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 Fall 2022, we are focused on mental health and social justice in the RAC Teen Justice Fellowship, which is the perfect next step after L'Taken, the RAC Social Justice Academy, or a summer at camp (though they're not necessary prerequisites).

What is the RAC Teen Justice Fellowship? 

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 two and a half 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, how to increase mental health awareness and reduce stigma, 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.

Who should apply to be a fellow

We are looking for talented, enthusiastic teens who are interested in learning more about how advocacy and politics relate to Judaism, and 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.

What will we do in the fellowship? 

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.

What is the time commitment? 

The fellowship will meet in the evenings for six one-hour sessions. There will be small tasks that fellows will be expected to complete between sessions (30-60 mins max), as well as 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.

How much does the fellowship cost?

The RAC is using 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 for 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.

Why does the application ask about my racial identity?

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 offer 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.

Are you a congregational professional with a group of teens interested in leadership and/or justice work?

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 spring. Questions? Email Shoshana Maniscalco, Teen Justice Fellowship Organizer.

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