The Jewish Emergent Network (“the Network”), a collaboration between seven path-breaking Jewish communities from across the United States, announces it is now accepting applications for a new National Rabbinic Fellowship, which will begin in June 2016.
This Fellowship program will place selected early career rabbis into one of the seven participating communities for a two-year period. The communities include: IKAR in Los Angeles, Kavana in Seattle, The Kitchen in San Francisco, Mishkan in Chicago, Sixth & I in Washington, DC, and Lab/Shul and Romemu in New York City. All seven communities have individually received recognition for the impact of their work in the Jewish community on both a local and national scale.
The purpose of the Fellowship is to immerse talented young clergy in the work of these thriving communities while providing valuable training and mentoring. Fellows will be supported in the development of their rabbinic vision and skills, preparing them to complete the Fellowship as part of a national cohort of creative, vision-driven rabbis eager to invest in the reanimation of North American Jewish life. Upon completion of the program, each Fellow will be poised to educate, engage, and serve an array of underserved populations, including disaffected and unaffiliated Jews, young adults, families with young children, and others.
The clergy and executive leaders of the seven communities have been meeting for the last two years in exploration of collaboration, mutual learning, deep solidarity and increased strategic impact on the field of emerging congregational models. These efforts were partially funded by the Slingshot Fund, the Natan Fund, and the Leichtag Foundation.
Seed funding to launch the Network has been generously provided through a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Crown Family. Network members are continuing to secure additional program funding over the next four years.
Through a collaborative process, the seven communities will hire rabbis toward the beginning of their careers to serve as the inaugural cohort of Rabbinic Fellows. Once embedded in his or her home community, 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 Fellowship, Fellows will also meet a number of times as a fully assembled cohort, traveling to each of the seven Network organizations for intensive conferences/site visits. The final site visit, planned for June 2018, will also include a public-facing conference that welcomes clergy, staff, and lay leaders from across the country to engage one another and the Fellows and to share best practices of innovation and creativity in Jewish community-building.
The seven communities in the Network do not represent any one denomination or set of religious practices. What they share is a devotion to revitalizing the field of Jewish engagement, a commitment to approaches both traditionally rooted and creative, and a demonstrated success in attracting unaffiliated and disengaged Jews to a rich and meaningful Jewish practice. While each community is different in form and organizational structure, all have taken an entrepreneurial approach to this shared vision, operating outside of conventional institutional models, rethinking basic assumptions about ritual and spiritual practice, membership models, staff structures, the religious/cultural divide and physical space. With the launch of this new rabbinic fellowship, the Network hopes to inspire new creative ventures on the Jewish landscape.
Fellowship Applications are currently being accepted from recent graduates of rabbinic schools of all denominations. To learn more about the fellowship and submit an application, please visit the Network’s website at www.jewishemergentnetwork.org.