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

Mark Gold Young Jewish Creatives

  Mark is the Chief Marketing Officer of Toto Global Ventures, a seasoned Marketing Consultant and an official Mentor with New York State's Business Mentor of NY program. Named "Super Connector" by Social Magazine and recently featured as a keynote speaker at Wix, Microsoft and the New York Bar Association, Mark’s aptitude for business development makes him a much-sought-after thought-leader among entrepreneurs and executives. Mark Gold's authentic and forward-thinking approach has successfully launched thousands of marketing campaigns for hundreds of organizations both locally and internationally in the last decade.

Ronit Levin Delgado Blender Bodies

Ronit Levin Delgado (born Tel-Aviv, Israel) a multi media artist and a Fulbright scholar, lives and works in NYC. Levin Delgado holds a MFA in the Studio Art at MSU, NJ (2013) and a BFA from Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem (2008). Levin Delgado has won many honors and awards bestowed on her, including the Ministry of Culture scholarship, 2011-2013 Fulbright scholarship and in 2014 she was chosen to be the recipient of the First Annual Prize for Bezalel Alumni Ambassador. Levin Delgado has had solo exhibitions and participated in numerous international group exhibitions in Israel, Europe and the US.

Mark Gurevich The Yiddish Old and New

Mark is a New York-based photographer whose work has focused on narrative portraits and documenting community experiences through photography. Born in Moscow, Russia, Mark is two generations away from the small Yiddish-speaking shtetl in Belorus where his grandfather grew up. When not shooting portraits, Mark is a corporate attorney at a New York law firm.

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.

Ekaterina Schaltuper Handmade Charity

Ekaterina Schaltuper was born in Moscow in 1986. She received a bachelor's degree in Economics and Marketing in Russian State University named after G.V. Plekhanov. She started her career at the age of eighteen as an account executive at a British PR company MMD. After graduation Ekaterina started working for a restaurant group "Novikov Group", doing brand management for eight leading restaurants in Moscow. She immigrated to New York in 2008 where she got involved in the fine jewelry industry for several international brands. Currently Ekaterina works for a consulting company Mega Projects as a Sales Director for nine emerging jewelry brands. Outside of professional interests, Katya is learning to play piano and vocal, she travels widely and enjoys living with her husband Mark.

Past Fellows

Yelena Goltsman RUSA LGBT

Yelena Goltsman is a Kiev-born human rights and LGBTQ activist. She is the founder and co-president of RUSA LGBT, an organization that was formed in 2008 to establish a social network for the Russian-speaking LGBTQ community in the New York area and beyond. Yelena is a long-time member of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah and is an outstanding lay contributor to the life of the synagogue, organizing a wide range of programming and learning opportunities. Her concern for Russian- speaking LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers and those still oppressed in the former Soviet Union has made the issue a central component in CBST’s social justice work. Currently and for the past several years, Yelena is serving on the Membership Committee of the synagogue.

Michael Korosty 100 Views of New Jerusalem

Michael Korosty was born in Kiev, Ukraine. He started his education as an artist at the age of seven, and upon moving to the U.S. in 1989, completed his formal art education at the Pratt Institute. Michael is works in the mediums of painting and drawing.  He has been teaching art to adults and children at his studio, as well as at various private institutions since 1994. Having provided art services to the local South Brooklyn community for years, after the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the studio was relocated to Manhattan Beach.

Michael Girshin Ping Thing

Michael Girshin immigrated to the United States from Moscow in 1996 at the age of 25.  He lives in New York City and currently works as an anesthesiologist at the Metropolitan Hospital. Michael created a Table Tennis fundraiser, Ping Thing, for the Israeli charity “Save A Child’s Heart.” The event raised $7,000 for charity and had over 150 participants.  “Save A Child’s Heart” provides life-saving cardiac surgery and other life saving procedures for children from developing countries.

Zhenya Plechkina Solomon's Chair

Zhenya Plechkina is a Ukranian-born artist living in South Brooklyn. Zhenya studied art at the Pratt Institute and the Tisch School of the Arts, and Art Education at the Pratt Institute.Zhenya's teaching experience includes New York City public and private schools, camps and Riker's Island vocational school. Zhenya leads her own Museum Education Series for children and adults. She has exhibited works in a variety of venues in the US and abroad, including the Queens Museum of Art, the Venice Architectural and Moscow Biennials. After the BluePrint Fellowship, Zhenya went on to become the first Russian-speaking Jewish Joshua Venture Group fellow, where she further developed her initiative, Zshuk Art Initiative.

Anya Rozenblat Yidishe Mame

Anna Rozenblat is a New York based freelance photographer specializing in weddings and events photography, as well as fashion and experimental work. After studying art at Art Students League, and graphic design at FIT, Anna finally chose photography as her medium of choice for its ability to instantly capture spirit, depth and the essence of passing moments.is a New York based freelance photographer specializing in weddings and events photography, as well as fashion and experimental work. After studying art at Art Students League, and graphic design at FIT, Anna finally chose photography as her medium of choice for its ability to instantly capture spirit, depth and the essence of passing moments.

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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

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