About the prompt: We asked each Peer Ambassador to share with us a pivotal moment in their Jewish journey, what being a Peer Ambassador means to them personally, and what value speaks to them. Stay tuned over the next few months to hear from all of the Peer Ambassadors.
Check out Hannah's blog post below as she shares about how her Jewish journey has inspired her to create on ramps for other teens in the community.
As a member of the Peer Ambassador team, I am beyond excited to get to learn, lead, and grow this year. Beyond all, however, I am so excited to try and strengthen the Jewish community in my area. Community mindedness, one of the four values that the Peer Ambassador program is centered around, speaks to me on so many different levels.
Personally, my Jewish journey started all the way back when I attended Jewish preschool, where I got to grow and play with a community of other Jewish kids and practice Jewish learning. Additionally, I have been a congregant at North Shore Congregation Israel (NSCI) since I was born, and I have been a song leader at NSCI for three years. I was fortunate enough to visit Israel in 8th grade and from that experience, I felt a whole new connection with the Jewish community there. I ultimately found my Jewish home at JCC Camp Chi where I met some of the best, most supportive people in the entire world. All of these combined experiences have helped me connect to the Jewish community.
My Jewish identity is a big part of who I am, and I owe that to the Jewish communities that I have connected to so far in my life. One of my biggest goals for this year is to try and build that Jewish community for some of the other teens in my area. I think that Judaism can have such a strong impact on a person if they are able to find their own place in the Jewish community. There are so many different places to become involved and not everyone will fit in the same. Personally, I have found my connection to Judaism at my temple and at camp, but I was connected to those places from an early age. I want to be that connection for others and help them find their place in the Jewish community this year, because it is never too late to become connected and find your community.
About the Author: Hannah is currently a junior at Glenbrook North High School (GBN) and she belongs to North Shore Congregation Israel (NSCI). Hannah is a member of the machonik leadership committee at NSCI and a regular song-leader there. She is also a URJ Song-leading fellow and completed the SIT program at JCC Camp Chi last summer. At GBN, Hannah is active in acapella, theatre, choir, and student government. She is also on the Speech team and volunteers for Relay for Life. Hannah loves to sing, act, hang out with friends, stargaze, and make smoothies.