The COJECO BluePrint Fellowship

The BluePrint Fellowship is a year-long program for Russian-speaking Jewish adults ages 25-40 to explore personal and collective identity through the creation of Jewish community projects, supported by group workshops, one-on-one guidance, and a mini-grant.

BluePrint Fellowship

Cohort 2019-2020

The BluePrint Fellowship brings together a select group of Russian-speaking Jewish innovators, artists, and intellectuals, to explore the link between personal identity and creativity.

What does it mean to be Jewish for someone born in the Former Soviet Union and living in the United States today? The BluePrint Fellowship offers participants the opportunity to examine and explore this question on their own terms. Chosen through a competitive application and interview process, fellows are able to bring their ideas to life and engaged in this community-wide conversation.

BluePrint Community Projects

BluePrint projects from years past have been innovative initiatives that impact the Russian-speaking Jewish community and Jewish community at large in areas such as: arts & culture * media & technology * gender & sexuality * literature * education * environment * children and family life * social justice * philanthropy

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Offering fellows a deeper historical and cultural perspective on the Jewish people and contemporary issues of the Jewish world today, with a unique focus on post-Soviet Jewry through a series of informal educational experiences.

Motivating participants to become more active members of the Jewish community through a personal connection to and familiarity with an array of projects, organizations, and approaches to Jewish community life.

Providing fellows with the tools to develop successful community projects through hands-on professional workshops and peer-to-peer review.

One-on-one mentoring guides Fellows in setting clear goals for project objectives, offers options for achieving desired goals and outcomes, and identifies possible resources that go beyond traditional methods.

Russian Jewish community projects created since 2008


Projects continuing beyond their Fellowship year


New Jewish non-profit organizations resulting from BluePrint projects


Fellows who became Jewish professionals or lay leaders


People engaged by BluePrint Fellowship community projects



  • Fellows must be Russian-speaking Jews between the ages of 25 and 40, residing in the NYC area.
  • Fellows must have an original concept for a community project with an explicitly Jewish theme and an anticipated impact on at least 50 people.
  • Fellows must participate in the program fully, including a three-day weekend retreat and 8 evening workshops, which take place monthly on weeknights.
  • Fellows must implement their community projects within the Fellowship year, including a public launch event.


The BluePrint Fellowship begins with a weekend retreat – September 13-15, 2019 and is followed by monthly educational workshops,  where fellows meet other talented thinkers and social activists, gain a new perspective on the community’s historical context, and hone their project management skills. BluePrint sessions are designed to inspire and support participants through the development of their projects, while exploring new ways of looking at personal history and identity.

Fellowship Sessions
Location: COJECO, 729 7 Ave, 9 Fl, New York, NY
Day & Time: Mondays, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
October 7th, 2019
November 11th, 2019
December 9th, 2019
January 6th, 2020
February 3rd, 2020
March 2nd, 2020
April 6th, 2020
May 4th, 2020

Through a guided grant application and reporting process over the course of the program, each fellow is awarded a mini-grant of up to $5,000 for the implementation of their community project. The average grant awarded is $3,000.

Each fellow is paired with a BluePrint alumnus mentor who can offer guidance, support, and advice to a new fellow, having had firsthand experience of participating in this process.

Selection Criteria

For the 2019-2020 BluePrint Fellowship cycle, preference will be given to candidates with long-term vision and aspirations for their community project and their personal community involvement. While projects must be implemented within the the program year, the Fellowship should be viewed as a  launching pad for on-going endeavors.

Preference will be given to community project proposals in the following areas:

  • New mediums for informal Jewish education among RSJ (e.g. games, multimedia, animation, etc.)
  • Israel engagement
  • Russian-Israeli community
  • Volunteering, Philanthropy & Fundraising
  • Family & Children educational workshops

Cohort 2019-2020

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows

Irina Gorovaia Short film

Born in Leningrad, Russia, raised in the belly of Brooklyn, Irina has been on the path of metamorphosis from a young age. Although she doesn't remember much of her childhood, she enjoys reading Dostoyevsky and daydreaming of other lifetimes. After being discovered at a young age to play Young Margo in The Royal Tenebaums, Irina went on to be in several more feature films including It Runs in The Family and The Butterfly Effect. She attended the School of American Ballet, LaGuardia High School for Drama, and then CUNY Hunter College where she earned her BA in the highly lucrative field of Philosophy. Irina has since gone on to study at UCB, the Barrow Group under Seth Barrish and Lee Brock, and with international Meisner teacher Andrea Dantas. She works in both theater and film, most recently moving into producing and performing her own content including co-writing and producing her own web series (Frank&Alice), two seasons of Reservations at The Kraine Theater under 2293 Productions, and writing, producing and starring in critically acclaimed short films (Sun on Your Elbows, A Magnificent Gray), the latter of which is now being adapted into a feature film. Irina currently resides in NYC and can be spotted weaving through traffic and avoiding potholes on her bicycle, rain or shine. She wears her helmet proudly. Irina would like to thank her family and friends for their undying love, support and laughing at her jokes even when they aren't funny. She believes in the power of collaboration, being kind, and sharing french fries.

