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Tziporah Pinczower Defends Religious Liberty



Tziporah Pinczower (SCW ’26) is a Straus Scholar majoring in political science. In the spring of 2024, she interned at Agudath Israel of America, and was supported by a grant from the Straus Center’s Impact Office. This year was Ms. Pinczower’s first year on campus, and in the wake of October 7th, she published three times in the Wall Street Journal, writing in defense of Israel, America, and the Jewish people. This summer, Ms. Pinczower will participate in the Tikvah Fund’s Beren Summer Fellowship, and she will intern at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, DC. 


Below, she reflects on her experiences at Agudath Israel of America. 


This semester I had the privilege of working at Agudath Israel of America to help shape a new initiative called KnowUs. Led by Avrohom Weinstock, KnowUs is dedicated to correcting misrepresentations of the Orthodox Jewish community, particularly in media and entertainment.


KnowUs made its debut in 2023, initially to defend yeshivas and the Hasidic community against targeted attacks in the mainstream media. While continuing the fight against inaccurate portrayals of the Orthodox community, KnowUs has since shifted to a more proactive approach – inviting the world to “know us” on our own terms.


My internship at Agudah was multifaceted. I conducted extensive research on the ongoing legal battles facing Jewish educational institutions, specifically yeshivas, and school choice policy in the United States. In addition to legal research, I reviewed and collaborated on vision statements, multimedia presentations, billboards, and survey data. I drafted social media communications and assisted in event planning. The experience encouraged me to think outside the box; I’ve learned to better understand and analyze the sentiments that animate a given community, how populations react to new policies, and how receptive people are to various methods of disseminating new information. Unsurprisingly, the dynamic nature of the internship kept me engaged and constantly expanding my skill set.


One of my driving motivations for pursuing this internship was my commitment to religious liberty in America, which I have studied extensively as a Straus Scholar at the YU Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought. As an intern, I learned how to promote religious liberty, but being a Straus Scholar has provided me with the why. The Straus program has continued to serve as a model for how effective and impactful a Jewish education can be, and why it’s worth protecting. Working at Agudah, I was reminded of my Straus seminars, where we are challenged to balance varying approaches to Jewish and Western education, and the sacredness of preserving our distinct educational goals. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to join Agudah’s vital mission while representing Yeshiva University and the YU Straus Center.