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.

Current cohort has been selected

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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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

117

Projects continuing beyond their Fellowship year

42

New Jewish non-profit organizations resulting from BluePrint projects

6

Fellows who became Jewish professionals or lay leaders

40

People engaged by BluePrint Fellowship community projects

12,000+

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 a public launch event.

PROGRAM DETAILS

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 2017-2018 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 31, 2017.

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

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows

Lenny Khmel KlezMixed

Alon Nechushtan Survival Codes

Olia Toporovsky Gomez-Delgado GOGA

Past Fellows

David Bas Jewish Children's Museum Tour

David Bas organized a workshop and tour at the Jewish Children’s Museum for children and families. The workshop was followed by a discussion on the  the influence of Jewish roots/traditions on our parenting choices.

Victoria Drob Rus Jews Views

Victoria Drob is a National Board Certified Counselor, holding a master's degree and a license in clinical counseling. Providing psychotherapeutic counseling during her internships as part of her graduate studies has been a life-altering experience for her. For her COJECO Blueprint community project, Victoria conducted research that brought to light the stigmas surrounding the field of psychology in the ex-Soviet culture, in the hopes of dispelling the prevalent myths and misconceptions. Victoria hosted an educational lecture on the benefits of counseling for the Russian-speaking Jewish audience offering insights gained from her research results. Victoria continues advocacy work and research in this field. Her project, Rus Jews Views, can be followed on www.RusJewsViews.com as well as on Facebook.

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.

Svetlana Didorenko My Russian Jewish Family Relic

Svetlana Didorenko was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and emigrated to the US in 1994. Her studies were in molecular biology and focused on neurology research and robotic engineering before attending Columbia Journalism School to start a career in documentary film and journalism. This past year, she has been working on a series of documentary shorts for the Russian Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, which will open in Moscow in November 2012.

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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

or if you have any questions, please e-mail
us at:

alinab@cojeco.org