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.

Blueprint 2017 Application launch coming soon

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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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 in a public launch event.


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

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows
Past Fellows

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.

Laura Vladimirova Resilience Garden

Laura Vladimirova was born in Kiev, Ukraine. Her family, like many others, immigrated to the United States in the late 80’s. The transience of her youth created an insatiable wanderlust in Laura, which she has tried to fill by traveling and living abroad for most of her young adult life. Then, after her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, Laura realized that planting roots was the next phase of her growth. Thus, she now works with plants and people in community gardens, rooftops, and anywhere else community can be created around the more natural concepts of life.

Alla Milchtein Musical Journey through the Jewish Diaspora

Alla Milchtein was born in Kurgan, Russia and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. After winning a second prize at the International piano competition in Netherlands, Alla was granted a scholarship to continue her studies at the Rotterdam Conservatory where she completed her Bachelor and then Master’s degree in Piano solo and Chamber Music. After completing her studies, Alla was offered a position as a staff pianist at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Florence, Italy where she worked for several years. In 2010 Alla moved to the United  States where she received a full scholarship to pursue her Professional Studies Diploma in Collaborative piano at the Mannes College of Music (2012). In the US, Alla has served as a staff pianist at Beverly Hills Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Glimmerglass Festival and the International Vocal Arts Institute in Virginia. A collaborative and solo pianist in New York, she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall. Currently she is a staff pianist at the Mannes College of Music. Alla is fluent in Russian, Spanish, English, Italian and Dutch.

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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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