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 mentorship, and a mini-grant.

Announcing the 2016 COJECO Blueprint Fellows!

Meet the Fellows

The BluePrint Fellowship brings together a select group of Russian-speaking Jewish artists, intellectuals, and innovators 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 thus shape 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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GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF BLUEPRINT

Knowledge:
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.

Inspiration:
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.

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

Mentoring:
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

107

Projects continuing beyond their Fellowship year

37

New Jewish non-profit organizations resulting from BluePrint projects

5

Fellows who became Jewish professionals or lay leaders

36

People engaged by BluePrint Fellowship community projects

10,000+

BLUEPRINT FELLOWSHIP REQUIREMENTS

  • 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 in a public launch event.

PROGRAM DETAILS

The BluePrint Fellowship begins with a weekend retreat on 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.

 

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 his or her community project. The average grant awarded is $3,000.

 

Fellows are matched with distinguished coaches, experts in the field of each participant’s project, who work with them one-on-one to help them further their own creative goals.

 

Each fellow is likewise 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 2015-2016 BluePrint Fellowship cycle, preference was 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 was 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

Meet the Fellows

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows

Mark Gurevich The Yiddish Old and New

Mark is a New York-based photographer whose work has focused on narrative portraits and documenting community experiences through photography. Born in Moscow, Russia, Mark is two generations away from the small Yiddish-speaking shtetl in Belorus where his grandfather grew up. When not shooting portraits, Mark is a corporate attorney at a New York law firm.

Vita Eruhimovitz Chavruta Chatting Room

Vita was born in Ukraine, grew up in Israel. She studied computer science and bioinformatics at Hebrew University. Vita has worked in research and teaching and traveled extensively. While living in Sydney she started sculpting and quickly realized that she found her purpose. She completed a BFA in Multidisciplinary Art at Shenkar and moved to the USA for a Visual Arts MFA at Washington University in Saint Louis. Currently, Vita lives and works in New Jersey, teaching art and pursuing her studio practice. She works in multiple media, often incorporating programming and electronics to create interactive art. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally.

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.

Zhenya Lopatnik Yiddish-Tish

Zhenya is from Kharkov, Ukraine. Her first encounter with the Jewish community was at 13 years of age. Since then she constantly added to her Jewish identity, since she felt a huge lack of knowledge due to her family being totally and completely assimilated. After getting a taste of it, Zhenya immersed herself into learning Tanakh, Jewish history and Hebrew. Zhenya always tries to vary her interests in the Jewish culture dabbling in various fields. Her works include a children’s book, self-learning discs, seminars using new methods of informal education and several CDs with her own Yiddish songs.

Ronit Levin Delgado Blender Bodies

Ronit Levin Delgado (born Tel-Aviv, Israel) a multi media artist and a Fulbright scholar, lives and works in NYC. Levin Delgado holds a MFA in the Studio Art at MSU, NJ (2013) and a BFA from Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem (2008). Levin Delgado has won many honors and awards bestowed on her, including the Ministry of Culture scholarship, 2011-2013 Fulbright scholarship and in 2014 she was chosen to be the recipient of the First Annual Prize for Bezalel Alumni Ambassador. Levin Delgado has had solo exhibitions and participated in numerous international group exhibitions in Israel, Europe and the US.

Past Fellows

Alex Teplish Survivor: Aron's Story

Alex Teplish was born in Odessa, Ukraine. Alex graduated from Stony Brook University and has since become a leading expert in Web/Mobile Technologies, Graphic design, and Digital Marketing.  His work has enabled him to architect applications and campaigns for major corporations, international brands, as well as startups. He has also had a significant role in the ever-developing internet since its inception, including the founding of Brower Based Solutions (BBS), a web/mobile-focused, digital agency. Alex collaborated with a colleague and co-authored the Finance/Investment strategy book, “When Buy Means Sell”, with his chapter concentrating on the history and future of investing.  The work was published by McGraw Hill, in September 2003. Most recently, Alex published a science-fiction graphic novel titled “In The Beginning: The Epic of the Anunnaki.”

Oksana Rosenblum Kultur-lige Movement in Ukraine, 1918-1930s

Oksana Rosenblum graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Jewish Art and Visual Culture in 2005. She received a Diploma in Jewish Studies from Oxford University in 1999, and gained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Cultural Anthropology from Ukraine in 1998 and 2001. Since 2005, Oksana has been free-lancing as a visual researcher in the field of Jewish art and history, working for the newly created museums of Jewish History in Warsaw and Moscow, among others. Her field of expertise and interest is the history of Jews in the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and contemporary Ukraine. As a hobby, Oksana studies Persian and Indian music, and occasionally performs with ethnic group ensembles.

Radik Shvarts Ticket to Jerusalem

Anna Rozhdestvenskaya Ancestor Blueprint

Anya Roz is an artist, photographer and designer residing in New York on the Spanish side of Harlem, was born and raised in Moscow in an eclectic family of artists, musicians and photographers, learning to live in the middle of a self generated art scene – visual material being the source of both self exploration and collaboration.
Anya says, “Although I have worked in mediums ranging from oil to video, and had made a living as a graphic designer for the past ten years in New York, my work has focused on photography and painting, and finding a unique visual link between the two mediums. I have also explored lots of antique archival photographs, using their digital replicas in my collage and mixed media work.”

Karina Akimenko Jewish and Connected

Karina Akimenko was born in St. Petersburg Russia in 1991 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Karina attended Franklin and Marshall College, majoring in Public Health in Biology, while taking the Pre-Med track. In the past year, Karina has been working at Montefiore Hospital for the Network Performance Group focusing on improving hospital outcomes.

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Blueprint Fellowship Alumni

Alumni Projects

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Speak Memory

Tatyana Levina
Yuliya Levit
Nadya Meykson
Irina Sheynfeld

Inheritance of a Story

Tatyana Levina
Anna Rozhdestvenskaya
Yuliya Levit

Handmade Charity

Ekaterina Schaltuper
Ekaterina Kovalenko
The BluePrint Fellowship is generously sponsored by

UJA-Federation of New York and Genesis Philanthropy Group.

For more information

or if you have any questions, please e-mail
Lisa Klig, COJECO Program Director at:

lisa@cojeco.org