Moving Tradition’s Kol Koleinu fellowship, offered in collaboration with NFTY and USY, invites young Jewish feminists to explore and deepen their feminist knowledge and use their skills to create tangible change in their communities. We are pleased to welcome our 2022-2023 fellows.
Hallel Abrams Gerber is a junior at The Bronx High School of Science in New York City, NY. She is a member of Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale in Bronx, NY. Hallel is a writer for her school’s journalism program, a novice director for her speech and debate team, and an avid reader.
“Not only do I want to continue to embrace my Judaism and develop a more nuanced and grounded relationship to feminism but I am excited to take on biases, gain more perspective, and create a world in which everyone feels a sense of belonging. Being involved in Kol Koleinu has been a uniquely profound experience, from learning how to facilitate social change, to participating in meaningful discussions, to engaging with all of the other fellows and sharing our stories. I have loved being included in something larger than myself while tackling real issues and cannot wait to continue the process.”Rosie Ackerman is a senior at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, PA. She is a member at Beth Am Israel. Her favorite school subject is English, she’s an active member of Barrack’s drama department, and she’s the co-editor in chief of Gateway, the school’s literary magazine. In her free time, Rosie loves to read, write, draw, and play piano!
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I want to make new friends and learn from other people who are passionate about the same things that I am. I also hope to gain more confidence in my leadership skills.”
Eliana Balle is a senior at Oakwood School in North Hollywood, CA and belongs to Valley Beth Shalom. She is the president of her school’s Jewish Affinity group, the founder of the Appreciation for Women in Film club, and the captain of the debate team. She enjoys creative writing, mock trial/Model UN, and running track for her high school.
“My priority has always been creating tangible change. That’s why I applied for Kol Koleinu. I want to be able to build the skills necessary to create change in my community and beyond and Kol Koleinu perfectly fosters them. I look forward to being surrounded by other Jewish feminists with similar goals who can help me build a social justice project that I plan to center around gathering support and creating platforms for female Jewish politicians in order to increase representation in government.”
Frieda Belasco is a sophomore at Hastings High School in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. She is a member of Bet Am Shalom in White Plains and will be attending a summer BBYO program. She is a managing editor of her school newspaper, “The Buzzer,” and she is on the school’s softball and volleyball teams. She is a literacy volunteer at Neighbors Link, a local organization helping recent immigrants to the US. She enjoys reading, photography, and learning about history and other cultures. She loves to travel and explore new places.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am excited to learn more about how feminism intersects with Judaism, improve my leadership skills, and meet Jewish teens with different backgrounds and opinions. I hope to gain a greater sense of where my values fit in with others, and challenge and strengthen my beliefs. I also want to learn how to be a better advocate on social justice issues that I am passionate about.”
Lillian Berger is a junior at John T. Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC. She is a member of B’nai Israel Congregation. She is the funding and outreach coordinator for the Girls Learn International club at her school and plays clarinet in the marching band and concert band. Lillian is passionate about the environment and loves to read, rollerblade, and bullet journal.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I wanted to be a part of a caring, progressive, change-making Jewish community. I have never been part of a Jewish community like this before and I am excited to meet Jewish teens who have similar world views, ideas and politics as myself. I would like to do a project that shows the intersectionality of girls’ education and climate change.”
Inessa Berman (she/her) is a sophomore at Weston High School in Weston, MA. She is a member of Congregation Derech HaShalom. She is a member of a UN organization called “Girl Up!” and is also a member of the technical crew in her high school’s theater company. She enjoys writing and history and likes to watch movies and spend time with her friends in her free time.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu to have an opportunity to meet other Jewish teens who have similar interests and morals as me. I want to be able to form new connections with other fellows and learn effective ways to start and create change.”
Sophia Bilu (she/her/hers) is a junior at Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton, FL. She spends her summers at Camp Ramah Darom, she is the co-president of her USY chapter, and the vice president of her GSA. She belongs to Congregation Shaarei Kodesh and participates in the synagogue’s USY chapter. In her free time she likes doing ceramics, watching cartoons and documentaries, and hanging out with her friends.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because i want to connect to feminism and activism through Judaism. I hope that I can become more involved in activism and find what I am passionate about fighting for.”
