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

Olga Khodosh Jewish Choices

Marina Webb Family Reunion

Lenny Khmel KlezMixed

Olia Toporovsky Gomez-Delgado GOGA

Past Fellows

Olga Gilburd Happiness the Jewish Way

Olga Gilburd lived in Russia and Ukraine before coming to the United States. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and a Master’s degree in Public Service. She worked with teens and adults at The Jewish Agency for Israel and also with kids in a Jewish Sunday school. As a nurse, she interacted and helped predominately Russian-speaking immigrants.  Listening to many life stories, she realized that although pursuit of happiness is the main reason for immigration, the emotional well-being skills and happiness are mostly overlooked in everyday challenges. Olga studied positive Psychology and created a blog about happiness. www.olgarythm.blogspot.com

Lisa Klig Mishpucha Camping

Lisa Klig is a community organizer and social entrepreneur. Born in Kiev, Ukraine and raised in NJ, she discovered her passion for Jewish community building while at college. As Program Manager at RJeneration, Lisa designed and implemented innovative engagement programs for Russian-speaking Jewish young adults. Concurrently, with the support of the COJECO Blueprint Fellowship, she founded her own nonprofit initiative, Mishpucha – providing culturally authentic, adventurous engagement for RSJ families throughout the East Coast. In 2011, Lisa joined the COJECO team as Program Director, overseeing all program development, marketing, and grant management. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their very fat cat, Yura.

Aleks Degtyarev Marlo: Jewish [En]Lightning

Aleks Degtyarev could be described as a story teller. Aleks has been passionately involved in the media world for over 10 years. Among a diversified skill set his main focus has always been producing, filming and editing, combined with education. As a multi-disciplinary artist, Aleks grounds all his work from a writer’s background sealing it with his knowledge of poetry and philosophy. Working with actors/talent as a director, he is not afraid to get in front of the lens and expose his own vulnerability. Aleks believes that everyone has a great story to tell and he searches out ways to inspire his collaborators to tell their stories. His major focus is honest media that has transformative potential, seeking to strengthen communities, and evolving communication.

Rebecca Karpovsky Pinsky

Rebecca Karpovsky is an actor, writer and producer originally from Boston and currently based in NYC. As an actor she has performed at the ZACH and Vortex Theatres in Austin, TX, as well as in feature films, shorts and commercials in Boston, Austin and NYC. Recently settled in NYC, her most recent film projects include Andrew Wagner's, Breakable You, A Lonely Woman, Pact and Strawberries. Karpovsky is trilingual and performs in Russian, Spanish and English on the screen and stage. A lot of the work she writes and produces is heavily influenced by her own Russian Jewish culture. This most recent project, PINSKY, which she starred in, co-wrote and produced, was shot this spring in Boston. Her actor training is based in the Sanford Meisner technique, which she studied under Kathryn Gately at the Gately/Poole Conservatory. She has also studied corporeal mime under Thomas Leabhart and Droznin-based movement training with the Moscow Art Theatre. She is a graduate of Scripps College, where she studied acting and film production. More information is available at www.rebeccakarpovsky.com.

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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