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Rising Voices

Learn more about the Rising Voices Fellowship, JWA's thought-leadership program for female-identified teens.
Black Lives Matter Poster on wall

A Message to Fellow White Jews

Belle Gage

The bottom line is that as white Jews, we can (and do) perpetuate racism and benefit from white privilege.

Topics: Activism, Protests
School cafeteria

A Seat at the Table: Advocating in My Modern Orthodox School

Neima Fax

For the rest of the shabbaton, I wanted to walk up to the teacher and let him know how bothered I was by what had happened. But the shabbaton ended, and I didn’t talk to him. 

Small Shabbat candles

Grounding in Ritual: Shabbat During Coronavirus

Isabel Hoffman

Even after the hardest, most boring, or most heart-wrenching weeks, Shabbat is calmly awaiting me at the end.

Jerusalem by Efrat Shvili

When Someone Mentions Israel

Ellanora Lerner

For years, these two views of Israel felt like an unquestionable binary to me, and I didn't know where I stood.

Topics: Israel, Palestine
Rising Voices Fellow Mica Maltzman with Her Temple Youth Group

My Place at the Synagogue Board's Table

Mica Maltzman

As president of the youth group, I was a full-fledged member of my synagogue’s board. The chair had no power to evict me from the room.

"Courage" Spelled in Felt Letters

Gathering the Energy to Fight: Redefining Moral Courage

Eleanor Harris

In my view, moral courage isn’t really about courage; it’s about gathering up the energy to fight. This looks different for every person.

Topics: Activism
Chemistry beakers with colorful liquid

The Power of My Voice: Combatting Insensitivity in My High School

Ellie Klibaner-Schiff

I think I hesitated to counter my classmate’s offensive comment because I didn’t want to be perceived as overdramatic. 

Topics: Schools, Science
Elizabeth Warren on stage in a purple suit, microphone in hand.

A Thank-You Note to Smart Women

Ella Plotkin-Oren

I'm writing this note with a hopeful but heavy heart. In March 2020, I voted for the first time. I believed that this would be a tremendous year for women. 

Teen Sitting on Steps of a Monument

A New Yorker Teen on Coronavirus, Homelessness in the City

Ilana Drake

I hear other teenagers throw around comments about getting rid of “these people.” Thousands of teenagers in New York City are homeless or facing food insecurity.

Topics: Activism
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Hanukkiah in front.

Courage in the Face of Rising Antisemitism in Europe

Lila Goldstein

The religious pride I saw among Jewish groups in Paris and Berlin inspires me to show courage through community.

Topics: Anti-Semitism
Protester Holding Sign, "There is No Planet B."

Recollections of a Relentless Teen Climate Activist

Madeline Canfield

Our group of youth climate activists clings to the conviction that our activism ceases for nothing. Really, we’re ride or die.

Topics: Activism
Woman Looking at Painting of Mona Lisa with Face Mask.

Rising Voices Fellows Respond to Coronavirus

Rising Voices Fellows

As Rising Voices Fellows, we want to give a glimpse into our lives as high school students during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Old Olive Tree," 1935

The Wise Child of Climate Activism

Sasha Azizi Rosenfeld

When I asked my mom how she relates to the climate crisis through Judaism, she said, “I’ve never thought about it. I guess I’m the simple child.”

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr: Not Your Average Movie Star

Hannah Landau

Hedy Lamarr teaches us to be whatever the heck we want to be.

Topics: Film, Inventors
Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg and My Anticapitalist Politics

Ari Fogel

I believed that my anticapitalist views clashed with my other identities until I read the works of Rosa Luxemburg.

Topics: Activism, Socialism
Joan Nestle

What Does Sex-Positive Feminism Look Like?

Belle Gage

Joan Nestle opened the door to important conversations about women and sexuality. Contemporary feminist activists must continue them.

Sketch of Ray Frank, 1893

"L'dor Vador": Like Ray Frank, Paving the Way for Progress

Eleanor Harris

Rabbinic ordination was not one of Ray Frank’s goals; yet, she paved the way for other women to become rabbis.

"The Feminine Mystique" Book Cover by Betty Friedan

Dear Betty Friedan

Lilah Peck

Every good dystopian novel is about a character who questions the system. In this way, Betty Friedan is like my favorite characters: Katniss, Tris, Jonas. 

Topics: Feminism
Beatrice Alexander Examining the Queen Elizabeth II Doll from the Coronation Set, 1953

Channeling Madame Alexander's Philanthropic Charge

Dahlia Soussan

Our lives don’t take place in the confined utopia of a dollhouse, thus we mustn't focus on remote needs in lieu of those right here.

"Sleeping girl," painting by Sonia Delaunay, 1907

Blu Greenberg: Making a Home at the Intersection

Neima Fax

I learned from Blu Greenberg that to accept the discomfort of existing in the intersection between feminism and Judaism is an empowering thing to do.

Topics: Feminism, Jewish Law
National Women's Convention March, November 1977

Activists: Let's Learn from Bella Abzug

Lila Goldstein

 After looking into the achievements of her extensive career, I see that Bella Abzug is the perfect role model for activists just beginning in their work.

Rebecca Lubetkin Holding Grandchild Ilana Drake

My Grandma's Fight for Equitable Education

Ilana Drake

My grandmother, Rebecca Lubetkin, has genuinely transformed society, giving young people opportunities that have revolutionized education and, as a result, the workplace.

The Dialectic of Sex by Shulamith Firestone

Gen Z and Her Radical Foremother

Madeline Canfield

What ally can Gen Z seek out for wisdom and consolatory encouragement? Shulamith Firestone, of course.

Ruth First

First, Unity

Mica Maltzman

Just as Ruth First did in her work, contemporary feminist activists must prioritize maintaining a united, intersectional movement.

Chicago Women's Liberation Union Rock Band

The Path to Melodic Liberation

Isabel Hoffman

From the Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band's story, I learned to be wary of putting myself in a box and labeling my “brand” of feminism.