Beia Blank (she/her/hers) is a rising senior at North Attleboro High School in southeast Massachusetts. She is a member of Temple Beth El Providence. She is the Social Action Vice President of NFTY Northeast and an engaged member and leader of the PROVTY and NFTY communities since 2019. Beia is a passionate music fan as well as a music producer, working mostly on solo music and occasional collaborations with fellow musicians.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu to expand my understandings of feminist action and create profound positive change within the spaces I occupy. Fostering my leadership skills and translating feminist values into my personal life and work on NFTY Northeast’s regional board are important aspects of what I aim to develop with involvement in this fellowship. Creating safe communities for all people, notably those marginalized by gender and misogyny, is important and integral to my participation in Kol Koleinu this coming year.”
Hannah Cohen is a rising sophomore at Minisink Valley High School in Orange County, New York. She is a member at Temple Sinai in Middletown. Hannah is a member of the book club, literacy club, student council, tennis team, and environmental club. With regard to leadership, she was chosen to participate in her school’s student ambassador program, which aims to prevent bullying and discrimination. Hannah is also a member of the tennis team at her school. She is a Temple Sinai member who raised $5,000 for the homeless as part of her bat mitzvah project. She also belongs to the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County and has participated in numerous Jewish youth groups and trainings about antisemitism and tolerance.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu hoping to learn more about social justice. I want to use the knowledge I will gain through this fellowship to help make a difference. I also want to advocate for women with disabilities, because from my personal experience and perspective, females with disabilities are at a double disadvantage, as they are often held back because of their disability and not taken seriously because they are female.”
Sadie Cohen is a junior at Watkinson School in Middletown, Connecticut. She is a member of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek. She is passionate about mountain biking, volleyball, reading, and more. She lives in Connecticut with her parents, sister, cat, and dog. Sadie is enthusiastic, funny and creative and is really excited about Kol Koleinu!
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am looking for a space to share my thoughts and ideas where I won’t be judged and where they will make a difference.”
Galya Diamond-Berman is a junior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD. She is a member of Tifereth Israel Congregation in Washington D.C. She is the president of her school’s Jewish Culture Club and plays soccer both in and out of school. She also helps to create her school’s yearbook as an executive editor. She attends Habonim Dror Camp Moshava and is also a part of the Habonim Dror North America Kvusta 73 Va’ad. She is a member of Tifereth Israel Congregation in Washington D.C. Galya is passionate about psychology and social justice. In her spare time, she enjoys playing soccer with her friends and playing the ukulele.
“I joined Kol Koleinu in hopes to develop better critical thinking skills as I learn more about Jewish feminism, I hope to gain a better understanding of important issues beyond the surface level of my prior limited Jewish feminist education. I hope to learn different experiences and thoughts from other fellows.”
Riley Dowell (she/her) is a junior at Mamaroneck High School in Mamaroneck, NY. She is a member of Westchester Jewish Center. She plays drums, guitar, and ukulele and for the past eight years, has been a member of her local travel soccer team. At her high school, she is on the yearbook staff, in the bee club, and a member of PACE (Performing Arts Curriculum Experience). She volunteers each week at Westchester Youth Council, a youth leadership program that promotes civic engagement among youth of all backgrounds. She spends every summer at Pinemere Camp, a Jewish sleepaway camp in the Poconos.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I care about Jewish tradition and how it can best evolve to meet the needs of changing communities. I am excited to spend time with like-minded people and learn leadership skills from our mentors.”
Eliana Duessing is a junior at Stevens Point Area Senior High in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She attends Mt. Sinai Congregation in Wausua and is a NIFTY participant. She loves swimming, reading, baking, and cooking.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I want to learn how to use my voice to create change. I have been interested in the abortion laws. I have participated in a walk out and wrote a poem about the effects of overturning Roe v. Wade. I want to learn what else I can do and how to make my voice heard.”
