Zach Duitch, left, Andor Schvarcz and Congressman Dave Reichert
The following will sound like a candidate endorsement but it is not. I do not live in the 8th Congressional district and I do not favor either candidate.
Since retiring from the Seattle Public Schools, I have volunteered at the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island. I have a program that brings Hungarian-speaking Jewish high school students to participate in the counselor-in-training program at the JCC’s nine-week summer day camp.
Andor Schvarcz is a 16-year-old from Transylvania (a Hungarian-speaking part of Romania). Andor applied and had been accepted for the JCC’s program. At the last minute, the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest denied his visa application. Andor had already paid for his flight. It was scheduled to depart in less than two weeks.
I requested help from the office of the 8th District, the location of the JCC and the families who had planned to host Andor. Andor got his U.S. visa and spent the “best summer” of his life leading groups of camp children and befriending American teens both Jewish and non-Jewish.
At the end of the summer I invited the Congressman to meet Andor so that the teen could personally thank this elected official. Above is a photo of the camp director Zach Duitch and the Congressman presenting Andor with a souvenir medal from the U.S.