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On Wednesday, October 10, the 2018-2019 Israeli Model UN circuit opened with the first HadassimMUN conference. 150 students from two dozen cities and towns around Israel met at the Hadassim school in Even Yehuda to discuss important topics related to the conference theme of Technology: Sports; Unmanned weapons; Education; Outer Space, and Health.

As the first conference of the year, HadassimMUN initiated over 100 students to the concept of Model United Nations. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the hosts, led by MUN coordinator and HadassimMUN Director Robin Flam and her MUN club, the new students were able to quickly adjust, gain confidence, learn, and have fun.

Yonatan Avidor, a Jewish student from Herzliya, was one of those first time MUN participants. He told Diplomacy that “HadassiMUN was probably my best experience of the last year. I felt so good and so confident. They say that it was 7 hours but I don't believe it.  It felt like two hours, yet we did so much. We had speeches and debates, I felt like we're managing the world and that what we did had consequences. It was amazing!”

Laila Dabbah, from Deir AlAsad, added that the conference had demonstrated the importance of cooperation, elevated the interest of students in diplomacy, and the level of discourse between high school students. She explained that she has learned “how it is important to know more about the diplomatic aspects and what is going on in Israel and the world and how we can convey our diplomatic opinions to the world through the meetings that we have in MUN.”



After a full day of debating and negotiating, the delegates voted on their resolutions and had dinner. The committees then joined together in the auditorium for the awards ceremony. Robin Flam opened the ceremony by welcoming all of the students and teachers to the school and expressing her gratitude for those who helped make the conference such a success. Secretary-General Romi Tzur talked about how excited the Hadassim MUN club was to have hosted its first MUN conference.

The conference was organized by Debate for Peace and supported by the US Embassy in Israel. At the awards ceremony, US Embassy Consular Officer Jessica Kuntz spoke to the students about how important their efforts were, to learn more about how the world works. She praised the students for taking this courageous first step and assured them that the skills and experiences they could gain through MUN would be helpful for them in many fields and future opportunities. Two short video clips were then shown one about the founding of the HadassimMUN club, and one with photos and videos from the day’s conference.

During the awards part of the ceremony, the top delegates in each committee were called up to the stage to receive their awards. These included Amit Weinstock (Petah Tiqva), Ariel Talmor (Hand in Hand) and Rani Khoury (Hand in Hand) in UNOSDP; Avital Aleph (Modi’in), Yarin Benayoun (Hadassim), and Ron Ben Chail (Modi’in) in DISEC; Adi Kelty (Hadassim), and Ahmad Dweek (Rowad al-Quds) in ECOSOC; Ayala Grossman (Pelech); Hanna Zohn (Hadassim), and Jonathan Levi (Hadassim) in COPUOS, and Maayan Dahan (Hadassim), Yafa Nassar (Bashaer), and Ella Justus Segal (Modi’in) in the WHO Committee.

HadassimMUN 2018 was part of the Debate for Peace MUN series, as an Interfaith Encounter group supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. The next conference will be on November 8th in Sakhnin.

For more information about future events, please see the website here: https://debateforpeace.org/upcoming-events/

Photo credits: Ugur Kaya, Shir Koler