Translating to "voices of women," 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 New York Area, this year-long fellowship will bring together teens to learn about gender analysis, feminism and social change, to use their expertise to teach their peers, and to ultimately complete mentor-advised projects that share their learning and leadership with greater New York Jewish communities.

The program will begin with intensive, in-person programming at The Dana Gershon and Rabbi Jonah Pesner Northeast Leadership Summit in September. During the year, the group will hold monthly virtual meetings where participants will learn from and teach one another. Two additional in-person workshops will happen mid-year to introduce participants to mentors, and at the end of the year to culminate the program and celebrate our work.

Kol Isha applications for the 2017-2018 cohort will be accepted through the first week of September 2017.

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

Kol Isha will kick-off at the The Dana Gershon and Rabbi Jonah Pesner Northeast Leadership Summit, held at URJ Eisner Camp from September 15-17. This retreat, hosted by the the Northeast Teen Collective, offers expert-led leadership workshops to 200+ teens from across the Northeast, NY, and NJ. Kol Isha Fellows will be able to participate in some of the general Leadership Summit programming while also dedicating time to begin our work and learning together.

Throughout this weekend and our first virtual sessions, participants will learn about fundamentals of feminism including feminist theory, history, and gender analysis, and will begin to explore activist leadership and models of social change.

In the second phase of the Fellowship, participants will self-select specific feminist topics to become experts in. These sessions will be 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 will 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 traditions, economic equality, gender’s impact on teen culture, feminism throughout Jewish history, body image, gender representation in politics, gender socialization within the Jewish culture, and intersectionality & Judaism.

In the culminating months of Kol Isha, our fellows will create and implement community-based projects that bring their learning and passions to the greater NY Jewish community. With the ultimate goal of using our skills and knowledge to create real change, small groups of fellows will work together with a mentor who can guide their project development and offer expertise relevant to the topic and/or type of project the group has decided to make.

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

Kol Isha: The Voices of Women
(pronounced like "coal ee-shah")

Historically,  the voices of women have been quieted in Jewish tradition.  Her views aren't found in the majority of our sacred text and her prayers are hushed in order to not disturb the men's concentration.  This program is about reclaiming the voice of women - the power we bring when we unite, and our ability to make change in our lives and in the world.

Kol Isha’s 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 through sharing visuals and utilizing virtual break-out groups.
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. NFTY’s New York Area Region (NAR) includes New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, NY, and Fairfield County, CT.

NFTY-NAR is thrilled to welcome teens to be a part of the Kol Isha 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 Isha: NY 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.

Kol Isha fellows will be asked to pay a participation fee of $475. This price includes:

  • $250 Tuition to the The Dana Gershon and Rabbi Jonah Pesner Northeast Leadership Summit
  • 2 In-person meetings throughout the year and end-of-year culmination
  • Opportunities to participate in supplementary webinars 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.

Fill Out the Application Now!

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until September 2017.

For more information please contact Imogene Winkleman, NFTY NAR Regional Advisor, at iwinkleman@urj.org.

Meet our program creator & director, Imogene Winkleman. Imogene works as Regional Advisor for NFTY's NY Area Region (NFTY NAR), working with teens on our Regional Board and cabinet members, as well as on programming and events for Reform Jewish teens from all over the NY Metropolitan Area.

Imogene graduated from Clark University in 2015 with a B.A. in Women's & Gender Studies and Psychology. Before becoming NFTY NAR Regional Advisor, Imogene worked in government relations for The Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services and served as an Activist Alliance Volunteer for the National Organization of Women's NYC Chapter (NOW-NYC). She has been running feminist youth programs, primarily focused on female empowerment and healthy self-image, since she was in high school, including overseeing Clark's All Kind of Girls program in college. Imogene has additionally worked with many feminist non-profits including Catalyst and Girls Inc. of Westchester.

September 15-17, 2017: Kol Isha Kickoff at The Dana Gershon and Rabbi Jonah Pesner Northeast Leadership Summit

Week of October 18, 2017: Monthly Virtual Meeting via Zoom (6:00 – 8:30)

Week of November 15, 2017: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 – 8:30)

Week of December 13, 2017: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 – 8:30)

Week of January 17, 2018: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 – 8:30)

Week of February 11, 2018: In-Person Meeting at NFTY NAR Winter Cabinet & Leadership Meeting in NYC

Week of March 11-12, 2018: NFTY NAR Albany Advocacy Day (optional)

Week of March 14, 2018: Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 – 8:30)

Week of March 25, 2018: In-Person Meeting at NFTY NAR Winter Cabinet & Leadership Meeting in NYC

Week of April 11, 2018Monthly Meeting via Zoom (6:00 – 8:30)

Week of May 12, 2018: Culmination at NFTY NAR NY Teen Leadership Summit in NYC