A sophomore at Woodward Academy was among 10 teens selected from across the country for Jewish National Fund’s Sababa Fellowship.
As a fellow, Emma Cohen will be a participant in JNF’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. later this month, and in a series of webinars throughout the school year. Ultimately, the program culminates in a three-week service-learning trip to Israel with Roots Israel in July of 2020.
“I have always felt culturally and emotionally connected to Israel,” Cohen said. “Israel’s ability to transform a barren desert into a living community intrigues me.”
At Woodward, Cohen is a dedicated student, pursuing a diploma distinction in sustainability. She is a member of Woodward Serves, a student-led service club that supports both local and global projects, and the STEM Club. She also teaches Hebrew to the Yad B’Yad Club, which features “Lunch and Learns” with Rabbi David Silverman, guest speakers and community service programs.
“Emma is truly one-of-a-kind!” said McKenzie Lawson, Woodward’s Class of 2022 school counselor. “My favorite attribute about Emma is her gracious spirit. She exudes kindness and authenticity in all that she does.”
Lawson also said she was, “excited for the platform Emma will have through the JNF fellowship to inspire others and continue to grow into the extraordinary person that she is. Her leadership, compassion, and dedication are such an asset to Woodward and the greater community in which she is involved.”
Outside of school, Cohen is involved with a number of organizations, including Friendship Circle of Atlanta and Am Yisrael Chai. She also serves as a peer leader for JumpSpark’s Strong Women Fellowship, and she played ultimate Frisbee in the JCC Maccabi Games in July in the sport’s first year as an official inclusion.
While the JNF fellowship is a new experience for Cohen, the organization is not new to her family, according to parents Justine and Andre Cohen.
“We are thrilled that Emma was selected to pursue her passion for Israel, community service and sustainability through JNF, an organization that our families have been supporting for two generations,” they told the AJT in an email.
As for her response to receiving the Sababa Fellowship, Cohen said, “I am honored that JNF has given me the opportunity to physically bond with Eretz Yisrael and learn about their skills of exploration, sustainability and discovery.”