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 2020-2021 fellows.
Anina (Ani) Alpert is a junior at Lane Tech College Prep in Chicago, IL. She is a varsity Coxswain and passionate writer. Ani’s favorite activities include drinking excessive amounts of juice, learning to skateboard, and arts and crafts. She is a member of Mishkan Chicago where she volunteers as a teacher’s assistant in the religious school. I applied to the Kol Koleinu fellowship because it creates a space for like-minded teens to share and discuss important issues through a specifically Jewish lens. After graduating from a Jewish day school, I haven’t had taken part in any activities involving Jewish teens my age, so I’m excited to get to know the other fellows.
Leah Anderson is a senior at Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia, PA who loves animals, sports, and social justice. She attended Seeds of Peace Camp in 2019 and is passionate about the Middle East conflict and the way women are both empowered and marginalized around the world. In her free time, she plays piano and ukulele, paints with watercolors, and spends time with her three siblings, cats, dogs, goats, chickens, and geese! She is a member of Beth David Reform Synagogue in Gladwyne, PA where she is involved in Teen Tzedek Corps. I have always been passionate about social justice and am excited to learn more about race and gender, international women’s issues and Jewish feminism. I really want to learn all that can from Jewish teens all over the country and the Kol Koleinu group leaders and mentors. I hope I will make great friends while also making a difference.
Tess Armon is a sophomore at Abington Senior High School in Abington, PA. She is passionate about social justice issues like climate change and an active member of her school’s Builders Club. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and reading, in addition to volunteering at Sarah Smiles. She is a member of Congregation Adath Jeshrun in Elkins Park, PA. I applied to Kol Koleinu in hopes of expanding my beliefs on feminism. This program stood out to me because it focuses on both feminism and Judaism. While I have participated in Jewish programs in the past, I have not had a chance to strengthen my feminist beliefs and explore social justice issues in depth. My overall hope for this program is that it will educate me on lesser known social justice issues and introduce me to other Jewish teens with strong views on feminism.
Isabel (Izzie) Baron is a senior at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, CO. She plays varsity volleyball for her high school team, club volleyball the rest of the year, and is also a member of National Charity League. In her free time, Izzie works as a hostess at a local restaurant and enjoys baking. She is a member of Temple Sinai in Denver, CO. I applied to Kol Koleinu because it combined two very prominent themes in my everyday life: Judaism and feminism, as well as the broad theme of social justice. I’m extremely invested in politics and have identified as a feminist for as long as I can remember, which made this organization a perfect fit for me. I’m excited to be able to collaborate with people who have similar interests as me while also being able to tie ideas back to our Jewish identities.
Eliana Becker is a junior at de Toledo High School in Los Angeles, CA. She is active in Jewish communities such as Temple Beth Am Los Angeles and Camp Ramah in California. Eliana is passionate about writing and dance, and loves to paint, calligraph, bake, and play ukulele. She is a Rosh Hodesh alum. I am deeply connected to my Jewish identity and to my American identity, and to the extent that they sometimes feel like they exist on parallel tracks, I am interested in finding ways to integrate the two. I have an activist’s heart with feminism at my core, and at Kol Koleinu, I hope to acquire the tools to be an effective leader and advocate for change, now and in the future.
Gabrielle Biederman is a junior at Pacific Ridge School in San Diego, CA. Gabrielle loves to create all kinds of art and is passionate about animals and the environment. She is a member of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, CA and is involved in NFTY. I applied to Kol Koleinu in hopes of improving my leadership and public speaking skills, as well as further exploring something I’m passionate about: feminism. I am excited to bring together feminism and my Jewish identity to help make social changes. Ultimately, I hope to be able to make a tangible, positive change in my broader community.
Gloria Blumenkrantz is a sophomore at Frank McCourt High School in Manhattan, NYC. Gloria is passionate about fighting gender inequality, body-image negativity, antisemitism, and xenophobia. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, and photography! Gloria is a member of Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, NY where she is on the executive board of the synagogue’s youth group, BeSTY/NFTY and a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I wanted to deepen my knowledge and involvement in Jewish feminism. I am looking forward to interesting discussions and learning about the world through different lenses. Through this experience, I aim to create positive change in the world by helping create true equality for all peoples and reducing hate and harmful bias in our world.
