Hi! My name is Rachel Williams and I am very excited to be joining the JCUA Team as the Or Tzedek Intern this summer. The work that Or Tzedek does to teach teens building blocks of social justice grounded in Jewish tradition and identity is close to my heart, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this closely.
Some background on who I am and how I got to JCUA: I was born and raised in Johns Creek, Georgia, about thirty minutes north of Atlanta. This fall, I will be entering my senior year at Wesleyan University, where I double major in the College of Letters (an interdisciplinary program combining history, philosophy, literature, and a foreign language) and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. During my time at Wesleyan, I have been able to grow into my Jewish identity, my activist identity, and my identity as a Jewish activist–all of which influenced my decision to apply for the Or Tzedek intern position here at JCUA. Next school year, I will be a coordinator of Wesleyan’s Clinic Escorts, the Tzedek board member for the Wesleyan Jewish Community, and a member of Wesleyan’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. In my free time, I can be found reading, attending concerts with my friends, or (most often) sleeping.
The work I have done as a Jewish activist at Wesleyan has allowed me to form a deeper connection to both my activism and my Judaism. When I first heard of the Or Tzedek program, I was angry that I hadn’t heard of it sooner–so that I could have attended! I am looking forward to using my knowledge to help with the program as well as learning from the amazingly talented and dedicated people who work at JCUA. By the end of the summer, my goals are to plan a great Or Tzedek session for the participants and to learn more about Jewish activism in Chicago.