I’m Leor, Nice to Meet You

178238_434570453267530_38110646_oHi! My name is Leor Rosen, and this fall I will be a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. In approximately three weeks, I will embark on a four week trip to my homeland, Eretz Yisrael. As a Hadassah Leader for Tomorrow Award recipient, I will be blogging about my experiences throughout the trip.

For my first blog post, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. To be honest, talking about myself is not one of my favorite things. Seeing as I have to write about a million college essays in the coming year, however, I might as well get used to it.

I grew up in a Young Judaean family.  My mom and dad met at Camp Tel Yehudah as counselors (still crossing my fingers that this will happen to me) and both went on Young Judaea Year Course. My parents instilled a love for Judaism and Israel in me through weekly Shabbats, Jewish Day School and Young Judaea camp, and family trips to Israel. Luckily, many of my parents’ Young Judaea friends live right next to us, so we have a mini Young Judaea community which has been there for me throughout my life and helped me grow up.

I decided to follow the same path that my parents did and have attended Camp Judaea (CJ) in North Carolina since fourth grade and went to Camp Tel Yehudah for the past 2 summers. This summer, I am working at Camp Judaea as a Madricha (counselor) in Training. Going to Young Judaea camp has definitely been one of the best experiences of my entire life. At camp, I have met some of my best friends, learned more about my Jewish Identity, and found a second home. Camp has taught me how important community is and it has shaped my view of being Jewish. Camp has definitely shaped my personality and the person that I am today. A t-shirt I bought when I was in 4th grade definitely describes how CJ and Young Judaea has shaped me. It reads: “Young Judaea making losers cool since 1909.”

My grandmother, mom, sister, and I are all lifelong members of Hadassah (my grandmother made me a life member for my Bat Mitzvah).  My parents have always inspired me to be independent and not let any societal constraints dictate my life.  One of my largest passions is women’s issues. At Camp Tel Yehudah last summer, I participated in the Hadracha leadership program and was part of the domestic violence social action group. As part of this amazing program, we lobbied Congress about important domestic violence issue. After that experience, I knew that I wanted to do more.  This past year, I was an intern at the National Women’s Law Center. At the NWLC, I was exposed to the many nuances of women’s issues. I am also part of my school’s feminist club. I plan to continue to pursue my passion and, after hopefully going on Young Judaea Year Course, hopefully study women’s issues in college.

In addition to my passion for women’s issues, I am a dedicated leader and passionate about my work in BBYO. I am currently the president of my chapter and have held previous positions such as Vice President, President of Membership, and Head of Communications. My work with BBYO has helped me to grow as a leader and a person.  I have learned how to better interact with others, design and lead meaningful programming, and much more.

I also love to write.  This past year I was a news writer for my school’s newspaper, The Black & White, and I am now serving as the paper’s social media director. I have always loved being able to express myself through writing, so writing these blogs this summer will definitely be a fun thing!

As a young Jewish woman, I believe it is important to be a leader and inspire other young women to stand up for what they believe in.  I truly think that women can make a great impact on the world.  That is why I am so excited to go on Machon in a few weeks. I am looking forward to reconnecting with my homeland (I haven’t been since I was 10), to learning new things about Israel and myself, and to becoming a better and more informed advocate for Israel and on the issues that are important to me and my community.

Now that you know a little about me, I hope these blogs will become more personal. I want you to feel as if you are going on this trip right with me. I cannot wait to start this journey, and I cannot wait to bring you along!