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Summer Camps

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Milk Carton

Open Conversations and Dairy Products

by Ilana Jacobs

“Where are you thinking about going to college?” I’ve been asked this question by almost everyone I know. It feels like after your bat mitzvah, there’s a second rite of passage that no one tells you about: college decisions. Since the winter of Junior year, every conversation seems to take a turn towards schools. The question, “How are you?” has been replaced with, “How are the applications coming?”

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Molly Pifko at Camp

The Challenge of Teamwork

by Molly Pifko

Competitions can bring out the best in people. Unfortunately, they can also bring out the worst. Team competitions, even silly camp ones full of crazy outfits and team cheers, require leadership, and unfortunately, some leaders don’t value everyone’s voices equally.

Topics: Summer Camps
2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Katy Ronkin at Camp

From Camp Gyno to Women’s Health Activist

by Katy Ronkin

The summer of 2013 was when I taught my bunk at Camp Young Judaea that girls have more than two holes “down there.” Now for those uninitiated with the workings of a girls’ bunk, this may seem crazy or even obscene. However, for us, this was just another lesson in a long line of facts about the female body I had told my bunkmates that summer. 

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Diana Myers Wearing Tefillin

Binding My Religious and Feminist Identities Together

by Diana Myers

I started wearing tefillin at camp. I was fourteen and I had a lot of ideas about overthrowing patriarchal Judaism, and I thought it looked cool. Tefillin are traditionally worn only by Jewish men who have reached bar mitzvah age (thirteen), although Conservative and Reform Judaism, some of the more liberal sects of Judaism, are very accepting of women wrapping as well. 

2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Emma Bauchner at Camp

Deciphering the Code

by Emma Bauchner

Dress codes. If you’ve been on the internet in the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that teenage girls tend to butt heads with them quite a bit. You may have read about how blatantly discriminatory dress codes are when it comes to gender. You might already be informed about how they contribute to victim blaming, are a form of slut shaming, and reinforce rape culture.  Indeed, dress codes have become a sort-of gateway into feminist thought for teenage girls. For me, they were certainly a rude awakening.

Delaney Hoffman with a Camp Friend

On Feminism’s Place in a Conventional Summer Space

by Delaney Hoffman

My summer camp has rats in the walls and rotting wooden decks and haunted basements. My summer camp is hot and cold, made up of love and hate and freedom and restriction and myth and reality. My summer camp is more corrupt than the Brazilian government but still comforting enough to call it a religion. My summer camp is where I grew up two weeks at a time. 

Camp Ramah

People of Valor

by Hani Fish-Bieler

It's Friday night. I'm sitting in a big tent, surrounded by some of the greatest friends I've ever made. The smell of chicken soup wafts under our noses. A man walks to the front of the room, and we smile and link pinkies with the people next to us. This is it. The moment we’ve been waiting for all week. I take a deep breath and close my eyes as he begins in Hebrew...

Topics: Summer Camps
Rising Voices Fellow Noam Green at the People's Climate March Cropped

Moving Past My Passivity

by Noam Green

I was a relatively passive preteen. I was stuck in this mentality that my life wasn’t really going to start until I was older, that everything until then was just filler. Looking back at it now, I can acknowledge the internalized adultism that clouded my perception of the world, but am still regretful of this period of stagnation in my life. 

Pearl Willen

Pearl Willen’s term as president of the National Council of Jewish Women from 1963–1967 capped a long career of community organizing from the local to the international level.

Sydney Taylor

Sydney Taylor’s famous and beloved All-of-a-Kind Family series of children’s books were almost left unpublished and forgotten.

Tillie Leblang

With her husband and daughters, Tillie LeBlang created a multi–million–dollar box office that transformed the way Broadway shows sold tickets.

Irene Rothschild Guggenheim

Irene Rothschild Guggenheim founded the Brightside Day Nursery and made it her life’s work, overseeing children’s services from day care for newborns to vocational training for teenagers.

Rose Gruening

Rose Gruening created a number of social assistance organizations to aid immigrant families, offering practical help that included childcare, funding for college educations, and even a summer camp.

Selina Greenbaum

Seeing a need for young women to experience some freedom from the oppressive conditions of factory work, Selina Greenbaum created country resorts where women could take a much–needed vacation.

Sylvia Ettenberg

Sylvia Cutler Ettenberg shaped generations of Conservative Jews by helping found programs ranging from Ramah camps to the Prozdor Hebrew high school at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Shulamith Reich Elster

Called the dean of Jewish education, Shulamith Reich Elster’s career ran the gamut from camp counselor to executive director of a major educational nonprofit.

Rose Gollup Cohen

Through her moving 1918 autobiography, Out of the Shadow, Rose Gollup Cohen offered a vivid account of her life as an immigrant Jewish woman in the sweatshops of New York.

Jeanette Goodman Brill

As the first woman magistrate in Brooklyn and the second woman magistrate in New York, Jeanette Goodman Brill believed women had an aptitude and responsibility to judge cases involving women and children.

Libbie Suchoff Berkson

Libbie Suchoff Berkson was loved by generations of campers as Aunt Libbie, director of Camp Modin for girls.

Lizzie Spiegel Barbe

A cousin of Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, Lizzie Spiegel Barbe volunteered her energies to the National Council of Jewish Women and a variety of other causes in the Chicago area.

Jennie Grossinger

Jennie Grossinger became the driving force behind the famed Catskills resort referred to as “Waldorf on the Hudson.”
Jill Albert

A True Leader

by  Adina Karpuj

Jill Albert was radiant. She had an unmatched presence that could be felt by anyone touched by her warm embrace. She had a way of making all of the girls in my troop feel welcome, appreciated and unique. But her brilliance extended far beyond our small group of girl scouts: she baked cookies for her garbage men and always had a bowl full of Double Bubble in her car to give anyone who may have been having a bad day. Jill encapsulated the ultimate role model.

Couple and their shadows holding hands photo

Victoria's Secret, Shabbos Walks, and Interrogating Rape Cultures

by  Mimi Arbeit

I love guerilla feminism. And I love that this group of feminists from Baltimore used online guerilla feminism to critique Victoria's Secret and promote consent. And I’m not the only one who loves this stuff! I love the celebration of consent. I love the celebration of bodies. I love the way in which the campaign directly connects the concept of consent to our bodies—by putting it on underwear—showing that to touch my body, you need my consent.

Adrienne Cooper, 1946 - 2011

Beyond her extraordinary artistic accomplishments, Adrienne was a mentor, resource, and role model to so many who have lived, or at least sojourned, in Yiddishland.

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