Sari Bovitz is a sophomore at the Clinton School in New York City. She is a member of the theater program, Model UN club, and Gender and Sexuality Alliance at her school. In her spare time, she enjoys reading mystery novels, listening to music, and playing the baritone ukulele. She is a member of B’nai Jeshurun in NYC where she is a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. I applied to Kol Koleinu because it seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about my values as a Jew and a feminist. In the program, I am hoping to learn how to meaningfully affect change in my community on social justice issues. I am especially looking forward to meeting the other participants and spending time with them!
Michayla Brown is a sophomore at Immaculate Heart High school in Los Angeles, CA. She loves helping others and sharing her voice on important issues such as race and gender equality and animal rights. Michayla also loves to sing, dance and act, and listen to music. She is a member of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA where she is a member a Rosh Hodesh group and is involved in HoTY/NFTY. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I want to make a difference and contribute to addressing significant social and cultural issues. I look forward to meeting others with similar passions and goals, to protesting against harmful and cruel laws, and to participate in artistic, creative expression that furthers the cause.
Galya Cohen is a junior at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. She enjoys playing softball, singing, and acting. She was selected for the Drisha Summer Scholars program (2019) and the JOFA leadership program (2020). She is a member of Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale/Yonkers and The Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale. I applied to this fellowship because it will help me to connect with a variety of different Jewish teens and will provide me with an understanding of how my community may be different from theirs. Learning about feminism from other denominational perspectives will be very interesting as I have always learned about feminism in Judaism from the Orthodox perspective. I hope to learn a lot while sharing my own experiences.
Alexandria (Lexi) Cohn is a senior at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, IL. She is the co-founder and co-president of the GirlsCode club at her high school, a regional board member of USY, and is actively involved with Holocaust education through teen boards at the United States and Illinois museums. Lexi is passionate about social justice specifically through a lens of genocide education/prevention and in her free time loves to paint, bake, and spend time with her friends. She is affiliated with Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook, IL where she participates in USY. Kol Koleinu will allow me to continue my feminist journey – but instead, using Judaism as a lens to strengthen all pieces of my identity, instead of as a barrier preventing growth. Kol Koleinu will also help me reach my goal of using social justice tactics to explore genocide and systemic oppression of groups all over the world.
Jocelyn (Jo) Freed is a senior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, PA. She enjoys varsity rowing, working on her app STEAM Space, doing philanthropy through her business Jewelry for Justice, working with dogs, traveling, and spending as much time as possible swimming in the lake and ocean. She is a member of Temple Israel Lehighton in Lehighton, PA, is involved in BBYO, and is a Rosh Hodesh alum. I applied to be a part of the Kol Koleinu fellowship because I love exploring different parts of my identity and meeting like-minded peers. I enjoy learning about new things from others in a collaborative environment. There are so many things in my life I would have never thought to support if not for the enthusiasm of others; of people I admire.
Daisy Friedman is a senior at Central High School in Omaha, NE. She is president of her International Thespian Society troupe and Editor in Chief of her newspaper. Daisy loves theatre, and in her free time she likes to write screenplays and listen to music. She is a member of Temple Israel in Omaha, NE where she is involved in NFTY. I applied to Kol Koleinu, because I wanted a platform to be an activist in the Jewish community for women whose stories may not often get told. I am looking forward to collaborating with a group of passionate young teens to accomplish tikkun olam.
Maya Gardos is a senior at Croton Harmon High School in Croton on Hudson, NY. She is extremely interested in government and politics, having interned with local politicians and campaigns, and literature, running two book clubs for teenagers in Westchester, being Vice President of her school’s Shakespeare club, and creating a virtual Shakespeare mini-camp for middle schoolers. In her free time, Maya likes to read books, list geography fun facts, learn new things, and look at the stars! She is a member of Temple Israel of Northern Westchester in Croton on Hudson, NY and is a Rosh Hodesh alum. I have always had a strong sense of curiosity, an eagerness to know more that has pushed me forward on my quest to learn about my identity, my community, and the world. As a part of this fellowship, I look forward to growing my understanding of my identity as a Jew and as a feminist, learning not only from knowledgeable experts, but from fellow teenage Jewish feminists. Additionally, I hope to expand my leadership skills and, through an activist project, work towards making tangible change in my community.
