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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
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What is the JewV’Nation Fellowship?
JewV’Nation is a leadership development program for visionary Jewish leaders across North America. The JewV’Nation Leadership Cohort is a nine-month fellowship supporting Reform Jewish leaders, age 18 to 118, through professional development, networking opportunities, and project incubation to build the field of Jewish leaders in the Reform Movement and beyond.
Think of JewV'Nation as your leadership launch pad. Whether you're looking to advance your career as an educator or lay leader, considering rabbinical or cantorial school, 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 empowers participants to seek out and thrive as leaders in their local communities and campuses as a result of their participation in:
- Twice-monthly live online leadership seminars
- Cohort relationship building
- Individualized coaching with established Jewish leaders for mentorship and movement-building — connecting the rising cohort of leaders with existing LGBTQIA+ leaders in the field
- An intensive in-person retreat to kick off the Fellowship
Additionally, the fellows are responsible for designing, creating, and implementing impactful programs that are inclusive and intentional about Jewish diversity, and the richness and depth that Judaism offers. Project ideas are proposed in the application process, and are chosen by the fellows in conjunction with the URJ Audacious Hospitality team and the broader Reform Movement. See FAQs for more information on project structure and possible project ideas.
The cohort project(s) that demonstrate a strong potential for successful scalability will gain exposure that could allow for North American expansion.
Why this fellowship?
Approximately 10% of the North American Jewish community identify as LGBTQIA+ Jews, a fifth of the Jewish population is racially and ethnically diverse, and more than 70% of non-Orthodox Jews who married after 2000 were in interfaith marriages, and these numbers are only growing. We know that Jewish communities are enriched when all people are equipped not only to participate, but to lead. Fellows in the JewV’Nation Leadership Cohort lead in co-creating vibrant, exciting, and innovative Jewish programming that elevates the leadership and experience of Jews for years to come. Our brightest possible Jewish future requires that individual Jews and their loved ones are included, not despite their diversity and interests, but because of them.
Who is in the 2018-2019 Cohort?
Applications for the 2018-2019 JewV’Nation Fellowship: LGBTQIA+ Cohort are now closed. The 2018-2019 Cohort includes 13 Jewish leaders from across North America who identify as LGBTQIA+, and who are passionate about building an inclusive Jewish community through innovative projects. These projects speak directly to the experiences and vision of LGBTQIA+ Jews. The 2018-2019 Fellows are ambitious, reflective leaders with a desire and commitment to personal and professional growth. Meet our 2018-2019 Fellows!
The JewV’Nation Fellowship has been 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. The 2018-2019 cohort is also made possible by a generous grant by an anonymous donor.
Current and Previous Fellowship Cohorts
Meet our current JewV’Nation Cohorts
Meet our JewV’Nation Alumni