jGirls+ is a online publication and community by and for Jewish non-binary and female identifying teens, led by a teen editorial board and a staff photography department.
The Ed Board, as we affectionately call it, is made up of sixteen people representing four US time zones and thirteen states. We review content from all artistic genres submitted from all over the US, and even the rest of the world. Submissions are open year-round, and we accept content on any topic. Since many (though not all!) of the pieces submitted deal with complex themes related to feminism and Judaism, through disscussing them, we are exposed to a wide range of perspectives and gain an appreciation for the diversity within the Jewish community. Just recently, we’ve published a retelling of the Purim story, an essay about how Jewish values inspire social justice, and a personal narrative about self expression through music. When reviewing a piece, we discuss everything from organizational structure to how it will appeal to our community of readers, and ultimately—through exposure to so many people’s unique artistic styles and perspectives—we become more intentional writers and artists ourselves.
It’s empowering to have so much autonomy over the decision making process when it comes to reviewing pieces, as well as about jGirls+ policies more broadly. In a world of hierarchies, jGirls+ is a model of equal participation and input by all members. Just recently we decided, after advocacy from members of our community, to add a plus sign to our name to better reflect our range of gender identities (we plan to adapt our name even further to better suit our demographic). While there are leadership roles within the magazine, everyone has equal opportunity to shape the direction and purpose of our organization.
Much of our job consists of emailing contributors. It is our responsibility to tell them whether or not their piece has been accepted, communicate necessary edits, and encourage them to submit again. There is an unbridled joy in helping other teens publish their writing or art—it's incredibly rewarding to see a piece go through multiple stages of edits and then share in a contributor's excitement when we let them know that the piece is finally on the website.
There is comfort in existing in spaces like jGirls+ where everyone identifies as Jews and feminists, and understands the intersectionality of our shared identities. However, perhaps more importantly, we also have a deep appreciation for the things that make us different. It is rare to find such an inclusive community of people who can balance serious passion with fun and friendship, and all value kindness, meaningful discussion, and the power of art.
We are currently seeking applications for both teen editors and photographers. Apply
here by April 14th! And be sure to submit your art and writing to jGirls+
Feel free to reach out to us with any questions at this email:
About the Authors:
Hi! I’m Joelle, and I’m a homeschooled member of the class of 2022, who’s grown up in Queens, New York, and Chicago, Illinois. I’m passionate about different forms of storytelling. When I was younger, my favorite activity in the world was having my mom read aloud The Wizard of Oz series by L. Frank Baum. Currently I serve on The Steppenwolf Theatre’s Young Adult Council and I’m a member of 826Chi’s Teen Writers Studio where my writing has been published in their chapbook Let Us Keep What We Love. In addition, I’m a Goodman Theatre Cindy Bandle Young Critic and I work for the Chicago Public Library helping to plan and launch their annual ChiTeen Literary FestIval. My interests also include health sciences and social justice.
I am a member of the class of 2022 at Adlai E. Stevenson High School and I live in Buffalo Grove, a suburb outside of Chicago. I play the flute in my school’s Honor Band and am a student leader in the marching band. I am also a part of my school’s National Honor Society chapter, as well as the Spanish Honor Society. I am passionate about learning about history and foreign languages (especially Spanish, Hebrew, and Yiddish) and enjoy taking visual art classes. In my free time, I love painting and drawing, switching back and forth between obsessing over The Office and Parks and Recreation, and hiking with my family in the woods near my house. I feel so fortunate to be a part of a community as inspiring and welcoming as jGirls+ Magazine, and I’m excited for my third year as an editor!