Alyssa Feinberg is a senior at Newton South High School in Newton, MA. She is president of the Technovation Girls Club and captain of the speech team at her school. Alyssa is also a member of Temple Emanuel. She enjoys singing as well as listening to music and is a member of the Boston Children’s Chorus. In her free time, she loves traveling, learning languages, baking, and reading.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I hope to further my knowledge about the intersection of my Jewish and feminist identities. I am excited to take action and enact change on issues that I am passionate about through a social justice project while working with others who are excited to do the same. I hope to use what I learn within and outside of the Kol Koleinu community.”
Sarah Feinberg is a senior at Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts. She is a member of Temple Emanuel and has previously participated in a Moving Traditions’ Rosh Hodesh group. She loves writing and is managing editor of her school’s newspaper. She is also student director of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at her high school and leads an interfaith group. She is a member of Temple Emanuel. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and baking.
“I am excited to be a part of Kol Koleinu to collaborate with other teens who are passionate about exploring their Jewish and feminist identities to advocate for change. I am also looking forward to creating a social change project, and I hope to use what I learn to educate and empower others to make an impact.”
Sophie Finkelstein is a Sophomore at Brookline High School in MA. She is a member of Temple Beth Avodah. She is the vice president of her school’s Banned Book Club and also a member of student judiciary. She enjoys reading, art, and aspires to crochet. Her favorite book is Circe by Madeline Miller, and when she is not in school she can be found picnicking with friends.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I want to connect with like-minded people about topics I feel very passionate about. I hope to have discussions that deepen my thinking and activism within my community.”
Leah Frankel is a senior at Boulder High School in Boulder, CO. She is a member of Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder, CO and attends Camp Ramah of the Rockies. She also participates in the Boulder JCC High School Culture Club. Leah is a middle child of three girls and has been interested in social justice issues from a young age. In her free time, she loves to sing, make art, read, hike, and listen to music.
“Kol Koleinu offers a space to explore myself as a Jewish feminist and have meaningful conversations with others who bring the same amount of enthusiasm to the space as me. I hope to deepen my relationship with feminist topics, and how it coincides with Judaism in my life.”
Hannah Fremmer is a senior at LaGuardia High School in New York City. She is a member of Anshe Chesed. She is an ambassador for the Manhattan chapter of Letters for Rose and part of Fridays For Future NYC. Hannah is a returning fellow who created a website connecting art activism to biodiversity loss last year. She is passionate about environmentalism, feminism, and painting.
“I reapplied to Kol Koleinu because I want to learn more about social justice. I hope to be able to connect with Judaism and meet more people with similar interests to me.”
Lucy Ginis is a senior at Redwood High School in Marin County, California. She belongs to Congregation Kol Shofar and participates in the Marin chapter of USY. She is active in her school leadership and participates in social action clubs. She is a synchronized ice skater and loves to spend time outdoors, biking or with her dogs.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am looking to expand my learning on Jewish and feminist identities while working with and learning how to educate others. I hope to gain leadership skills and bring aspects of intersectionality into our projects.”
Noa Glezer is a rising junior at the Heschel School in Manhattan, New York. She is a member of the Hesed and Tzedek Council on Heschel’s student government, the mock trial team, the Model UN club, the Dorot volunteering program, the girls soccer team co-founder, and captain of the Israel club. Noa is also a member of the B’nai Jeshurun community in New York.
“As a returning fellow I hope to continue developing my growing passion for impacting communities, and more specifically to gain the skills to reach communities that I’m not necessarily a part of. Additionally, in my cohort I hope to culminate an environment where learning about complicated topics and believing that we can be part of the solution is the norm. I want to set the tone of a cohort that can bond and be able to support one another in our learning, have enriching discussions, and inspire each others’ independent thinking and innovation.”Esmé Goldman (she/her) is a junior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in Los Angeles, CA. She is a member at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. She is a student in the cinematic arts department and is a member of the film society and the radio club. In her free time, Esmé likes to write, read, and hang out with her dogs and guinea pig.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I wanted to rekindle my relationship with Judaism in a way where I could help the community. I would like to do this by creating free arts education programs for youth and using my knowledge to help others. I hope to learn more about myself, as well as meet like-minded people who will teach me how to be the best leader I can be.”Alia Goldstein is a senior from Bloomington, IN. She is a member of Beth Shalom where she participates in the youth group. She is the president of Model UN and Student Council and does both club and high school gymnastics. She is interested in international relations and psychology, and enjoys reading and hiking in her free time.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I feel that education is the most important tool in fighting discrimination and this program will allow me to create informative resources that can be spread to my community. I am also excited to learn about new intersections between Judaism and feminism from other fellows and hope to refine my presentation and collaboration skills to help me make the greatest possible impact in our world.”Talia Gordon Wexler is going into her senior year at Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT. She is the head of the Jewish Student Union and Cicerones which is the school’s tour guide program. Outside of school, she likes to dance and travel with her family and friends.
