…And we’re off!


We’re at the airport We’re staying hydrated

Waitingboardingcatching some ZZZ

Seniors take an Econ test before the conference begins. Now that’s a strong work ethic!Mugging for the lobby Jumbotron

Dinner at Jerusalem Cafe Shachar arrives in her chariot

On Broadway seeing “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Some of our students were able to get Jeff Daniels’ autograph! It was a memorable performance.


The delegates had a late start today with tefillah at 10:15, followed by bagels. We hopped on the subway down to SOHO for lunch and shopping. We ate at Mochaburger, where many of us had “impossible burgers “. This vegan item is a strategic choice as it allows one to have ice cream for dessert. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?



The faculty hung out at a used bookstore While the kids shopped

While taking the subway on a cold windy day

Back at the hotel spirits are high as preparation for the opening ceremony begins!😬


Rookies are ready with the guidance of the presidents

Freshmen are full of excited anticipation Sophomores want to get in there and get started

Juniors are calm and confident

Ah, the Seniors! It’s bittersweet to see the excitement of the freshmen, knowing it’s their last conference together

The women of MUN are fierce

Don’t even think about messing with this woman!

And the MUN men are good looking

It’s all in the family

The presidents have confidence in their team

So let the games begin!


This morning the team went to the Pakistani consulate where we met with the under secretary of the Pakistani delegation to the UN. He gave us a brief history of the conflict with India, then took questions from our delegates. He candidly and graciously answered any and all questions, ranging from LGBQT rights to nuclear proliferation, to climate change. Our delegates were deeply engrossed in the conversation.



0-1THEN… back to a four hour session, followed by a second four hour session tonight! Diplomacy never rests and neither do we.

At the break the teachers slip out to Rockefeller Center 😯CRISIS!

Our crisis team members were called to emergency meetings late last night. After hours of anxious negotiations the crisis was averted, though at one point 500,000 troops were almost deployed!

Peace reigns once again!


We begin each day with tefillah. Noam led today

Followed by New York bagels as big as a child’s head.

Back to work solving the world’s problems


We celebrated Shabbat at the Or Olam Synagogue on 55th St with the Posner School, the only other Jewish day school competing in NHYSMUN.  The delegates were relieved to have finished the arduous work, but were anxious to hear the team standings.

BUT, by the end of the day we knew:

BEN LESCH got an Award of Distinction in Historical Crisis Committee!

8B796AF6-7EDB-48F0-80DF-87A3C34A54BEAND, Brian Silverstein won an Award of Distinction in Crisis Committee!292B18A5-5658-47C9-A0EC-7CD7F9E7DAD4AND, Jason Ross won an Award of Excellence in the International Atomic Energy Agency!


AND, BOTH Betsy Winick AND Ethan Harris won Awards of Merit for the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court!  All rise for judges Winick and Harris !


We also found out that the following folks were chosen to speak on behalf of their committees at the Plenary Session on Saturday morning at the UN!

Carly Winick and Jake Geiringer spoke for the Special Political and Decolonization Committee

Matt Weiss and Avital Strauss spoke for the World Bank

Coby Resnick and Rachel Cope spoke for the UN Peacebuilding Commission

David Levin and Koby Rosen spoke for the Historical Security Council

Brian Silverstein spoke for the Crisis Committee

And, Nitzan Aaron spoke for the Council of European Union



We awoke with the dawn and left at 6:45 am to walk to the UN.  Spirits were high in spite of lack of sleep and nervous anticipation.

Being in the UN General Assembly room is like walking into history.  To see our students at that famous podium is a beautiful glimpse of the future. All of us cheered as our delegates approached the podium and we felt proud to represent our school.

Our first surprise came when we won the team Award of Distinction for Research and Preparation.  Although there are multiple team Awards of Distinction, there is only ONE Award of Distinction for Research and Preparation! Their English and History teacher sponsors are particularly proud of this achievement 🎉!!!

