What's on our Mind 6-2-2023

It’s surreal to write this, my final farewell, as I depart JACPAC after my time as the Senior Fellow. It’s easy to want to change the world. It’s a whole lot harder to find the tools to do it. JAC gave me the tools and then some.
I started my first day over Zoom - stuffy-nosed and bright-eyed from Northwestern's COVID isolation dormitories. JAC was new to me, but exciting. I had long been politically-minded and politically active, but hadn’t yet found how to turn that active interest into a career. I knew I was passionate about advocacy for the Jewish community, especially for Jewish women, and I knew I liked to write.
Over the past year, I have learned about digital advocacy, fundraising, campaign work, legislative research, and effectively harnessing the power of language. I learned how to dream up an inspirational video and how to use words to move readers into donating more than $6,000 following the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, TX and the leak of SCOTUS’ Dobbs decision.
Working with a team of strong, Jewish women came with its perks; invitations to Passover Seders and Shabbat dinners, reminders to pay attention in class, and so much support. I can’t imagine a better internship to define my college experience.
As JAC has taught me time and time again, elections have consequences, not only for the constituents in that district, but for everyone - and being involved in electing lawmakers that support your issues can be the difference between security and catastrophe. There is power in passion and agency in action. I arrived at JAC with indescribable passion and I am leaving with the power to use it to make a difference.
I say goodbye to JAC with immense gratitude for the past year and excitement for what’s to come next.
With love,
Lily Cohen