Kol Koleinu: Teen Feminist Fellowship

Kol Koleinu (formerly Kol Isha) invites young Jewish feminists of all genders to explore and deepen their feminist knowledge, channel their voices to share their beliefs, and use their skills to create tangible change in their communities.

Open to Jewish high school students from the greater New York Area (including New Jersey), this year-long fellowship brings together teens to learn about gender analysis, feminism and social change, to use their expertise to teach their peers, and to complete projects that share their learning and leadership with their greater Jewish communities.

We’ll start the year together with a retreat in October. During the year, our group will meet monthly through virtual meetings where participants learn from and teach one another and from guest speakers. We’ll get together in person a few times throughout the year to meet our mentors, work on projects, and to celebrate our work. If you have a conflict, you are still welcome to apply! Please email us with any questions or concerns you may have.

For exact dates and more information, look below!

Apply Now!

 

Please email iwinkleman@urj.org or tcohen@movingtraditions.org with any questions or to be notified when our registration opens.

 

Program Details

Throughout the Kol Koleinu Fellowship participants will learn, teach, and create.

Part 1 – Learning & Exploring

Kol Koleinu will kick off with in-person programming at a retreat in October. We will use this initial meeting to build community and begin exploring fundamental pieces of feminist & Jewish knowledge. We will begin by exploring feminist issues through a curriculum that focuses on basics of feminist theory, gender analysis, feminist history, and methods of social change while utilizing Jewish teachings to explore values and understandings.

We will then use our first virtual meetings (via Zoom) to complete this first stage of the program, and to model what virtual teaching can look like for our fellows before they dive into their own peer-taught sessions.

Part 2 – Teaching Ourselves

In the second phase of the Fellowship, participants will self-select specific feminist topics to become experts in. These sessions are teen-led with participants learning by crafting and leading lessons, activities and discussions for their peers.

During these middle months, fellows will explore a broad range of topics based on their own feminist passions, and hone their teaching skills and gain understanding by doing.

Fellows will additionally have the opportunity to blog about their learnings and create online content that allows them to share their knowledge and voices with a greater audience.

Examples of potential topics include:  Feminism & Jewish tradition, feminist approaches to leadership, feminist approaches to violence, gender and power, gender’s impact on teen culture, gender and Jewish history, body image, gender representation in politicstransfeminism, men and feminism, gender socialization within Jewish culture, economic equality, and intersectionality & Judaism

Part 3 – Creating Community-Based Projects

In the culminating months of Kol Koleinu, fellows create and implement community-based activist projects that bring their learning, passions and leadership to the greater Jewish community. With the ultimate goal of creating social change, small groups of fellows will work together with a mentor who can guide and support their project development and offer expertise relevant to the topic and/or type of project the group has decided to make. Mentors will support the leadership development of fellows as they design projects that build their sense of themselves as leaders and activists while also addressing issues of concern in teens’ communities and beyond. During this phase of the fellowship, participants will experience the power of working with others, learn successful organizing skills, practice public speaking and writing on an issue about which they feel passionate, and learn through doing about the various kinds of leadership necessary for different phases of a campaign or project. 

Examples of potential projects include: social justice campaigns, educational events, events for programming for middle school-aged students, creation of toolkits for congregations, conducting a gender-analysis

Additional Fellowship Opportunities

Blogging

All participants will have the opportunity to create online content about their projects, learnings and experiences to be published online and shared more widely.

Feminist Field Trips

During the second half of the year, we will give our fellows the opportunity to plan their own feminist field trips in New York City.

These opportunities will be planned 3-6 weeks in advance, giving our fellows the opportunity to identify events, exhibits and content they want to explore together—for example, they may choose to organize a trip to a screening of a feminist documentary or a visit to an exhibit at the Jewish History Museum. These opportunities, while not required, will give our teens the chance to bond, learn, and experience relevant cultural events together.

North American-Wide Peer-Learning Sessions

We will together explore the possibility of participants hosting and leading public webinars, accessible to participants of all NFTY regions & Moving Traditions groups across North America and are envisioning ways for Kol Koleinu teens to have the opportunity to teach others from across the US and Canada. 

NFTY NAR Albany Advocacy Day

Our participants will have the option of attending Albany Advocacy Day, where they can learn advocacy & lobbying skills and lobby on a bill related to their Jewish feminist values. While this will not be required, it has been a great component to foster further teamwork and activism among our fellows.

Second-Year Fellows

Fellows who completed Kol Isha last year now have teaching skills and increased feminist knowledge to bring to the table. We will therefore offer opportunities for them to teach some of the building-block pieces at the beginning of the Kol Koleinu Fellowship and to explore more nuanced topics in their own teaches. 

Impact & Testimonials

Virtual Meetings

Our monthly virtual meetings are designed to allow participants to connect easily without taking time for travel. Using an online video platform, our meetings will allow for meaningful conversation and interactive activities, and will take full advantage of technology by sharing visuals and utilizing virtual break-out groups.

Cost

Kol Koleinu fellows will be asked to pay a participation fee of $300. This price includes:

  • Tuition for our opening retreat
  • 2 In-person meetings throughout the year and end-of-year culmination
  • Opportunities to participate in supplementary learning with feminist & Jewish leaders
  • Opportunities to create published online content
  • Expert mentoring in a small-group setting

Please email us with any questions. We will happily work with you to ensure that price is not a barrier to participation.