But wait!  There’s MORE!

After an interminable wait through the list of team awards of merit and excellence we held our collective breath until…. we were once again called to the podium to receive a team Award of Distinction for THE FIFTH TIME IN A ROW! 🎉🎉🎉🌟🌟🌟🇮🇱🇮🇱🎉🎉🎉🌟🌟🌟



It was back to Or Olam for services and lunch with the congregation and the team from Posner.

Students were eager to collapse into bed in a heap of weariness, like St. Bernard puppies.


* Photo courtesy of Alex Bernat

Followed by a trip to Times Square, an annual celabatory stroll, and a pizza party.






A satisfying day indeed.


We got a 3-4 hours of sleep and we’re ready!

(sort of)





NHSMUN 2019 Country and Committee Assignments!

Preparation for the conference is officially underway! This past Tuesday, our presidents revealed our country and committee assignments. The RZJHS Model UN Team will represent Pakistan at the National High School Model United Nations Conference in New York! We are ecstatic to take on this country and are confident that it will be adequately represented. The conference will be here before we know it, and we can barely contain our excitement!



Here are the committee assignments!

DISEC: Disarmament & International Security Committee
Rikki Drexler and Matan Lieberman
Topic A: Non-State Actors and Asymmetric Warfare in Africa
Topic B: Combating Terrorism in Southeast Asia

ECOFIN: Economic & Financial Committee
Sean Dreifuss and Rachel Hochberg
Topic A: Financing Refugee Resettlement
Topic B: Internationalizing Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa

SOCHUM: Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Committee
Daniel Taitz and Janie Levitan
Topic A: Refugee Displacement from Climate Change and Natural Disasters
Topic B: Addressing Sustainable Development Goals through Prison Reform

SPECPOL: Special Political & Decolonization Committee
Carly Winick and Jake Geringer
Topic A: Explosive Remnants of War
Topic B: Neocolonialism in Africa

WHO: World Health Organization
Molly Hart and Seth Sugar
Topic A: Promoting Suicide Prevention and Reducing Incidences of Suicide
Topic B: Reducing the Burden of Physical Disability

UNESCO: UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization
Matyal Meisler and Eitan Noy
Topic A: Preserving Endangered Languages
Topic B: Destruction of Cultural World Heritage Sites in Violent Conflict Zones

UNDP: UN Development Programme
Lily Copley
Topic A: Combating Gender-Based Violence Globally
Topic B: Sustainable Land Management and Restoration

UNTOC: Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
Maya Resnick and Gabe Wein
Topic A: Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime
Topic B: The Role of the Internet in Transnational Organized Crime

UNHRC: UN Human Rights Council
Maya Scholder and Emma Shriberg
Topic A: Indigenous People and the Justice System
Topic B: The Rights of Individuals with Disabilities in Developing States

CCPCJ: Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Alex Bernat and Shai Sklar
Topic A: Preventing the Distribution of Counterfeit and Falsified Medicine
Topic B: Addressing Cyber Crime to Protect Election Legitimacy

WB: World Bank
Matt Weiss and Avital Strauss
Topic A: Increasing Intra-Regional Trade in South Asia
Topic B: Child Labor in Southeast Asia

UNPBC: UN Peacebuilding Commission
Coby Resnick and Rachel Cope
Topic A: The Situation in Lebanon
Topic B: The Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

UNESCAP: UN Economic & Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific
Noam Efergan and Arielle Bledsoe
Topic A: Addressing Barriers Faced by Minority Groups in the Workplace
Topic B: Developing Mental Health Policy and Improving Outcomes

We also have the privilege of having multiple representatives on specialized committees. These students represent different countries, but are still crucial to the team’s success. Preparation for these committees is difficult, but we are certain that these students will do well.

