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.

Alex Notkin Jewish Fairy-tales

ALEX NOTKIN Was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. Graduated from The St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy 2008. Worked in various Russian and European feature films, TV series, Commercials and theatre productions. Lived in Israel from 1990 to 2004. In 2013, in St. Petersburg, Alex directed his own theatre show ‘The Letters of Vertinsky’ in which he also starred as the lead. This production participated in various European festivals. Alex has also established himself as a well known Voice Over actor: Among his Voice Over highlights are: AVATAR (The Russian Version) in which he dubbed the lead Jake Sully played by Sam Worthington, TERMINATOR 4, SALVATION where he dubbed Christian Bale, Crab Sebastian in Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid 2 and many more. In 2014 Alex moves to New York City to pursue his acting career, he then completes an acting Conservatory Program at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and continues working as an actor, Voice Over artist and stage director. His recent U.S. projects include: Theatre: Serge in ‘Art’ which he also directed at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre NY Officer Augustus in the Off Broadway production of ‘Green Card the New Musical’ TV and Commercials Madam Secretary, Mozart in the Jungle, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, Sheepshead Bay, Ponder and Ghostek Commercials Voice Over Mercedes Benz, Metlife Stage Directing ‘Art’, ‘Defendant Maurice Chevalier’-Off Broadway, ‘Loitering’-Off Broadway Collaborated with WZO and Russian Speaking Jewish communities in New York.

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.

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 http://www.kalkomusic.com/

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.

Past Fellows

Alex Ryaboy Le Grand Voyage

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.

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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