Our RAC teen fellowship programs are learning intensives in community organizing, designed to equip our youth leaders with the skills to create change in their home communities. Through our fellowships, high schoolers connect with other social justice leaders from across the country and learn lifelong skills applicable to any issue they are passionate about. Our fellowships value experiential learning, moving beyond theory and Zoom training into action. Each fellowship culminates in teens designing and implementing a project in their home communities.

Our fellows are the leaders of our movement's social justice work today. They don't have to wait until they can vote, or until they are "grown-up" to make a difference - they can take action now. Our youth leaders finish the fellowships empowered and prepared to lead their peers in justice work.

In Spring 2023, we will focus on learning community organizing through a racial justice lens. The fellowship is the perfect next step after L'Taken, the RAC Social Justice Academy, or a summer at camp (though they're not necessary prerequisites).

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The fellowship is a learning-intensive designed to train high schoolers to be organizers in their home communities. Fellows will meet virtually for an hour once a week for six weeks to hone their leadership skills, learn about advocacy, and be involved in the RAC's work.

So much in our lives has been virtual in the last three years, including experiences that just don't have the same impact as they would in person. Unlike things like prom or recitals, our fellowships are designed to be online and have been since before the pandemic. This isn't your math class - it's connecting with other high schoolers from across the country that are just as passionate about making their voices heard as you are, and like a college class, you are responsible for your learning and getting the most out of our time together.

As a fellow, you'll learn community organizing skills, explore your own identity and what your sources of privilege and oppression are, the roots of racial inequity, skills to make your community antiracist, and complete a project in your home community. You get to learn, decide how you want to make an impact and be the leader that makes it happen. You also will have an incredible story to tell on college applications about your leadership.


We are looking for talented, enthusiastic teens who are interested in learning more about how advocacy, politics, racial justice, and Judaism relate to each other and all other aspects of social justice, as well as gaining the skills needed to be changemakers. Teens who are ready to grow, learn, and take on a little bit of leadership make excellent fellows.


We will explore what you are passionate about when it comes to social justice, learn how to build a strategy for making change and mobilizing our communities, and engage in advocacy with the RAC.


The fellowship will meet in the evenings in the spring for six one-hour sessions. There will be small tasks that fellows will be expected to complete between sessions (30-60 mins max) and a final project on a timeline picked by each fellow individually for your community.

Fellows design and implement their own project (within a few parameters) with support from a fellowship coach, a college student or a young adult with experience volunteering and working for the RAC and on campaigns.


The RAC uses a pay-what-you-can model for participation in the RAC Teen Justice Fellowship to make this program available to all who wish to participate. We have a suggested donation of $180 for Fellows, which includes the six learning sessions and support from RAC staff to complete your fellowship project. For some, this suggested fee is a barrier to participation; others may be able to contribute more to make this opportunity possible for others. Please pay what you can to support the work of the RAC.


When we do social justice work, it's important to explore our own identities and how they work to give us privileges or serve as sources of oppression. Jews of Color experience the world differently than white Jews. Affinity spaces based on race provide an opportunity for white people to process and discuss racism, ask questions, and have conversations without causing unintentional harm to People of Color. They offer People of Color a safe space to have honest and open conversations about their lived experiences, without having to comfort or teach white people in that moment. If you are a Fellow of Color (see our application for a more detailed explanation of what we mean), you have the choice to opt into being mentored by a Fellowship Coach of Color.

Tuesdays will be taught by Shoshana Maniscalco (she/they), a white person and the RAC Teen Justice Fellowship Organizer. She learned to organize and talk about race in college, but wishes she had these skills earlier. She has been involved with community organizing campaigns on all levels from local to national and is passionate about making sure teens have every tool in their toolbox they need to make change.

Wednesdays will be taught by Kelly Whitehead (she/they), who is a 4th-year rabbinical student and Jewish Nonprofit Management MA student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Kelly participated in the Reform Movement's JewV'Nation Jews of Color Fellowship, where they learned to create and facilitate Anti-Racial Bias training for Jewish communities. They also serve on the board of T'ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. 

Thursdays will be taught by Israel Harris (he/him), a Hispanic/Latino, Jewish American with Indigenous heritage, who is a current Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the RAC. His Racial Justice issue portfolio encompasses work on voting rights, criminal justice reform, reparations for Black Americans, and others, as he engages with coalitions and activists throughout the country to support policy initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels, along with his personal work at the intersection of arts and advocacy.

If you are a Jew of Color who wants to opt into learning from Kelly or Israel, please make sure you're available to attend Wednesday or Thursday sessions.


Are you looking for an opportunity where your teens can create experiences for their peers in your congregation? This year we are offering congregational cohorts for a group of teens from the same congregation the chance to participate in the fellowship and their projects together. If this is something that you would like to discuss further for your congregation, please reach out to Shoshana Maniscalco, Teen Justice Fellowship Organizer.

Ready to apply for the RAC Teen Justice Fellowship?

Fill out the interest form to tell us you are interested in the RAC Teen Justice Fellowship! We'll let you know when we're ready to launch the next cohort in the fall. Questions? Email Shoshana Maniscalco, Teen Justice Fellowship Organizer.


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