Honorable Mention, Heath, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee

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