Introducing Rebecca Katz, New Or Tzedek Teen Programs Coordinator

Rebecca Katz

Hello Or Tzedek activists!

My name is Rebecca and I‘d like to introduce myself as the new teen programs coordinator for Or Tzedek. I am very excited to take on this incredible opportunity and help the program grow.

Teens have ability to create concrete change and inspire mobilization in Chicago’s diverse communities and I cannot wait to collaborate with you on projects for social justice. By using practical steps to become involved in Chicago’s social justice organizations, Or Tzedek activists are the antidote to the myth of uncaring modern youth.

A Brooklyn native, I attended non-denominational Jewish day schools for 12 years and graduated from Vassar College in 2010 with a degree in American culture. For my junior year, I studied post-conflict resolution in the Balkans.

Traveling through Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia, I witnessed different strategies used by organizations and governments to rebuild states torn apart by civil war and genocide. During college, I ran a weekly live teen radio show where I helped local students create their own original material. Podcasting can be a powerful tool for educating and advocating for social justice and I hope to utilize the medium in our programming.

After graduating, I worked as head hiking counselor at an international girls leadership camp, planning and leading three-day backpacking trips in the Catskill mountains. Over the course of these wilderness adventures, the teens stepped up as leaders of these microcosmic, multinational and interfaith communities.

Through these experiences, I discovered my passion for empowering teens to develop their voices and enact change in their communities. In search of new adventures and affordable rent, I moved to Chicago in November and found it to be anything but a “Second City.” I also found it to be quite freezing.

Now that summer has arrived, I have gotten the chance to explore the city with my bike. While I still question the superiority of deep dish pizza over thin crust, Chicago has begun to feel like home.

I would love to hear about your experiences with Or Tzedek and any and all ideas for the program’s future. Which aspects of the program changed the way you understood social justice and your community? Which parts would you change to be more effective in their message or activities? What programs and actions would you like to see Or Tzedek facilitate year-round?

Please let me know what you think or if you have any questions! Friend me on Facebook, email me at rebecca@jcua.org, or call me at 312-663-0960.

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