The Justice Fellowship:

Connecting Justice Causes to Jewish Values

About the Justice Fellowship

The Avodah Justice Fellowship is a deep learning and community building program designed to build the field of Jewish social justice leaders working effectively and sustainably in Chicago and New York City. 

Join a pluralistic cohort of local change agents passionate about exploring justice, Jewish life, and the powerful intersections between the two. Fellows continue the work they are already doing in their cities while attending evening and weekend workshops, dialogues, retreats, mentoring sessions, and community events. Our systemic analysis, solidarity-based approach, justice-oriented Jewish community, and commitment to pluralism will ignite your growth as a Jew acting impactfully in movements for social justice.

If you’re in your 20’s or 30’s and have been engaging in sustained social and economic justice work in a professional, volunteer, or personal capacity, we’re looking for you. Our Justice Fellows are activists, organizers, educators, social workers, non-profit staffers, movement leaders, artists, lawyers, health care professionals, and so much more. Our Justice Fellows are visioning, exploring, and building pathways to a more liberated future. We want you to join us.

Apply Now

Already know you’re ready to join the Justice Fellowship? Applications are closed for the 2023-2024 program year, but you can sign up below to get notified when the next cycle opens. Otherwise, scroll down to continue learning about the impact our Justice Fellows have on their communities.
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Program Components

Justice Analysis

Develop a systemic analysis of the root causes and effects of economic, social, racial, environmental, and other manifestations of injustice. Trace the intersections of different faces of oppression,  and of powerful historical and contemporary strategies of intervention.  Through a year-end leadership project, you’ll build a tangible articulation of how you’ve advanced your analysis and work for justice.

Jewish Learning Community

Find your people and take part in cultivating a powerful, creative, diverse Jewish community oriented by social justice. Learn together how to contribute as Jewish people to the broader justice movement. Build a political home where your Judaism flourishes and integrates with your understanding of collective liberation.

Jewish Framework for Justice

Engage in deep learning of Jewish texts, history, rituals, and culture toward articulating throughlines between your Jewishness and your justice commitments. Locate yourself in an unbroken history of progressive Jews, as Jews, resisting oppression.

“Throughout the year I spent in Avodah, I found not only a community, but a sense of belonging. It gave me the opportunity to connect with fellow Jews, who shared my values and my desire to make a positive impact on the world. The Fellowship provided a space where I could explore my Jewish identity in a way that felt authentic to me, even when I felt distant from the religious aspect of the community. It reminded me that being Jewish is not just about tradition or faith, but about ethics and action. I am grateful for this experience, and I know that the connections and inspiration I gained from the Fellowship will stay with me. I feel lucky to have been in the cohort I was in, because I made friends for life.

— 2022-2023 Avodah Kansas City Justice Fellow

Who should apply to be a Fellow?

The Justice Fellowship brings together a pluralistic cohort of social justice leaders working on a diverse set of local issues in a variety of different ways. Our Fellows are excited to break out of the limits of their personal silos and dig into a more holistic learning approach to building power in their communities. They seek to build power, solidarity, language, and strategy for a Jewishly-rooted movement committed to doing this work effectively, collaboratively, and sustainably.  

In short, they:

Have between 2-8 years of experience in either their professional, volunteer or personal life working on domestic social, racial, environmental, and/or economic justice issues;

• Have a demonstrated interest in exploring the intersection of Jewish life and social justice, and developing a deeper relationship between the two;

• Have an active interest in building a values-based community and developing the power of a local Jewish network during and after the Fellowship.

The Fellowship seeks to build a cohort reflecting many, diverse Jewish practices. We encourage people of all Jewish backgrounds to apply. Prior knowledge of Hebrew or Jewish texts is not required or expected and the program will be stimulating regardless of one’s textual experience. Food served at programs will be vegetarian and further specified in respect of the needs of the group, including needs related to allergens, kosher certification, etc.

Our Justice Fellows are typically in their mid-20’s or 30s, but we welcome all applicants in their early and mid-career stages.  If you’re not sure whether you should apply to the Fellowship–we bet you’d be a great candidate! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

How much does the Fellowship cost?

Thanks to the generosity of several funders, the tuition needed for Fellows to participate in the program is subsidized. As an economic justice organization, we are also committed to offering a sliding scale model, with a scale that is based either on the Fellow’s organization’s budget or on the Fellow’s own salary/income (depending on whether the Fellow or the Fellow’s employer is paying). Since the Avodah Justice Fellowship is both a professional and personal development program, we encourage employers, when relevant, to cover all or at least part of the tuition. We can provide additional documentation to help secure professional development time or funding from one’s organization if needed. We do our best to ensure that no accepted candidates are prevented from attending due to financial reasons, including those who engage with social justice work on a personal rather than professional level.


The Latest from the Justice Fellowship

Ready to become a Justice Fellow?

Our Recruitment team is here to help you through the application process and will be available every step of the way, from start to finish. We know that everyone’s background and needs are different, and we’re here to answer any questions you may have.