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Rising Voices

Learn more about the Rising Voices Fellowship, JWA's thought-leadership program for female-identified teens.
Desk with computer, coffee, notebook, and phone on top

Find Your Voice, Then Share It

by Shira Minsk

Forming strong opinions is easier said than done, and for me, the exercise of writing helps me get there.

Sneaker with butterflies on it

Butterflies and What They Mean to Me

by Lila Zinner

I love butterflies because, to me, butterflies represent freedom and bliss.

porcupine quills

Quills

by Emily Axelrod

I couldn’t understand why it was this incident that spurred me to tears—why it was the struggle of a dog rather than the countless struggles of humans that had made me cry.

Rising Voices Fellow Emma Cohn with father

How Jewish Are You?

by Emma Cohn

I have spent the last year learning that we are all at different places in our Jewish education; we have all had different sets of experiences. And they are all valid.

Sign with #MeToo written on it

Someone You May Know

by Hannah Downing

I never, ever imagined that I would be sexually harassed. I thought that my environment was safe, and that I was doing everything I could to keep myself safe.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Banner that reads, "men of quality respect women's equality

Why Feminism Needs Teenage Boys

by Emma Nathanson

The boys in my class created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Their worry over claiming a title because of their lack of action made it impossible for them to take action in the first place.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Pro-choice demonstration in front of supreme court

L’chaim: A Pro-Choice Narrative

by Ava Berkwits

The summer of 2015, rising seventh grade me went off to sleepaway camp with an abstract sense of Malala/Emma Watson-based feminism, and a hunger to learn more.

Rosie the Riveter

Finding My Femininity

by Ilana Jacobs

I was weird for being strong. “Weird” because physical strength is not often an attribute associated with women.

Olympic athlete Caster Semenya

Restricting Semenya is Sexist and Violates Human Rights

by Molly Weiner

By saying a woman can only be defined as female and enjoy success if she has an arbitrary amount of testosterone, the IAAF has turned the hormone into something it is not: a myth of male greatness.

Birth control pills

Healthy Youth, Act!

by Emma Nathanson

We’ve questioned the way sex ed is taught and brainstormed new methods health teachers should be using.

Photograph from the Oslo women's march

A Jewish Day School Revolution: Combatting Injustice

by Lily Drazin

With the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements on the rise, I knew I wanted to deal with the issue of sexual violence.

Shira Minsk in theater production of The Diary of Anne Frank

Redefining Theater

by Shira Minsk

I worked with a few of my peers to found the Actors’ Helping Alliance. Every season we pick a charity to partner with whose mission is connected to central themes in the show we’re performing.

2018-2019 Rising Voices Fellow Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin at a 2018 March for Our Lives action that she planned. 

Students Against School Shootings

by Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin

In my year and two months as a gun control activist, this type of conversation has been a common occurrence.

Topics: Protests, Schools
Pete Holmes doing stand-up

No, I Can’t Take This Joke

by Emma Cohn

In between the mutters of “slut” thrown out like gut punches, the message was clear. They were making rape jokes.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Women of the World club yearbook photo

“Less Feminist”

by Madelyn Gelb

Women of the World was the club where I could talk about issues I really cared about, such as sexism and the wage gap.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
Woman speaking into a megaphone

Shouting Doesn’t Have to Mean a Sore Throat

by Ilana Jacobs

While at the time I couldn’t admit it to myself, I felt deep down that the world wouldn’t end if I gave up this cause.

Hannah Downing at L'Taken Social Justice Seminar

Raising My Voice

by Hannah Downing

I was in a room full of young Jewish liberals of diverse backgrounds, taking workshops on topics such as campaign finance reform and the history of abortion in the Talmud. What could be better!?

Book display for school social justice week

Standing for Social Justice at My School

by Abigail Glickman

Every year, my high school hosts a Social Justice Week, and this year, I’m the primary organizer.

Photograph of a school classroom

Orating for Justice

by Naomi Bethune

Sometimes, we unintentionally challenge the way others think. This prompts dialogue, which is essential for creating change.

Topics: Activism, Schools
Poster for Rainbow Rams, a school gay-straight alliance club.

Building Inclusivity at My Jewish Day School

by Nina Baran

Until last year, when the club was first started, we didn’t have a GSA; we also don’t have any LGBTQ+ books, and students aren't aware of staff who are trained in LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

Rising Voices Fellow Lila Zinner in Fifth Grade

American Education: Classrooms, Competition, and Corruption

by Lila Zinner

This education system, this one-sided method of teaching, this constant competition, is not working.

Topics: Schools, Children
Rising Voices Fellow Molly Weiner's school cross country team

Look Fast

by Molly Weiner

The first step the female athletic community can take towards fostering healthier norms is to share stories collectively, to address a pain that is all too common.

Topics: Schools, Athletes
San Francisco DACA rally

Immigration Mythbusters: Starting the Conversation

by Amy Jarkow

In my opinion, the fall of DACA should have warranted the same amount of coverage in school as the increasingly frequent mass shootings happening in this country.

Topics: Schools, Immigration
Gay-Straight Alliance bulletin board

An Education in Allyship

by Emily Axelrod

As word spread about what we were trying to do, a number of students told us they were in support of a GSA and would definitely participate if we succeeded in creating it.

Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin Leading School Walkout

Leadership as an Answer to Privilege

by Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin

Because of my privilege, I had a head start: I knew where I was going, and I had support. I still had to work hard and set goals for myself, but I recognize that privilege is one of the things that has helped me get where I am today.

Topics: Schools, Writing

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