“I want to continue to explore my passion for womens’ empowerment and I believe being a part of Kol Koleinu Teen Feminist Fellowship could give me increased confidence and opportunities to learn how to make meaningful change. Growing up Jewish and now experiencing an all girls education has grown a desire to mesh these two roots of mine into action toward both learning from and helping others.”Dhara Greenberg is a senior at the Northwest School in Seattle, WA. She teaches at her synagogue, Kadima, and plays ultimate frisbee. Dhara wants to study psychology in college, and in her free time she likes to paint and play the violin.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu to meet new people and gain new perspectives. I look forward to discussing problems that we see in our own communities and working to make change together.”Lucie Gundersen (she/her) is a senior at Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a member of Temple Beth El. She is the captain of her local rowing team and participates in a variety of clubs including Forensics, Future Problem Solvers and Model UN. She loves to spend time in nature, whether that means walking her dog, biking with friends, or hammocking in the park.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am looking to connect with a broader group of Jewish youth, who I can connect with over a shared interest in feminism. I want to make an impact in my community at home and learn about Jewish communities in other cities.”Serena Harris (she/her) is a senior at Wissahickon High School in Ambler, PA. She is a Wiss Link Leader, helping freshman acclimate to high school, and is an active member of both the Health Careers Club and National Honor Society. Outside of school, she is passionate about sports and community service. She has played for several Philadelphia area soccer and volleyball clubs and participated in the 2019 Atlanta JCC Maccabi Games. Serena is also a teen ambassador at Mitzvah Circle, where she leads teams of volunteers to pack essential items for families in crisis.
“I am excited about the Meyer-Gottesman Kol Koleinu Teen Feminist Fellowship to learn and advocate for social change. I am particularly interested in building self-confidence in girls, making STEM-related careers more appealing to girls, and reducing gender discrimination and stereotypes in sports.”Lily Katz is in tenth grade at Needham High School in Needham, Massachusetts. She is a member of Temple Emanuel. She is ecstatic to be a part of Kol Koleinu and can’t wait to learn more about social justice and spread awareness about the topics that she’s passionate about! She writes for her school’s newspaper and feminist publication and is a member of the student board of Students Acting to Make a Difference at her high school, in addition to competing on the speech and debate team. She loves taking dance and voice lessons, and spending time with her friends and family.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I care about the many dimensions of feminism and am deeply interested in exploring and engaging with the complicated relationship between feminism and Judaism. I am looking forward to continuing to diversify my feminism and Judaism, learning from passionate peers, and ultimately making change. I am so excited to have the opportunity to work towards a future where all are included and represented in the Jewish community.”Nadine Katz lives in Larchmont, NY with her family. She is a junior at Mamaroneck High School and a member of Larchmont Temple, Har Chayim Larchmont, where she participates in youth chorus. In the great tradition of the diaspora, Nadine is Argentinian through her mother and Austrian-American through her father, providing her with a truly globalist perspective. Nadine serves as the NFTY NAR Westchester-Fairfield sub-regional director. She attends URJ Eisner Camp and is a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. Nadine is currently working on her 5K and her German.