Julia Gentin, a junior at Mountain View High School in Mountain View, CA, is excited to promote social justice in the form of this fellowship! She sees Judaism as a core aspect of her life, whether it be working at her synagogue or a dedicated volunteer for Friendship Circle. In her free time, she also runs cross country and track, teaches voice lessons in addition to singing, and always finds the time to venture into reading new books. Julia is a member of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, CA. Because I consider being a feminist and being Jewish extremely integral aspects of my identity, I would love to see the connection and learn more about social justice historically for Jewish women. I know that this is the main point of the program, so it may seem more surface level, albeit this is of course part of what drew me to the fellowship in the first place! I also would be interested to see how race and socioeconomic status contribute to current movements of social justice and again bring to light how history is repeating itself. By making myself culturally literate, I can dispel knowledge and propensity for change, which is what led me to applying for Kol Koleinu.
Noemi Gilbert is a sophomore at Central High School in Omaha, Nebraska. She has acted in several plays, worked backstage for many others, and is on her school’s improv team. Noemi enjoys reading, writing for her school newspaper, and gardening. She is a member of Temple Israel in Omaha, NE where she is involved in NFTY. I applied to Kol Koleinu for the amazing opportunities it presented for me to connect with like-minded young people and look at social justice through a Jewish feminist lens. I hope to learn more about intersectionality and how different issues are related.
Isabel Ginns is a sophomore at Montclair High School in Montclair, NJ. She plays field hockey and lacrosse for her high school. Isabel spends her free time working out and spending time with her family. She is a member of Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, NJ where she is involved in USY. I applied to Kol Koleinu to meet Jewish teens across the country with similar interests and views as me. I am looking forward to becoming a stronger leader, learning more about feminism and being a better activist. I really want to find a second family from Kol Koleinu.
Mabel Glaser is a sophomore at Mayo High School in Rochester, MN. She is an active participant in SOS club, a student-led organization that provides food, clothing, and hygiene products to high schoolers in her community. Mabel’s favorite subject is English and she enjoys reading, writing, and baking in her spare time. She is a member of Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park, MN. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I wanted to connect feminism and Judaism in a meaningful way. I am looking forward to discussing my beliefs, as well as connecting with other Jewish teens from all over the country. I hope that participating in Kol Koleinu will help further my understanding of Judaism, Jewish feminism, and myself.
Emma Green is a junior at Needham High School in Needham, MA. She is part of her high school’s sailing club, ski club and ultimate frisbee team. She enjoys these sports as well as reading, dogs, going to the beach, hanging out with friends and family and is also passionate about mental health. She is a member of Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, MA. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am interested in getting more involved in and learning about feminism and related issues in which I can take action, especially reproductive issues and the gender wage gap. I am also interested in connecting more with my Jewish identity and getting to know a group of other Jewish teen feminists.
Danielle Gruber is a senior at Village School in Great Neck, NY. She enjoys being outdoors and playing music, and currently works at the Laboratory for Computational Neurodiagnostics at Stony Brook. She is a member of the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore in Plandome, NY and is a Rosh Hodesh alum. Since becoming a fellow last year, Kol Koleinu has afforded me unique opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. Through teachings from other fellows and the development of my own social action project, I have learned more about how my feminism, Judaism, and activism interact. I look forward to another year of learning and growing!
Shoshana Hirschmann is a junior at the New York City iSchool and a member of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in NYC. She is involved in social justice groups and does work around electoral politics, school integration, climate justice, and Black lives matter. In her free time, she loves spending time with her friends and calling her elected officials. I am interested in being a part of the Kol Koleinu because I want to learn and deepen my understanding beyond what I know, see, and experience. I am particularly interested in learning about feminist theory – the nature of gender inequality and how we have come to where we are today. I want to deepen my understanding of how misogyny is embedded in our society and the continued effects of past practices.
