The Venture Israel Fellowship aims to nurture a diverse network of Jewish professionals eager to create robust and engaging programs that focus on the dynamic complexity of today’s Israel through the lens of Jewish identity and its evolution.

How to Apply

Click here to apply on Jewish Learning Venture’s (JLV) secure website.

Program Details

During the intensive 13-month program, Fellows join with other local educators, rabbis, leaders, and activists to deepen their knowledge of Israeli culture, society, and politics. Throughout the program, participants will gain essential tools to design and deliver innovative Israel education experiences within their own communities. An educational seminar in Israel is also included.

See below for additional details of the Fellowship.

Jonathan (Jonny) Ariel, of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the Master Israel Educator guiding the program. He has researched, designed and delivered experiential education on four continents over 40 years. Learn more about Jonny here.

The Goal and Nature of the Venture Israel Fellowship

Israel is dynamic and complex, and initiatives within the community should reflect both of those qualities.

The Jewish Federation and JLV’s Venture Israel Fellowship seeks to take the lead in enhancing local Jewish Education and Engagement efforts by reflecting the mature, dynamic and complex Israel of today. Through a variety of seminars, training and group work, professionals participating in the Fellowship will discover how to embed innovative Israeli education within their community throughout the year.

Fellows create Israel programming anchored around three potent Jewish holidays — Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Independence Day), Sukkot and Chanukah — uniquely crafted for their synagogues, schools, camps, institutions and other organizations. The program activities will also be accompanied by online resources and guest Shlichim (Israeli cultural icons, expert analysts, and Partnership2Gether residents from Netivot and Sdot Negev) to enrich the offerings.

The participants in the Fellowship are mentored to ensure the cutting-edge nature of their work continues. Scholarships for a Master of Arts in Jewish Education at the Hebrew University are also offered to the members of this community of practice.

The Jewish Federation will post these events on the community-wide calendar, hosted on jewishphilly.org, and support efforts to publicize the programs within the community.

Participant Profile & Why Participate

The Fellowship is for individuals who are:

  • Eager to develop a systemic change approach towards strategic Israel programming
  • Appreciative of the unique value of high-quality, high-impact, professional development focused on Israel
  • Interested in developing and being part of a network of colleagues grappling with similar issues as they relate to Israel
  • Open to learning and respectful dialogue with others who represent a myriad of views related to Israel
  • Open to a conversation with the willingness for vulnerability, critique, and receiving feedback, including risk-taking, being willing to challenge and be challenged in regards to your understanding of Israel, of education, and Israel education
  • Curious about experimenting with innovative and new thinking around Israel programming
  • Able to communicate and share with their home organizations about new approaches and perspectives
  • Working in professional education and engagement at their institution
  • Able to convene an Israel Engagement Team of other professionals and volunteers from their institution

Meeting & Travel Expectations:

  • (7) Seven monthly virtual daytime sessions, 1:5 hours each
  • (2) Two two-day, in-person seminars in Greater Philadelphia, including one session with other Israel Engagement Team members
  • One-to-one consultation sessions
  • A trip to Israel, subsidized by the Jewish Federation, is scheduled for early February 2024

Program & Participation Expectations

  • Contribute to online network discussion groups
  • Identify goals and develop an overarching strategy for Israel Engagement and Education with their institution’s Israel Engagement Team
  • Modeled after the strategy, pilot three innovative experiences in their home community or in partnership with another participating organization around the holidays of Yom Haatzmaut, Sukkot and Chanukah
  • Provide collateral materials (flyers, videos, photos) of programs for sharing with the larger Philadelphia community
  • Complete pre-and post-surveys to measure the program’s impact on participants’ organizations
  • Submit an end-of-program summary impact report, describing the organization’s goals, steps taken to execute the plan, impact on the stakeholders in the learning community and anticipated challenges ahead
  • Participants will pay $500 to cover a portion of the heavily subsidized trip to Israel
  • Passports must be valid through at least August 2024
Organizational Commitments
  • Participation is viewed as professional development and counted as work time, including the duration of the Israel trip
  • Support an Israel Engagement team at the participant’s organization, which consists of the Fellow, another professional leader as well as a few lay leaders
  • The organization will pay $1,500 to offset some of the costs associated with the training and a highly subsidized trip to Israel
  • Only one application per organization will be considered for the Fellowship

Payment: Full payment of program fee from both the individual and organization is due by November 30, 2023

Program Dates
*Dates for Virtual Meetings are in development and will be available shortly.

December 6,
2023 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
January 2024 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
February 6-14, 2024 – Educational Seminar in Israel (includes travel days)
March 2024 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
April 2024 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
May 29-30, 2024 
– In-person Greater Philadelphia Seminar #2
June-July 2024 – Individual Check-Ins/Coaching (Various Times)
August 2024 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
September 2024 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
October 2024 
– Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
November 12-13 or 13-14, 2024 – In-person Greater Philadelphia Seminar #3
January 2025 – In-Person Greater Philadelphia Final Celebration of Fellows

Fellowship Program Cost
  • Participants will pay $500 to cover a portion of the heavily subsidized trip to Israel
  • The organization will pay $1,500 to offset some of the costs associated with the training and highly subsidized trip to Israel


For information, contact Elana Rivel at erivel@jewishlearningventure.org.