In the Spring of 2019, Audi Hecht, former chair of the history department at Yeshiva University High School for Girls (Central) launched and taught a Civic Spirit elective she created and designed. As a culminating project, the students delivered to the entire school a Civic Arts Performance dedicated to fostering a sense of belonging.
In preparation for the Civic Arts Performance, the members of the Civic Spirit class participated in a series of workshops, sharing ideas, crafting original pieces, synthesizing musical elements, selecting iconic historical photographs, and collaboratively working under the guidance of a professional actor toward a collective artistic expression that they were proud to share with the school community.
During the show, a student named Leah recalled the legacy of Seneca Falls:
You fought long and hard
For a piece of paper that delegated your equality;
So let this, this ballot be a ballad to our strength.
This captivating soliloquy gave these young women an opportunity to feel grateful for their citizenship while recognizing the political process and sacrifice that ensured it. Leah’s words served to connect the young women in the audience to their country, their history, and the urgent value of their participation.
This post includes text from an article published in HaYidion: The Prizmah Journal, entitled “Teaching Civics in the Age of Polarization.”