Our Teen Program
Our teen program invites Muslim and Jewish girls to foster strong friendships that inspire a commitment to standing up for one another and fighting bias and hate in their own communities. Teens participate in national, online programming and local service and social events. The program creates long-lasting friendships between teens of all ages and from many different places.
National Teen Leadership Board
In the spring of 2021, the Sisterhood convened its inaugural cohort of the National Teen Leadership Board. Each year, a select group of teens is invited to collaborate with peer leaders from across the country to design and implement programs where fellow Jewish and Muslim girls can come together, learn about one another, and explore the intersections of their identities across faith, ethnicity, race, nationality, and other lines of difference.
National Teen Board members receive training from experts in various fields within the nonprofit sector and cultivate leadership and cross-cultural communications skills. They gain valuable insight into the workings of a women-led organization and spearhead teen-designed and teen-led projects that contribute substantially to the future of the teen Sisterhood program. Ultimately, their work will craft pathways for themselves and other young leaders to build bridges of interfaith understanding and use those relationships as a foundation upon which they can work collaboratively toward the establishment of more inclusive, peaceful communities.
Leen Alawneh is a proud Muslim and a high school senior in Sterling, VA. Some of her extracurricular activities include fencing and Girl Scouts. She has completed both her Bronze and Silver Awards in Girl Scouts and is continuing towards her Gold Award. One of her favorite places in the world is Jordan, where her family is from! In her free time, she enjoys drawing, painting, hiking, and watching Netflix. Leen participates as a sister in the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom in hopes of promoting peace and a positive image for Jewish and Muslim women alike. As a National Teen Leadership Board member, she hopes to continue building connections throughout the country between Muslim and Jewish women. She also hopes to reach and serve more communities through this position.
Madi Borer (she/her), is a Jewish high school student from Hillsborough, NJ going into senior year and a new member of the National Teen Leadership Board. She likes creative writing, reading, music, Taylor Swift, and spending time outside. She is a peer mentor and tutor and works at her synagogue's Hebrew school. The Sisterhood is an organization that has introduced her to so many wonderful people and opened her mind to so many ideas. As a chapter leader, Madi has begun to feel so much more comfortable with leadership, and she is excited to expand that on the National Board! She is excited to learn more about the cultures within the Sisterhood, understand new things, and make awesome new friends!
Elianna Calicchio is a rising junior from Bedminster, New Jersey. She is a Jewish member of her local Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom chapter. She enjoys theater, dancing, baking, and helping those in need. She participates in her school’s Key Club and Best Buddies board, and she is also a peer leader. With her fellow Teen Board members, Elianna hopes to get more people involved in the Sisterhood, help create more community activities, and have lots of fun in the process!
Feride Cosar is a Muslim teen and a high school senior currently living in NYC. She enjoys writing monthly articles for the school newspaper and hanging out with her friends in the city! She loves to read novels, listen to Turkish soft rock bands, draw/paint, and take pictures of her surroundings. Yearly, Feride joins the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to see what other artists and writers around the country have also created. Her favorite food is definitely Mediterranean, given that she adores her grandmother’s home cooking and was born and raised in Turkey.
Feride was introduced to the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom during the 2019 annual Sisterhood Conference. Joining events and collaborating with her co-leader, friends, and mentors has been a very insightful experience. By being part of the National Teen Leadership Board, Feride hopes to present new ideas, add depth to her networking skills, and form stronger relationships with the people in the Sisterhood.
Delia Erb-Wagner is a Jewish high school junior from Hillsborough, NJ. In school, she is a member of the PUSH/Rebel Club, the Interact Club, and PALS Club. Outside of school, Delia serves on the board of her temple’s youth group and as the Southern Engagement VP for the Garden Empire region of NFTY (The Reform Jewish Youth Movement).
Joining the Sisterhood has helped Delia connect with people of the same and different religions and to better understand the people around her. She has enjoyed serving the community, learning more about different cultures, and gaining friendships! Delia is excited to join the National Teen Leadership Board and is looking forward to spreading the Sisterhood further.
Sarah Feinberg from Newton, Massachusetts and is a first-year student at Tufts University. She is the Jewish co-leader of the Greater Boston Area teen chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. Outside of the Sisterhood, Sarah was an editor of her high school's newspaper and a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at her school. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and hiking.