Orli Hockenstein is a sophomore at Hunter College High School in NYC. She loves math, musical theatre, and baseball, and she never leaves her house without a book or her ukulele. She is a member of B’nai Jeshurun in NYC where she is a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. I applied to Kol Koleinu because this fellowship is a good opportunity to meet people who care about the same issues that I do and have meaningful conversations about hard topics. I hope that I will learn more about our world and the ways to fix problems in society.
Sophie Homberger is a junior at Minnetonka High School in Minnetonka, MN. She is president of Girls United Minnetonka chapter and Legislative Coordinator of the Girls United non-profit organization. She is excited to combine her passions for feminism and Judaism. In her spare time, she likes to read and spend time with family and friends. Sophie is a member of Bet Shalom Congregation in Minnetonka, MN where she is involved in NFTY and is her synagogue’s BeSTY president. I applied to Kol Koleinu because of my passion for both feminism and Judaism. I am looking forward to connecting with a group of strong young teens across the nation who are committed to advancing these same goals.
Maya Kendall is a senior at the Institute for Collaborative Education in New York City. She is the Membership Vice President of NFTY-NAR and plays soccer on her high school’s varsity team. Maya loves to paint and is passionate about STEM and LGBTQ+ inclusivity. She is a member of Brooklyn Heights Synagogue in Brooklyn, NY. Last year, Kol Koleinu was a place where I could truly express my identity free of judgement. I re-applied because I have learned so much about feminism, intersectionality, and Judaism throughout my Kol Koleinu experience, but none of it would be possible without the amazing connections I made with the other fellows and my mentors, I have made life-long bonds that I will cherish forever.
Genevieve Kennebrae is a senior at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, CO. She plays soccer for her high school team while also being a member of Key Club. Genevieve loves to cook and go hiking in the mountains. She is a member of Mikvé Israel-Emanuel in Curaçao. I applied for Kol Koleinu because as a biracial, bisexual young women, I believe their needs to be more representation within the feminist movement. I hope to connect with other feminists and bring light to the lack of intersectionality within the feminist movement in order to ensure people of all genders, race, and sexuality are included.
Cecily Kolko is a senior at Pittsford Sutherland High School in Rochester, NY. She plays ultimate frisbee on her school’s team and violin in the school’s symphony orchestra. Her favorite subject is math, and in her free time she enjoys reading as well as watching the WNBA. She is passionate about social justice and the environment specifically, and volunteers with the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition. Cecily is a member of Temple B’rith Kodesh in Rochester, NY and is involved in USY. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I wanted to complete feminist projects while focusing on increasing the intersectionality of my feminism in the context of Judaism.
Hannah Kupferwasser is a senior at Wildwood High School in Los Angeles, CA. She is a leader of the environmental and poetry club and is a part of her school’s student council. Hannah is passionate about social justice issues and in her free time she likes to read, write, and sing. She is a member of Temple Beth Am where she is in a Rosh Hodesh group. I applied to Kol Koleinu because being a Jewish woman is a part of my identity and it is important for me to explore more of how that plays a role in my life and to connect to others as well. I also am extremely passionate about social justice issues and being a leader in my community, and Kol Koleinu sounds like an experience where I connect with others who have a similar passion while also having different identities and opinions.
Adina Kurzban is a junior Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, CA. She enjoys politics, guitar, clothing design, and fashion. She is part of the organization Youth Over Guns, her schools’ Model Congress team, and participates in the Mayor’s Youth Council. She is a member of B’nai David-Judea Congregation in LA. I am passionate about politics and feminism and am excited to learn more about both. As a second-year fellow, I am looking forward to growing my activism project, which is about body image, and to learning more about different aspects of feminism.
Julia Lange is a junior at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, AZ. She is heavily involved in USY leadership, speech and debate, and is currently an intern with the Mission for Arizona Democrats and the Mark Kelly campaign. Her passions include activism, visual arts, Judaism, reading, and spending time with friends/family. She is a member of Congregation Or Tzion in Scottsdale, AZ. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I believe the program can give me the tools I need to be a better advocate for feminist issues and make a difference, both within the Jewish community and otherwise. I’m looking forward to having productive conversations with like-minded Jewish teens and making amazing friends along the way.
