JTS Announces New Fellowship in Jewish Social Entrepreneurship

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

January 28, 2009, New York, NY

In keeping with its mission of training Jewish leaders and developing responsible Jewish citizens, the Albert A. List College of Jewish Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary is inaugurating the Fellowship in Jewish Social Entrepreneurship (FJSE).

According to Dr. Shuly Rubin Schwartz, dean of List College, “social entrepreneurship is a growing field in which individuals seek innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. Through an internship, fellowship seminar, and ongoing special programming, FJSE will prepare select List College students to be both visionaries and realists who can practically implement social change. Most important, these new Jewish social entrepreneurs will have an understanding of social justice and social change that is rooted in and nourished by Jewish values.”

Beginning as a pilot program with five students, FJSE consists of three central components: an intensive training/orientation program; an internship at an organization or business that demonstrates effective modes of social change; and a biweekly seminar designed to help cultivate connections between Judaism, activism, and professional achievements. In addition, students will be invited to participate in networking opportunities with alumni, board members, and professionals in the field of social entrepreneurship.

“It came to my attention that there are many students at JTS who are interested in social entrepreneurship but needed the opportunity to learn about it on a hands-on basis. This program will connect what is taught in the classroom with what happens in the ‘real world,’” said Jon Lopatin, a member of the List College Advisory Board and a supporter of the program. “We are also delighted to be partnering with AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, which will enable us to benefit from the experience and expertise of a leading Jewish social justice organization,” he added.

Fellows will receive professional experience in a structured internship program for ten–twelve hours per week for the duration of the academic year; a small stipend that will allow participants to forgo other student employment; practical training and support necessary for success in the internship and beyond; supervision from a mentor at the internship site; and ongoing Jewish learning opportunities designed to help students deepen their understanding of the Jewish imperative to serve others.

Members of the first FJSE cohort are:

Shoshana Brownstein, Palm Harbor, FL
Mollie Flink, Deerfield, IL
Bara Levitt, South Orange, NJ
Ariella Rosen, West Hartford, CT
Nicole Yeroshalmi, Houston, TX

Internship sites include Safe Horizons, Federation Employment Guidance Services, Educational Alliance, and the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

Further information about the Fellowship in Jewish Social Entrepreneurship is available by contacting Rebecca Hammerman, assistant dean, List College, at (212) 678-8826.