About Rising Voices
Meet the Rising Voices Fellows of 2013-14.
Read the work of the Rising Voices Fellows.
The Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) and Prozdor are excited to announce the pilot year of the Rising Voices Fellowship. The fellowship is open to female-identified teens in grades 11 and 12 who have a passion for writing, a demonstrated concern for current events, a commitment to improving their writing skills, and a strong interest in Judaism—particularly as it relates to issues of gender and equality.
Through a selective application process, JWA and Prozdor will choose 3-5 female-identified teens from across New England. These fellows will write 8-12 posts for “Jewesses with Attitude,” the Jewish Women's Archive blog.
Throughout the year, JWA’s senior blogger and Director of Online Communications, Jordyn Rozensky, will work independently with each of the fellows on their blog writing. The ability to accept and learn from edits, as well as a commitment to improving writing skills, is crucial for success in the program. Fellows will also benefit from the guidance and mentorship of Emilia Diamant, Prozdor’s Director of Programming and Initiatives, in areas of leadership development, community building, and identity exploration.
Applications are due by 10pm on September 19th, 2013. Finalists will be contacted by September 23rd to schedule a phone or web interview. The fellowship awardees will be announced on October 4th, 2013. We ask that all who apply for the fellowship be prepared to commit to the kick-off meeting on October 13th.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the sponsors?
The Rising Voices Fellowship is brought to you by the Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) and Prozdor.
The Jewish Women’s Archive
JWA advances women and girls by inspiring them to value their contributions to society and challenging society to value the rich history and contemporary accomplishments of Jewish women. JWA documents Jewish women’s stories, elevates their voices, and empowers them to be agents of change. The JWA blog, “Jewesses with Attitude,” receives 20,000 visitors a month. Pieces posted on the blog reflect the diverse voices of the Jewish community and place an emphasis on the perspectives of Jewish women. Learn more about JWA at jwa.org.
Prozdor is a pluralistic high school program for students from around Southern New England. Through its diverse programming, Prozdor helps students develop strong Jewish identities and prepares them to be future leaders of global Judaism. With Sunday and weeknight programs in Newton, Lexington, and all over the region, Prozdor is the hub for Jewish teen learning in Southern New England. Learn more at www.prozdor.org.
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What are the goals of the fellowship?
JWA and Prozdor aim to create a cohort of young Jewish leaders who are empowered to express themselves through the written word and are interested in gender, religion, and current events.
The fellowship will give practical experience to teens interested in expanding their communication skills, as well as developing and honing the blog writing skills of the participants.
The Rising Voices Fellowship will provide a platform for young voices to be featured on the Jewish Women’s Archive Blog.
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What does the fellowship look like?
Through a selective application process, JWA and Prozdor will choose 3-5 female-identified teens in grades 11-12 from across New England. These fellows will write 8-12 posts for “Jewesses with Attitude,” the Jewish Women's Archive blog.
The fellowship will launch with a half-day kick-off meeting at Hebrew College in Newton, MA, on October 13, 2013. At this meeting, staff from Prozdor and JWA will review the goals of the program, facilitate community building, and begin teaching the techniques for crafting quality blog posts.
Following the kick-off, the cohort will meet monthly throughout the year, including both virtual and in-person meetings. (Because these meetings will take place at Prozdor in Newton, MA, we are limiting our pilot year to New England-based participants who are able to travel to and from our meetings.)
Tools and techniques for improving one’s writing and understanding of social media will be at the core of each of these meetings. Between writing, peer review, and preparation for upcoming meetings, participants will be asked to allocate two to three hours a week to the program.
Jordyn Rozensky will work independently with each of the fellows on her writing. The ability to accept and learn from edits, as well as a commitment to improving writing skills, is crucial for success in the program.
Participants who successfully complete the fellowship will be invited to serve as mentors for the next year’s fellows.
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What is the application process?
Applications are due by 10pm on September 19th, 2013. Finalists will be contacted by September 23rd, 2013, to schedule a phone or web interview.
The Rising Voices Fellowship awardees will be announced on October 4th, 2013. We ask that all who apply for the fellowship to be prepared to commit to the kick-off meeting on October 13th.
Applicants will be required to submit the following information:
- Two references from teachers or other adults in supervisory roles.
- A short paragraph answer to why the student wishes to be a part of the fellowship and what she hopes to get out of it.
- A 140-character sample tweet that would introduce the idea/title of the writing sample.
- A writing sample of 300-400 words answering one of the following questions:
Choose a piece of popular culture (whether it be a song, a TV show, a YouTube video, or a movie.) How does it make you feel as a person, a teenager, a girl, or as a Jew?
Think about the changing nature of social media and communication. What appeals to you about being a blogger?
Free Write: Please choose a topic of your choice, although we strongly encourage you to write about what feminism and/or Judaism means to you for this piece.
Please note that there is no way to save the application during the process; please be prepared to complete the application in one sitting. We anticipate the application process to take no more than two hours.
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How will the applications be judged, and who will do the judging?
Applications must be submitted by 10pm on September 19th. The Director of Online Communications at the Jewish Women’s Archive and Prozdor’s Director of Programming and Initiatives will select the finalists.
After the initial screening of applicants by JWA and Prozdor, the writing samples will be forwarded to a panel of young writers, including freelance writer Rachel Rosenblit, TIME writer Lily Rothman, and freelance writer Chanel Dubofsky.
Writing samples will be evaluated based on the writer’s current skill level and potential for growth in variety of areas including:
- Organization and structure of the sample
- The uniqueness of voice and clarity of message
- Mechanical correctness and grammar.
- The piece’s capacity to capture and interest the audience.
Finalists will be contacted for a phone interview the week of September 23rd 2013 to assess their leadership potential and fit for the group. They will be further assessed by the following criterion:
1. Interest in current events
2. Passion for writing
3. Desire to improve writing and learning to blog
4. Interest in Judaism particularly as it relates to gender and equality issues
Our panel of judges includes:
Rachel Rosenblit is a writer in New York whose work has appeared in Elle and Details, among other magazines.
Lily Rothman is a reporter for TIME, covering pop culture and entertainment news. Her work has also appeared in media outlets such as The Washington Post, Slate and the Atlantic.
Chanel Dubofsky's writing has been published at The Forward, Cosmopolitan, The Frisky, The Billfold, Abortion Gang, and others. She is working on her MFA in Fiction at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is the creator and editor of The Marriage Project, an interview series about the experiences of women and marriage. She types words in Brooklyn, New York.
The fellowship awardees will be announced on October 4th, 2013. We ask that all who apply for the fellowship be prepared to commit to the fellowship kick-off meeting on October 13th.
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