Meet the Fellows

2023-2024 Rising Voices Fellows

Halleli Abrams Gerber is a senior at the Bronx High School of Science in New York. She is the captain of her school’s speech and debate team and the editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper. She has also had her work published on the jGirls+ and Project Here Now websites. Additionally, she is a founding member of the Moving Traditions teen board, a YouthBridge-NY fellow, and Youth Leadership Council member of the Imogen Foundation. She serves as the community building director of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement, edits for the Life Letters nonprofit, and engages in extensive volunteer work. She loves reading poetry, listening to music, and exploring bookstores with her friends.

Frieda Belasco is a junior at Hastings High School in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. She is a Managing Editor of her school newspaper. She participates in her school's Model UN team and Amnesty International club. She is a certified lifeguard and over the past summer she participated in the Boston University Summer Journalism Academy. Last year, she was a Meyer-Gottesman Kol Koleinu Fellow and created a social justice project highlighting queer voices. She enjoys reading, photography, learning about history, traveling, and exploring new places.  

Julia Brode Kroopkin is a junior at Gibson Ek High School in Issaquah, Washington, where she leads a program to help incoming freshmen adjust to the new learning environment. Julia spends her additional time at school learning and teaching others about the science behind abortion pills and interning at a local homeless shelter. Julia is passionate about history, social justice, community engagement, and youth leadership. Julia enjoys being involved in her Jewish communities of Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue, the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle (her alma mater), and URJ Camp Kalsman (her second home for the past nine summers). 

Sydney Burgess is a junior at The Madeira School in Virginia. She is the co-chair of the Butterfly Books Nonprofit Advisory Board, a role in which she works to promote literacy in underserved communities. Sydney campaigns for equal cultural acknowledgement and wider food options for Jewish students as a member of her school’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee. In her free time, she swims, writes for and edits her school newspaper, and volunteers at a nearby daycare. You can find Sydney hanging out with her dog Kula and blasting Lorde with the newest epic fantasy novel in her hands. 

Ava Cohen is a senior at Berman Hebrew Academy and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the captain of mock trial and the president of her school’s LGBTQ+ club, where she works to help create a safe space for other queer students within her modern Orthodox school. She can almost always be found in middle of at least one knit or crochet project and enjoys spending her free time reading, talking with friends, playing with her dog, and diving into obscure pieces of history. 

Shamim Elyaszadeh is a senior in high school. She is the president and board member of a club dedicated to educating students about Israel and its culture. Additionally, Shamim is a Stand with Us Leventhal Intern, which encourages her to be a better advocate and club leader at her school and beyond. Outside of school, Shamim is regularly at her dojo, where is a black belt and enjoys volunteering teaching karate to kids as a way of giving back to her community. Lastly, she loves playing Daf, a classical Persian percussion instrument that connects Shamim to her Persian heritage. 

Lily Katz is a junior at Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts, where she participates in theater and is the vice president of an activism-based theater community. As a junior leader of her high school's treble a cappella group, the Treble Rebels, and the school's feminist newspaper, she enjoys learning from her passionate peers as they work together toward equity. She is a junior chair of her high school's mental health advocacy group, and loves competing in speech tournaments, singing in chorale, and dancing at All That Jazz. In her free time, she works at her beloved Jewish camp, watches Modern Family, and frequents Starbucks. 

Sasha Kranson-Forrest is a senior at Pittsburgh CAPA. She serves on the Youth Arts Council at the Andy Warhol Museum, teaches religious school at Congregation Dor Hadash, and was a Diller Teen Fellow. Sasha's artwork was displayed at the Wick Monet Gallery and the Mattress Factory Museum and has earned prizes through the Scholastic Art Awards, the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Invitational, the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, and the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. She is also a co-creator of Concerning Climate, a climate justice podcast. In her free time, Sasha enjoys musical theatre, playing the ukulele, and drinking bubble tea. 

Roz Larsen is a junior at Santa Monica High School (Samohi) in Santa Monica, California. She is passionate about psychology, social justice, and education. She is a member of the Teen Advisory Council for UCLA’s Friends of Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She participates in the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force club at Samohi. Roz also volunteers at the Santa Monica Education Foundation and SMMUSD’s Summer Adventure camp. Roz celebrated her Bat Mitzvah with Rabbi Zach Shapiro and was mentored by Rabbi Laura Geller. Since then, she has sought new ways to develop her Jewish identity after the pandemic disrupted her connection to her Jewish community. She participated in AJC’s Leaders for Tomorrow program and has increased her involvement at Camp Tawonga, where she just completed the Teen Leadership Institute. Roz plays indoor and beach volleyball for Samohi and is a member of the school’s award-winning choir program. She loves reading, spending time with friends, cooking with her mother, and hiking. 