Zoe Lanter is a senior at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies in Los Angeles, CA. She is Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper, LACES Untied, and an editor at jGirls Magazine (https://jgirlsmagazine.org/). She likes to cook, embroider, and read. She is a member of Temple Israel of Hollywood in LA. I applied to Kol Koleinu for a community of young feminists. I wanted to hear different and new perspectives that I could bring back to my immediate community. I am looking forward to many engaging, deep discussions!
Ava Lifton is a senior at New West Charter School in Los Angeles, CA. She plays for her school varsity soccer team and serves as president of her class. Ava is an avid reader and loves writing. She is a member of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in LA where she is a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. I applied to Kol Koleinu as a second-year fellow because I want to further explore my feminist side and continue having stimulating conversations about topics I care about. In order to help women and men improve their relationships with their bodies, I will continue my activism project of creating a website that will give individuals a platform to share their stories and in turn, spread the message of self-love.
Isabelle (Izy) Lusk is a sophomore at The Beacon School in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, and lives on the Upper West Side. She loves to read, write, play the piano and ukulele, and snowboard. She is also an editor of her school’s literary and art magazine, Beacon Ink, and is part of the youth group BBYO. She is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ) in NYC. When learning about Kol Koleinu, I was really excited about the leadership opportunities it would create for me, and the relationships it would foster with my fellow participants. I’m excited to start working with others on projects that involve controversial topics such as abortion rights and the wage gap between genders. Looking forward, I am hoping to learn more about feminism, and how to be a feminist in a world where it is much harder for women to speak out and fight for their rights.
Maya Martinez Lurvey is a sophomore at Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, CA. She serves on her school’s Diversity & Equity board and is the founder of a girl’s educational empowerment chapter. Maya plays for her school’s basketball, tennis, and softball teams and is passionate about neuroscience, and athletics. She is a member of Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center (PJTC) in Pasadena, CA and is involved in USY. I am committed to a lifestyle driven by feminist values, and I believe by participating in this fellowship, I will not only feel closer to my Jewish community, but it will also push me to continue making a change in the world around me. I am looking forward to connecting with fellow students around the country, and I hope to gain new perspectives through engaging conversations with my peers.
Mia Medney is a senior from Palm Beach Gardens, FL and this is her second year as a Kol Koleinu fellow. She is an active participant in Model UN, plays softball for her high school team, and enjoys taekwondo with a foreseeable goal of becoming a black belt. Mia’s favorite subject is science and in her spare time enjoys biking, baking, and cherishes her in involvement in her temple youth group and NFTY-NAR/STR. I re-applied to Kol Koleinu because one year in Kol Koleinu changed me as Jewish female feminist. I learned how many people out there are like-minded and was constantly learning from my peers. It was unlike diving into anything I’ve ever experienced, and I cannot wait to continue this journey as I know it has only just begun.
Dahlia Miller is a sophomore at The Beacon School in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn with her parents and older brother and attends services and Hebrew school at Congregation Beth Elohim, where she is also a madricha (teaching assistant), a youth group board member (BeSTY/NFTY) and a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. In her free time, Dahlia studies dance and is a longtime member of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Student Company, reads voraciously, and writes poetry. I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of a broader community of Jewish feminist teens from around the country, to see things from their different perspectives, to learn creative ways to implement change, and to work together to make a palpable, positive impact on our communities.
Malena Podolsky is a junior at Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles, CA. She is a member of Nachshon Minyan in Encino, CA where she volunteers at the Hebrew school and is a student ambassador for new students. She also enjoys playing sports for her high school soccer and track and field teams and is an avid reader. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I want to meet other Jewish teens who are interested in similar things as me. In my every-day life I don’t have opportunities to interact with many Jews and especially Jewish feminists so I think Kol Koleinu will allow me to make those connections.
Miri Pottebaum is a junior at Beverly Hills High School in Los Angeles, CA. She plays water polo and swims at her high school. She is active in many Jewish communities including Ramah in California and USY. She is a member of Temple Beth Am in LA and is a Rosh Hodesh alum. I feel it is my duty to constantly expand my knowledge of feminism so that I can always be ready to have constructive conversations about it. In addition, this fellowship will be a perfect opportunity for me to broaden my horizons and to more deeply enhance my already present leadership skills.
