Co-written by Rabbi Tamara Cohen (2018-19 Kol Koleinu A Teen Feminist Fellowship facilitator) and Rachel Gorman-Cooper a two-year participant of Kol Koleinu).
In mid-May, the 2018-19 Kol Koleinu fellows and their parents gathered on a sunny afternoon in Manhattan to celebrate their accomplishments. The afternoon was an inspiring and hopeful one, appreciated after a week in which women’s rights were newly threatened by Alabama’s anti-choice legislation. The fellows shared the interesting and thoughtful activism projects that they completed as part of the fellowship: a zine about feminism, a toolkit for exploring gender expression and clothing, and a thirty-day Instagram based self-affirmation and body positivity challenge. As the participants spoke about their projects, their sense of empowerment to be a force for change in their lives and the lives of their peers was palpable. It was enlivening to witness the community and the pride they felt about what they had learned and achieved. One participant, Rachel, shared the following reflection about her time in Kol Koleinu – how the fellowship not only transformed her understanding of feminism but also her understanding about herself.