Firehawk debaters win four awards at Harvard Model Congress


WINNERS: Two seniors and two sophomores won awards in the four-day conference in Boston.

By Benjamin Gamson, Editor-in-Chief

Shalhevet’s 21-person debate team has won four awards this weekend at Harvard Model Congress in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Team co-captain Henry Fried was awarded Best Delegate in the event’s House Armed Services Committee.

Fellow co-captain Adina Kurzban won Honorable Mention in her committee, as did sophomores Tali Liebenthal and Rami Melmed in theirs.

The conference, which ran Feb. 24 – 27,  was the team’s first in-person conference since the Covid-19 pandemic, having last competed in November of 2019 at Princeton Model Congress.

It was also only the second time that Shalhevet had competed in the Harvard event.  The first was in 2007, when the debate  team was expanding and there weren’t enough slots at Penn for everyone who wanted to debate.

Since at least the early 2000s, the Firehawks have competed every year at Penn Model Congress in Philadelphia, and beginning around more recently at Princeton Model Congress in Washington, D.C.  

Captains this year are seniors Jack Sanders, Adina Kurzban, Henry Fried and Anya Mendelson. 

At the Harvard event,  instead of competing on Friday night and Saturday, Shalhevet debaters observed Shabbat at Chabad of Boston. 

Debate team faculty advisor Mr. William Reusch, Judaic Studies specialist Dr. Sheila Keiter, and alumnus and Judaic Support specialist Noah Rothman chaperoned the trip.

The conference was held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. 


Best Delegate: 

Henry Fried – House Armed Services Committee


Honorable Mention: 

Adina Kurzban – Senate Finance Committee

Tali Liebenthal – House Homeland Security Committee

Rami Melmed – Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee