AIPAC hosted its annual Student Awards Dinner Sunday night, celebrating the most accomplished AIPAC-trained student activists, campus professionals and innovators in the nation with a high-energy, fast-paced awards show unlike anything else at Policy Conference.
The event’s top honor, the Duke Rudman Leadership Award, went to the students at the University of Southern California (USC) for pioneering new models of pro-Israel political leadership on and beyond their campus. These AIPAC-trained activists distinguished themselves by hosting numerous students leadership receptions, developing an unprecedented strategy for building relationships with campus political leaders, getting multiple leadership statements signed by campus influencials and organizing four lobbying sessions with California House and Senate Members.
Students on five other campuses— University of Oregon, Colorado Christian University, University of South Florida, New York University and University of Pennsylvania—received Activist of the Year Awards in recognition of their outstanding pro-Israel political activity during the 2012-2013 school year.
In recognition of the instrumental role of campus partners in guiding student activism, AIPAC honored three exceptional professionals with Ally of the Year Awards: Gil Schpero, Assistant Director of Muhlenberg College’s Hillel; Rabbi Pini Dunner, Mashgiach Ruchani at Yeshiva University Boys High School of Los Angeles, and Elan Carr, International President of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.
The 2013 Advocate of the Year Award was presented to the founders of Rallyt, a fast-growing company with MIT origins. These three young entrepreneurs are responsible for the creation of AIPAC NGauge, an online political empowerment platform that will help facilitate pro-Israel activism on campuses across the nation. AIPAC NGauge was launched Sunday night immediately following the Awards Dinner.
In recognition of his bold vision, unique insight and enduring support over the years, as well as his many contributions to strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance, AIPAC’s first-ever David Ben-Gurion Exemplary Leadership Award was presented to Wayne Firestone, the outgoing President and CEO of Hillel.