Dates

Dates for Kol Koleinu 2018-2019:

  • Weekend of October 12-14, 2018: Program Kickoff Retreat
  • October 24, 2018: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 PM – 8:15 PM)
  • November 18, 2018: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 PM – 8:15 PM)
  • December 12, 2018: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 PM – 8:15 PM)
  • January 16, 2019: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 PM – 8:15 PM)
  • January 27, 2019: In-person Meeting (Mentor introduction in NYC)
  • February 10, 2019: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 PM – 8:15 PM)
  • March 6, 2019: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 PM – 8:15 PM)
  • March 17-18, 2019: NFTY NAR Albany Advocacy Day (optional)
  • April 17, 2019: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 PM – 8:15 PM)
  • May 19, 2019: Culmination & Celebration Event

Apply Now

Apply Now!

Once you apply, we will send an acceptance email with sign-up details.

Please email iwinkleman@urj.org or tcohen@movingtraditions.org with questions.

Our Partnership

Drawing on the pioneering work of NFTY NAR’s Kol Isha fellowship in 2017-2018 and on Moving Traditions’ expertise and commitment to emboldening teens to challenge sexism through its Rosh Hodesh, Shevet and Tzelem programs and trainings, we are excited to be jointly launching Kol Koleinu. 

NFTY – the Reform Jewish Youth Movement:

NFTY is a movement that builds strong, welcoming, inspired communities through teen-powered engagement. Together, we pursue tikkun olam, personal growth, youth empowerment, and deep connections, all rooted in Reform Judaism. This year, teens from NFTY’s New York Area Region (NAR) and Garden Empire Region (GER) are invited to participate in Kol Koleinu. This geographic area includes New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, NY, Fairfield County, CT, Central and Northern New Jersey and the West Hudson Valley of New York (Rockland and Orange counties). 

NFTY is thrilled to welcome teens to be a part of the Kol Koleinu Fellowship as an opportunity for engagement in Reform Jewish social justice and interest-based skill development. We are excited for teens to participate in Kol Koleinu: Teen Feminist Fellowship as a year-long intensive program that runs side-by-side with other NFTY events and programming. Fellows will be invited to attend events, and encouraged to share their work with our greater community of Reform Jewish teens, but will not be required to participate in specific NFTY programming.  

Teens from all streams of Judaism are welcome and encouraged to participate. 

Moving Traditions:

Founded in 2005, Moving Traditions emboldens teens to flourish by fostering self-discovery, challenging sexism, and inspiring a commitment to Jewish life and learning.  As a result of the organization’s immersive teen groups, which run from 8th-12th grade and are led by trained adult mentors, 20,000 teens have grown to be confident and compassionate and are forging deep connections to Jewish life. Moving Traditions’ b’nai mitzvah program, launched in 2018, addresses pre-teens’ social and emotional needs with parents and youth of all genders. Moving Traditions recently renewed and renamed its teen groups, Rosh Hodesh for girls and Shevet for boys, and introduced Tzelem, the first national online and ongoing group to connect and engage Jewish transgender and gender fluid teens with the guidance of a trained adult mentor, offered in partnership with Keshet.  Moving Traditions is excited to be partnering with NFTY to offer current and former participants in Rosh Hodesh, Shevet and Tzelem as well as those new to our programming, a new way to deepen their learning about gender, expand their connections with Jewish teens who share their interests and commitments, and build their leadership and activist skills. 

Meaning

Kol Koleinu: All of our Voices (pronounced like “coal coal-ay-nu”)

The name Kol Koleinu was created as way to signal a feminism that is gender inclusive and a vision of a community that truly elevates and celebrates all voices. In many Jewish communities in the past, and in some still today, the voices of women and sexual and gender minorities have been quieted, silenced and/or sexualized.

The concept of Kol Isha (literally, the voice of a woman) was used to limit women’s leadership in ritual and communal life. Kol Koleinu is a name that is in dialogue with the concept of Kol Isha but which seeks to elevate not just the voices, activism, leadership of teen girls, but also the voices and leadership of gender minorities, and which consciously welcomes teen boys who want to use their voices to combat sexism and gender norms.  

This program envisions a community where all voice are heard and taken seriously, and where teens of all genders work together or side by side to make change in our lives and in the world.  

Leadership

Kol Koleinu will be spearheaded by Imogene Winkleman, creator of Kol Isha & NFTY NY Area Regional Advisor, and Rabbi Tamara Cohen, Chief of Innovation for Moving Traditions.

Imogene Winkleman is the creator of Kol Isha: Teen Feminist Fellowship—a part of her role as Regional Advisor for NFTY’s NY Area teen programming at the Union for Reform Judaism. Imogene previously worked in government relations at The Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services, has served on National Organization of Women of New York City’s Activist Alliance, and currently serves on Planned Parenthood of NYC’s Activist Council. Imogene has additionally served as a Rosh Hodesh Group Leader and oversaw All Kind of Girls, an all-female mentoring program, in college. She holds a B.A. in Women’s & Gender Studies and Psychology from Clark University.

Rabbi Tamara Cohen is the Chief of Innovation at Moving Traditions where she oversees the development of curriculum and new programmatic initiatives including Kol Koleinu, Tzelem, and training adults to work with Moving Traditions’ healthy sexuality curriculum. Tamara has worked as a spiritual leader and educator with a focus on Jewish feminist, LGBTQ, and multicultural issues for over twenty years. A writer and liturgist, Tamara is the editor of the Ma’yan feminist Haggadah and recently contributed an essay to Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian and Muslim Women on Why We Stay about her own Jewish feminist journey. She holds a rabbinical degree from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, an M.A. in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and a BA in Women’s Studies and English from Barnard College. Tamara lives in Philadelphia with her partner and two children. She has been a member of the B’not Esh Jewish feminist spirituality collective for over a decade and is thrilled to be working with teen Jewish feminists.