Teen collective finishes social justice project

The North Peninsula Teen Collective — which launched last December to help teens in San Mateo, Hillsborough and nearby cities connect to Jewish life — recently completed its first independent program.

North Peninsula Teen Collective’s first social justice fellowship

Twelve teens took part in the program, the Marcus Social Justice Fellowship, which met from February through May. For their social justice project, they  decided to focus on rape culture, namely combatting the normalization and trivialization of sexual violence.

Together they launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #NotMyCulture, made an educational video about teens’ daily exposure to rape culture, and created a web page with statistics, information and action plans (www.teencollective.org/notmyculture). The web page includes four quick ways to take a stand against rape culture, such as complaining to a radio station if it plays a song that promotes rape culture.

“It was extremely impactful to the kids,” said Dani Mahrer, director of North Peninsula Teen Collective. “We really want to continue doing programming … where they have ownership over what they do and what they create.”

The Teen Collective is the brainchild of four North Peninsula synagogues and is being overseen by URJ Camp Newman. Its launch came after it secured three years of funding from the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation. — sara weissman