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Children & Youth

Virtual Exhibition—What We Hold: A Youth Audio Project

Apr 11, 2021–Mar 18, 2022

The teen years are instrumental in the creation of a sense of self. They are also a critical time in the creation of what psychologists from The Family Narrative Lab at Emory University call the “intergenerational self”—a self embedded in a larger familial history.

What shapes us? Which family histories become our core stories? How do we make them our own? In the fourth iteration of What We Hold, teens ranging in age from fifteen to eighteen years old have created individual audio recordings reflecting on and connecting with their families’ stories of migration, resilience, acceptance, identity, and passion.

This year during the COVID-19 pandemic, teens from across the nation met with media professionals and artists via Zoom, interviewed family members remotely and in person, and recorded their stories. Each recording represents a connection made during this time of distance. Mitigating this historic period of physical separation between generations, this project helps bridge that divide and captures how teens and their families experienced this unique time in their lives.

This exhibition is presented exclusively online.


Listen to all of the recordings featured in What We Hold: A Youth Audio Project

Program partners

jGirls Magazine

jGirls Magazine is an online community and magazine written by and for self-identifying Jewish girls aged thirteen to nineteen. Content is created by teens and curated by a teen Editorial Board. jGirls accepts creative content in many formats (including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual arts, music, and cultural reviews), and encourages discussion across shared experiences and difference. Their community is diverse in terms of background, perspective, Jewish identification, sexual orientation, gender expression, race, ethnicity, and abilities.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum

The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Teen Art Connect (TAC) program participants contributed core stories that ground and unite them with past generations. TAC brings together high school students from diverse backgrounds to explore, connect, and imagine in a creative museum setting.

Special thanks

Thank you to educators Shaina Shealy and Dan Wolf for their guidance.

Teen Programs are made possible by major support from The Covenant Foundation and U.S. Bank Foundation. These programs are part of the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative (Teen Initiative), a project of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, with support from the Jim Joseph Foundation and a consortium of local funders. Additional support is provided by the California Arts Council, Miranda Lux Foundation, and Ira A. Roschelle M.D. Family Foundation.