An album of original Jewish music by Syd Bakal.
A new album of Jewish music by Syd Bakal, paired with one or more virtual Jewish singer-songwriter events and possible in-person music performances, circumstances permitting. All profits will go to COVID-19 relief organizations (Crisis Aid International and Black Belt Community Fund). Watch a video of Syd performing Hashkiveinu.
A year-long leadership program for seventh-grade students at MS 54 in New York City.
A student leadership program for seventh-graders at the school where Cohen teaches, a highly diverse public school. A diverse group of 30 students will meet weekly to grow social-emotional and leadership skills, process emotions, and undertake projects to help their school community.
A virtual orchestral performance of “Can’t You Line ‘Em” by W.G. Still, the most prominent African-American composer of the 20th century.
A virtual orchestral performance of “Can’t You Line ‘Em” by W.G. Still, the most prominent African-American composer of the 20th century, to honor the 125th anniversary of Still’s birth. The musicians will be drawn from the roster of the Boston Chamber Symphony (“BCS”), taking special care to select a racially diverse group of musicians for this performance.
A laboratory of virtual Jewish education, with the ultimate end-goal of developing and disseminating effective distance learning strategies for Jewish educators.
A laboratory of virtual Jewish education, where five young, pluralistic, rising Jewish educators will teach 20 experimental courses and workshops. After the 20 session period is finished, Ellenson and the educators will write a joint piece for publication about what they have learned about virtual Jewish learning pedagogies that can be replicated, and to create templates of curricula that they will freely advertise and distribute. They will also offer themselves as consultants-for-hire to institutions adapting their curricula, as well as hold a mini-conference to actively share with the community the best practices they have developed.
A team-building event for Beitar Jerusalem, the first-ever all-women’s professional soccer team of Jerusalem.
A post-COVID team-building event for Beitar Jerusalem, the first-ever all-women’s professional soccer team of Jerusalem consisting of Arab, Jewish, religious and secular players. This two-day event will feature team-building workshops and bonding time for the team, who have not been able to meet in person since the start of the COVID crisis. This will help ensure the continuity of this young team. Avraham is the founder and manager of Beitar Jerusalem – part of a fledgling professional women’s soccer movement.
An animated music video to accompany the new song “Ayala”.
An animated music video to accompany Gamlieli’s new song “Ayala,” on his new album “Storage Room” – a new way to reach audiences since COVID-19 is preventing live performances. Animator Hanani Horowitz has already begun work on this project in collaboration with the musician, but additional funding is required to bring it to life. The song and animation aim to spark discussion about a promise of peace and tolerance to nature and of our connection to nature and good, and to inspire optimism and happiness.
A project which redirects unsold produce at Machane Yehuda Shuk into a communal refrigerator which is free to all Jerusalem residents.
Restarting an existing project, the Social Refrigerator of Machane Yehuda Shuk, which provides unsold produce for free to any passerby, thereby redirecting food that would otherwise be thrown into the garbage to feed needy Jerusalemites. The funding would be used to sustain the project and ultimately expand the scale of the project and spread awareness about it.
A film told from the perspective of seven-year-old Eli, as she processes the sudden death of her father, and the continued presence of death in life.
Kuban’s final project at Sam Spiegel Film School, which will be an autobiographical film told from the perspective of seven-year-old Eli, as she processes the sudden death of her father, and the continued presence of death in life.
A series of workshops for American and Israeli Bat Mitzvah girls and their parents, focused on identity-building and feminist empowerment.
Digital workshops for Bat Mitzvah girls and their parents, in Israel and America. The content includes workshops on identity, planning for the future, self-expression, learning from inspiring women, and more. The income from these workshops will help sustain Shavot, an organization that works year-round to uplift young women. Ran serves on the board of Shavot and helped to develop the content.
A seminar for young Israelis at pre-military academies to learn about and implement sustainability and environmental activism.