“My interest in participating in Kol Koleinu is rooted in my commitment to continuing to become an active participant within the Jewish youth movement—locally, nationally, and internationally. As a Jewish young woman, I have an obligation to articulate and educate my peers in circumstances where my understanding of feminism and gender equality can further social, political, and economic justice. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I feel compelled to support feminist values, fight for equality in female fields, and to create a space where women feel safe to do all that they should be able to and can be capable of. I hope that I can help my community, help women in certain aspects of feminism, and raise awareness!”Izzie Lehman (she/her) attends Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego, California and is a member of Congregation Beth Israel. She enjoys playing soccer and field hockey, as well as spending time with friends and family. She is currently a senior in high school and she is interested in learning about speech pathology in college.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I hope to connect with other Jewish teens in order to make an impact. I am excited to learn how to express my own voice and become a leader in any way that I can. I hope to share topics I am passionate about, such as normalizing a positive and healthy community surrounding food and our bodies.”Julia Levin is from Pikesville, Maryland and is a member of Beth El Baltimore. She is passionate about climate activism, social justice, and how they intersect with her Jewish identity. She is the lead of the Justice, Equity, and Anti-oppression team at Sunrise Baltimore, a member of the Climate Change Committee at her school, and is currently in the process of creating the first JYCM Kvutzah in Baltimore. In addition, she is a writer for The Postscript, her school newspaper, a fellow for Joe Vogel For Delegate, a member of her school’s Model UN team, and the captain of her school’s debate team. She is also Ashkelon BBYO #5407’s Shli, vice president of Jewish enrichment and community service, and a member of BBYO’s Maimonides Moot Beit Din team.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am passionate about feminism and tikkun olam. I want to help make this world into a better and more equal place and Kol Koleinu is an opportunity for that.”Emily Levine (she/her) is a junior at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, NY. She serves as co-president of her school’s Jewish Culture Club, is an active member of the debate team, and plays varsity softball. Emily has attended religious school and participated actively at Westchester Reform Temple for many years. She is passionate about the humanities and loves to read in her free time.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu in order to deepen my understanding of social issues in relation to Judaism. I have always been drawn to feminist causes and social justice as a whole, and I want to explore how Judaism can help fuel my advocacy. I am excited to meet a like-minded group of passionate teenagers and to learn strategies for creating positive change in my community and beyond.”
Nina McNay is a sophomore at Blue Valley Northwest High School. She belongs to Congregation Beth Shalom and participates in the local USY and BBYO chapters. She is a member of her school’s chorale, drama club, Tri-M Music Honors Society, and ukulele club. Outside of school, Nina is a third-degree black belt in taekwondo and enjoys dance, music, drawing, and reading. She is also very active in her local Jewish community.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am interested in building upon my leadership skills and meeting other Jewish teens. I am sure it will be a great experience and am very excited to be a part of the fellowship.”
Ari Merrill is a rising sophomore at Hunter College High School in New York City. He is a member of Romemu. He tutors and babysits, writes for the opinion section of his school newspaper, is vice president of the trans/non-binary alliance at his school, is regularly involved in putting on theater productions at his school, and and takes part in an advanced science research program. In his free time he plays guitar, writes songs, is part of a band, and enjoys reading, cooking, writing, and swimming.
“One of the topics I am most passionate about is improving education on trans identities, what it means to be trans, and how being trans intersects with other aspects of one’s identity and life. I think schools need better, more extensive curriculums on gender, especially at younger ages. I also feel that exploring my connection to Judaism through the lens of a project I’m passionate about would help expand and deepen that connection.”Amelia Metz is a rising sophomore at Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Queens, NY. Amelia loves to play softball and soccer and is into a bunch of other sports as well. She also loves doing art in her free time. Amelia is the co-president of her school’s speech and debate team.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am very passionate when it comes to women’s rights, and more specifically about protecting women’s right to choose. I am excited to have other young women to talk to about these subjects and to be able to take my knowledge from this group into my everyday life, and create change.”Avivah Mitchel (she/her) is a senior at Skyline High school in Ann Arbor, MI. She is a member at Temple Beth Emeth and participates in the local BBYO chapter. She is a co-president and tutor in her school’s writing center. In her free time she likes to be with friends, paint, make earrings with her mom, and help her dad on their organic family farm.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu as a returning fellow because I am looking to further my perspective and understanding on intersectional Jewish Feminism. I learned so much from our monthly calls, my mentor, and the spring retreat and would love to expand my knowledge even more. I can’t wait to work with another mentor this year and build strong connections with other fellows!”
