Though she is only 17, Jordan Rosh has been on an ongoing journey of self-discovery. Deeply introspective and philosophical, the Central High School junior attributes her past year in the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Diller Teen Fellows program, a leadership experience for 10th and 11th grade students, as a major stepping stone in cultivating her Jewish identity.
Along the way of this self-exploration, Rosh has also made a lot of new friends, both locally and globally.
Rosh recommends the year-long program for all teens who are looking for engaging conversation and speakers, meaningful reflection, peer-to-peer socializing, a family-like cohort of friends and more.
“Being in Diller gives you an incredible community, leadership and communication skills,” said Rosh, a 2020-2021 Diller Teen Fellow graduate. “The program gives you support and guidance in developing a project that has personal significance to you, the opportunity to meet people from Israel and to visit Israel, access to a network of Jewish leaders and communities, and really just a space to learn more about yourself and grow.”
We spoke with Rosh to learn more about her and her experience with the Diller Teen Fellows.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m not sure, but I want my career to revolve around supporting people in some way.
What’s a fun fact or two about you?
I went as Vanellope von Schweetz for two Halloweens in a row.
I wrote a (terrible) song when I was 3-years-old called “Birdies in the Nest.”
Where did you begin your Jewish identity journey with Diller Teen Fellows, and where are you now?
Coming into Diller, my identity had been primarily shaped by my experiences as an Asian Jew and by my perspective growing up in a family that emphasized Jewish culture and community rather than faith.
Since then, I have grown a lot; hearing tons of unique perspectives, such as those featured in our cohort staff leader Darren Rabinowitz’s presentations, those of guest speakers, and especially those of my peers, has broadened and deepened my understanding of the larger context my own identity resides in.
We spend a lot of time reflecting on both old and new knowledge, and through these reflections, I feel that the parts of my identity I already had have become much clearer, and as I incorporate new knowledge into my identity, it has become much more multifaceted and cohesive.
What is the most important thing you learned from the Diller Teen Fellows program?
The most important thing I’ve learned through Diller is how to understand and use the power my Jewish experience holds. That’s a ridiculously broad and vague answer, but I
think before Diller I didn’t really know how my Jewish identity played into my larger identity or how it could help me create change in the world.
Everything we do in Diller, from just discussing our ideas and experiences with each other to developing our tikkun olam projects has taught me to acknowledge and explore my Jewish identity, and ultimately how to use my knowledge to do meaningful work.
Applications for the 2021-2022 Diller Teen Fellows program are now open through June 25. To apply or to nominate a teen for this year’s cohort, visit jewishphilly.org/diller. For more information about Diller Teen, please contact Darren Rabinowitz, Diller Teen coordinator, at email@example.com.