A seminar for representatives of various pre-military academies (religious, secular, and mixed) to learn how to promote sustainability, environmental awareness, and environmental activism at their respective academies. Post-military volunteers will act as mentors to the group, and will guide them throughout the year to implement what they have learned. This is the newest iteration of a movement founded by Naftali to “grow an Israeli local ecological discourse based on the values of Zionism and Jewish heritage.”
In 2019, we held a special grant cycle for Israeli Amitim. Both North American and Israeli alumni participated in reviewing and selecting the grantees.
Maor Albeck (Amitei Bronfman ’06) – Responsible marriage. A campaign that encourages couples, before marriage, to recognize the legal, social, and political implications of their wedding and to choose the nature of their marriage with awareness.
Yahel Halevi (Amitei Bronfman ’17) – Bridges. On May 16, 2019, at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, a fascinating and innovative event will take place: “Bridges – In what way?” An event of cultural abundance, it will be presented to an audience through a series of short lectures and an exhibition.
Rotem Kaplinsky (Amitei Bronfman ’02) – MeToo. Creating and distributing a graphic icon that means “Stop – you’re sexually harassing me!”
Rotem Kliger (Amitei Bronfman ’12) – Noa Tanu’a. A survey aimed at finding a consensus around transportation questions on the Sabbath.
Ester Meir Hurwitz (Amitei Bronfman ’02) – Vedibarta: Getting to know the ‘other’ in the class. An app that will be a repository of high school students from different populations in Israel who are meant to meet the ‘other’ to discuss issues of identity, even when there is no possibility of meeting face to face.
Yarden Mendelson (Amitei Bronfman ’03) – The Movement for Public Psychology. A movement to form a coalition of organizations that will lead a national solution to change the face of public psychology in Israel.
Alex Riff (Amitei Bronfman ’03) – Documentary web series – Between Cyprus and Tel Aviv. A glimpse into the absurdity of the “1.5” generation who cannot get married in Israel. How is it possible that, 30 years after immigration, many still have to marry in Cyprus? A project from the Cultural Brigade House.
Assaf Shachar (Amitei Bronfman ’99) – “Beit Reshet” Music Center. Establishing a music center as part of a therapeutic diagnostic framework for at-risk boys and girls. It will provide an opportunity for at-risk youth in Ashdod to create and dream.
Michael Veig (Amitei Bronfman ’09) – Do you want to cross the sea? (a film). The story of Noraldin Musa, a leader in the asylum community in Israel, who is looking for a home in the world. A unique and close look at the journey of separation, the uprooting of the roots that grew in Israel, and their planting in Canada.
Yigal Avrahami (Amitei Bronfman ’00) – Training educators how to deal with LGBT phobia among students and educators. The goal of this project is for the Choshen (Hebrew acronym for Educate and Change) organization to reach more educators and provide them with the necessary tools to deal with LGBT phobia among students and educators in Israel. We will strive to reach at least 100 educators, who through their classroom or groups will be able to distribute content to 3,000 children and adolescents.
Evyatar Bar Lev (Amitei Bronfman ’16) – Program for the Development of Urban Youth Involvement – Jerusalem Group. This project will bring together a diverse group of 10th and 11th-graders (religious and secular; Jews, Muslims, and Christians) who attend the schools in the Ginot Ha’Ir Community Administration in Jerusalem to create positive norms of discussion and learning, and a desire to change reality and bring “the tribes” together.
Maor Elback (Amitei Bronfman ’06) – The use of social media in the fight against divorce refusal and “Agunot”. The goal of this project is to renew the website, operate a Facebook page and Twitter account, set up a blog, and publish a regular newsletter for the Mavoy Satum (“Dead End”) organization, helping women who are refused a divorce and Aginut.
