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.
Sakinah Ahmed is a senior in Bridgewater, New Jersey. She is a Muslim teen and plays field hockey at her high school. She enjoys painting, writing poetry, playing the violin, and spending time outdoors. At school, Sakinah helped create a Muslim Student Association in order to teach others about Islamic issues around the world and combating Islamophobia. She also volunteers at her Masjid with events.
She participates in the Sisterhood in order to connect with other Muslim and Jewish teens and learn more about both religions. She enjoys making new friends and being a leader within her community. She loves connecting with people in her own chapter and learning more about being a co-leader. As a National Teen Leadership Board member, she hopes to gain more leadership skills and be an active part of the Sisterhood. She looks forward to working with fellow Muslim and Jewish sisters!
Leen Alawneh is a proud Muslim and a rising high school junior school 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.
Feride Cosar is a Muslim teen and high school junior 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.
Tara Erdem is a Muslim high school senior from Wayne, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. She is a 2022-23 National Teen Leadership Board Member. She enjoys reading, traveling, listening to and playing music! She has Turkish roots and loves the food, music and culture it has to offer.
Through being a part of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, she hopes to learn more deeply about both religions, gain skills in leadership, and help connect two minority communities while forming lifelong friendships.
Sarah Feinberg is a senior from Newton, Massachusetts and the Jewish co-leader of the Greater Boston Area teen chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. Outside of the Sisterhood, Sarah is an editor of her school’s newspaper and is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at her school. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and hiking.
After attending the annual SOSS conference in 2020, she immediately wanted to become more involved. During her time with the Sisterhood, she has learned so much about the impact of bringing members of the Muslim and Jewish communities together to learn from each other and fight against hate. She is very excited to return as a member of the Board. She really enjoyed her experience on the education subcommittee last year, and this year as a member of the Board she hopes to continue to help provide opportunities for building connections.
Sadie Goldman—originally from Phoenix—is a Jewish, first-year student at the University of Arizona. Currently, she is studying psychology and Spanish with the hopes of venturing into Industrial-Organizational Psychology or dietetics for eating disorder recovery. She takes pride in her Judaism and is excited to further her journey at the U of A Hillel. On campus, she plans on involving herself with a variety of student organizations to carry her high school leadership to college. Sadie is passionate about community service, social justice, and raising mental health awareness. In her free time, she plays piano, watches stand-up comedy, and mountain bikes. Sadie participates in the Sisterhood because it allows her to cultivate confidence in conducting difficult conversations and learn about differing perspectives. She is excited to be on the NTLB because she values its safe and comforting space and its platform for building healthy relationships.
Chava Herniter is a Jewish high school senior from Highland Park, NJ. She loves art, specifically projects relating to textiles, and baking. She enjoys discovering new art styles, like book folding, which she recently learned. She also knits and crochets baby blankets, which she donates to hospitals for newborn babies.
The Sisterhood is filled with girls from all different backgrounds that are genuinely interested in learning about each other and helping the community. Chava is proud and honored to be able to participate in such a strong community. As part of the National Teen Leadership Board, she hopes to help foster these amazing relationships and help her community in ways she could not before.
Sabrina Lateef lives in Pittsburgh, PA and is in the 12th grade. She is a South-Indian Muslim from Hyderabad, India and is the Muslim co-leader for the Pittsburgh teen chapter. She loves reading books, playing field hockey, and hanging out with her cat, Butter. She is interested in chemistry, biology, and photography. At school, she is a part of the Upper School Student Council, co-president of the Asian Student Union, and a member of the Student Diversity League.
She joined the Sisterhood in the 8th grade. She loves learning more about others’ experiences and the community that the Sisterhood creates. Now leading her chapter for two years, she has loved seeing her chapter grow! As part of the National Teen Leadership Board, she hopes to contribute creative ideas and create a safe and fun space for discussion.
Wasan Rafat is a Muslim teen leader and a high school senior from Newton, Massachusetts. She is interested in social justice, public policy, and biomedical science. At school, she is captain of the Debate Team and president of her school’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter, both of which have enhanced her public speaking and advocacy skills.
Wasan decided to involve herself with the Sisterhood because she understands that the divide between Muslims and Jews has become wider and more intense with current events. She knows that in this conflict, no side is right or wrong. We are all human beings, each one of us with our own beliefs and the right to make our own choices. She chose to get involved with the Sisterhood because she wants to actively spread peace and understanding.
Laila Rihawi is a Muslim high school senior from North Wales, Pa. She is the Vice President of Girl Up and Democrats clubs, she is a tutor, and she loves to work. She is interested in baking, art, and design, and she’s always open to trying new hobbies and skills. She tries to travel, go to shows, and have new experiences as often as she can.
Laila participates in the Sisterhood because she is thankful to have found a safe space for Muslim and Jewish teens to be able to talk and express themselves when there often isn't a place in society for that. As a Board member, she hopes that she can help the organization continue to create discussion between these communities and, in return, learn about different experiences and lifestyles that she hasn’t been exposed to before. She is very excited for this opportunity and can't wait to see what the upcoming year has to bring!
Zara Salahuddin is a Muslim junior. She is 16 years old and has been part of the Sisterhood for two years. She is the Muslim co-leader for her chapter of The Woodlands, Texas. Zara loves to run and travel and is part of her school’s track and field team. The Sisterhood introduced her to so many amazing people who shake an unbreakable bond, and she cannot wait to meet so many more this year!
Maryam Syed is a South-Indian Muslim from Kerala, India. Currently, she lives in Bridgewater, New Jersey. She is a junior in high school and enjoys soccer, swimming, and basketball. She participates in the Sisterhood because she enjoys working with different groups of people who hope to make a positive, lifelong impact through nonprofit organizations. She hopes to collaboratively work closely with peers and participate in events together.
Maya Zimmerman is a Jewish high school senior from Pittsburgh, PA. At school, she helps run the Debate Team and Jewish Student Union. Outside of school, she is an active member in her Jewish youth group, serving as the social action chair on the regional level.
Maya has mostly circulated in Jewish-specific spheres her whole life, with limited exposure to different cultures. Joining the Sisterhood has helped her learn about a culture and religion different from her own. As a member of the National Teen Leadership Board, she hopes to increase the accessibility of the Sisterhood in more places and make it easier for other teens to foster the Sisterhood in their own communities.
Sub-Committees of the National Teen Leadership Board
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