The Jews of Color Initiative is proud and excited to announce our second ever cohort of our JoCI Leadership Fellowship. Our six Fellows have each been placed in various leadership positions in the New York City Jewish organizational ecosystem, where they will continue their work as activists, educators, and leaders.
This year, the Incubator cohort features six Jewish leaders of Color representing four innovative projects that are shaping the field for Jews of Color.
At the completion of the Incubator’s successful pilot year, leaders from the first cohort presented their learnings and accomplishments to colleagues, peers, friends, and family at a showcase event to demonstrate the program’s importance, and the impact their projects will have on the field.
Throughout the ten months of the Jews of Color Initiative’s Leadership Fellowship, members of the first cohort experienced both a professional and personal transformation. On August 2, the Fellowship ended with a powerful commencement ceremony in which Fellows reflected on the program.
I’ve always wondered how one passes on traditions, stories of old and new. What echoes from one life to another, what we carry. To be both Black and Jewish is to hear two stories of a Paradise both loved and lost.
Amidst their busy calendars, we asked the Fellows to pause and think back to their accomplishments, learning, and new visions for the future that they have cultivated throughout the Fellowship.
By contrast, community among the Fellows has a different dynamic, in which one does not have to start from the place of explaining oneself or justifying one’s existence. Instead, we can focus on really knowing and supporting each other.
Heavy on the predominantly white spaces, my previous experiences within the Jewish ecosystem made discovering the Jews of Color Initiative and the Fellowship opportunity shared with me by the illustrious Rabbi Mira Rivera, feel so revolutionary. In both professional and personal ways, my involvement with the Initiative as an inaugural Fellow continues to change my life.