Irit Faingold (Amitei Bronfman ‘06) – Translating the report “It’s No Place for Children” into Tigrinya. The Levinsky Garden Library organization has produced a report that documents the voices of the children of “Neve Shaanan” neighborhood, one of Tel Aviv’s most neglected. The report deals with the children’s perception of traveling to Israel, the neighborhood’s violence and neglect, as well as their ambitions and dreams for the future, and includes quotes from dozens of interviews with children ages 13-17. The next stage requires that we translate the report to the Afroasiatic language of Tigrinya, to ensure that their voices and points of view are heard by their parents and adult neighbors.
Daniel Herman (Amitei Bronfman ‘06) – “0202- Points of View from Jerusalem“ will translate information from Arab, Haredi, and Zionist media outlets in Jerusalem on Facebook, in order to pave the way for an understanding between the different parts of the city. For more info, watch their intro video and visit https://www.0202updates.org/.
Becki Marcus (’15) Building Relationships: Islam and Judaism (BRIJ) brings together 5th-graders from The Jewish Community Day School and the Islamic School of Rhode Island to Brown University’s campus for dynamic inter-religious learning experience. Crafted in close collaboration with the faculty of the Islamic and Jewish day schools, our interactive curriculum centers on the shared concept of tzedakah in Hebrew and sadaqah in Arabic, both roughly translating to charity. From what we learn in the classroom, we channel our shared religious values into direct action as the students and families of the two schools work together to support local organizations in Rhode Island.
Rena Yehuda Newman (’15) – House of Jacob/People Israel: A Trans & Jewish Zine. Rena Yehuda Newman (they/them) will publish the second edition of “House of Jacob/People Israel,” a personal collection of poems, fragments, drawings, and reflections on the intersection of being both a young Jew and a non-binary, transgender person. Focusing on the beauty and struggle of paradoxical-yet-intertwined identities, “House of Jacob/People Israel” seeks to open up conversations about gender in Jewish spaces and highlight otherness through Jewishness. If you or your organization would like to receive a copy of “House of Jacob/People Israel,” contact Rena Yehuda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sammy Potter (’17) The Day of Hope. The first annual Day of Hope featured seven Maine leaders (from the Mayor of Portland to Maine’s most famous musician to Maine’s leader in entrepreneurship) at Yarmouth High School to share stories about hope from their jobs and lives: where they find hope and how they use it to make a positive impact.
Sari Schlesinger Marsha (Amitei Bronfman ‘08) – Renewing the Old. Last year, the project organized four meetings between students of the Reform and Conservative rabbinate and students attending yeshivot, involving more than 200 participants, This year we are expanding the program. We have established a program for students for the rabbinate from the liberal movements to study in depth about core issues of religious Zionism and have more meaningful and in-depth dialogues. The ultimate goal of the project is to break down the barriers within the Jewish people by focusing on a common infrastructure and creating familiarity.
Tom Shai (Amitei Bronfman ‘99) – Urban Community Permaculture Course. This project will create a sustainabilty-focused group of 12-20 environmental activists from at least two different communities in the city of Rehovot, leading to a series of meetings that will develop concrete initiatives to change residential buildings, including the kindergarten and the adjacent synagogue. Thus far we have managed to hold every event with another community (e.g. Ethiopians, ultra-Orthodox, students), and we want all the leaders from the events to form a single group that will speak about what is required for a sustainable life and environment.
Aviva Simenish (Amitei Bronfman ‘02) You-Her Beauty – a unique journey project. You-Her Beauty is a meeting on the beauty of the culture of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jewish) community, from its establishment until today. Participants will experience the culture, cuisine, art, traditional dress, and music of the community. We will hear a living, breathing testimony from my mother, Ruth, beginning with when she left her village in Ethiopia, carrying her baby girl on her back, and continuing with her long journey through the deserts of Sudan, losing all hope until her realization of the “Return to Zion.” I have heard my mother’s story every Shabbat, when she recalls her son whom she lost on the journey. His name was Sanbate – “Shabbat”. One of my goals is to let my mother tell her fascinating story; perhaps it will heal the wounds that have opened in her heart, and in the hearts of so many in this community.
