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Rising Voices Fellow Caroline Kubzansky Behind Spools of Thread and Other Materials

Coloring in Between the Lines

Caroline Kubzansky

When I was in 6th grade, I hit a boy in my class over the head with my lunchbox because he called my best friend gay and said that my jacket made me look gay too. I knew that he wasn’t using “gay” as a nice thing, and I was infuriated on my friend’s behalf. 

Sara Hurwitz

Sara Hurwitz, the first Modern Orthodox woman rabbi ordained in the United States, has worked to help her community grapple with reconciling women’s participation and a strict interpretation of Jewish law.

Maya Franks at a DECA Competition

Shaking it up

Maya Franks

Shaking it up. I’ve never been a typical “shaking it up” type of person, per se. I’ve always been a more “nervously try to go with the flow and hope it ends well” type of gal. However, when I got that question, “How have you shaken things up in your community?”, not one experience came to mind. 

Pixabay Image of a Woman Crying

I Hate Being an Activist

Rana Bickel

My activism takes the form of words. Words that tiptoe out of my mouth and gently push others on a path towards justice.  But increasingly I find myself not being able to speak. Why? Because being an activist is making me miserable.

Student Council Yearbook Photo with Rising Voices Fellow Elisabeth Eigerman

Student Council Speeches and Politics

Elisabeth Eigerman

I love student council. I’ve served on student councils since sixth grade. Contrary to what television says, student council races are rarely competitive. In fact, I’ve only been in one race where there was actually an opponent, and even then it was pretty clear who was going to win. My sophomore year in high school, three people ran for three spots each year so there wasn’t even voting. Still, we had to give speeches. 

Rising Voices Fellow Abby Richmond on Election Day 2008

Halt the Hillary Hate

Abby Richmond

If you know anything about me, you know that I love Hillary Clinton. I’ve been infatuated with Hillary since 2008 when she ran against Barack Obama. One of the most iconic pictures from my childhood is a blurry photo of eight-year-old me holding a sloppily drawn sign for Hillary on Super Tuesday of that year. I didn’t know too much about politics back then, but I knew fervently that Hillary was my favorite candidate. 

LGBT Rights Protest at Independence Hall, 1965

The Sound of Silence

Eliana Gayle-Schneider

A large part of my upbringing was my exposure to progressive education. My middle school was one that nourished not only a love for learning, but a well-rounded approach to diversity in any form it may take, including sexual orientation. However, I learned that even this inclusivity was an extraordinary privilege and not everyone, my own parents included, was raised in such a tolerant community. 

"Grease" Rehearsal

Is Grease Sexist?

Elisabeth Eigerman

I once told a friend of mine that I think Grease is horribly sexist because the plot is basically: girl changes herself to get the guy. He responded, “I always thought it was her throwing off negative social norms. It’s not like the whole goody two shoes thing was good.” His sentiments versus my own are the crux of the argument about whether Grease is a sexist movie, or one that supports feminist ideals. 

Topics: Feminism, Schools, Music, Film

Belda Lindenbaum, 1938 - 2015

It was her determination to keep one foot firmly in traditional Judaism and the other in feminist ideals of inclusion that made her a model for so many of us.

Rising Voices Fellow Gabrielle Cantor in Color Guard (Cropped)

Evolution Revolution

Gabrielle Cantor

I am a member of the Marching Band and Color Guard at my high school. One challenge that we face as a group year after year is designing our costumes. The easy part is making the design fit with the show’s theme. The harder part is designing something to wear that everyone is happy with. 

Thrift Store Purchases

Feminism: Lab Science Or Liberation?

Delaney Hoffman

For the young woman, a thrift store serves as the proverbial laboratory of feminism. The reactants: bits and pieces of people left behind in coat pockets and skirt pleats (the people, hopefully, being solely metaphorical). The product: a newly formed sense of self, or the ability to form said sense of self. 

Rising Voices Fellow Rana Bickel Then and Now

Best Dressed Most Stressed

Rana Bickel

I used to wear tie-dye. A lot of it. I also used to wear awkward length skirts, brightly colored shirts, and sparkly jewelry. It was a middle school phase; everyone is entitled to one. But it was also more than a phase. It was the time before I cared what people thought of me. 

Noam Green as a Child

On Gender Expression, Elementary School Fashion Rebellion, And Ill-Fitted Polo Shirts

Noam Green

It is a general truism that in a society which prioritizes one’s physical appearance over one’s personality, dressing outside of the established norm is often a form of social self-ruin. It is also a general truism that the delicate ecosystem of Jewish private school isn’t the place most conducive to experimentation with gender expression through clothing. 

Jessica Posner Odede

Jessica Posner Odede first came to Nairobi with dreams of volunteering with a theater program, but her experiences in the slums of Kiberia drew her to co-found Shining Hope for Communities, creating a girls’ school as a hub for social services ranging from medical aid to clean power and water initiatives.

Madalyn Schenk

An education reformer who helped spearhead preschool programs for NCJW and United Way, Schenk focused her attention after Katrina on rebuilding schools.

Bluma Rivkin

Bluma Rivkin’s experiences of the devastation of Katrina and the struggles to rebuild were profoundly shaped by her humor, her compassion, and her work as a shlucha (Chabad emissary).

Bluma Rivkin

Accustomed as a shlucha (Chabad emissary) to helping those in her community, Bluma Rivkin went into action after Hurricane Katrina, first with the pressing concerns of finding housing and aid for evacuees, then with the larger task of rebuilding the community.

Viola Spolin

Searching for play therapies that could reach at-risk children, Viola Spolin created the “Theater Games” that gave rise to improv theater.

Deborah Waxman

In 2014, Rabbi Deborah Waxman became the first woman (and first lesbian) to simultaneously lead both a seminary and a congregational organization as head of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities.
Students at the Library circa 1910s

The Seditious Student: Small Steps to Rebellion

Ilana Goldberg

I do not break rules. I color inside the lines, a textbook example of a goody two-­shoes. This is mainly because I am afraid of what will happen if I am caught breaking the rules. More specifically, I am afraid of the question of “why.” I like to have reasons for everything that I do, and so a question like, “Why did you hop that fence?” or “Why did you eat ice cream for breakfast?” leave me feeling like a complete deer in the headlights. 

Topics: Schools

Henrietta Szold sends nurses Rose Kaplan and Rachel Landy to Palestine to begin the work of Hadassah.

January 18, 1913
"This is what your group ought to do … You should do practical work in Palestine."

Death of education advocate and art collector Margaret Seligman Lewisohn

June 14, 1954

“The schools will only be as good as we citizens desire them to be." Margaret Seligman Lewisohn

Carol Ruth Silver

Carol Ruth Silver was one of the first two white women to be jailed in the Freedom Rides, an experience that sparked a career in law and politics, fighting for the rights of others.

Rebecca Yenawine

Rebecca Yenawine’s unorthodox approach to a group of teenage vandals led her to create a unique art school for inner city kids.

Judy Wolf

Judy Wolf helped create a resource center for children with disabilities in the city of Dnepropetrovsk that not only transformed the lives of families there but became a model for special education throughout the Ukraine.

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