Aria Lynn-Skov is a junior at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon, where she is co-president of both the Amnesty International chapter and the Jewish Student Union. She is also passionate about journalism and is co-editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper. She plays trumpet in her school’s band and is on her school’s debate team. Outside of school, she dances and she volunteers at her local library. She loves reading and writing, and in 2019 started a book blog, Book Nook Bits. In her free time, Aria can be found biking, reading historical fantasy, and hanging out with her cats. 

Jessica Primus is a sophomore at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She plays for the varsity tennis team, can recite the Suzuki guitar music books after years of lessons, and loves overloading her iPhone storage with too many poems. Jessica is an alumna of Camp Young Judaea Midwest in "Nowhere, Wisconsin" which has helped shape her Jewish identity immensely. She loves participating in public speaking events and helping people share their stories through writing. 

Talia Richmond is a senior at Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a co-president of Green Club, involved in sustainability research, and the student representative to her district’s Board of Education. She’s also involved with a global issues-focused organization called Future Problem Solving, for which she has developed a summer camp and educational program for elementary school students and founded an international student advisory committee. At her synagogue, she is a madricha for b'nai mitzvah students. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, swimming, and making glasswork art. 

Shiraz Rothschild is an eleventh grader at the Thacher School in Ojai, California. Born in Chicago, she lived in Beijing for 13 years and now calls Arizona home. As co-head of her school's Jewish Student Union, she leads Jewish themed activities and discussions. She is also a member of BBYO, having attended IC and a BBYO conference in Japan. As a tri-sport varsity athlete, she plays basketball and runs cross-country and track. When she’s not balling on the courts, you can find her hanging out with friends from her dorm, studying Chinese and Hebrew, or eating her dad's famous shakshuka. 

Eva Stern is a senior at Hawken School in Cleveland, Ohio. Eva dances at Shaker Dance Academy and spends her summers at Camp Micah, a Jewish summer camp in Maine. She spent a semester at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership in Washington, D.C. to pursue her interests of writing and activism. Eva is an active member of her school's Jewish Affinity Group, a leader of the House system at school, and participates in speech and debate. She loves all things dance, fashion, guitar, and history, and can be found listening to Taylor Swift or the Beatles. 

Lucy Targum is a sophomore at Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, where she writes for the school newspaper and participates in the Jewish students’ affinity group. Lucy is also a part of her school's intersectional feminist organization and environmental club. She spends her summers at URJ Eisner Camp in the Berkshires, which has inspired her to strengthen her Jewish identity and help others do the same. Lucy is passionate about reproductive rights and voting accessibility, among other issues. In her free time, Lucy enjoys playing guitar, jogging, and listening to the music of Phoebe Bridgers. 

Elah Tuchshnieder, a senior at The Emery/Weiner School, partakes in journalism as the assistant editor to the school's website, The 9825. Elah serves as vice-president to the school's booster club, where she bolsters ruach and student engagement. In cherishing her Jewish values, Elah is the co-chair of her outreach for Israel club, and a proud member of JSERVE’s leadership cohort for 3 years, educating youth on the importance of creating their own Jewish identity. Outside of school, Elah has spent 7 years playing volleyball, being a camper and counselor at CYJ Texas, dabbling in MUN, embroidering, and binge-watching New Girl. 

Talia Waxman is a senior at the Fieldston School in NYC. She is Editor-In-Chief of her school’s political journal and a columnist for her the newspaper. Talia is also an editor for Fieldston’s literary magazine. Talia is passionate about science and has spent the last four summers interning at a research lab at Mount Sinai Hospital. She and her family are members of Darchei Noam, a partnership Minyan which follows Orthodox customs but allows women to participate fully. Talia has attended Camp Ramah in the Rockies since the fourth grade and looks forward to being a counselor there. In her free time, Talia likes to watch Gilmore Girls, read, and jog in Central Park. 

Sara Weinstein is a rising junior at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland. She loves history, poetry, and politics. Sara is a captain on her school’s debate team and its quiz bowl team. She teaches at her synagogue's Hebrew school and works as a counselor at Camp JCC. Sara’s poetry has been published in several anthologies, and Sara was awarded the George Washington Leadership Prize at Maryland History Day for her essay on the Evian Conference. In her free time, Sara searches for local bookstores and listens to history and true crime podcasts. 

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Meet the Fellows." (Viewed on April 17, 2024) <http://jwa.org/risingvoices/fellows/2024>.