Hannah Himmelgreen is a junior at Brooks Debartolo Collegiate High School in Tampa, Florida. When she does not have her head in a book, she is snapping photographs, singing with her school choir, and serving as a programming Vice President on her youth group board. Hannah loves writing, coffee, the Harry Potter series, and her Colombian and Jewish heritage. She has a passion for social justice and feminism and is beyond excited to be a part of the Rising Voices Fellowship this year.
Gun control is an undeniably controversial topic, and while an individual may be entitled to their constitutional right to bear arms, allowing unrestricted carry of weapons does nothing to prevent mass school violence.
I often find myself thinking about how lucky I am to have spent my childhood surrounded by strong women; my mother, my aunts, and my grandmothers have all taught me that shattering the glass ceiling takes not only the force of a sledgehammer, but also the courage to face what lies beyond. As I, a once incredibly timid child, have grown into a strong Jewish woman, I’ve realized that this idea applies just as much in my religious life as it does in my secular one.
I was a sophomore when I first stumbled across Easy A on my Netflix browser one lonely Friday night. The green poster, exclaiming in bold lettering, “Let’s Not and Say We Did,” was the first thing to pop up under the “Top Picks For Hannah” banner. It instantly grabbed my attention. Intrigued, I clicked play.
For the longest time, mirrors were my sworn enemy. Dressing rooms were the battlegrounds of a war between comfort and confidence, and my body was caught in the middle of it. On some days, every curve I had was subject to thorough self-scrutiny. Stomachs had to be sucked in, and spandex was a girl’s best friend.
After long afternoons turn into endless evenings and restless nights, I still wake up in the morning feeling wholly replenished. With the ring of my alarm clock comes the thought that I can take on the day, no matter how tired I am.
If anyone has an indelible sparkle, it’s women’s rights activist and French politician Simone Veil. Although she’s not a household name in the United States, she’s regarded with unwavering praise and awe in France, her home country.
I love to listen to other people’s perspectives, and jump in only when I feel that staying silent isn’t an option. When I’m passionate about something, I can temporarily push my introverted nature aside, and speak up.
I never realized that it was possible for my whole outlook on Judaism to be transformed in an hour and a half, or that a few moments of hearing voices come together in prayer could move me so deeply. But that’s exactly what happened when I led my youth group in Shabbat services this past March.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Hannah Himmelgreen." (Viewed on June 29, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/author/hannah-himmelgreen>.