Rising Voices

Learn more about the Rising Voices Fellowship, JWA's thought-leadership program for female-identified teens.
Marshmallows Over a Campfire

Encountering Homophobia at My Jewish Summer Camp for Girls

Judy Goldstein

There aren't outside pressures from patriarchy in the all-girls camp bubble; but that doesn't mean that bigotry is eradicated.

Glasses Resting on Open Tanakh

The “Jewish Women Question”: Can Women Learn Gemara?

Rena Kosowsky

I’ve learned the value of endurance in activism through my experience with Talmud learning.

Photo of Monterey Bay

Revelations Through Music at Jewish Summer Camp

Ella Thompson

At camp, every song had a different tune, and for every prayer I knew, there were four more I didn’t.

Photo of Birkenau ash pond, a single red flower growing at its bank.

Flowers At Auschwitz: The Power of Jewish Tradition and Hope

Dahlia Plotkin-Oren

The simple image of a flower growing in Auschwitz reminded me of the strength and power that hope can carry.

White chairs against a black wall

A Seat at My Orthodox Jewish School’s Ma’ariv Service

Lana Klein

There were no chairs in the women's section of my school's shul. 

Close up image of Shoshanah Curiel-Alessi's tie-dyed pink and purple tallit

How My Bat Mitzvah Tallit Helped Me Find My Voice

Shoshanah Curiel-Alessi

This prayer shawl was the antithesis of everything I’d told myself I was supposed to be; it challenged tradition, caught attention, and took up space.

2019-2020 Rising Voices Fellows Zine Cover Page Cropped

An RVF Zine: Reflecting on the 2019-2020 Rising Voices Fellowship

Rising Voices Fellows

The 2019-2020 Rising Voices Fellows reflect on their time in the Fellowship and on their collaborative zine-making process.

Topics: Activism, Art, Writing
2019-20 Rising Voices Fellow Hannah Landau's Zine Pages

How to Be Perfect: A Guide for Girls

Hannah Landau

Perfection is the goal and trying is the consequence.

Topics: Feminism, Crafts
Illustration of Raised Hands with #MeToo Written on the Palms

Why We Still Need to Be Talking about #MeToo in the Jewish Community

Dahlia Soussan

As too many Jewish women find their allegations unheard and unaddressed, I am responsible to amplify those female voices.

Image of a Journal and a Camera next to each other. Pink background.

From Invisible Ink to Printed Photos: My Journal Through the Years

Ella Plotkin-Oren

Writing in my journal is not only a way for me to process my feelings; it's also a way for me to keep a record for the future.

Illustration of DIfferent Hairstyles

My Relationship with My Mom and My Hair: How They Both Have Grown

Shoshanna Hemley

When I think back on mornings spent sitting on a stool in the kitchen before school, pouting as my mother detangled my thick hair, I’m glad she wrestled those knots for me. 

Topics: Activism, Family
Sketch of Ray Frank, 1893

Ray Frank, A Complex Figure: Let’s Talk about Honesty and Self Care

Eleanor Harris

In March, my RVF piece about Ray Frank went up on the blog; however, parts of this blog post trouble me.

Illustration of a Plague Doctor wearing beak mask.

Antisemitism During Coronavirus: From Pandemic to Pandemic

Ari Fogel

Antisemitism is, unfortunately, not a unique response to a pandemic.

An interviewee shakes hands with an interviewer. Another interviewer sits beside them.

"Planting Seeds": A Writer's Job Interview

Lilah Peck

Of all the interview questions I’d prepared for, I didn’t think of this one: "Why are you a writer?”

Topics: Writing, Fiction
Helene Aylon's Self Portrait, 2004

Wrestling with "Ruach" (God)

Belle Gage

I tend to have more questions than answers when it comes to God.

2019-20 Rising Voices Fellow Madeline Canfield's Notebook

My Worn and Faded Yellow Notebook, a Living Record

Madeline Canfield

In my notebook, I recount anecdotes that bear the mark of the past I am reckoning with today.

Photo of Woman at the Beach

Spirituality, Self-Care, and the Fight for Justice

Ellanora Lerner

To see everything as holy, to be amazed by the simple, beautiful things in the world, not only brings me happiness; it also inspires me to fight for justice.

Since Parkland Website Image

"Since Parkland": Writing the Stories of Youth Victims of Gun Violence

Ellie Klibaner-Schiff

With "Since Parkland," I tried to celebrate other kids' lives and acknowledge the failures that ended them.

Photo of Rising Voices Fellow Maddy Pollack's Grandmother Linda Pollack

Stories from My Bubbe

Maddy Pollack

Every time she speaks, it’s as if my grandmother, my bubbe, is delivering an address.

Topics: Family, Religion
Illustration of Parts of the Body

Social Media “Influencers”: Start Influencing Girls to Love Ourselves

Neima Fax

Girls today are given an image of what an ideal body should look like on social media, and our introduction into womanhood and knowing our bodies is through the lens of fixing it.

Topics: Feminism, Media
Blank Journal with pen.

Finding My Words Through Writing During Coronavirus

Ilana Drake

Because my life has virtually become virtual, writing is now one of my primary means of connecting.

Topics: Writing
Adam and Eve Cast from the Garden of Eden by angel

Beyond Crime and Punishment

Mica Maltzman

America’s prisons, police forces, and courts seem beyond repair. Imagine how the world might look if God hadn't jumped to punish Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. 

Topics: Voting Rights, Bible
Shoshanna Hemley Speaking at a Climate Action in Iowa City

From Singapore to Iowa: A Teen Activist on Protest and the Fight for Recognition

Shoshanna Hemley

When I brought up the idea of a protest, teachers and peers alike scoffed at first. I was living in Singapore, where protesting was illegal.

Collage by Lila Goldstein

Collaging in Quarantine

Lila Goldstein

Collaging is an old hobby of mine that has taken on new value during this pandemic.

Topics: Art, Crafts
"Lady Lilith" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1866.

My Many Moms Are My Matriarchs

Sasha Azizi Rosenfeld

Matriarchal leadership is often portrayed negatively, like in the story of Lilith. My moms have proven to me that we need more of it.