She is passionate about social justice, learning, and community service, and during her time with the Sisterhood, she has learned so much from bringing members of the Muslim and Jewish communities together as a community. She really enjoyed her experience on the National Teen Leadership Board’s education subcommittee last year, and she is very excited to return as a member of the Board for an additional term. During her time on the Board this year, she hopes to continue to provide opportunities for building connections.
Rena Hammerman is a Jewish 10th grader from Westchester, New York. She loves to travel, spend time outdoors and hang out with friends. In school, she is a part of student government and leads the baking club. Outside of school, she attends Camp Ramah in the Rockies and is a lifeguard and a tutor.
For most of her life, Rena has been mostly involved with Jewish organizations. She is excited for the opportunity to broaden her circle. This is Rena's first year with the Sisterhood, and she is looking forward to meeting people with perspectives and backgrounds different from her own. She is excited to join this wonderful community!
Lila Handelman is a Jewish high school junior in Phoenix, Arizona. She writes for the school newspaper and helps lead a chemistry club at school. After school, she co-teaches an art class at her former elementary school. She enjoys babysitting and playing with kids. In her free time, she loves to cook, paint, and spend time with friends.
She joined the Sisterhood because she is passionate about creating spaces where Jewish and Muslim women can unite and empower each other while honoring their similarities and differences. Through her position on the Leadership Board, she hopes to engage in illuminating discussions with her peers and promote empathy and connection between other Jewish and Muslim youth.
Rachel is a senior from Westchester, New York. Rachel is involved in many activities including working as a camp counselor, serving as a youth court judge in her town, and serving as an ambassador for the arts.
Rachel learned about the tensions between Jews and Muslims firs hand while at a high school-in-Israel program and was drawn to the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom’s mission to foster connections between Jewish and Muslim teens. She is honored to serve on this year’s board.
Emma Kelner is a senior in high school and lives in Hillsborough, New Jersey. She grew up in an interfaith family with a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. Throughout her childhood, she attended a local synagogue in Hillsborough and had a bat mitzvah. She is currently an assistant second grade Hebrew school teacher. In her free time she pole vaults for both her school team and a pole vaulting club. Additionally, she loves to listen to music. Favorite artists include Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, Brent Faiyaz, and Lana Del Rey. With regards to the Sisterhood, she loves being apart of her Somerset County chapter. She loves the group they have and how much fun everyone has together learning about each other’s different religions and traditions! She hopes that on the National Board, she can find more unique opportunities for not only her chapter but others as well that combine aspects of both religions!
Taban Malihi (she/her/hers) is a Muslim high school senior from Newton, MA. She is interested in foreign policy, human rights, social justice, and public health. As the captain of her school’s Debate Team and Model UN club, she enjoys building and teaching key skills like public speaking and research. She also pursues advocacy and intercultural rapport as the founder of MESWANA (Middle East, Southwest Asia, North Africa) Coalition and her school’s DEI committee leader.
Taban finds great joy in building bridges, friendship, and collaboration with her Jewish siblings through the Sisterhood. She aims to provide a safe and welcoming space for interfaith community building, solidarity, and dialogue. Additionally, as an Iranian, queer person, and Shia Muslim, she emphasizes the importance of intersectionality, inclusivity, and global citizenship in her work.
Elayna Stein is a junior in high school from Baltimore, Maryland. She is an active member of the Jewish community in her city and is excited to be a part of the Sisterhood at the national level. In her free time, Elayna enjoys reading, playing field hockey, listening to Taylor Swift, and hanging out with her friends. She has served in student government as Vice President and as an elected member-at-large for her graduating class. She participates in the Sisterhood to foster connections with people of various faiths and to learn more about religious and cultural communities that are not her own. As a National Teen Leadership Board Member, Elayna wants to make a positive impact on the Muslim and Jewish communities. Additionally, she hopes to gain valuable skills and knowledge that will allow her to be a better leader and advocate in the future.
Julianna Stein is 14 years old and entering 9th grade. She is Jewish and lives in greater Baltimore, Maryland. She plays softball, participates in her school’s theater program, and has been an active member of Girl Scouts for eight years. She also works with children through babysitting and volunteering as a Counselor-In-Training at a local summer camp.
Julianna participates in the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom because she enjoys connecting with new people from different backgrounds and cultures. As a National Teen Leadership Board member, she hopes to learn more about the Muslim religion, as well as share aspects of her Jewish culture.
Sub-Committees of the National Teen Leadership Board
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