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HUC-JIR's Third Cohort of Founders' Fellows Reimagine Progressive Jewish Life on Campus

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The HUC-JIR Founders’ Fellowship is making an impact on campuses across North America. Our eighteen 2017-2018 Fellows in Cohort Three have implemented their vision throughout the semester – and their impact is impressive. Fellows are grouped in to chevrutot (study groups) based on their project idea. In this cohort, groups range from:

  1. Creating or deepening interfaith connections, such as a Sikh-Jewish seder, a weekly lunch discussion on a given religious text, a Muslim-Jewish community meal, or a shared interfaith day of service; 
  2. Creating pluralistic experiences to build connections between Jews with different backgrounds, such as a paired, ongoing chevruta experience or a shared philosophy discussion group; 
  3. Creating new Jewish student groups to address needs that are missing on campus, like a new minyan, a Jewish musical group, a Jewish outdoors club, or creating basic programming for a campus’ newly organized Hillel; and 
  4. Focusing on, reimagining, redeveloping, or shifting the standard Jewish Shabbat experience on campus by means of creating a new prayer book, creating a city-wide Jewish college student Shabbat, or revitalizing Shabbat on campus with the goal of infusing it with more joy.

Beyond the projects themselves, Fellows report that being part of Founders’ Fellowship has a major impact on them, saying things like: 

"The Fellowship has made me ask tough questions, not only about my project but about myself."

"I am walking away with a refreshed passion for Reform Judaism and confidence to take my project from an idea stage into reality. I am leaving with so many people who are amazing resources and I've created meaningful relationships with them."

"I feel a lot more confident in my project, largely because I feel that even if everything doesn't go 100% as I originally dreamed/planned, there are still many paths to get to my end goal. I didn't have that flexibility in my thinking prior to [the retreat] weekend."

We are now accepting applications for Cohort Four of the Founders' Fellowship! All application materials must be received by September 21, 2018. Learn more about the Founders' Fellowship and begin your application here.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu