12 years old, from Jerusalem, is in the 7th grade. Skateboarding and soccer are her two passions - both give her a sense of community on the one hand and individualism on the other. Skateboarding is funny that way. She has been skateboarding for three years. Neri is a girl of few written words, but her mother thinks skateboarding is freedom.

 

Neri Katz-Haddad
"How do you want to start a group for skater girls when there are only two of us?"

It all started one afternoon at the old skate park in Gan Sachher, in Jerusalem.  Maayan and Paola used to skate there every day after school.  Maayan comes up with the idea to start a girl's skateboarding group.  Paola didn't think it was an easy thing to do, or a simple one.  But Maayan was serious.  She takes her skateboarding and her women seriously, and couldn't stand the lack of support for the female skateboard scene. 

She also doesn't take no for an answer, and Paola began to see things differently – which wasn't difficult, because of course Maayan was right. 

By the end of that same evening they had begun creating their own logo, with a chalk stone that they found on the floor.  Several styles and many ideas for names later – the JSG as we know and love it today was born. 

Who knew that this simple idea would become something with enormous potential?!

Dina Bronznick

20 years old and lives in Jerusalem where she studies nursing at the Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical Center. She has been skateboarding for 6 years, and we're a little upset that she's been dedicating so much of herself to school lately. "Skate is my release at the end of the day – I put on some music and just enjoy myself."

 

Noa Katz

26 years old, from Carmiel – now living in Tel Aviv. Noa is an illustrator, who graduated from Jerusalem's Bezalel Academy in 2016 with a degree in Visual Arts and since then has published an independent comic book, among other things. Although Noa began skateboarding at age 12, she claims to have taken a lot of time off. It doesn't show in her skating. Noa's last break was 5 years ago and she has been riding constantly since then, while constantly keeping it real and keeping us laughing.

 

15 years old, from Ashdod  has been skateboarding for almost 2 years, in between injuries. Natalie is all in on everything she does, and her favorite past-times, when she isn't skating, are – in no particular order – drawing, talking and sleeping.

 

Natalie Zerbib

29 years old,  has skated for over 9 years (with little mini-breaks on the way). Aviya also likes dancing and swimming, while she isn't studying for her Masters in Sociology. "For me, skateboarding is a symbol of gender equality which smashes preconceptions about people - and a game of peace and justice between people – regardless of their race, religion, color or gender."

 

Aviya Gerlitz

14 years old, from Silwan in Jerusalem. She has been skateboarding for two years, but only skates on weekends or when she has time between school, Hebrew lessons and Taekwando. Seline is also a singer who dreams to be famous one day. "Love life, love skateboard."

 

Seline Abu al Hmam
Maayan Levi

co-founder of JSG, is 26 years old, originally from Jerusalem and presently living in Tel Aviv. Maayan holds a BSc in Earth Sciences from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and has been skateboarding for 10 years. Maayan came up with the whole idea of the JSG, and didn't find it at all odd that she was starting a group for skater girls with only two members "Skateboard for me is a way of life, is art, is love and is community."

 

Paola Ruiloba

co-founder of JSG, is 25 years old, originally from Panama but has lived in Jerusalem for 12 years. She is currently finishing her degree in Industrial Design at the Hadassah College and also serves as an assistant Capoeira instructor. Paola has been a skater for 8 years and training in Capoeira for 5 years,

and somehow manages to do all this and work with only 24 hours a day. "Skateboard is home, family and a place where I can express the real me."