Where Are They Now? RVF Alum Eleanor Harris

Courtesy of Eleanor Harris

JWA talks to Rising Voices Fellowship (RVF) alum Eleanor Harris, who participated in the program’s seventh cohort. Eleanor is now a junior at Wellesley College.

JWA: Tell us what it was like participating in the seventh cohort of RVF in 2019-2020.

Eleanor Harris: I had a wonderful experience in RVF. I felt like a valued member of a community and built genuine friendships. To me, learning about Jewish feminist history and schools of thought while also publishing my own perspective solidified my role in something greater than myself. Although the COVID-19 pandemic began during my time in the fellowship, the virtual spring retreat was organized with great care and the fellowship gave me an extra sense of belonging in a harrowing time.

JWA: What were the impacts of RVF on your high school self?

EH: In Rising Voices, everyone supports and invests in one another’s success and growth. The freedom I felt to be myself in RVF was refreshing. Ultimately, the fellowship helped me believe that my words and ideas are valuable. It strengthened my identity as someone with thoughts that matter!

JWA: How has RVF continued to influence you as an adult? 

EH: Learning about Jewish feminism gave me the language to be proud of my Jewish womanhood, which I continue to carry with me today. Through different journeys I face as a person navigating early adulthood, I have a stronger sense of self because of RVF. The Jewish Women’s Archive has shown me understanding and kindness at all points in our correspondence; as a young adult considering careers, my positive experience with JWA gives me a clear vision for the types of professional environments with which I wish to engage in the future. 

JWA: As a junior at Wellesley College, you’re double majoring in Theatre Studies and Spanish. Why did you choose these majors, and what do you want other people to know about them?

EH: I chose to study theater because I’m passionate about the art form as a medium to tell stories, build empathy, and explore the ins and outs of the human experience. Something I want people to know about majoring in theater is that it’s interdisciplinary, especially in the Wellesley program, and it builds skills that translate to other industries.

My focus on Spanish initially came from a desire not to forget what I had learned in previous schooling; however, through my time studying Spanish in college, it’s grown into an enthusiasm for communicating across language barriers. Learning a second (or third!) language broadens your worldview by increasing your understanding of other cultures and ways of thinking. Plus, it opens up career opportunities and is great for your brain!

JWA: Last summer, you interned at the Jewish Language Project researching theater produced in Jewish languages. Can you tell us about what you learned, and what you hope to do with Jewish languages in the future?

EH: At the Jewish Language Project, I learned about the Jewish linguistic and theatrical worlds while expanding my skills in a remote professional setting. It was a wonderful experience, and I urge you to check out JLP’s work. Many thanks to the Wellesley College Jewish Studies program for supporting me in this endeavor! I look forward to sharing my learning about Jewish languages as time goes on.

JWA: What advice do you have for young people discovering their Jewish and feminist identities?

EH: Jewish feminism has a long history, is multifaceted, and takes many forms. Allow yourself grace as you encounter your own feelings and thoughts! Hold space for the nuance that may come up and remember that people change every day—how you feel and think today may not be how you feel and think tomorrow. And maybe that’s beautiful!

This piece was written as part of JWA’s Rising Voices Fellowship.

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Beautifully said Eleanor. I’m so proud of your accomplishments.
You are a very aware and passionate woman. I admire you❤️
Laura

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How to cite this page

Biskowitz, Sarah. "Where Are They Now? RVF Alum Eleanor Harris." 25 April 2024. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 24, 2024) <http://jwa.org/blog/where-are-they-now-rvf-alum-eleanor-harris>.