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Rep. Jamie Raskin speaks to students in contemporary issues class

Rep.+Jamie+Raskin+speaks+about+his+path+to+candidacy%2C+gun+control+and+education+policy+among+other+key+issues+in+the+Feith+Beit+Midrash+on+Monday%2C+Oct.+16.+Raskin+represents+Maryland%27s+8th+Congressional+District%2C+which+encompasses++much+of+Montgomery+County%2C+including+JDS.+
Rep. Jamie Raskin speaks about his path to candidacy, gun control and education policy among other key issues in the Feith Beit Midrash on Monday, Oct. 16. Raskin represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District, which encompasses  much of Montgomery County, including JDS.

Rep. Jamie Raskin speaks about his path to candidacy, gun control and education policy among other key issues in the Feith Beit Midrash on Monday, Oct. 16. Raskin represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District, which encompasses much of Montgomery County, including JDS.

photo by Rina Torchinsky

photo by Rina Torchinsky

Rep. Jamie Raskin speaks about his path to candidacy, gun control and education policy among other key issues in the Feith Beit Midrash on Monday, Oct. 16. Raskin represents Maryland's 8th Congressional District, which encompasses much of Montgomery County, including JDS.

Ilan Cohen, Style Editor

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Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Jewish member of Congress who represents Maryland’s 8th District, visited CESJDS on Monday, Oct.16 to speak with students in a contemporary issues class.

Two other classes joined Jewish History teacher Aaron Bregman’s eighth period contemporary issues class on Monday morning in the Feith Beit Midrash for a town-hall-style discussion with Raskin, who has been a member of Congress since January 2017.

“Bringing in a member of Congress, particularly the congressman that represents the district that JDS is in, I thought was a very appropriate way for students to hear a perspective, especially if they disagree with that particular congressman so they have a way to voice their opinions,” Bregman said.

After a brief introduction, Raskin spoke for around ten minutes before fielding questions from students ranging from gun control and education policy to the Iran nuclear deal.

“It’s obvious to me that young people are very much staying on top of current affairs, so I don’t know if they’re reading newspapers or checking out the internet but they clearly know what’s going on,” Raskin said.

During the discussion, Bregman asked the Maryland Democrat to do something “unorthodox” by encouraging students to share their political views on anything they disagreed with Raskin on. Junior Talia Shemony shared her opposing view on the Iran nuclear deal.

“I like expressing my political views and I like being able to do so in a respectful manner, not necessarily yelling back and forth and calling names, and it was nice being able to do that with a congressman,” Shemony said.

Raskin, who welcomed the opposing views discussed the importance of “reaching across the aisle” and emphasized the importance of civil discourse not just between students, but between all Americans.

“You’ve got some terrifically talented kids here,” Raskin said. “I’d love to come back and spend more time. Students were very engaged and well prepared.”

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