Three members of the Mae Boyar High School debate team traveled to Japan in mid-January to participate in the 2019 Parliamentary Debate World Conference and Competition (PDWC) in Saitana, about 40 miles north of Tokyo.
It was first year that Boyar participated in the annual tournament conducted in English, that included 24 high school teams, half from Japan and half from countries around the world from Australia to Vietnam, New Zealand to Jamaica and the United States and Russia.
The purpose of the conference, sponsored by the WakuPro Foundation, is to support young people in becoming successful on a global stage. The week-long program provides opportunities for the serious exchange of opinions in a spirit of friendly competition with other high school students from around the world, thus developing their abilities to realize this future global society as well as fostering lifelong friendships.
Dafna Menashe-Baruch, Boyar’s principal, accompanied the students and proudly reports that the Boyar team won three rounds before bowing out in the quarterfinals.
In addition to the competition, all participants visited traditional sites near Tokyo, enjoyed a day of skiing and took part in various Japanese ceremonies. The Boyar students — Shelly, Jonathan and Assaf — represented the school and Israel magnificently and quickly became a social center, making many friends and adding much to the pleasant atmosphere.
Established in Jerusalem 1964 through the vision and generosity of Louis Boyar of Los Angeles and named in honor of his wife, Mae, Boyar is one of the most distinguished high-schools in Israel. It is dedicated to cultivating excellence in the scholastic performance of the students, in their social values, and in the fields of sports, culture, and the arts.
The school’s vibrant student body is composed of 971 highly motivated and scholastically capable teenagers from the full spectrum of Israeli society. A combination of day school students, who are mostly from Jerusalem, and boarders from outlying and developing communities in Israel’s periphery, contributes to the school’s unique learning environment. Respect for humanity, celebrating difference, and pluralism are core values that guide Boyar as a learning community.
Boyar students acquire a global educational perspective. Last November 26 students participated in basketball tournament and exhibition games in Baltimore and New York. Now students are debating international teams in Japan. “We hope this is a beginning of a tradition” says Principal Menashe-Baruch, “and are looking forward to returning next year.”