Shira Telushkin (’08) – Within the Eighteen Minutes is a Jewish advice column for anyone navigating a Jewish situation about which they are unsure. For thousands of years, Judaism has been rolling through time and space, picking up everything in its path. That means that, today, we’ve inherited a tradition with a complicated and often confusing mix of rituals, identity markers, red lines, and ways to practice. The peculiarities and particularities of the diverse Jewish world have tripped up many well-meaning Jews and non-Jews, and my proposed project creates a Jewish advice column that can get very different types of Jews having a shared conversations about communal norms, and help decode Judaism for everybody else.
Gabriella Wallk (’17) – TakeOff is a free tutoring app that virtually matches Chicago teens at underfunded high schools with collegiate volunteer tutors. Like an online dating site, students and volunteers input preferences— subject area, level, and availability. Then, students select profiles from TakeOff’s generated matches and contact tutors via in-app texting and video chatting, with split screen capabilities for displaying work. TakeOff’s tutor community includes Chicago-based university and high school volunteers interested in a service learning opportunity. The app includes a breadth of school subjects and mentoring for career interests, extracurricular opportunities, and the college process. By employing technology, TakeOff bridges the gap in human tutoring capital across the “two Chicagos,” addressing educational inequity and expanding quality educational resources.
Abraham Waserstein (’16) – Princeton University Intercollegiate Moot Beit Din Competition and Shabbaton. The incredible aspect of Moot Beit Din is that it illustrates to students the applicability of ancient Jewish laws and teachings in dealing with present-day issues. By offering a shabbaton style experience, a collegiate Moot Beit Din would offer students within the entire spectrum of religiosity and Jewish knowledge the possibility to meaningfully interact with Judaism in a way that can be applicable in their everyday lives. The competitive style of Moot Beit Din as well as its structure as a weekend event where Jewish students have an opportunity to meet each other is a spectacular way to foster a future generation of Jewish people who are engaged with and excited about the Jewish heritage.
Karen Zasloff (’91) – “Right of Admission Reserved” is a shadow puppet performance about post-apartheid South Africa through the eyes of an American visitor. My project goal is to reflect through experimentation with the art form of puppetry, the complexities of people trying to overcome social barriers — walls that keep them in and keep them out — to form a dynamic community. In working in a metaphorical dreamlike way, and suggesting through the manipulation of puppets, the role of external, entrenched controls in society, I am asking how art can transform thought. (Click here to see clips from a work-in-progress performance at Cape Town.)
Yair Agmon (’04) – Pnei Zaken: In the Presence of the Aged – a Web Documentary. A documentary web series dedicated to exploring different aspects of the thing we find so scary to deal with: old age.
Zohar Atkins (’05) – Torah as Poetry, Poetry as Torah. Talented, eclectic writers gather in NYC to write and read poems on classical themes from Jewish tradition.
Eli Batalion (’97) – Trust – A Short Film. Can you really trust your “trusted” financial advisor? This short film explores themes inspired by the Madoff Ponzi scheme.
Avlana Eisenberg (’93) – The Musicians of Bremen. Banished from the barnyard for being different, a ragtag group of animals form their own family in this magical musical family tale scored by a chamber orchestra.
Michael Grumer (’04) – “Lone Parents” – A national support network for parents of individuals who have moved to Israel to serve as lone soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces.
Nadia Kalman (’92) – Russian Jewish Literature: Online Resources for Teaching and Learning. Contemporary Russian Jewish Literature: border-crossing resources for the classroom and beyond.
Alex Maged (’11) – What’s Pshat? What’s Pshat? is a blog dedicated to sharing original literary and interdisciplinary readings of the Torah Parshah with 1300+ weekly subscribers.
Sari Schlezinger Marsha (’08) – Renewing the Old. Renewing the Old is a project aimed at transforming the field of encounter between rabbinical students at national-religious Yeshivot in Israel and liberal North American seminaries.
