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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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 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
Past Fellows

Yuliya Lanina Gentleman from Cracow Ballet

Yuliya Lanina is a Russian- born American multimedia artist living and working in New York City. She has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Her work has been displayed at the Seoul Art Museum, SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 (Tokyo, Japan), Beijing Biennial 2009, Yeosu/Seoul Biennial 2008, KunstFilmBienalle (Cologne, Germany) and other venues. Yuliya’s work has been reviewed by many publications, including the NYTimes, NYArts Magazine, Bloomberg News, Brooklyn Rail and others. She has been a recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. To see her works please visit

Olga Monastyrskaya Reflecting on History or What Became of My Red Star

Olga Monastyrskaya immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 16. Having graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2003, she has been working as a graphic designer in advertising and publishing industries. Olga has 5 years of classical art school education both from the Ukraine and the United States.
Olga says, “My story is not in any way different… Being such, I am convinced that through the form of visual expression, it will spark a beautiful dialogue with other artists who have their unique stories to tell as well as with the audience, who I hope will recognize their internal and external world in the works on view.”

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.

Irina Sheynfeld Strange Pilgrims No More

Irina Sheynfeld is an artist, illustrator and designer born in Odessa, Ukraine, where she studied painting at the Odessa College of Art. Upon arriving to New York, Irina earned her BFA from Parsons School of Design and MFA from School of Visual Arts. She worked as a designer and illustrator for The Wall Street Journal, Time Warner and Oxygen Media. For several years Irina illustrated a weekly column for Editor and Publisher magazine. Irina just had her first solo show at Tagine Gallery in NYC and her work could be currently seen at Amsterdam Art Gallery and at Iridium Jazz Club. She was one of the winners of the Printmaking Completion and recipient of the New Media Award for the best web design.

Yelizaveta Rudnitsky Our Journey Home

Yelizaveta was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1982.  In 1989, she immigrated to the United States of America with her family.  In 2005, after graduating Brooklyn College with dual degrees in Computer Science & Fine Art, she attended New York University’s Masters program in Digital Imaging and Design.  Yelizaveta has been working as an Application Support Specialist and Project Manager for several of New York’s largest arts institutions.  During which time, she has volunteered for various Jewish agencies in New York and abroad.  She’s participated in various non-profit informal education programs with young adults traveling to Israel. Since 2013, she’s taught computer programming at Baruch College (CUNY).

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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

Genesis Philanthropy Group

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