By Rachel Mintz, JCUA Intern
Hello! My name is Rachel Mintz and I am the Or Tzedek Intern this summer. I am thrilled to be part of such an incredible program that educates teens about social injustice, gives them the tools to bring about change, and inspires them to act.
A bit about me – I grew up in Northbrook, Illinois and currently study Anthropology at Colorado College, with minors in Spanish and Feminist & Gender Studies. This past semester I studied social and political development in Ecuador while also interning at a feminist youth organization. I have spent nearly every summer for the past twelve years at Olin-Sang Ruby Union Institute, where I had the opportunity to work with and develop programming for Jewish teens. Outside of school and camp, I love to hike, sing in the car at the top of my lungs, and hang out with my family.
Interning for Or Tzedek feels like a natural step forward that incorporates my passion for social justice and several summers working with teens at OSRUI. I first became interested in social justice through my Introduction to Nonviolence course at Colorado College, which opened my eyes to a multitude of injustices, as well as nonviolent thinkers. This class inspired me to take more courses addressing issues such as racism and domestic violence, and to become a Co-Chair for the Colorado College chapter of Amnesty International. I have also spent the past three summers as a counselor at OSRUI. My favorite part about being a counselor was watching teens engage in discussions about social issues, because they often show more passion and hope than I see in adults! Or Tzedek allows me to pursue my interest in social justice and strengthens my belief that teen engagement is important for change.
I am also looking forward to exploring my passion for social justice through my Jewish identity. In the past, I have never seriously examined social issues from a Jewish perspective. Working with JCUA will give me a better understanding of the ways in which Judaism and social justice intersect to bring about social change.