Farmington Hills native Emilie Weingarden continues her advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community through her passion for politics.

Featured photo by Corrie Colf

Emilie Weingarden, 17, has her sights set on learning about politics and developing inclusivity in the Jewish community.

Weingarden, a junior at Frankel Jewish Academy (FJA), became interested in politics while attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington D.C. last year with a group of students from FJA.

The goal of AIPAC is to improve relations between the United States and Israel while maintaining bipartisanship.

Weingarden’s participation with AIPAC continued into this year when she was one of seven high school students selected to go to AIPAC’s Progressive Student Retreat in Washington D.C. in early October.

“We were involved in conversations about the relationship between the United States and Israel and the issues that Israel is currently facing,” Weingarden said. “We heard from a lot of speakers including allies of AIPAC and even some Israelis. There was even one Palestinian woman who previously lived in the West Bank.”

Attending both AIPAC events has elevated Weingarden’s leadership experience, helping her to strengthen an organization she co-founded with her friend, Jack Harris, called Everyone for Equality.

Courtesy of Emilie Weingarden

Weingarden and Harris started this organization at FJA last year. Everyone for Equality is a LGBTQ+ alliance group that aims to create a safe environment for those in the community.

“The retreat this year focused a lot on LGBTQ+ communities in both America and Israel,” Weingarden said. “I was able to get contact information from speakers in the LGBTQ+ communities from both here and in Israel and learn how we can form a more inclusive environment at FJA.”

“Our goal is to make everyone feel equal and safe. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to attend the AIPAC Progressive Student Retreat so I could grow my knowledge and apply it effectively.”

In addition to serving as the co-president of Everyone for Equality, Weingarden also sits on the UMatter board as an ambassador. UMatter is an organization within Friendship Circle that encourages teens to end the stigmas surrounding mental health.

Courtesy of Emilie Weingarden

Weingarden resides in Farmington Hills with her parents, Meredith and Adam, and attends B’nai Israel synagogue.

Get to know more about Emilie Weingarden:

  1. Favorite food: Steak
  2. Favorite music: Pop and indie
  3. Favorite color: Blue
  4. Favorite genre of movies: Horror
  5. Favorite T.V. show: Grey’s Anatomy
  6. Somewhere you want to visit and why: Greece because it looks beautiful and I love the movie Mamma Mia.
  7. Biggest Supporter: My family and some of my teachers.
  8. Best Advice you have received: “Always be honest with yourself and others.”

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