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

Masha Dinor StroyKa

Masha Dinor is originally from Saratov, Russia and recently immigrated to New York. She is an architect and interior designer by trade and finds inspiration in teaching kids about art and design. She was an active member of Saratov' Jewish life and taught tradition and craft lessons at a local Jewish Family Center. Once she moved to Moscow to advance her career, Masha also led classes at a local architectural studio for kids.  Masha continues her work as an art educator in New York, where she teaches at Kibbutznik summer camp, Kompot events, Little-Avangardist and Dacha project.

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

Tatyana Dvorkin Cheburashka Wears a Kippah

Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tatyana immigrated to the US with her family at age 11. She received her BA in Sociology Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master’s in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College Columbia University where she focused on the use of games and social media in education. She has been an educator for 12 years, the past 5 of them at The Jewish Education Project working with day schools and congregational institutions all over North America to innovate classrooms and make learning more engaging and personalized. She currently works at an all boys school on the UES teaching coding and STEAM. She shares a home with her wife and about as many books as could comfortably fill a small public library.

Marina Gasparyan Short film

Marina is a New York City based Russian-Armenian actress, writer, and producer from Moscow. She can be seen performing monthly at The Pit Striker with her indie sketch team Suede and at venues around the city with her indie improv group the idiots. She also performs original characters. She has produced, wrote, and acted in the past two seasons of 2293 Productions’ Reservations at The Kraine Theatre as well the web series The Box. Marina holds a degree in Cinema Studies and Dramatic Literature from NYU Tisch School Of The Arts (2012.) She was the co founder of a curated monthly screening series Black Mariah Films (2012-2015) where she programmed film series that showcased emerging filmmakers alongside classic and art house films. She completed the two year acting conservatory at The Barrow Group Theatre Company where she studied with Seth Barrish and Lee Brock and performed in her first full length play, A Perfect Couple as Emma. Marina continued her acting training at Playhouse West Brooklyn Lab where she completed the two year Meisner training program. She is an Academy level student at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) where she has been taking improv and character classes since 2015. She has also studied improv at The People’s Improv Theatre (PIT) and at iO Chicago.

Alex Notkin Jewish Fairy-tales

ALEX NOTKIN Was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. Graduated from The St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy 2008. Worked in various Russian and European feature films, TV series, Commercials and theatre productions. Lived in Israel from 1990 to 2004. In 2013, in St. Petersburg, Alex directed his own theatre show ‘The Letters of Vertinsky’ in which he also starred as the lead. This production participated in various European festivals. Alex has also established himself as a well known Voice Over actor: Among his Voice Over highlights are: AVATAR (The Russian Version) in which he dubbed the lead Jake Sully played by Sam Worthington, TERMINATOR 4, SALVATION where he dubbed Christian Bale, Crab Sebastian in Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid 2 and many more. In 2014 Alex moves to New York City to pursue his acting career, he then completes an acting Conservatory Program at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and continues working as an actor, Voice Over artist and stage director. His recent U.S. projects include: Theatre: Serge in ‘Art’ which he also directed at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre NY Officer Augustus in the Off Broadway production of ‘Green Card the New Musical’ TV and Commercials Madam Secretary, Mozart in the Jungle, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Sheepshead Bay, Ponder and Ghostek Commercials Voice Over Mercedes Benz, Metlife Stage Directing ‘Art’, ‘Defendant Maurice Chevalier’-Off Broadway, ‘Loitering’-Off Broadway Collaborated with WZO and Russian Speaking Jewish communities in New York.

Past Fellows

Biana Lupa ChaiLighter

Biana Lupa has been working in the Jewish communal world for five years with organizations such as RAJE, Hillel at Baruch and the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island. Biana received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration (non-profit concentration) from Bernard M. Baruch College and a cum laude Bachelor’s Degree in International Criminal Justice and Government from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has always been a service-oriented individual who enjoys helping others. Biana has received several awards and honors, most notably, the John Jay Scholarship and Service Award, and a certificate of appreciation in recognition of ongoing support of the Russian Jewish Heritage in New York. She is also being honored as a dedicated alumnus at the RAJE Annual Dinner on March 15, 2012. Aside from volunteering, in her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and being a published writer.

Yevgenia Nayberg "The Secret Society" A Russian Language Picture Book

Yevgenia is an award-winning illustrator, painter and stage designer. A native of Kiev, Ukraine, she graduated from The National School of Arts. Yevgenia’s paintings have been featured in solo exhibitions in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Moscow as well as in numerous international group art shows. She designed sets and costumes for over 40 theatrical productions and received a number of prestigious awards for her stage designs. Her illustrations appeared in magazines and children’s books as well as on album covers, book covers and theatre posters.

Masha Pekurovsky The Red Tent

Masha Pekurovsky was born in Kiev Ukraine. She was 9 years old when her family repatriated to Israel in the wave of 1990. Masha holds a Cum Laude Bachelors degree of Arch. from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. She immigrated to California in 2003 and has been calling New York “home” since 2007. Her project “Passageways” is a dance and video tribute to the feminine – An exploration of the Jewish female identity through the eyes of the artist. Building upon her passion for design, video art and tribal belly dance, Masha seeks to bring a multi-disciplinary performance experience to the audience.  Masha is a designer at HOK. She is also a member of the East Coast Tribal dance community and has been performing live video art under the stage name VJ nasha_masha.

Irina Khokhlova Distanced from the Source

Irina Khokhlova is a filmmaker, video artist, television, and web video producer living and working in New York City. Originally from Moscow, Russia, she moved to NY in 1992 .She received her Master of Arts degree in Filmmaking from The New School University in 2006. She began her career as a TV and film editor, later moving on to producing and directing for television and the web. Her independent work includes documentaries, short narrative films, fashion films and video art. In 2009 the Television program Irina produced received an NY Emmy nomination in the Arts: Program/Special category.

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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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.

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