Specialized Committees:

UNSC: UN Security Council (representing United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Jonathan Taitz and Shachar Rosenblatt
Topic A: The Situation in Myanmar
Topic B: The Situation in the Central African Republic

HSC: Historical Security Council (representing China)
David Levin and Koby Rosen
Topic A: The Situation in Lebanon, 1988
Topic B: The Situation in Somalia, 1988

ICJ: International Court of Justice (independent judge)
Betsy Winick
Topic A: The Legal Status of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Topic B: Guyana v. Venezuela

ICC: International Criminal Court (independent judge)
Ethan Harris
Topic A: The Situation in Mexico
Topic B: The Situation in Myanmar

Crisis Committee (Minister of Education, Science, and Technology)
Brian Silverstein
Topic: Salva Kiir Mayardit Executive Cabinet: South Sudanese Civil War

Historical Crisis Committee (Minister of Law and Justice)
Ben Lesch
Topic: Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet (1971)

CoEU: Council of the European Union (representing Denmark)
Nitzan Aaron
Topic: Euroscepticism within Poland and Hungary

IAEA: International Atomic Energy Agency (representing Japan)
Jason Ross
Topic: Feasibility of Nuclear Energy in Developing Countries

We are thrilled to announce these partnerships and cannot wait to read everyone’s papers. As we are officially in full swing in preparation for the conference, we know that this is a hard process. Keep in mind that in the end all the work is worth it. We will continue to keep you all updated with  as we near the conference!

Introducing the 2018-2019 RZJHS MUN Rookies and Presidents!

Welcome to the 2018-2019 MUN Blog! Though the conference is still several months away, the MUN team wanted to keep you informed on what’s going on in class on a more regular basis!

First, we want to introduce our newest members of the team. These are the 2018-2019 RZJHS Model UN rookies! We look forward to working with them and helping them prepare for the upcoming  conference later this year. From what we have already seen, they are all skilled individuals who will surely become successful delegates!


My name is Avital Strauss. I am 14 and a freshman. I wanted to join MUN for the opportunity to work with people who also share a passion for politics in the world. This year, my goal is to improve on my ability to work with others. Fun fact – I love dancing and playing volleyball.

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My name is Janie Levitan. I’m 14 and a freshman I joined MUN because it’s an incredible opportunity to meet people from around the world I goal I have for the year is to improve my research and writing skills. A fun fact about myself is that I love to travel and play sports.


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My name is Eitan Noy. I am a freshman and am 14 years old. I joined Model UN in order to improve my understanding of world politics. One goal I have for this year is to improve my speaking abilities in front of an audience. One fun fact about me is that I lived in Israel as a child.

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My name is Matan Lieberman. I am a freshman and am 14 years old. I joined the team because I’ve heard so many great things about MUN and that it is a great way to keep up with global news. A goal for the year to improve my public speaking skills. A fun fact is that my birthday is February 29th.

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My name is Gabe Wein. I’m 16 and am in 10th Grade. I joined MUN because it not only discusses world issues, but comes to resolutions. I think that’s pretty cool. 😎 My goal is to improve critical thinking skills, and some fun facts about me are that I play tennis and my favorite animal is a goose.


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My name is Jake Geiringer. I am 15 years old and a sophomore. I joined the team because I want to learn about world issues and improve my public speaking skills. Some goals for the year is to improve my research skills and learn to collaborate with large groups of people. My fun fact is that I have a seven year old goldendoodle named Cookie.

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My name is Emma Shriberg and I’m in 10th grade. I joined Model UN because I want to be a politician when I grow up. Model United Nations represents everything I want for my future, and I am really excited to be a part of such an amazing experience. My goal for the year is to learn more about how international policy is developed and implemented. Fun fact: I was recently elected Religious and Cultural Vice President of my temple youth group.

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“Hi! I’m Alex Bernat, and I’m 16 years old. I’m a Junior and I wanted to join MUN because I wanted to improve my speaking skills and involve myself in international affairs. I look forward to becoming a more confident speaker this year on the MUN team. Last summer, I worked at Northwestern.”

