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
Past Fellows

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.”

Kate Balandina When I Grow Up (Little Odessa)

Kate Balandina, a native of Odessa, Ukraine graduated from the NYU Film Department and is currently a film director and producer. She believes that art brings people together and exposes their beauty like nothing else in the world. To foster those beliefs she is dedicating herself to the art of film.

Valentina Loseva Inseparable Borders

Valentina Loseva is a New York City based painter working primarily in the classical oil and water based mediums. Though her work grounded in Jewish values and Biblical narrative, she retells the classical stories using contemporary characters and representations of the modern world. She has exhibited in New York and Paris and received her BFA from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. Valentina has been teaching art and languages to children for over seven years and is currently working on her MA/MFA in art education at Brooklyn College.

Michael Zurakhinsky The Art Story: Jewish Themes in Modern Art

Michael Zurakhinsky is a graduate of Manhattan College with an MBA from New York University. His background includes extensive experience in web technology, business and finance and a passion for art and literature. He has been involved as a lay leader and volunteer in many aspects of the NYC Russian Jewish community.  He also founded the modern art appreciation organization TheArtStory.org.

George Itzhak Bukharian Jews of New York

George Itzhak is a filmmaker, photographer, and storyteller originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He works in both narrative and documentary, and has several projects in development and production that deal with issues of Russian immigration, Jewish life and culture, and the history and people of the Middle-East. His latest projects include Reading Tehran in Tel-Aviv, a documentary that premiered at the New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, and Broccoli, a Russian-language short film premiered in the summer of 2014. George began his career in television news with internships at NBC, a stint at the Sochi Olympics, and he currently works at NBC’s Nightly News.

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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 NYC

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