Kol HaTnua - Voice of the Movement Summer 2018: Hadracha by Hannah Slavsky

By Sharon Schoenfeld

This past summer I participated in Camp Tel Yehudah’s leadership program, Hadracha. I learned a lot about what it means to be a leader. One of the many things we did this summer was going to Washington D.C to lobby for issues we were passionate about. At the beginning of the session, we split into 10 different groups, called Tikkun groups (from Tikkun Olam) that were based on various problems people face throughout the world. I was in the women’s rights Tikkun group. At first, we looked at many broad problems regarding women, including reproductive rights and the wage gap. As our trip to our nation’s capital approached, we decided to focus mainly on the topics we agreed were most important; reproductive rights and the wage gap.

The night we arrived in Washington D.C., President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace Judge Kennedy in the Supreme Court. This nomination played an important role in our trip because we educated ourselves on some of Judge Kavanaugh’s ideas for the future, as we already knew he was in the running to replace Judge Kennedy. We discovered that many of his plans would be very detrimental to women’s reproductive health for generations to come.  The next day was “Organization Day”. Each tikkun group split up and went to different organizations that were scattered throughout Washington. These organizations focused on some of the issues we were learning about.

The women’s rights tikkun group went to the National Partnership of Women and Families, Planned Parenthood and the National Council of Jewish Women. Each organization provided us with information about what they specialize in and gave helpful tips on how to lobby and speak to government officials. This was super helpful for the next day when we spoke with the staff of Representative Rosa DeLauro and Senator Susan Collins. These meetings were particularly important because we had the chance to try to persuade the staff of these significant representatives to vote against the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Because of this, as a group, we did our best to try and mention the important issues that could result if Kavanaugh is confirmed. Receiving this opportunity to have the chance to help shape the future of women was unique and something that doesn’t happen every teen.  

~ Hannah is an 11th grader from Plainview, New York and serves as the Administrative Vice President of the LI NYC region of Young Judaea.

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