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JewV'Nation Fellowship
A Leadership Fellowship / A Project Incubator

As someone who has not always been welcomed in the Jewish community because of my mixed parentage, I am passionate about changing that reality for others who want to connect to their heritage. My children have further shown me how powerful our heritage and history are, and I want other families to reap the benefits of this connection.

-Michael Douglas, 2015 Genesis Prize Laureate

What is the JewV’Nation Fellowship?

JewV’Nation is a leadership development program for visionary Jewish leaders across North America. The 2018 Jews of Color Leadership Cohort is a nine-month fellowship that supports up to 16 Jewish leaders of Color through professional development, networking opportunities, and the chance to work on one or more cohort-directed projects that build the field for Jewish leaders of Color in the Reform Movement and beyond.

Think of JewV'Nation as your leadership launch pad. Whether you're a Jew of Color looking to advance your career as an educator or lay leader, considering rabbinical or cantorial school, or are interested in exploring opportunities for local or North American leadership - or are simply looking to hone your vision and more effectively get your message out, JewV'Nation is an incredible opportunity for you!

-April Baskin, Vice President of Audacious Hospitality

To that end, the Fellowship will empower fellows to seek out and thrive as leaders in their local communities through:       

  • Twice-monthly live online leadership seminars, including train-the-trainer support
  •  Cohort relationship building
  • Individualized coaching with more established Jewish leaders of Color for mentorship and movement-building — connecting the rising cohort of leaders with existing JOC leaders in the field
  • Two intensive in-person retreats to bookend the Fellowship

Additionally, the fellows will be responsible as a group for identifying two to four opportunities or challenges they’d like to address in teams, in partnership with the URJ Audacious Hospitality team and the broader Reform Movement. Possible projects include:

  • A series of articles or blog posts that speaks to the experiences of Jews of Color or addresses popular Jewish issues from the vantage point(s) of Jews of Color
  • The creation of a formalized network that can serve as a leadership pipeline that identifies and trains Jews of Color
  • The development of an Active Learning Network that invites Reform leaders to learn more about issues affecting Jews of Color
  • Other ideas that the cohort collectively generates 

Fellows will participate in cutting-edge professional development, gain access to exclusive networking opportunities, and have the opportunity to strengthen their public profile. Additionally, the cohort project(s) that demonstrate a strong potential for successful scalability will gain exposure that could allow for North American expansion.

The JewV’Nation Fellowship is proudly funded by a grant from the Leichtag Foundation, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, and a generous URJ donor in collaboration with the Jewish Funders Network. This specific cohort is also made possible by a generous grant through the Fund for Jews of Color Field Building.

Who is in the 2018 Cohort?

JewV’Nation 2018 includes 16 Jewish leaders of Color across North America who are passionate about building an inclusive Jewish community through two to four innovative projects that directly speak to the experiences and vision of Jews of Color. The 2018 fellows are ambitious, reflective leaders with a desire and commitment to personal and professional growth. Meet our 2018 fellows!

Why this fellowship?

Approximately 10–20% of the North American Jewish community are Jews of Color, and this number is only growing. We know that Jewish communities are enriched when all people are equipped not only to participate, but to lead. Fellows in the 2018 Jews of Color Leadership Cohort will lead in co-creating vibrant, exciting, and innovative Jewish programming that lifts up the leadership and experience of Jews of Color for years to come. Our brightest possible Jewish future requires that individual Jews and their loved ones are included, not in spite of their diverse backgrounds and interests, but because of them. 

2017 Inaugural Fellowship Cohort

10 JewV'Nation Fellows (representing a total of 9 projects) made up the first cohort. Learn more about the 2017 fellows.

Mentorship is an important component of JewV'Nation. Meet our 2017 mentors.

Are you a future JewV’Nation Fellow? Contact us now to learn more.