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Tamar Cohen

2017-2018 Rising Voices Fellow Tamar Cohen
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Tamar Cohen, 2017-2018 Rising Voices Fellow

Tamar Cohen is a senior at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California. When she is not in school or rehearsing with her pre-professional ballet company, she loves reading, creative writing, and drinking tea, and dislikes high heels, overly-sugary coffee, and writing about herself. She enjoys volunteering in her school's Writing Center, as well as participating in social and environmental activism groups. Tamar will gladly rant about feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, and the environment if given the opportunity.

Blog posts

Mental Health in Scrabble Tiles

Embracing Crazy and Having Hope

There are several points in the year of an American Jewish feminist student that demand a certain degree of self-reflection – Yom Kippur, for example, or the secular new year. Or, as I see now, the last month of school. I began this school year as an ally for people struggling with just about everything, but most passionately for those struggling with mental health issues. Along the way, my own mental health started to take precedence. But activists and Jews are creatures of hope, so when I started to lose hope, it was this dual identity that kept me afloat.

Topics: Feminism
"The Chosen" Book Cover

One Chosen People, Many Chosen Ways

As a young Jewish woman in contemporary society, I tend to use the word "pluralism" a lot, in a fairly abstract way. I sometimes struggle to explain this concept despite it meaning so much to me, but I have found no example better than Chaim Potok's iconic young adult novel, The Chosen. When I first read The Chosen in tenth grade, it brought on a series of mixed emotions. I was beginning the journey toward understanding my religious and secular identities, and simultaneously saw so much and so little of myself in the protagonists, Reuven and Danny.

Cooking Woman

Kitchen Culture and Me

I have this memory where I'm five and it's Thanksgiving, or I'm 12 and it's Chanukah, or I'm 15 and in AP World History. They're all the same memory, and there are more. Almost every year of my public-school education, there has been some kind of school celebration of cultural and ethnic diversity. The common factor in these celebrations is food, because what better way to bring a diverse (and generally uninterested) group of students together?

Tamar Cohen at her Bat Mitzvah

Near(ly) a Woman

Every year in the Hebrew month of Shevat, Jews around the world read Parshat Yitro, the Torah portion that contains the Ten Commandments. But the “Big Ten” are only part of this portion – Parshat Yitro also contains a visit from Moses’ father-in-law, a feast, and a set of instructions from G-d transferred with questionable integrity by Moses to the Israelites. Before becoming a Bat Mitzvah at age 12, I spent months studying this portion and its various commentaries. One line was particularly alarming to me: “Be ready for the third day: do not go near a woman.”

Landscape Photo by Tamar Cohen

Perspectives on Tragedy

My ears ring. My stomach churns. Have I put down my pencil? At this point, I don't know. More than anything, I'm confused. How could someone possibly think that? How is it that I can't think of any logical arguments against their point of view? 

Topics: Schools, Judaism
Judy Blume Cropped

The Inspiring, The Messy, and The Author of Both

Bildungsroman: the German word for a coming-of-age novel. A prime example of this? Judy Blume's Are You There, G-d? It's Me, Margaret. Beloved by angsty teens and middle-aged women’s book clubs alike, Judy Blume seems to have completely mastered the art of coming of age in fiction.

Topics: Activism, Fiction
Goleta Pier

Learning to Pray: Personal, Painful, Passionate

Until last winter, the only prayers I knew were those in the books I studied with my mom and the rabbi at my synagogue. I discovered spirituality in nature and found a home in Jewish community and tradition, but I never truly prayed. I didn't know how it felt to speak directly to G-d.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Tamar Cohen." (Viewed on December 15, 2018) <https://jwa.org/blog/author/tamar-cohen>.

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From : An exploration of how lead the charge in the fight for a free press. https://t.co/c8CeZKmDF3
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folks, have you bought your tickets for this poetry reading with the author of Queer Expectations: A Genealogy… https://t.co/EjXWFjeuqP