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

2018-2019 Fellows

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.


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 2018-2019 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 15, 2018.

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

2018-2019 Fellows

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows

Ilona Bouzoukachvili Peace Art Project

Ilona is originally from Moscow. Her most pleasant childhood memories are associated with visiting her grandparents in Georgia. In the United States Ilona studied English, Graphic Design and Fine Arts. She worked as a Graphic Designer in children's publishing. In recent years Ilona has been organizing community projects for kids and composing Jewish songs in Russian to the guitar. She is also known for baking delicious Challah. Ilona currently works in nursery schools where she teaches art, substitute teaches and babysits.

Elizaveta Pantiukhova JEvents NY & NJ

Past Fellows

Nika Leoni Queen Esther

The Russian-born soprano Nika Leoni has toured internationally, appearing in opera and concert at theaters throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, Italy, England, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Her performance repertoire ranges from large-scale opera roles to intimate art songs, and she also made her recent debut as a dramatic actress/singer in a Broadway-style musical play.  Earlier this year, Nika Leoni’s first recorded album of Russian Romances and Traditional Songs titled “Dark Eyes” was released on Larion Records.

Olga Khodosh Jewish Choices

Anya Fidelia Roots: The Classics

Soprano Anya Fidelia made her professional debut at the Caramoor International Festival in the summer of 2005 where she returned during subsequent seasons to work on the roles of Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore as well as Leonora in La Forza del Destino. Ms. Fidelia also appeared in numerous concerts with the company. Ms. Fidelia’s recent and current seasons include the roles of Suor Angelica; Georgetta in Il Tabarro; Santuzza in Cavaleria Rusticana; Tatyana in Eugene Onegin; Leonora in Il Trovatore; Blanche de la Force in the Dialogues of the Carmelites; Mimi in La Boheme as well as the title roles of Puccini’s Tosca and Madame Butterfly throughout Europe and US. Ms. Fidelia’s domestic and international engagement highlights also include numerous appearances at The Metropolitan Opera Guild; recitals with International Rachmaninov Society in New York City presided by Vladimir Ashkenazy and for the UN VIP guests of the UN Russian Mission, sponsored and hosted by Mayor Bloomberg among others. Past seasons highlights included such roles as Puccini’s Tosca, Mozart’s Donna Anna andCountess at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; appearance in Stefan Weisman’s new opera “Darkling” with the American Opera Projects; a soundtrack for Tribeca Film Festival award winner documentary “Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis” and Cannes Festival award winner documentary “Bye-bye, Babushka!”  as well as the tour of France with the New York Opera Society.

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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.

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