Pretty Soon We'll Be Taking Over: Voices and Perspectives of American Jewish Teenage Girls

By Beth Cooper Benjamin

Ma'yan, December 2008

This report examines the key findings of the inaugural Ma'yan Research Training Internship. The data, collected between June and September, 2007, document and affirm the complexity and contradiction we have witnessed in the lives of young Jewish women. These girls exhibit remarkable strengths and advantages: strong connections to parents and peers, meaningful ties to Jewish community and identity, ambitious professional aspirations and expectations for personal achievement, and social capital gleaned from material privilege. At the same time, girls' comments reveal deep ambivalence and confusion around material consumption, describing feelings of envy and competition with wealthy peers, and yet harsh judgment of the superficiality and materialism of other girls. The data reveal a persistent drone of pressure for girls to meet others' expectations: to excel in school, to please and support their friends, to satisfy their parents' expectations regarding Jewish life and identity, to serve others and make a better world. This report is meant as a resource to Jewish communal institutions, youth professionals, parents, and others committed to making the Jewish community a place where the next generation of Jewish women leaders can grow and thrive.

Topic: Gender, Youth, Survey, Social Issues

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Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Benjamin, Beth Cooper. Pretty Soon We'll Be Taking Over: Voices and Perspectives of American Jewish Teenage Girls. Ma'yan. December 2008:


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