During my sophomore year of high school, I was faced with a problem. I wanted to be more involved in the social justice world, but specifically through a lens where I could see the Jewish values I had learned so much about at my Jewish day school come into play.
I had no idea where to start my journey, but I was able to find a group of Jewish teens in the Chicago area with a similar goal as mine. We wanted to do better for our city wide community, and in the process, also better our own community, starting with ourselves. Through social media posts increasing our outreach, canvassing for projects, phone banking to raise awareness, and more, we each grew to be familiar with collaboration, patience, and community. Learning to handle disagreements and misunderstandings as a group helped us grow as leaders and individuals, but also created a family-like atmosphere of determined people in the process.
Since then, I have wanted to stay active within the Jewish activism community. As I learned more about organizations and programs, I noticed that there were not many spaces where Jewish youth could come together and share their modern day experiences, pleasures, or hardships. Being a part of Peer Ambassadors excited me as it is a space where teens can come together and create the spaces that are currently missing for youth like themselves. It allows your creativity to flourish and connects you with others to build communication skills.
In the future, I hope to continue my participation in the Jewish community and learn as much as I can about others and their identities.
Kayla is a lover of makeup, cooking, music, and running. She is currently participating in the Peer Ambassador program, and is excited to learn more about Judaism from youth around Chicago!