Leah Mundell (’90) – Migrant Lives and Leadership. The “Migrant Lives and Leadership” photo exhibition provokes community discussion about our connection to migrants locally and globally.
Alex Riff (’03) – Israeli Novy God. “Israeli Novy God” is a nationwide project meant to introduce the Soviet‐Israeli holiday to the wider public, thus making it an inseparable part of Israeli culture.
Margie Klein Ronkin (’96) – Race Training: Building Beloved Community. Training that builds relationships and understanding across race, class, and faith amongst leaders working together on criminal justice reform.
Hannah Sarvasy (’99) – Preempting the tidal wave: The Nungon Community Technology Centre. Introduce tech to New Guinea rainforest hamlets in the local language to promote language sustainability in the digital age.
Ealeal Semel (’07) – A Play Titled “Murder” – The play “Murder” is a political theatrical production dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, starring Israeli and Palestinian students from all facets of Israeli society.
Lior Soroka(’99) – After His Death (short film). “After His Death” is a ten-minute film independently produced and directed about a girl who, during her father’s shiva, discovers he had an affair with another man.
Auren Weinberg (’87) – Second Helping Schools Project. Second Helping Schools Project teaches children about food insecurity, compassion, and eliminates stigma.
Jonah Fisher (’06) – FLO Community Co-Working Space. Intentionally designed to build relationships, FLO is a community workspace in Tel Aviv all about connecting professionals to better their surroundings.
Julie Geller (’91) – Setting the Stage. Love Julie Geller’s music and message? Join a network of women who are uplifting and helping one another personally and professionally.
Ben Wolfson (’11) – Pockets Against The Patriarchy. PATP brings utility and comfort to women’s clothing. We add pockets to business suits, fighting the fashion industry’s sexism.
Project name: The Hitchhikers
The documentary series, “The Hitchhikers,” documents the spontaneity and richness of hitchhiking (and offering rides) in Israel.
Project name: Nahara Dance Group
Nahara is an Israeli dance company for religious women with a professional, honest and personal approach that remains respectful of the religious observances of its members and audience.
Project Name: YidLife Crisis – European Outreach Tour
Yidlife Crisis, a Yiddish language web-series with a modern twist, is engaging with European Jewish audiences through both live presentation and filmed docu-travelogue videos.
Project Name: 2States1Homeland-Jerusalem Activists
2States1Homeland is a new Israeli-Palestinian initiative that aims to change the discourse around the two states/one state paradigm and offers a different approach: a confederacy of two sovereign states with open borders and joint institutions.
Project Name: Minyan Yedid Nefesh
Minyan Yedid Nefesh, based in Newton, MA, is a partnership minyan, which is constantly experimenting to fit the needs of its expanding community.
Project Name: Leon Roth Foundation
The Leon Roth Foundation seeks to encourage a new generation to engage with Roth’s seminal works, to use his ideas to invigorate current discourse, and to bring Roth into dialogue with other philosophical voices. A 2-day conference on Roth will be held at the University of Toronto Centre for Jewish Studies with speakers addressing topics spanning Roth’s interests, including Jewish philosophy including ethics, Jewish education, and Judaism and democracy.
Project Name: Sewn Scroll
Sewn Scroll is a Jewish fashion exhibition showcasing 7-8 original, hand sewn outfits, each exemplifying a differing stance on Jewish life and practice.
Project Name: Alliance of Jewish Progressives
Based at Princeton University, Alliance of Jewish Progressives unites Jewish students from across the religious and cultural spectrum to discuss progressive politics, social justice issues, and Jewish texts.
Project Name: Art Exhibition Booklet
This booklet will accompany the original artwork showcased in Meyer’s upcoming exhibition. It will serve as a guidebook in the gallery, but can also stand alone as a manifesto illustrating the artist’s deep conversation with Judaism in his work.
