School: University of New Hampshire, Class of 2021
Major: Community and Environmental Planning with a dual major in Sustainability
Minor: Political Science
Favorite Jewish Food: Knishes
Favorite Non-Familial Jewish Person: Rachel Ellis
Favorite Jewish Holiday: Sukkot
What was your Jewish background growing up?
I belonged to Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead and worked as a madricha for seven years. I tutored for both Judaic Studies and Hebrew. I went to a Jewish preschool, attended Hebrew School, and had my bat mitzvah in 2011. Growing up, I went to Camp Simcha in Middleton, and Camp Eisner in Great Barrington. Additionally, I did BBYO in high school and was extremely involved with NSTI [North Shore Teen Initiative, now called the Jewish Teen Initiative].
You were involved with StandWithUs and the Lappin Foundation throughout high school, could you describe what that was like?
I became involved with Israel somewhat early on in my life. I was interested in the Middle East even before I went on Y2I. The Lappin Foundation gave me the resources I needed to become more involved, and I’m thankful for the experiences this organization has allowed me to have. My internship with StandWithUs was awesome. I applied on a whim and didn’t think I was actually going to get the internship. Next thing I know, I’m on a plane to Los Angeles to learn more about Israel on a national and international level. One of the best parts of StandWithUs was meeting people from all over the world come together and learn about Israel.
How would you say your Jewish identity differs as a Generation Z in comparison to the other generations?
I think in my generation, it is much harder to find and meet Jewish people. In other generations, Jewish people’s lives were much more centralized. In this generation, we need to actively choose to engage with other Jewish people. I grew up with two Jewish parents, so Judaism was all that I knew at home and pushed me to seek more Jewish connections. It’s much more different than the generation that my parents and grandparents grew up with. I was told the stories that everyone on my grandmother’s street were Jewish, all of her friends were Jewish, and I don’t even know if my grandmother had non-Jewish friends. As a young Jewish person today, you have to actively seek out Judaism – it’s not readily available for us. Additionally, because of so many intersectional identities, it takes us time to figure out where we fit into this religion.