Meet the Rising Voices Fellows of 2014-15.
Read the work of the Rising Voices Fellows.
The Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) and Prozdor are excited to announce the second year of the Rising Voices Fellowship. The fellowship is open to female-identified teens who are rising 10th and 11th graders and who have a passion for writing, a demonstrated concern for current and historic 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 up to twelve teens from across the country. These fellows will write 8–12 posts for Jewesses with Attitude, the Jewish Women's Archive blog.
Throughout the year, JWA’s blog editor will work independently with each of the fellows on their 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. Emilia Diamant, Prozdor’s Director of Programming and Initiatives, will provide curricular oversight and guide the fellows in areas of leadership development, community building, and identity exploration.
Applications are due by 10pm on June 1, 2014. Finalists will be contacted by Friday, June 6th to schedule a phone or Skype interview. The fellowship awardees will be announced by June 27th. We ask that all who apply for the fellowship be prepared to commit to the kick-off meeting on September 21st
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the sponsors?
The Rising Voices Fellowship is a partnership between Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) and Prozdor.
The Jewish Women’s Archive
JWA documents Jewish women’s stories, elevates their voices, and inspires them to be agents of change. 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. 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 the Jewish community. 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 writing and are interested in issues related to feminism, history, Judaism, 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.
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What does the fellowship look like?
Through a selective application process, JWA and Prozdor will choose up to female-identified teens in 10th and 11th grades from across the country. 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 September 21st. 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 in Newton, MA.
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.
JWA blog editors 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 June 1, 2014. Finalists will be contacted by June 6th, to schedule a phone or web interview.
The Rising Voices Fellowship awardees will be announced June 27th. We ask that all who apply for the fellowship to be prepared to commit to the kick-off meeting on Sunday, September 21st.
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 writing sample of 300-400 words answering one of the following questions:
- A 140-character sample tweet that would introduce the idea/title of the writing sample provided.
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?
Submit your applications online by June 1, 2014. JWA and Prozdor will select the finalists.
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 video-chat interview to take place between June 9th and 24th 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
The fellowship awardees will be announced on June 27th. We ask that all who apply for the fellowship be prepared to commit to the fellowship kick-off meeting on September 21st.
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How can I learn more?
“I get to explore Judaism through a feminist lens, which is something I have never done before, and that I am really excited about how it is shaping my Jewish/feminist identity. I also love to write, and this is a venue for me to improve my writing skills and write about myself in relation to history, Torah, and current events.”—Hannah Elbaum
“I didn't even realize how much I love to write until I began Rising Voices. I also like it because it gives me an opportunity to keep in touch with my Jewish roots and continue to reflect on my identity.”—Olivia Link
“…Rising Voices is a fellowship that has made me a stronger, better blogger. It has made me consider new ideas, perspectives, and ways of communicating. I have had the opportunity to develop peer editing skills, and form relationships with my fellow writers.”—Avigayil Halperin
“[Rising Voices is] important to me because it has helped me define my relationship to both feminism and Judaism through a medium that I love. I also am thankful that it's given me an outlet to network and share my writing.”—Marissa Harrington-Verb
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Rising Voices." (Viewed on February 1, 2015) <http://jwa.org/blog/risingvoices/about>.