Ten years after his Milwaukee Jewish Day School trip to Israel, Zach Sinykin was there again, planning a presidential visit.
Milwaukee-area native Sinykin, a 23-year-old advance associate for the Biden administration, helped organize the President’s recent trip to Israel from July 13 to 15, 2022.
“In Israel, it’s a very big deal for the president of the United States to visit. It doesn’t happen very often,” Sinykin said. The visit was a big deal for the administration, too. “I also just want to point out how special it was for Biden to be in Israel… From the White House’s perspective, they really enjoyed the trip.”
Since last August, Sinykin has joined Biden at both domestic and international locations for contract-based work, primarily campaign related. In Israel, Sinykin mostly worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He describes his role as being at the “100-foot level,” meaning that wherever the president goes, seven to nine people like Sinykin plan the visit.
Sinykin was in Israel 10 days in advance setting up. His primary role was the arrival ceremony at the airport with the government of Israel. He worked with the chief of protocol for the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs to execute the 20-minute event that occurred upon Air Force One’s touchdown, plus the transportation afterwards, and the departure ceremony.
Sinykin was 13 the last time he was in Israel, during his Milwaukee Jewish Day School eighth grade trip. Ten years later, he noted that a lot has changed. “It was surreal… it was lovely,” Sinykin said.
Sinkyin heard from others that Biden teared up when visiting with Holocaust survivors. “It was a meaningful moment to me as a young American Jew, who feels scared sometimes to read the news because of the current state of our American politics. As a Jew, watching how divided and dangerous the country’s political climate has become, it was really cool to see a president carry himself the way Biden did.”
Currently a resident of D.C., Sinykin graduated from George Washington University last spring and will begin law school at Chicago Kent College of Law this coming August. He hopes to one day become a judge and wants to go into some aspect of trial advocacy and prosecution.
His time in Milwaukee prepared him for this moment, he said. Through BBYO-Wisconsin Region and George Washington University, Sinykin was exposed to different Jewish communities. And during his time at Milwaukee Jewish Day School, he received a comprehensive Holocaust education, he said.
“It was a great place to grow up,” Sinykin said, describing the active Jewish community of Milwaukee. “I was always proud of where I came from. As someone who cares about politics, I know how important Wisconsin is, how the Milwaukee suburbs are a swing area.” He continued, “it was definitely a place that has guided me in life and my values, and as I moved to D.C. for undergrad, I think it’s definitely shaped the way I’ve approached things.”
Sinykin is a huge Milwaukee Bucks fan. He also loves visiting downtown Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Public Market and the Third Ward. He has family all over: his brother Sam in Chicago, his sister Ellee in Austin, Texas, his brother Justin at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his parents Dan and Jodi at home in Whitefish Bay.