Samantha Reinstein is a senior at Vernon Hills High School in Vernon Hills, IL. She is very involved in Dare to Empower, which is her school’s female empowerment club, and she is also very involved in Best Buddies and the dance team. Samantha loves history, dance, music, and reading. She is a member of Or Shalom in Vernon Hills, IL and is involved in USY. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am very passionate about gender equality, and I want to further my activism by helping my community and other communities. I look forward to participating in enriching discussions and creating impactful friendships with the other fellows. I hope to learn more about gender equality and make an impact on others.
Emily (Em) Renetzky is a junior at El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills, CA. In contrast to the every-day warmth and sun of SoCal, you can often find Em training at her frosty neighborhood ice rink. Em is an avid nature lover who enjoys hiking. She also enjoys creating art in many forms like poetry, painting, and jewelry making from both new and recycled materials. Em is a member at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in LA. As a young Jewish feminist, I look forward to collaborating with my peers through Kol Koleinu. As young adults we need to channel our voices using our Jewish leadership abilities to make an impact on our generation and leave a path for future generations. Working with a mentor would be an invaluable opportunity to teach me to move through my future with confidence in making not only my voice, but the voices of my peers heard. The ultimate goal is a tangible change.
Samantha London Renzulli is a Junior at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, CT, where she runs cross country, works on the school newspaper, and sings in an a capella group. She is an ADL Teen Trainer, Merkaz Jewish Community High School Ambassador, and Founder of the Merkaz Mobile Mitzvot initiative. Samantha attributes much of her Jewish identity to her 8 years at URJ Crane Lake Camp. She enjoys singing, playing instruments, and furthering her Spanish and ASL proficiency. She is a member of Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT. My dedication to social justice and activism is born of my personal obligation to foster positive change and raise my voice for all the voices that are silenced. I am excited for Kol Koleinu to provide me with resources to invoke meaningful change and amplify my voice. I am looking forward to being surrounded by empowered, dedicated leaders, like myself, who can encourage my activism, cultivate my identity, and elevate my understanding of what self-empowerment means for a woman in today’s world. I am proud to have this opportunity to lead and learn and to work to be a role model, like those who inspired me, for the power and necessity of female resolution.
Sasha Rosenfeld is a junior at Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ. She co-founded her school’s current events club and participates in Congregation Beit Simchat Torah’s teen learning program (in NYC). Sasha is an alumna of the Jewish Women’s Archive Rising Voices Fellowship, which fostered her love of writing. She is passionate about Judaism, feminism, social justice, teaching kids about climate change, food, and her friends. She is a member of Congregation Beth El in South Orange, NJ and is involved in USY. When my Hebrew school administrator told me about Kol Koleinu, I heard the words Jewish, feminist and activism and my ears perked up. I think that the Kol Koleinu fellowship will help me refine my voice, help me articulate my thoughts and learn to make effective arguments to inspire change in my future endeavors.
Laine Schlezinger is a senior at Burlingame High School in Burlingame, CA. She is an active member of her school’s GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) and plays flute in her high school Wind Ensemble. Laine is passionate about mental health and wellness, and enjoys writing and drawing in her spare time. She is a member of Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, CA and is a Rosh Hodesh alum. I applied to Kol Koleinu it merges my two passions for progressive Judaism and intersectional feminism. I am excited to explore feminist theory and develop my leadership skills, and I hope this opportunity will leave me a stronger activist and young, queer Jewish woman.
Hannah Foster Schrader is a senior vocal major at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, where she is co-president of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance and vice president of the Public Forum Debate team. For the past three years, Hannah Foster has served as the student chair of Project Cicero and has written plays that were produced and performed as part of the Writopia Worldwide Plays Festival. In her spare time, she likes to write and play guitar. She is a member of B’nai Jeshurun in NYC and is a Rosh Hodesh alum. I am really interested in feminism and social justice, and I am always looking for opportunities to explore them, especially through a Jewish lens. I think that while I do consider myself a feminist, I want to learn more about exactly what that means and the roots of the movement.