Katriela Nelkin is a sophomore at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, New Jersey and lives in Highland Park, New Jersey. She is a member of Highland Park Conservative Temple Congregation Anshe Emet. She is an active member of her school’s Arts Council and enjoys acting in plays and musicals, as well as participating behind the scenes in set and costume design. Katriela is passionate about integrating the visual arts into projects both in and out of the classroom. On Golda Och’s robotics team, Katriela enjoys establishing alliances with other participants. She looks forward to collaborating with other Kol Koleinu fellows on social action projects.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu so I could learn how to be more engaged and impactful with my own feminism in a space with other Jewish teens whose goals are similar to mine. I hope to positively influence and bring about change in my school, shul and camp communities.”
Alex Nelson is a senior from San Diego, California and a member of Temple Adat Shalom. Alex first joined Kol Koleinu in 2021. Throughout her fellowship year, she learned more about her identity as a feminist, created a project that would help teenage girls in regards to sexual harassment and sexual assault, and created lifelong friends. Alex is so excited to be a returning fellow and not only continue working on her social projects, but also help new fellows in their journey through feminism.
“I reapplied for Kol Koleinu because of the journey I took last year. Learning about myself has allowed me to take new approaches to situations and problems in the world and in my life. I’m excited to learn more, do more, and meet more feminists that share similar ideals”
Rachel Penzner lives in North Carolina and will be going into tenth grade. She participates in student government at her school, enjoys reading in her free time, and loves Taylor Swift! Recently, she has worked to incorporate Holocaust education into her school district by speaking to teachers about necessary changes.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am a Jewish feminist who is interested in making change in our world. I want to connect with others who share this passion, and be able to learn from them and share ideas. I also applied because I am excited to work with mentors who will further my understanding of the change-making world”Talia Polish (she/her/hers) is a sophomore at Evanston Township High School in Illinois where she plays flute and is a yearbook editor. Outside of school, she is a member of the Actors Gymnasium Teen Ensemble, through which she teaches, learns, and performs circus arts. She is a member at North Shore Congregation Israel where she participates in the youth group. Over the summer, you’ll probably find her swimming in lake Michigan!
“I am interested in becoming a part of this team because I’ve become tired of feeling like I can’t do anything about social issues that need to change. Kol Koleinu gives me an opportunity to make a difference while meeting new people and traveling to new places! I’m curious to explore issues more deeply and see where the ideas may lead me to.”Reese Pollak is a (soon to be) tenth grader at Cleveland High School in Los Angeles, California where she participates in services at Adat Chaverim Humanistic Judaism. She loves art and film and is an anchor in her school’s weekly live news show. Reese listens to music constantly and adores Star Trek.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because not only am I looking to connect more to my Jewish heritage, but to use my Judaism to work on projects that I am passionate about and gain a deeper understanding of them. I am excited to see the community on Kol Koleinu and to learn from my peers to be able to improve the world though a modern community’s lens”Avi Noah Reddy (they/he) is a sophomore at Summit Preparatory Charter High School in Redwood City, CA. He is a member of Peninsula Temple Sholom where he participates in Keshet. He leads the Dungeons and Dragons club, GSA, and is in student government and debate club at his school. They like to write poetry and hang out with their cat, Stella.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I want to become more confident in myself and my opinions so that I am able to voice them better. I would like to focus on transgender people in feminism”Avery Schwartz is a junior at Littleton High School in Denver, Colorado. She is a member of Temple Sinai. She is involved in choir and theater, as well as the co-president of her school’s Jewish Student Club. She enjoys singing, reading, writing and being with her friends and family. “I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am looking to gain more experience and knowledge in Judaism and feminism, as well as how they intersect. I love learning and teaching and I am passionate about both topics. I hope to meet more people with my similar interests, and learn new things” Sylvie Simmons (she/her) is a sophmore at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA, and lives in Needham, MA. She is a congregant at Temple Aliyah. She is a member of Kesher, her school’s Jewish student club. Her favorite subjects are English and Social Studies, and she loves to read and write. In her spare time she likes to journal, play guitar, and watch Stranger Things and Heartstopper.