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

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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 2019-2020

Blueprint fellows

Current Fellows

Irina Gorovaia Short film

Born in Leningrad, Russia, raised in the belly of Brooklyn, Irina has been on the path of metamorphosis from a young age. Although she doesn't remember much of her childhood, she enjoys reading Dostoyevsky and daydreaming of other lifetimes. After being discovered at a young age to play Young Margo in The Royal Tenebaums, Irina went on to be in several more feature films including It Runs in The Family and The Butterfly Effect. She attended the School of American Ballet, LaGuardia High School for Drama, and then CUNY Hunter College where she earned her BA in the highly lucrative field of Philosophy. Irina has since gone on to study at UCB, the Barrow Group under Seth Barrish and Lee Brock, and with international Meisner teacher Andrea Dantas. She works in both theater and film, most recently moving into producing and performing her own content including co-writing and producing her own web series (Frank&Alice), two seasons of Reservations at The Kraine Theater under 2293 Productions, and writing, producing and starring in critically acclaimed short films (Sun on Your Elbows, A Magnificent Gray), the latter of which is now being adapted into a feature film. Irina currently resides in NYC and can be spotted weaving through traffic and avoiding potholes on her bicycle, rain or shine. She wears her helmet proudly. Irina would like to thank her family and friends for their undying love, support and laughing at her jokes even when they aren't funny. She believes in the power of collaboration, being kind, and sharing french fries.

Anya Marfin Knots for Jews - Macramé Workshops

Anya Marfin was born in Moscow, Russian and emigrated to the US in 1995 after living for a few years in Israel. She is a local NY artist and a designer who graduated from Parsons School of Design with Bachelors in Fine Arts majoring in Product Design. She started her career designing fashion handbags for major American companies. After becoming a mom, she became a teaching artist and has been teaching and making art in her home-based studio using different media - painting with acrylics, watercolors, sculptures with clay and wall hanging with macramé. She’s currently teaching ceramics at Marlene Meyerson JCC in Manhattan.

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.

Anna Vinogradskaya Intellectual Jewish Salon Series

Anna Vinogradskaya is the author and presenter of the "Intellectual Club Tel Aviv" based in JCC Moscow. She also runs "Club Friends Of Zhukovka" based in JCC Zhukovka. She is the chief editor of the Mercedes-Benz Club Magazine, journalist and communications specialist. Anna used to worked at the TNT broadcasting channel, in the CTC Media holding and at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) as a PR director. She participated in major cultural events around the world - the art fair in Vienna, Art Basel in Miami, the Venice Biennale, and interned in New York. Anna’s broad outlook and her extensive experience in communicating with leaders in various fields of art, science and business will make it possible to best represent and reveal any topic of the “Intellectual Club Tel Aviv” and “Club Friends Of Zhukovka”.

Marina Gasparyan Short film

Marina is a New York City based Russian-Armenian actress, writer, and producer from Moscow. She can be seen performing monthly at The Pit Striker with her indie sketch team Suede and at venues around the city with her indie improv group the idiots. She also performs original characters. She has produced, wrote, and acted in the past two seasons of 2293 Productions’ Reservations at The Kraine Theatre as well the web series The Box. Marina holds a degree in Cinema Studies and Dramatic Literature from NYU Tisch School Of The Arts (2012.) She was the co founder of a curated monthly screening series Black Mariah Films (2012-2015) where she programmed film series that showcased emerging filmmakers alongside classic and art house films. She completed the two year acting conservatory at The Barrow Group Theatre Company where she studied with Seth Barrish and Lee Brock and performed in her first full length play, A Perfect Couple as Emma. Marina continued her acting training at Playhouse West Brooklyn Lab where she completed the two year Meisner training program. She is an Academy level student at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) where she has been taking improv and character classes since 2015. She has also studied improv at The People’s Improv Theatre (PIT) and at iO Chicago.

Past Fellows

Ilona Bouzoukachvili Школа Пэна (Art School of Yehuda Pen)

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.

Mark Gurevich The Yiddish Old and New

Mark is a New York-based photographer whose work has focused on narrative portraits and documenting community experiences through photography. Born in Moscow, Russia, Mark is two generations away from the small Yiddish-speaking shtetl in Belorus where his grandfather grew up. When not shooting portraits, Mark is a corporate attorney at a New York law firm.

Marina Rubin Stealing Cherries

Marina Rubin was born in the small town of Vinnitsa, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union. Her family immigrated to United States in 1989 seeking asylum. Her first chapbook Ode to Hotels(2002) was followed by Once(2004) and Logic(2007). Her work had appeared in over seventy magazines and anthologies including 13th Warrior Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Dos Passos Review, 5AM, Nano Fiction, Coal  City, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Jewish Currents, Lillith, Pearl, Poet Lore, Skidrow Penthouse, The Portland Review, The Worcester Review and many more. She is an associate editor of Mudfish, the Tribeca literary and art magazine. Her work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2007 and again in 2012. She is a 2013 recipient of the COJECO Blueprint Fellowship. Her fourth book, a collection of flash fiction stories Stealing Cherries was released in November 2013 from Manic D Press and is available on Amazon, B&N and other booksellers nationwide.

Elena Zaveleva Shmata

Maria Blekher Made in Israel

Maria was born in Samara. At the age of 8, together with her family, she made Aliya to Israel, and 23 years later, in 2013 she came to the US as a visiting scholar at NYU Stern School of Business. Maria is a Marketing expert; she has an MBA and a PhD in Marketing from the Ben Gurion University in Israel and experience in consulting and working in the banking and high tech industries. Today Maria is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing and Director of MS in Marketing online program at Yeshiva University.

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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