Project Name: Hyde Park Teen Beit Midrash
The Hyde Park Teen Beit Midrash is a new Jewish learning program that will use chevruta learning to create a new community for middle school and high school students in Chicago. The program aims to develop Jewish text literacy, nurture a mature attitude to learning, and motivate excitement about Judaism through the creative energy of Torah study.
Project Name: Global Migrant Connections: Women at Work
Originally displayed at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, the photo exhibition, “Women at Work” will now be featured in Flagstaff, AZ. The exhibit beautifully captures the work lives of South African immigrant and refugee women, and is accompanied by text from interviews with the subjects of the photographs.
Project Name: BRYTE Multicultural Library and Learning Center
This project will revamp BRYTE’s existing library to provide books with characters that match students’ identities and abilities therefore enabling BRYTE tutors to have higher quality and more creative tutoring sessions.
Project name: Metal Beast
Paz’s sculpture series, Metal Beast, is an installation of fantastic, grotesque and delicate animal sculptures made of painted aluminium foil. The sculptural images are inspired by biblical, Talmudic and other visions and fables to create a dramatic scene which the viewers see from ‘behind the scenes’.
Project name: Israeli Novy God
Novy God is a Russian secular New Year’s festival introduced to Israel by Russian-speaking immigrants. This year’s celebration had an Israeli twist and was attended by hundreds (FSU immigrants and natives alike.)
Project Name: JWA Podcast
The Jewish Women’s Archive podcast will bring together a diverse range of contemporary voices to discuss the meaning of Jewish life today, rooted in history, text, and contemporary cultural concerns.
Project Name: Yeshivat Kol Isha
Yeshivat Kol Isha is a post-denominational women’s yeshiva in Jerusalem. The Yeshiva integrates textual learning, spiritual practice and creative expression, celebrates feminist spirituality, and promotes women’s leadership.
Project name: Heart in the East
Heart in the East is a student-led group at Hebrew University for members to discuss the many facets of Mizrachi (Middle Eastern Jewish) identity.
Project name: Community Batei Midrash
The Beit Midrash for Torah and Life makes Torah study accessible to all and allows students to build relationships within their respective communities.
Project Name: Jewish Parents Academy
The Jewish Parents Academy is a local Jewish learning center for Russian Jews. It offers parents and families high caliber, engaging, non-denominational Jewish learning and events.
Project Name: Women’s Scholarship Amplified
Yeshivat Maharat seeks to amplify women’s voices in Orthodox religious scholarship by supporting, printing and publicizing the written works of one of the school’s graduates, Rabba Dr. Anat Sharbat.
Project Name: YentaNet
YentaNet is paving the way in contemporary, pluralistic, individual-oriented Jewish match-making. YentaNet works confidentially, compassionately, diligently, and professionally with single Jews of all backgrounds, who are seeking meaningful, monogamous relationships with other self-identifying Jews.
Project Name: Midtown Workmen’s Circle School Social Justice Events The Workmen’s Circle is organizing two public, social justice-themed family programs: the 2016 Martin Luther King Day of Learning, Service and Action; and the youth-led, youth-built Purim carnival created with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.
Arts + Culture
Ari Allen (’11) – Washington University Jewish Film Festival
The Wash U Jewish Film Festival (WUJFF) is a weekend of themed films that address different aspects of Jewish or Israeli life relevant to college aged students.
Eli Batalion (’97) – Yidlife Crisis
YidLife Crisis is a video series hosted at YidLifeCrisis.com and syndicated across the web which aims to address the modern Ashkenazi YidLife Crisis: what is your identity when you’re brought up with elements of “old country” Yiddishkeit, but are trying to carve out a modern 21st century identity in a secular world naive to the shtetl life? YidLife Crisis explores how to reconcile this dichotomy by following the lives of two bokher bachelors, Leizer and Chaimie (Eli Batalion and writer/actor Jamie Elman’s Yiddish doppelgangers), hipster 30-something Montreal Jews trying to hustle “careers,” pick up women and enjoy all that Montreal’s bohemian Mile End district has to offer except… they only speak Yiddish. They talk in Yiddish, text in Yiddish, sing in Yiddish, blending seamlessly into a Montreal linguistic backdrop of French and English.