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am excited and interested in learning how to create lasting, meaningful social changes by doing things I enjoy, like writing. I want to learn more about what being a feminist means and how I can make changes in my community while keeping my feminist values in mind. I am excited to meet and work with others who share similar interests and values with me”Rosie Smith (she/her) is going to be a senior at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, IL. She is a member at Temple Jeremiah. She participates in marching band and pit band, and tutors kids with Down syndrome. Rosie loves English and for fun she enjoys reading and biking.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu to have a place to connect, listen, and learn from other young Jewish feminists. I hope to develop skills as a leader and speaker, and create change”Hannah Stone is a junior at Mercer Island High School in Seattle, WA. She is a member of Herzl Ner Tamid and participates in BBYO and USY. She is a percussionist in her school’s marching band, concert band, and orchestra, as well as in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra. Hannah is a member of her local BBYO chapter and programming vice president in her USY chapter. “I applied to Kol Koleinu to connect with other Jewish feminists and create tangible change in both my community and across the nation by creating a website that includes the history of the feminist movement from the past century and what the future of the movement could look like. By educating people on what feminism means and its value to women and society as a whole across space and time, we can reinforce its importance to the modern world.” Serena van der Hulst is a rising junior at Conard High School in West Hartford, CT. She is a member of Temple Sinai of Newington. She is the co-president of her youth group, a member of the National Art Honors Society, an active member of the Women in STEM club, and a ballet dancer at the Hartt School. Serena loves computer science and math, and will always seize a day of clear skies to go on a long walk.
“Judaism has taught me to ask questions in uncomfortable situations and not be afraid to challenge what I do not believe in. I would like to continue down this path in my Judaism and ask these difficult questions about our society today through Kol Koleinu. I hope to have the opportunity to learn the perspectives of other fellow feminists and work together to question and diminish the gender inequalities that have become an integral part of society.”
Cameron Weismer is a Junior at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York. She is a member of Westchester Reform Temple. She serves as an advisor to incoming freshmen as part of her school’s Civic Education program, is a member of humanitarian group Women for Women, an editor of her school yearbook and an active participant in Jewish advocacy program Leaders For Tomorrow. She is passionate about women’s rights and getting involved to support religious, socioeconomic and gender equality.
“I believe everyone’s voice must count equally. I applied to Kol Koleinu to meet like-minded peers and learn to use my own voice to work alongside others to make this happen.”
Eve Weksler is from Boulder, Colorado and is a rising 10th grader at Fairview High School. She is a member of Congregation HarHashem. She loves to climb and compete with her climbing team during the year.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu to find a group with similar interests as myself. Through doing this program I hope to make change in my community and take action”
Brooke Wilensky is a sophomore at Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Miami, FL. She attends Temple Judea in Miami. She is vice president of Interact and a part of her school’s student council. She is interested in legal issues and loves to read and hang out with her friends in her spare time.
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I want to make a positive change in society. I would like to do this by promoting literacy and education for girls. I am looking forward to learning more about social justice from the other fellows and bettering my public speaking skills.”
“I applied to Kol Koleinu because I believe it will allow me to not only to grow as a feminist but as a Jew. I wanted to surround myself with people who are similar to me and don’t disregard what I am saying.”Rachel Zacky is a junior at Notre Dame High School in Los Angeles, CA. She is a part of mock trial and plays water polo. Rachel is a member of Adat Ari El Synagogue in Valley Village, CA and is their chapter’s USY co-president. She is passionate about helping others, and in her spare time she likes to read and spend time with her friends and family.
“I re-applied to Kol Koleinu because my experience this past year was like no other. I want to further the relationships and skills I built last year, as well as help new fellows develop their own. I can’t wait to see what this year has to bring and further my Jewish, feminist identity and journey.”