My name is Marissa Marczak and I am a college-bound senior from Virginia. This past year, I have dedicated my time to Friendship Circle as well as becoming more involved in my Jewish community. Some of the highlights of this year include becoming President of the Virginia Friendship Circle Teen Leadership Board, winning the Hadera-Eiron Partnership's Philanthropy Challenge, and attending Capitol Hill for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day. Last weekend, I had the honor of not only participating in TeenFest2Gether, but also hosting their session, “Riddle Me This”. This event was truly an enlightening and empowering experience that I will hold dear in my heart for years to come. Throughout this global pandemic, it has been a struggle for everyone, including the Jewish people, to adapt to the new rules of our societies. However, during the TeenFest2Gether, it was demonstrated to me once again that
During my session, our panelists and hosts interacted with Jewish teens from around the world. We were previewed to a plethora of opinions -- some of which we may not have agreed with. Though, this did not present a problem because during that night, we all recognized and embraced each other’s differences. This omnipresent mindset of inclusivity and positivity impacted me deeply in that it gave me hope for our future, which would be led by the very teenagers that joined our conversation that night. This was my first program through the Partnership Unit of the Jewish Agency and I know that it marks the beginning of my adventure through this organization.