Ellie Gettinger (’98) – JMM “After Hours”
Jewish museums can fill a void in providing a meeting place for young Jews and offer cultural and historic connections. With the help of the Alumni Venture Fund, we created a buzzworthy, topical, engaging event about three upcoming exhibits, “Andy Warhol: Ten Portraits of Jews the Twentieth Century,” “Jews Who Rock: A Musical History Tour,” and “Stitching History after the Holocaust: The Life of Hedvika Strnad.” During these events, we have local artists and dynamic speakers showcasing their talents.
Binny Kagedan (’02) – Still Small Sounds
A songwriter by hobby, I I draw inspiration from the narratives and idioms of the Jewish bible. With the hope that the fruits of these explorations may resonate with my fellow Jews and others who, from time to time, or all too often, feel estranged from the possibility of spiritual connectedness, I am collecting these songs into a professionally produced album to be made available to the Jewish community and beyond.
Andy Neiman (’90) – ACCORDING TO JOE Chicago Workshop
I am the co-writer and key researcher for a historical comic drama explored through the perspective of Joseph of Nazareth, the father of Jesus Christ and husband of the virgin Mary.
Noa Silver (’04) – Dinner and a Play Reading
A year and a half ago I spent several hours interviewing my father about his life story. I grew up hearing fragments of stories about being raised in Brooklyn in the 1950s by his Russian grandmother, about getting swept up in the anti-war revolutionary movement of the 1960s and 70s after he was, essentially orphaned, and finally the moments of great triumph and realization that came when he decided to pursue a career as a classical musician. My hope is to put on a staged reading of the play based on his experiences for my community here in Berkeley
Lior Zalmonson (’00) – Print Screen Conference
Shira Engel (’09) – cOMmunity Yoga School
This project will create the first-ever donation-based yoga teacher training for populations that cannot otherwise afford to become certified yoga teachers. These populations include recent college graduates, current students, low income/unemployed adults, recently incarcerated adults, and people of all socio-economic classes and backgrounds. My project offers a 200-hour donation-based service-oriented adult yoga teacher training to people who demonstrate a clear commitment to teaching yoga outside the bounds of the traditional yoga studio. The teachers that we train will use what they learn in the training to engage with their communities directly. This training is intended for people who want to provide yoga to populations which might otherwise not receive it. These communities include homeless youth, school-aged children, students in the classroom, incarcerated youth and adults, low-income populations, and people of differing physical and mental abilities.
Irit Feingold (’06) – Ethiopian Journeys
Yulia Forshik ’06 – The Other
Jaime Korman ’13 – Home 2 Home
I have developed a curriculum called Home 2 Home that uses art to explore the meaning of home for children from immigrant families. My plan is to facilitate a weekly after school art program with children from immigrant Latin American families at a local Boys and Girls Club in San Jose, California. As a Jew, my empathy for the immigrant child’s experience of uprooting and re-rooting is the foundation for this project. I also realize that in an adult-centric world, children rarely get asked for their opinions and feelings about their present lives and it is even less common for immigrant children to be asked to share thoughts and emotions about their experience as migrants. Art offers an ideal way for children to formulate and express their personal perspectives.
Kassandra Loewen (’10) – Huron’s Born This Way Campaign
Huron’s Born This Way Campaign (BTW) is a respect, empowerment and anti-bullying initiative. It was launched in the fall of 2012 and is loosely modeled after Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation (www.bornthiswayfoundation.org). BTW was created by Residence Life Staff at Huron University College to ensure our school is a place where people can live and learn without fear of being discriminated against or made to feel isolated because of who they are.
