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.

Apply Now for Blueprint 2017

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.


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 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

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows
Past Fellows

Alya Adelman Jewpardy

Alya Adelman was born in Kharkov, Ukraine and immigrated to US in 1994. Alya was fascinated with theater since her early childhood and by the age of 14 already produced her first play for the school graduation. After moving to the United States, she worked with a talented director, Simon Rivkin, who led a Russian acting studio in Boston. In New York, she continues advancing her career at HB and Terry Schreiber studios, as well as learning modern dance techniques with legendary Mary Anthony. She currently performs as part of Lost and Found Project.

Marina Mirchevskaya Kruzhok

Marina Mirchevskaya is originally from Moscow and has been living in New York for almost twenty years. An artist early in life, she now works as an art director and designer in the advertising industry. After earning her BA in Advertising Design from Syracuse University, she worked for a number of design agencies, start-ups, and nonprofits. Her work extends to the Russian Jewish community in various capacities, running enriching camps in Israel, volunteering at community centers in New York, and participating in leadership programs and fellowships.

Anna Khalamayzer Man is Not a Rock

Anya Khalamayzer is a writer with a homestead in New York and roots looping the world. After graduating CUNY Bernard Baruch College in 2011, she explored a variety of topics through a journalistic lens with editorial positions covering business and the arts. She is the author of a full-length screenplay, Smoke Over Paloma, set for production in 2015. She currently works with nonprofit organizations, and strives to give as much to the world through her craft as it gifts her.

Andrew Tuzhilin Lyagushki

Andrew Tuzhilin is a musician and educator who has been working with children for the past 5 years. At a young age Andrew attended Green Meadow Waldorf School where he began his musical journey, and was introduced to the world of theater. He received his education from the Berklee College of Music and worked on a multi-media project at Brown University. Andrew is currently working on the children’s project Rolie Polie Guacamole.

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.

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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.

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