The Venture Israel Fellowship aims to nurture a diverse network of Jewish professionals eager to create robust and engaging programming that brings evolving Jewish identity into dialog with the dynamic complexity of today’s Israel.

How to Apply

Applications close Tuesday, November 1, 2022. 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 and to learn essential tools to design and deliver innovative Israel education experiences within their own communities. An educational seminar in Israel is also included.

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.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, Chief Program Officer at JLV, is working in partnership with Jonny to develop the educational curriculum and will provide one-on-one consultation sessions and convening the Fellowship for programs in Greater Philadelphia. Learn more about Gabby here.

See below for additional details of the Fellowship.

The Goal and Nature of the Venture Israel Fellowship

As Israel matures and reaches 75, it’s time for Jewish Education and Engagement about Israel to mature as well. Israel is dynamic and complex, and initiatives within the community should reflect both of those qualities.

The Jewish Federation and JLV’s new 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.

This Israel programming will be anchored around three potent Jewish holidays that synagogues, schools, camps, institutions and other organizations can implement for their unique audiences, whether for use in the home, in the local synagogue, school or circle- under the leadership of their Fellowship representatives. The program activities will also be accompanied by online resources and guest Shlichim (Israeli cultural icons, expert analysts, and Partnership2Gether residents) to enrich the offerings.

The participants in the Fellowship are mentored to ensure the continued cutting-edge nature of their work. Scholarships for a Master of Arts in Jewish Education at the Hebrew University are also offered to the members of the 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
  • Appreciate 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 home organizations new approaches and perspectives
  • Working in professional education and engagement capacity at their institution
  • Able to convene an Israel Engagement Team of other professionals and volunteers from their institution.
Program Participant Requirements

Meeting & Travel Expectations:

  • (6) Six monthly virtual daytime sessions, 1:15 hours each
  • (2) Two two-day, in-person ‘retreats’ in Philadelphia (*COVID permitting), 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 2023

Program & Participation Expectations

  • Contribute to online network discussion groups
  • Each organization will identify goals and develop an overarching strategy for Israel Engagement and Education with an 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 Tu B’Shevat, Yom Ha’Atzmaut, and Sukkot 
  • Provide collateral materials (flyers, videos, photos) of programs for sharing with the larger Philadelphia community
  • Complete pre-and post-surveys to measure the impact of the experience on the organization
  • Submit an end-of-program summary impact report describing the organization’s goals, the steps taken towards the plans, the impacts on the stakeholders in the learning community, and the 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 2023
Organizational Commitments
  • Participant participation is viewed as professional development and counted as work time, including the duration of the Israel trip
  • Support an Israel Engagement team, consisting of the participant professional along with 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
Important Dates to Know 

Application Deadline: Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Participants Notified By: Friday, November 11, 2022
Payment: Full payment of program fee from both the individual and organization is due by November 30, 2022

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

December 7, 2022 – Virtual Orientation (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
January 9, 2023 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
February – Trip to Israel (January 31 – February 8, including travel days)
March 8, 2023– Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
April 18, 2023 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
Yom Ha’Atzmaut (75) Program
May 16-17, 2023
– In-person Philadelphia Seminar #1 (Program Planning for Yom Ha’Atzmaut and Sukkot)
June-July – Individual check-ins / coaching
August 7, 2023 – Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
Sukkot program
October 11, 2023
– Virtual Meeting (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
November 8-9, 2023 In-person Philadelphia Seminar #2
(Program Planning for Tu B’shevat)
January 2024 – Tu B’shevat Program
January 31 – 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 or Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer at gkaplan-mayer@jewishlearningventure.org