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.

Please Stay Tuned for Information about Upcoming BluePrint Cohort

Cohort 2019-2021

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

140

Projects continuing beyond their Fellowship year

55

New Jewish non-profit organizations resulting from BluePrint projects

6

Fellows who became Jewish professionals or lay leaders

47

People engaged by BluePrint Fellowship community projects

13,000+

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 – 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
Dates:
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 2019-2021

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows
Past Fellows

Michael Zurakhinsky The Art Story: Jewish Themes in Modern Art

Michael Zurakhinsky is a graduate of Manhattan College with an MBA from New York University. His background includes extensive experience in web technology, business and finance and a passion for art and literature. He has been involved as a lay leader and volunteer in many aspects of the NYC Russian Jewish community.  He also founded the modern art appreciation organization TheArtStory.org.

Yaffa Borukhova Songs of Our Journey

Olia Toporovsky Gomez-Delgado GOGA

Victoria Drob Rus Jews Views

Victoria Drob is a National Board Certified Counselor, holding a master's degree and a license in clinical counseling. Providing psychotherapeutic counseling during her internships as part of her graduate studies has been a life-altering experience for her. For her COJECO Blueprint community project, Victoria conducted research that brought to light the stigmas surrounding the field of psychology in the ex-Soviet culture, in the hopes of dispelling the prevalent myths and misconceptions. Victoria hosted an educational lecture on the benefits of counseling for the Russian-speaking Jewish audience offering insights gained from her research results. Victoria continues advocacy work and research in this field. Her project, Rus Jews Views, can be followed on www.RusJewsViews.com as well as on Facebook.

Yevgeniya Baras Foreign Bodies

Yevgeniya Baras is a painter residing in Brooklyn, NY. Her paintings are visceral geometric abstractions. She has exhibited for the past 10 years in the US and abroad. In May 2010 she co-founded the Regina Rex gallery with fellow artists. She enjoys the intellectual and communal effort involved in this curatorial project.  Yevgeniya emigrated from Russia to Philadelphia in 1993 and has been primarily living in the US since. She has a BA and MS from University of Pennsylvania( 2003) and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007).  Her work can be viewed at www.yevgeniyabaras.com.

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Blueprint Fellowship Alumni

Alumni Projects

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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:

alinab@cojeco.org