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Rising Voices

Learn more about the Rising Voices Fellowship, JWA's thought-leadership program for female-identified teens.
Two women wearing tallit are moving away from the wall, a police officer looking at them and speaking to them. Another woman films the event on her phone.

The Wall Between My Identities

by Sasha Rosenfeld

I expected to feel emotion and attachment to the Kotel. However, despite the burning midday sun, my first visit left me cold.

Three figures, arms over shoulders, walking on a paved road. Guard towers lined alongside them.

Prayers in Majdanek

by Isabel Hoffman

As my classmates and I entered the camp, the wind screamed into our ears, whipped at our backs and into our eyes. I couldn’t tell if I was crying because of the wind in my eyes alone or from the overwhelming power of being there, a place that a small part of me hoped was just a terrible, twisted rumor.

Topics: Holocaust, Prayer
Maddy Pollack speaking at her Bat Mitzvah party, microphone in hand. Cake on a table in front of her with text "Mazel Tov, Maddy."

The Only Jewish Kid

by Maddy Pollack

When I was in third grade, my teacher asked me to tell my class about the Jewish New Year. I was not only the only Jewish kid in my class, I was also the only Jewish kid (aside from my brother) in the whole school.

Gold Star of David necklace hanging in midair, in partial focus.

Jewelry and Jewish Feminism

by Lila Goldstein

Like everything we wear, our jewelry displays our tastes and preferences. On a deeper level, though, it also projects our values to the world.

Auschwitz

A New Take on the Holocaust Experience

by Lily Drazin

In reading Ozick’s thoughtful insight about the double victimization women faced during World War II, I realized that my Holocaust education was indeed lacking.

Topics: Holocaust
Watercolor by Abigail Glickman

Ayin Tovah: Learning to See

by Abigail Glickman

In a passage from Pirkei Avot, Eliezer ben Hurcanus recommended “ayin tovah,” a “good eye” in Hebrew, which, my teacher explained, meant judging people in a favorable light.

Flowers in Naomi Bethune's Yard

Other

by Naomi Bethune

I am not seen as average or conventional: not Black enough, but certainly not white enough; Jewish, but not “Jewish” enough for some.

Topics: Activism
Stock Photo of Microphone

How I Became a Slam Poet

by Ruby Russell

Maybe we can shatter some glass ceilings if we shout loud enough. 

Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin in D.C.

Treacherous Torah Teachings

by Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin

Teachers should receive training when preparing to educate students on sensitive topics, such as religion, so that they are providing the students with the most accurate information possible.

Graduation Stock Photo

A Jewish Goodbye

by Madelyn Gelb

I’ll be leaving high school with a great big Jewish goodbye.

Nina Baran with her parents at her first "Court of Honor"

Scout Me In

by Nina Baran

On February 1, 2019, Boy Scouts of America changed the name to Scouts BSA and opened its membership to girls.

#StopTheBans Rally

Abortion Bans and Rape Culture

by Amy Jarkow

Restrictive abortion laws demonstrate the entitlement that men and the government feel they have over women’s bodies. Simply put, this is rape culture.

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

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