The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
In the days and weeks since Parkland, we have seen remarkable action in our teens. They are working across racial, socioeconomic and geographic boundaries to create real and lasting social change. And we adults are exceptionally proud of them.
But this level of activism comes with costs. How can we support our kids through the psychological ups and downs of marching, of being ignored and rejected, of success and failure? How do we help the kids who are pushing for change during the day and crying at night? And how do we support the kids who aren't feeling much at all?
Rather than focusing on activism, this webinar is about helping our kids with the cost of activism. It's about helping them deal with the stresses of activism and allowing them to persist, to take time off, to quit and to begin again. Join Dr. Betsy Stone, Michelle Shapiro Abraham, Logan Gerber and gun violence student activists Aaron Torop, Zachary Hermann, Kathryn Fleisher and Blake Dickler to explore strategies and tools to help our teens in this new world.
Michelle Shapiro Abraham is the director of Learning and Innovation for the URJ Youth Department as well as a consultant for the Foundation for Jewish Camp and a clinical faculty member in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Executive Master of Arts in Jewish Education Program. She is a 2015 recipient of the Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.
Betsy Stone is a Yale-educated psychologist. Betsy has worked in the Jewish community for decades, as a therapist, a teacher, a youth leader, and as an adjunct instructor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she also sits on the Board.
At HUC-JIR, she has taught Pastoral Counseling to Rabbinic Students, Human Development to Education Students, and two courses on adolescents and emerging adults with the CAEA Certificate Program. She is a Grinspoon Award winner for her work with young teens and their parents and has developed a family education program for her synagogue that meets monthly and encourages meaningful conversations between teens and their parents.
Logan Zinman Gerber is the National Teen Campaign Organizer for the Reform Movement, working with high school and college students on our Gun Violence Prevention strategy. An alumna of the University of Wisconsin and the University of Chicago, Logan started her career working for Ceasefire, The Joyce Foundation, and Chicago Public Schools, and spent the last seven years working as the NFTY Chicago Director. She spends her free time running by Lake Michigan with her large spotted dog and searching for the world’s best chocolate chip cookie.
Aaron Torop is a senior at American University, a double major in Political Science and Jewish Studies. He helped organize the Capitol Hill Solidarity Walkout and Rally on March 14th and worked with NFTY and the URJ to plan and lead the Reform Movement's pre-March for Our Lives Gathering. Next year, he will be serving as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
Zachary is from Congregation Kol Ami in Vancouver, Washington, is the 2017-18 NFTY President. Zach was previously president of NFTY's Northwest Region (NW) and is an active member of his local Jewish Community. He has a passion for change, working as both a leader and team-player. He gives much of the credit for his determination and drive to his years at the URJ Camp Kalsman, URJ Kutz Camp, and NFTY-NW. Zach is committed to everything he does, always striving to perform to the best of his abilities and is ready to proudly represent the voice of Reform Jewish teens across America.
Kathryn Fleisher is a student at the University of Pittsburgh, studying politics & philosophy, gender, sexuality, & women's studies, and creative writing. She previously served as NFTY North American President and is a proud alumna of the URJ Kutz Camp, URJ GUCI, and the NFTY Northeast Lakes Region. Currently, Kathryn serves as a Kutz Camp Council member and as a member of the Religious Action Center's Commission on Social Action (CSA).
Blake is currently finishing up his senior year at Boston University where he is studying business and religion. Blake is a NFTY alum and attended the URJ Kutz camp as both a staff member and a participant and credits both of these organizations with aiding in his passion for social justice based in Reform Jewish values. Most recently, Blake helped mobilize Reform college students from around the country to gather in DC for the March For Our Lives and also helped organize the URJ's Saturday morning pre-march programming.