Applications for the first cohort of the AVODAH Fellowship in Chicago are open!

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 Applications to the 2015-2016 New York cohort of the AVODAH Fellowship are officially closed. Stay tuned for more updates about future cohorts. 

Take Your Next Step With Us

The Fellowship is our program for early-career Jewish professionals and lay leaders working on domestic social and economic issues in New York City and Chicago. Depending on your city, we'll provide you with 6 to 9 months of mentoring, Jewish community, and leadership development, as well as lifetime membership in our extensive alumni network of social justice leaders throughout the country. 

If you're in the first chapter of your work as a social justice leader, and you want the skills and the community to thrive for the long-term, then the Fellowship is for you. 

We'll provide you with:

  • The mentorship you want to help you grow
  • A cohort of peers to support you personally and professionally
  • The resources to expand your knowledge and analysis as a leader on domestic social and economic issues
  • A way to connect your work to your Jewish identity within a safe and supportive community 
  • An 800 strong network of social justice leaders in the AVODAH alumni network

We've been training the next generation of Jewish social justice leaders since 1998. We believe that someone's Jewish identity and social justice identity should never be separate, and that both aspects are strengthened by bringing them together. We'll leverage our years of expertise, programming, and extensive network of leaders towards helping you to advance your own work. 

AVODAH has given me the space to reflect on my own Jewish identity within the context of a community where being challenged to think is a core value of the community. I have never felt so safe, while simultaneously challenged spiritually and intellectually at the same time.”

What does the program look like?

We've sharpened our curriculum and adapted it to fit the needs to working professionals. The Fellowship includes:

  • Two to three monthly educational sessions that will provide you with (1) leadership development to enhance your effectiveness in your area of work; (2) networks and resources to enable you to emerge as leaders of the Jewish community’s social justice efforts; and (3) a solid foundation of critical analysis and thought focused on the intersection between social justice and Jewish life.
  • Coaching or mentoring that will include opportunities to problem-solve current professional challenges, to address areas for personal growth, build on personal and professional strengths, and to explore career path options.
  • Two to three retreats over the course of the year: an introductory community building retreat to develop common language and shared purpose, and a year-end reflection retreat to help participants focus on your next steps as visible social change leaders and how you would like to participate as AVODAH alumni.
  • Shared educational, social, and religious events and celebrations with members AVODAH’s Jewish Service Corps and alumni.  

How long is the AVODAH Fellowship?

The New York Fellowship is nine months long, beginning in September 2015. Our first Chicago Fellowship cohort will last for six months, beginning in January 2016

Who should apply to be an AVODAH Fellow?

  • You have 1-5 years of experience, either professionally or in volunteer leadership, in domestic social and economic justice work. 
  • You have a demonstrated interest in exploring the intersection of Jewish life and social justice. 
  • You have a commitment to personal growth and an active interest in building community and developing the power of a network during and after the Fellowship. 

“AVODAH opened my eyes and made me realize that I am not just a cog in the social justice wheel but a necessary voice in the fight for a more just world.”

How much does the AVODAH Fellowship cost? Should I apply if my organization can't cover the cost?

Participating in the Fellowship costs just $500. You’ll get months of learning and retreats for the average cost of a single weekend at a professional conference. Consider asking your employer to pay all or part of the fee out of their professional development funds if those are available. Payment plans and opportunities for scholarships are available if cost is a potential barrier for you.

Can you say more about how you define domestic social and economic justice work? I don’t work at a non-profit or social service agency but I’m interested in this program.

We define social and economic work broadly, as working to address a wide range of pressing local and national issues. This includes professionals providing services to low-income individuals or groups of people, helping organize communities to fight for systemic change, serving at government offices helping constituents in need, teachers or librarians working to build the skills of people to fight their way out of poverty, people serving in health clinics, working on food justice or helping people make their workplace better. Take a look at our class of 2015 Fellows to get a sense of the diverse leadership profiles of our participants. 

"The AVODAH Fellowship gave me the foundation I needed personally and professionally to develop into a Jewish social justice leader. The triple threat of insight, professional "tools" and a network of like minded individuals act as a catalyst to truly be the change I want to see in the world."

Are AVODAH Service Corps alumni eligible to be participants?

Service Corps alumni are not eligible to be Fellows, but the Fellows will be a part of the larger AVODAH network and alumni will have the opportunity to mentor them, share ideas and network with members of the Fellowship. One significant way Service Corps Alumni can shape the Fellowship is to help with recruitment by sharing with your networks, and spreading the word to colleagues, friends, work contacts you think would make great members of the Fellowship.

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