Leonid Gurevich The Collective Effort: A Sartorial Journey

Leonid Gurevich is an NYC-based fashion designer, editorial stylist, fashion photographer, and producer. Gurevich is best known for creating strong fashion looks with luxury flair, characterized by an extreme degree of individuality. His editorial work has appeared in numerous print publications including The New York Times, Martha Stewart Weddings, New York Weddings, US, and HELLO. Leonid Gurevich has styled fashion presentations, editorials, workshops, look-books, print ad campaigns for bridal and eyewear brands, a two-part ad campaign for NIKON Europe, and most recently, an ad campaign for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.

Anya Marfin Knots for Jews - Macramé Workshops

Anya Marfin was born in Moscow, Russian and emigrated to the US in 1995 after living for a few years in Israel. She is a local NY artist and a designer who graduated from Parsons School of Design with Bachelors in Fine Arts majoring in Product Design. She started her career designing fashion handbags for major American companies. After becoming a mom, she became a teaching artist and has been teaching and making art in her home-based studio using different media - painting with acrylics, watercolors, sculptures with clay and wall hanging with macramé. She’s currently teaching ceramics at Marlene Meyerson JCC in Manhattan.

Valeriya Dvorkin Cheburashka Wears a Kippah

Valeriya is a second grade teacher in a NYC public school, working primarily with English language learners. She immigrated to the US with her family in 1999 from Yekaterinburg, Russia. She received her BA in Literary Studies from The New School and a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from CUNY Hunter College. Her short play The Frequencies of Love was put on as part of The Headcase Showcase through The New School in 2012 and was part of a reading series at La MaMa theater.

Tatyana Kalko Every Life is A Song

Tatyana Kalko is a NY based, Belorussian born singer-songwriter who creates irreverent indie folk music. A classically trained singer and self taught guitarist, Tatyana studied acting at NYU and the Moscow Art Theatre School. Influenced by Anton Chekhov as well as her dad's Beatles collection, Tatyana's songs are a blend of lighthearted introspection and raw emotion mixed with old Hollywood romanticism. She regularly sings with The Shul Band of NY and is an Artist in Residence with UR2.Global, a non-profit whose mission is to uplift humanity through the arts. For original music and videos visit

Past Fellows

Michael Korosty 100 Views of New Jerusalem

Michael Korosty was born in Kiev, Ukraine. He started his education as an artist at the age of seven, and upon moving to the U.S. in 1989, completed his formal art education at the Pratt Institute. Michael is works in the mediums of painting and drawing.  He has been teaching art to adults and children at his studio, as well as at various private institutions since 1994. Having provided art services to the local South Brooklyn community for years, after the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the studio was relocated to Manhattan Beach.

Alex Pergament Helga and the Life-sized Carl Sagan

Alex Pergament is a Jersey City-based photographer and attorney.  His photographs reflect on the relationship between community and individual identity.  He primarily shoots with Polaroids, and incorporates them into large-scale hand-made books.  Alex is an artist-in-residence at 660 Studios. He has edited and published The Escape Anthology for the Young Photographers Alliance, and received the Young Artists fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.  He has exhibited solo and group shows in New York, D.C., Chicago, and New Jersey. Alex is also an intellectual property attorney, serving artists and small businesses in New Jersey and New York.  He served as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and was a Magna Cum Laude graduate of George Washington University Law School.

Mark Gold Young Jewish Creatives

  Mark is the Chief Marketing Officer of Toto Global Ventures, a seasoned Marketing Consultant and an official Mentor with New York State's Business Mentor of NY program. Named "Super Connector" by Social Magazine and recently featured as a keynote speaker at Wix, Microsoft and the New York Bar Association, Mark’s aptitude for business development makes him a much-sought-after thought-leader among entrepreneurs and executives. Mark Gold's authentic and forward-thinking approach has successfully launched thousands of marketing campaigns for hundreds of organizations both locally and internationally in the last decade.

Michael Girshin Ping Thing

Michael Girshin immigrated to the United States from Moscow in 1996 at the age of 25.  He lives in New York City and currently works as an anesthesiologist at the Metropolitan Hospital. Michael created a Table Tennis fundraiser, Ping Thing, for the Israeli charity “Save A Child’s Heart.” The event raised $7,000 for charity and had over 150 participants.  “Save A Child’s Heart” provides life-saving cardiac surgery and other life saving procedures for children from developing countries.

Anna Chana Demidova Re: Turn

Anna Chana Demidova was born in Belarus and lived in Bulgaria, Netherlands, and Germany before moving to New York in 2010. She studied Business and Political Science and is currently studying Economics at Columbia University. Photography was something that she has always been curious about, and since receiving her first camera, it has become Anna’s true passion.

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Blueprint Fellowship Alumni

Alumni Projects

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The Mountain Jews Cuisine: a cookbook

Yafo Mardakhayeva

Songs of Our Journey

Yaffa Borukhova

The Mountain Jews Cuisine: a cookbook

Lana Shalumova
The BluePrint Fellowship is generously sponsored by

The Genesis Philanthropy Group.

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