Jill Housen (she/her), 2019-2020
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Cohort 

"This amazing opportunity has helped me to reclaim my voice and given me the opportunity to learn from wonderful teachers. Not only was I able to form solid, trusted relationships with some of my fellows we also had opportunities to study Torah and explore issues of race and equity together."

Jill Housen

Tamar Ghidalia (she/her)
2019-2020 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Cohort

"Professionally I learned a lot from the staff who did an amazing job, and from my cohort. REDI work is my passion and I am grateful I was given tools to be successful in the future in this sacred work. I learned that people 's emotions are very high (Both white & JOC folks) and that in addition to being a good listener, I need to be nuanced in my approach, while not apologizing for who I am. A delicate balance... It has also opened doors for me in my consulting work and I am very grateful for that. My time with my mentor Deitra [Reiser] was amazing as I was able to share what I was struggling with and she was very affirming and helpful. Personally, I learned to trust myself in this work, and I made new friendships that are very dear to me. I felt that this helped me a lot in these times of pandemic isolation. The retreat we had together was very powerful and had several spiritual moments that nurtured my soul!"

Tamar Ghidalia

Leonard Slutsky (he/him)
2018-19 LGBTQIA+ Cohort 

"I came into this fellowship thinking that I knew a medium amount about DE&I and a good amount about LGBTQ+ issues. I was so wrong - there was so much I didn't know and so much for me to learn. In this fellowship I learned a lot more about myself and my biases/privileges. I also learned a lot about white supremacy culture, privilege, taking risks, queer identities (Especially nonbinary and transgender), and the intersection with Judaism. I feel a closer connection and supported as a queer person in a religious space. I also made incredible friends who I may not have normally met in everyday life who I have kept in touch with throughout the fellowship outside of calls and hope to keep in touch with in the future."

Mo Selkirk (she/her)
2018-2019 LGBTQIA+ Cohort 

"I don't think that there is enough room to go on about how much this fellowship has meant to me.  It not only brought me out of a funk of not knowing my next steps in my roll as an LGBTQ activist, but it reminded me why I love this work in the first place.  It connected me to ideas and to people in ways I never thought about before and has hopefully opened up doors in directions I didn't even know I wanted to go in. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been a part of it.  My confidence is up, but the best part is that it has had a ripple effect on my partner and his openness and confidence as well. I am truly grateful.

This fellowship has helped to hone in on where I would like to see myself making a difference in the community in the future.  The fellowship and the people in it has also really helped me find a voice I had lost a long time ago.  I never felt like my voice had an impact on people as much as I feel like it has had over this past year.  It has been a real pleasure to feel valued and appreciated for even the smallest amount of what I have to give others."

Morgan Selkirk

Bryant Heinzelman (he/him)
2018 Jews of Color Cohort

"The JewV'Nation Fellowship changed my life for the better. It reminded me that I truly am a part of the Jewish community, it taught me that I had a family and crew out there I'd never even met; and it gifted me a new level of confidence. The people that I met, the mentors, and the teachers all helped shaped me into the Jewish Leader I am today."

Bryant Heinzelman

Eliana Rubin (they/she)
2018-19 LGBTQIA+ Cohort

"The fellowship has reminded me that I can find a family within my religion. Throughout the fellowship, I became more engrossed in my Jewish beliefs, through spiritual practice, morals, and engagement in communities around me that hold both or either of these ideas. I loved getting to work with like-minded people (that sometimes had different ideas from me); it meant that I felt safe enough to have uncomfortable conversations with people I could trust, and has helped me to start to have these conversations when I feel it is safe and important to."

Eliana Rubin