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.

BluePrint Fellowship

Cohort 2019-2020

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

View All


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 – September 13-15, 2019 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.

Fellowship Sessions
Location: COJECO, 729 7 Ave, 9 Fl, New York, NY
Day & Time: Mondays, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
October 7th, 2019
November 11th, 2019
December 9th, 2019
January 6th, 2020
February 3rd, 2020
March 2nd, 2020
April 6th, 2020
May 4th, 2020

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 2019-2020 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.

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

Cohort 2019-2020

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows

Valeriya Dvorkin Cheburashka Wears a Kippah

Valeriya is a second grade teacher in a NYC public school, working primarily with English language learners. She immigrated to the US with her family in 1999 from Yekaterinburg, Russia. She received her BA in Literary Studies from The New School and a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from CUNY Hunter College. Her short play The Frequencies of Love was put on as part of The Headcase Showcase through The New School in 2012 and was part of a reading series at La MaMa theater.

Inna Shaulskaya Russian Jewish Singles Mingle

Inna was born in Donetsk, Ukraine and immigrated to US with parents in 1993. She is a Brooklyn College graduate with a Business, Management, and Finance degree. While her career is in analytical roles in fashion industry, she loves to travel in her free time. She has a passion for learning and connecting people.

Tatyana Kalko Every Life is A Song

Tatyana Kalko is a NY based, Belorussian born singer-songwriter who creates irreverent indie folk music. A classically trained singer and self taught guitarist, Tatyana studied acting at NYU and the Moscow Art Theatre School. Influenced by Anton Chekhov as well as her dad's Beatles collection, Tatyana's songs are a blend of lighthearted introspection and raw emotion mixed with old Hollywood romanticism. She regularly sings with The Shul Band of NY and is an Artist in Residence with UR2.Global, a non-profit whose mission is to uplift humanity through the arts. For original music and videos visit

Tatyana Dvorkin Cheburashka Wears a Kippah

Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tatyana immigrated to the US with her family at age 11. She received her BA in Sociology Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master’s in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College Columbia University where she focused on the use of games and social media in education. She has been an educator for 12 years, the past 5 of them at The Jewish Education Project working with day schools and congregational institutions all over North America to innovate classrooms and make learning more engaging and personalized. She currently works at an all boys school on the UES teaching coding and STEAM. She shares a home with her wife and about as many books as could comfortably fill a small public library.

Masha Dinor StroyKa

Masha Dinor is originally from Saratov, Russia and recently immigrated to New York. She is an architect and interior designer by trade and finds inspiration in teaching kids about art and design. She was an active member of Saratov' Jewish life and taught tradition and craft lessons at a local Jewish Family Center. Once she moved to Moscow to advance her career, Masha also led classes at a local architectural studio for kids.  Masha continues her work as an art educator in New York, where she teaches at Kibbutznik summer camp, Kompot events, Little-Avangardist and Dacha project.

Past Fellows

Alon Nechushtan Survival Codes

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.

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.

View All

Blueprint Fellowship Alumni

Alumni Projects

View All

The Mountain Jews Cuisine: a cookbook

Yafo Mardakhayeva

Songs of Our Journey

Yaffa Borukhova

The Mountain Jews Cuisine: a cookbook

Lana Shalumova
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: