By Kim Cubine, President
The arrival of fall means back to school, and for many (if not most) students, that also means an essay or two about what they did on their summer vacations. I’m removed from my school days by a year or two, but I wanted to share what I did on my summer vacation. This June marked one of the most incredible experiences in my recent memory. I was chosen to participate in a Democratic Leaders Seminar sponsored by the American Israel Education Fund (AIEF) that took place June 16 to 24. As part of a group of 12 female political leaders, we explored a number of issues including Israel’s contributions to the global community, the critical foreign policy and national security issues facing both the U.S. and Israel, and the ways in which our two countries are working to further strengthen our relationship.
Our days were full of meetings, excursions and discussions designed to help both sides better understand one another and uncover common links that span oceans, political doctrines and religious beliefs. Throughout the trip, it became very clear that despite these differences, the women of Israel are strikingly similar to the millions of women in the U.S. They are wives, mothers, sisters and daughters striving to make a positive impact on the world around them through political action and stewardship. I was inspired and invigorated by the courageous Israeli women we met who live each day in active militarized zones, yet still provide for their families and strive to improve their communities.
Our group met with CEOs of global organizations, some of whom headed up foundations tackling autism spectrum disorders; others were owners of soccer teams; others headed up international food manufacturers. All were female. And each one was undeniably inspiring. We were able to connect as fellow mothers, concerned about the world our children would inherit. We connected as political activists and business leaders. We connected as world citizens interested in the history around us and how it shaped our current events.
I won’t soon forget my trip to Israel, nor the honor I felt being selected to participate in such an esteemed group of U.S. political leaders. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to have been part of such an invaluable experience.