On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3, 10 Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR) High School students boarded buses to Stamford, Conn., representing the countries of Mongolia and Belgium.
They stayed at the Stamford Plaza Hotel and Conference Center until Tuesday, Feb. 5, to take part in the 23rd annual YUNMUN (Yeshiva University National Model United Nations) event. This was a great opportunity for students to learn about international diplomacy and foreign affairs.
After settling into the hotel, every student was given a placard, with the name of the country they represented. Then, students listened to informational speakers, and, of course, watched the Super Bowl.
HAFTR students enjoyed socializing with other students during this time, despite the competition going on. “I met a really sweet girl, and I know we’ll be friends forever,” Harlee Miller, a sophomore, said of her new friend from Salanter Akina Riverdale Academy.
Following the Super Bowl was the first committee session. Students were a little anxious going into the session, but once it began their worries were relieved. “I was nervous to speak in front of all these people,” said sophomore Jessica Weinberg. “Once the program began, I realized there was nothing to be afraid of.”
On Feb. 4, there were six committee sessions. Representing the views of Mongolia and Belgium. HAFTR students were ready to debate and discuss various controversial issues, including honor killing, child marriage, and counterfeit medicine.
A few weeks prior to the event, every student was assigned two topics to research and write about, so students were well prepared in their arguments.
By the time day three arrived, students could not believe that it was already time for the awards ceremony. YUNMUN had been such a great experience! Aside from debating important topics concerning foreign nations, and learning about the interdependency of their countries, students made lasting friendships that will carry them throughout their lifetimes.
“I had such a great time this year, and I look forward to participating again next year!,” Miller said.