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Hi! My name is Nitzan Aaron. I’m 17, A junior, I wanted to join MUN because I have experience in a similar type of conference and I absolutely loved it. I love debating, problem solving, discussing politics, foreign affairs, and many other topics and this is an incredible opportunity to expand my knowledge in all facets of the imagination. This also will give me an opportunity to grow and improve my skills like public speaking and critical thinking. My goal for the year is to make this the best year possible. I just transferred in and I don’t want to take a year to adjust. I want to jump right in and do all I can to help the team as well as grow as much as possible. Fun fact: I have lived in 3 states, 4 cities, and something like 12 houses.

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My name is Seth Sugar and I am 16 years old and a junior. I joined the team this year because it is an opportunity for me to learn about world events that will impact my future. One goal I have for this year on the team is to do well at conference and hopefully win. A fun fact about myself is that I enjoy basketball.

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We also want to introduce our team’s presidents for this year. These two seniors go way back and their long lasting friendship helps them work well together. Our team is team  so fortunate to be under such wonderful guidance this year!

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Hello all, my name is David Levin and I am ecstatic to serve as the co-president of the Rochelle Zell Model UN team this year. In my role, I hope to help kids grow in their research abilities and public speaking skills. I also hope to aid team members in cultivating a passion for being an informed global citizen in our evolving international community. I am looking forward to a great year ahead!


My name is Jonathan Taitz and I am extremely excited to serve as a co-president of Model UN this year. Throughout the year, I hope to foster a classroom and team environment which encourages personal growth in areas such as research, public speaking, and leadership. Our goal here at RZJHS MUN is to create engaged and educated global citizens. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming year!


We’re on Our Way Home

D8824850-FEB6-4DEC-899E-FA93666CD74CB5917CF9-9A4E-4E00-B192-E1DA2F1BF0D2.jpegA75DDFBF-FCAB-43C4-B686-FB2664620D3E7B9655DA-0516-4B59-B589-C17D260097612A140BA1-B6FD-4793-8735-1B47446D700A.jpeg876ACA74-812E-4232-BDDF-870DE4AEF5EB.jpeg554F814E-7AA8-4EBE-A6D8-9D4E1D0EF4F23DC93EF2-031C-4627-83A8-C36F0AAEDB9CSince we had to meet at 4:15 this morning to leave for the airport and our team “closing ceremony” lasted until midnight, many of the kids chose to stay up all night. They still looked positively chipper as they streamed out of the elevators.  I’m guessing they’ll be a little groggy in class tomorrow however.  I know for certain that we will all be delighted to see the happy faces of parents at O’Hare. Thanks so much for cheering us on!



Yes! In addition to the team getting the top award of distinction, Eli Nasatir placed third in his committee, Joey Schrayer placed second, and Ethan Laney placed first in their respective committees. We had eighteen delegates chosen to speak at the plenary session at the UN. Our students delivered their closing speeches from the podium where so much history been made. It bodes very well for the future!

Our speakers were Ethan Laney, Livia Moses, Brian Silverstein, Rachel Hochberg, Sean Dreifuss, Shachar Rosenblatt, Rachel Cope, Ben Lesch, Matt Weiss, Betsy Winick, Maya Scholder , Max Pivo, Shai Sklar, Jason Ross, David Levin, Maytal Meisler, and Daniel Taitz and Carly Winick. Bravo to all!

Pray, Work, Pray; it’s Friday!

Tefillah was at a very early 7:25, followed by the first committee meeting st 9. The delegates are deeply engaged in their work. This afternoon is the final opportunity to make proposals and compromises.

After the final session we will walk to shul for shabbas, which we will celebrate with a Jewish team from Florida, the Posnack school.

Tomorrow promises to be an extraordinary day starting with a trip to the UNITED NATIONS, followed by lunch at the shul with our Florida friends.  Since the sun is supposed to shine, we are planning on spending the afternoon in Central Park.  A trip to Times Square, and a pizza 🍕 party 🎉 will round out the day.