Claire Schwartz is a senior at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, IL where she is a member of the swim team, Mathletes team and the co-president of the Girls Coding Club. Outside of school, Claire follows her passion for social justice as an active member of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, and the co-founder of her local March for Our Lives chapter. In the future, Claire hopes to use her knowledge of coding with her passion for social justice to write programs that will help make the world a better place. She is a member of Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, IL where she serves as a board member of her youth group (JeTY/NFTY). I applied to Kol Koleinu because I am passionate about Tikkun Olam and making the world a better place. I believe one way I can do that is by learning how to stand up for women, especially because I identify as a woman and am interested in pursuing a career in the currently male-dominated field of computer science. Kol Koleinu is an opportunity for me to learn how to use my voice as a teen in order to feel confident representing women in STEM and learn other ways I can stand up for equal rights in my everyday life.
Hannah Stober is a junior at Newton South High School in Newton, MA. She is the Social Media Manager for her school’s theater department and is the Religious Education Vice President for her synagogue’s (Temple Emanuel) USY chapter, where she is also a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. Hannah loves to sing and act and spends most of her free time in rehearsals for a school show or practicing with a choir. I applied to Kol Koleinu because of the unique experiences it provides for participants, and because I would like to learn how to create a real change in my own community. My hope is to soak up as much information as possible and then try to positively impact my community.
Allie Tarkoff is a junior at Bentley Upper School in Lafayette, CA. Her interests include lacrosse, saxophone, tennis and a variety of water sports. She is a passionate advocate for social justice and has specifically focused on research and advocacy around body image among teens. Allie has also developed an interest in international law and human rights through a recent summer program. She is a member of Temple Isaiah and is involved in NFTY. I re-applied to Kol Koleinu in hopes of continuing my activism project about body image and learning how to use social media and my platform to make positive change in the world. Through the fellowship, I hope to develop my activism project further and maybe work on other feminist / social justice issues. I have been working on issues of immigration for several years and the skills I hope to learn through Kol Koleinu will help me to be a better advocate for these issues.
Paulina Tein is a senior at Ransom Everglades school in Miami, FL. She loves to explore the outdoors through hiking, camping, and scuba diving. Paulina enjoys making pottery, going for runs with her Pomsky, and is the regional director of a non-profit that teaches kids to code. She is a member of Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest, FL. I applied to Kol Koleinu to reach my fullest potential as a young woman, activist, and leader. I am excited to be a part of a group that has the power to make positive change, both within the group and out in society.
Hope Wahrman is a junior at Lower Merion High School in Bala Cynwyd PA. She enjoys theatre, running, baking, walking her beautiful dog Meredith and destroying the patriarchy. She is a member of Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, PA and is a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. I applied to Kol Koleinu to meet other Jewish feminists like myself and to learn more about intersectional feminism, the empowerment of all women regardless of sexual orientation religion, race, etc. I look forward to working together to combat social injustices and I hope to make new friends in this wonderful community while helping others.
Zoe Wertlieb is a junior at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD where she is the founder of her school’s Girl Up club, as well as co-captain of the varsity dance team, and co-director of the Girls Advisory Board at the Girls Leadership Organization. Zoe enjoys playing volleyball, dancing, and she is very passionate advocate for human and civil rights. She is a member of Har Shalom in Potomac, MD. I applied to Kol Koleinu because I wanted to form a stronger connection between my activism and my Jewish identity. I have been a very strong advocate for all women’s rights for many years and have built up my leadership skills through various programs, which I have learned how to implement into my daily life as a female teenager. I am looking forward to learning more about how my Jewish identity influences my activism while getting to know other young Jewish activists! Read about Zoe in the Washington Jewish Week.
Julia White is a sophomore at Bentley Upper School in Lafayette, CA. She was the freshman editor of her school’s Yearbook program and has a Lower School student buddy that she tutors twice a week. Julia loves baking delicious gluten-free desserts as well as reading and watching movies and tv with friends. She is a member of Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland, CA and Temple Beth Jacob in Oakland, CA, and she is a member of a Rosh Hodesh group. When I originally applied to Kol Koleinu, I did it with the intention of learning new ways to express my thoughts and ideas on modern day feminism, while also building on an already strong Jewish foundation in my life. I strongly believe that Judaism and feminism share many core truths and overlap in several powerful ways, which I am looking forward to exploring during my time in Kol Koleinu!