Jess Radin (’93) – Beginning and Belonging: Transnational Adoption in the Jewish Community
As an educator, a writer, and as a Jewish transnational adoptee myself, I am interested in the following questions: How does the experience of transracial adoptees in the Jewish community today differ from when I was in high school, two decades ago? How could Jewish communities better include transnational adoptees? I plan to create a cohort of high school aged adoptees to explore these questions.
Ariela Rothstein (’05) – Encuentros Community School
Encuentros is a political education series conducted as community events consisting of conversations and workshops designed to deepen the knowledge and importance of organizing, leadership, advocacy, cultural awareness & grassroots visions of well being through the introductory study of politics and social movement history in New York City and beyond. An opportunity to learn and build solidarity among diverse immigrant experiences, this workshop will dedicate time to exploring the role of arts and culture in activism while applying innovative learning/teaching techniques that will center participant’s experience in personal reflection and transformation aimed toward engagement and action in their community. The workshops will create an environment of trust and draw from the experience of belonging to a community to produce knowledge together and create collective visions for the future.
Yair Agmon (’04) – Chumash Mekushkash
Hannah Kapnik Ashar (’04) – Come & Listen: Jewish Food for Thought
Come & Listen is a podcast that transmits progressive Jewish responses to timeless questions in a beautifully crafted audio form. We provide listeners the opportunity to connect over ideas, history, personal narratives, and philosophies that perpetuate and innovate the conversation about our Jewish intellectual heritage, and support developing Jewish identities.
Joshua Foer (’99) – Sefaria
The Sefaria Project will revolutionize the experience of Jewish learning and enhance Jewish literacy and engagement by building a free and universally accessible living library of all Jewish sacred texts. What is a living library? A library that evolves, grows, and interacts with its users, creating a space for conversation among a community of people who thrive on learning and sharing. Sefaria’s website will host this library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and in translation. Sefaria’s scope is Torah in the broadest sense, from Tanakh to Talmud to Zohar to modern texts and all the volumes of commentary in between. Judaism’s core texts grew out of millennia-long conversations and arguments across generations. Sefaria will create an open space for ancient conversations to continue in new ways, with new participants, new questions, and new layers of dialogue.
Alixandra Kriegsman (’08) – Between the Lines Documentary
Between The Lines offers a deep-dive into how Jewish Day Schools teach Israel’s controversial narrative, and the students who emerge with quivering loyalty and often, strong cognitive dissonance come college. We explore the scope of content offered on Israel’s history and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in various Jewish Day schools across the country. We ask: Who structures Jewish day school curricula about Israel? Who decides what content to include and exclude? How do you sufficiently explore the Palestinian narrative in the context of a Jewish Day School, which has an obvious (and understandable) agenda of connecting young Jews to the State? What happens to now-college students who feel they were miseducated, undereducated, or too distracted to care at the time? We focus a critical eye on the responsibilities schools have to their pupils, especially when it comes to educating material that defines and shapes not only intellectual but religious identity – when it comes to teaching about a country that intrigues not only our insular community, but the world at large.
Maya Rosen (’11) – Netzitzot
I created an online store for women’s tzitzit (tallit katan), altering store-bought women’s undershirts by cutting and hemming the sides and then tying the tzitzit. To my knowledge, there currently is nowhere to buy women’s tzitzit, on the Internet or elsewhere. I have been creating our own tzitzit for several years, and I know of several other women who do the same. However, we recognize that it is unreasonable to expect everyone to both know how to sew and how to tie tzitzit. I created an easy-to-use website for the product, and though it will start with one relatively simple model, I would like to expand into other fabrics, colors, styles, etc. depending on interest. The tzitzit will be as low-price as possible, potentially even subsidized if it is feasible to do so, as the goal is to make this mitzvah as egalitarian and accessible as possible.
Uri Sefarai (’01) – Daroma Beit Midrash