The Jewish Emergent Network – a collaboration between seven path-breaking Jewish communities from across the United States – has announced the pilot cohort of rabbinic fellows for its inaugural collective project, the Rabbinic Fellowship.
This Fellowship will place select early career rabbis into each of the seven participating Network communities for a two-year period, in order to train the next generation of enterprising rabbis to take on the challenges and realities of 21st century Jewish life in America in a variety of settings. The seven communities in the Network are all devoted to revitalizing the field of Jewish engagement. While each community is different in form and organizational structure, all have taken an entrepreneurial approach to this shared vision, operating outside of traditional institutional models, and rethinking basic assumptions about US Jewish communities with regard to prayer, membership models, staff structures, the religious/cultural divide, and physical space.
The first cohort of Network fellows includes: Rabbi Nate DeGroot at IKAR in Los Angeles, Rabbi Sydney Henning at Kavana in Seattle, Rabbi Jonathan Bubis at The Kitchen in San Francisco, Rabbi Lauren Henderson at Mishkan in Chicago, Rabbi Suzy Stone at Sixth & I in Washington, DC, Rabbi Kerry Chaplin at Lab/Shul in New York City, and Rabbi Joshua Buchin at Romemu, also in New York City.
The rabbis will be embedded in their new communities beginning in July. Each fellow will take on a variety of independent rabbinic tasks, and will receive weekly supervision and support from leaders within the host organization. Throughout the two-year program, fellows will meet seven times as a fully assembled cohort, traveling to each of the seven Network communities for intensive conferences at which they will learn from Network and non-Network rabbis, teachers and other experts from around the country. The first conference will take place at Romemu in Manhattan this August. The final site visit, planned for June 2018 at IKAR in Los Angeles, will also include a public-facing conference that welcomes clergy, staff, and lay leaders from across the country to engage with the fellows and share best practices of innovation and creativity with regard to Jewish community building. Towards the end of the first cohort, a second cohort of rabbinic fellows will be selected and placed.
The goal of the Fellowship is to create the next generation of entrepreneurial, risk-taking change-makers, whose skills will equally prepare them to initiate independent communities, and be valuable and valued inside of existing Jewish institutions and synagogues. Each fellow will be steeped in the spirit and best practices of the Network organizations and poised to educate, engage, and serve an array of target populations, especially young adults and families with young children.
The seven rabbinic fellows bring diverse backgrounds, interests and experience to the Network. The cohort will be comprised of four women and three men; two graduates of Hebrew Union College, one graduate of The Jewish Theological Seminary, one graduate of the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, and three graduates of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University.
Seed funding for the first four years of this program has been generously provided through a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Crown Family and the Charles H. Revson Foundation.