AIPAC hosted its annual Student Awards Dinner on Sunday night, celebrating the most accomplished AIPAC-trained student activists, campus professionals and innovators in the nation.
The event's top honor, the Duke Rudman Leadership Award, went to the students at the University of Southern California for pioneering new models of pro-Israel political leadership on and beyond their campus. These AIPAC-trained activists distinguished themselves by hosting numerous student leadership receptions, building relationships with campus political leaders, getting multiple leadership statements signed by campus influentials and organizing four lobbying sessions with California House and Senate members.
Students on five other campuses received Activist of the Year Awards in recognition of their outstanding pro-Israel political activity during the 2012-2013 school year: the University of Oregon, Colorado Christian University, the University of South Florida, New York University and the University of Pennsylvania.
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 origins at MIT. 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.
Finally, in recognition of his vision, insight and support over the years, AIPAC's first-ever David Ben-Gurion Exemplary Leadership Award was presented to Wayne Firestone, the
outgoing President and CEO of Hillel.