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.

Application Due August 15, 2018

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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 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 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 2018-2019 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.

Applications should be submitted by August 15, 2018.

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

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Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows

Olia Toporovsky Gomez-Delgado GOGA

Marina Webb Family Reunion

Past Fellows

Ross Denisov IDF Project

Ross Den was born in Ukraine in a Jewish family of medical professionals. In the mid 90’s his family immigrated to the United States.  Ross was accepted to John Jay College of Criminal Justice and in 2000 started a part time job at NYPD working as a Police Cadet. Shortly after September 11, 2001 Ross left to Israel to join the Israel Defense Force (IDF). He served in the IDF for two years and participated in countless counter-terrorism missions in the West Bank and the border of Lebanon, being currently assigned to a battalion of reservists.

Masha Shkolnik Bobe Mayces

Masha Shkolnik is a journalist and a songwriter who was born in Moscow, Russia. Masha is known for her journalistic career with RTVi cable network as a reporter followed by working as a host and a manager for Russian radio stations in New York such as Novaya Zhizn’ and Davidzon Radio. Masha has recorded two CDs with her songs and is working on recording the 3rd.  Masha develops her career in the areas of learning and development and as a hobby organizes creative events and camps for kids: Masha’s articles, poems, lyrics, and MP3s as well as CDs for sale can be found at

Nika Leoni Queen Esther

The Russian-born soprano Nika Leoni has toured internationally, appearing in opera and concert at theaters throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, Italy, England, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Her performance repertoire ranges from large-scale opera roles to intimate art songs, and she also made her recent debut as a dramatic actress/singer in a Broadway-style musical play.  Earlier this year, Nika Leoni’s first recorded album of Russian Romances and Traditional Songs titled “Dark Eyes” was released on Larion Records.

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Blueprint Fellowship Alumni

Alumni Projects

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From the Past and In the Now

Misha Gulko
Natasha Tverdynin Racic

Speak Memory

Tatyana Levina
Yuliya Levit
Nadya Meykson
Irina Sheynfeld

Inheritance of a Story

Tatyana Levina
Anna Rozhdestvenskaya
Yuliya Levit
The BluePrint Fellowship is generously sponsored by

The Genesis Philanthropy Group.

For more information

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