The nomination period is now over.
Applications due by April 1, 2023
The Jewish Wisdom Fellowship empowers thoughtful and passionate Jewish professionals to embark on 5 weeks of virtual learning on the most pressing questions confronting the Jewish community and the world.
Jewish professionals have a unique role to play in guiding our communities. From day school and supplementary school educators to rabbis and spiritual leaders to musicians, community builders, camp professionals, justice seekers, and more -- Jews turn to these professionals for hope and comfort, for explanations and answers, for community and spirituality. We believe it is essential for Jewish professionals to deeply and critically engage with Jewish texts and act as active stewards of Jewish tradition.
With the guidance of Hadar’s faculty, the Jewish Wisdom Fellowship will enable Jewish professionals to probe our tradition for wisdom that will help them and the communities they serve to navigate contemporary social, moral, and spiritual challenges. The program will conclude with each fellow completing a final project aimed at sharing learnings with their community and the broader Jewish professional field.
In 2023, the fellowship offers four cohorts for professionals in specific fields of the Jewish professional world. Applicants should have at least 2 years of professional experience and they should fall into one of these categories:
Day School Educators & Leaders
Jewish day school teachers who teach Judaic studies at any grade level. Educators in school leadership positions are also welcome to apply, including department heads and principals.
Supplementary School Educators & Leaders
Educators in supplementary K-12 Jewish education programs, including synagogue and community-based programs. Principals and academic leadership of these supplementary programs are also welcome to apply.
Hillel & Campus Professionals
Hillel professionals and others’ whose work centers on Jewish student life on college campuses.
Social & Direct Service Professionals
Professionals who work directly with individuals in need through organizations like Jewish Children & Family Services, refugee support services, or as chaplains. Applicants should either work at a Jewish organization or see their Jewish identity as directly connected to their work; the clients they serve do not need to be primarily Jewish.
Nominations are open from February 15 - March 15, 2023.
After a nomination is submitted, nominees will be receive an email with the application form. All applications, regardless of nomination date, are due by April 1, 2023.
We hope to notify applicants of their acceptance in late May.
Learning At Hadar
Hadar teaches Torah that is uncompromisingly honest, spiritually meaningful, and socially responsible. We read both ancient and modern texts carefully, discussing possibilities, and exploring how the text may be relevant to contemporary situations. It is a process that requires deep listening, both to the text and to each other.
This fellowship will involve three types of learning:
- Faculty-Guided Learning. Hadar’s faculty will provide carefully constructed source sheets, rich with texts new and old, in the original and in English translation, and guide fellows through a process of unearthing the values, ideas, and principles embedded in the text. These will be intentionally facilitated sessions aimed at bringing our collective learning forward to the present day where it can be used in a variety of scenarios.
- Havruta (One-on-One, Paired Learning). We believe that one-on-one study and conversation is essential to the learning process. It allows one to function as both a teacher and a learner, helping your partner to learn while also learning yourself. As part of this fellowship, fellows will be matched with a havruta (study partner) to process the learning they are doing, their projects, and prepare for upcoming sessions.
- Project Formation. As Jewish professionals, fellows will learn both for learning’s sake and to enrich the lives of those they serve in their professional roles. Throughout the fellowship, fellows will have the opportunity to develop projects to share their learning with their community. The project will be developed with support from the Hadar faculty. This will include optional workshops with faculty from our Children & Families and Pedagogy of Partnership divisions. The project will be due one month after the closing session.
All source materials will include English translation. Knowledge of Hebrew is not required.
This fellowship aims to provide Jewish professionals with a text-based Jewish framework for addressing the moral, spiritual, and communal challenges of the day. The content of the fellowship will shift along with the changing needs of the community. Each cohort is for Jewish professionals in a particular field, with a different topic for each cohort. Cohorts are capped at approximately 10 Fellows.
Our topics and cohorts for 2023 are:
- Day School Educators & Leadership: “Tochecha - Calling Out or Calling In”
Taught by Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish
We are experiencing a world of immense division. What values should guide us in knowing when to speak up, and how to speak? How do we discern whether silence is healing - or deadly? What makes speech "private" or "public" and is there any way in which human speech is a matter between us and God? We will explore Jewish sources that address these and other questions as we seek to deepen our understanding and expression of speech that strengthens relationships and community
- Supplementary School Educators & Leadership: “The Torah of Teaching Torah”
Taught by Rabbi David Kasher
It's no secret that Jewish tradition places great emphasis on learning, but our Sages also had much to say about the act, purpose, and significance of teaching as well. Together, we will study rabbinic texts that describe teachers and teaching techniques, and see if we can identify a distinct Torah pedagogy -- or if there is just one! Along the way, these texts will motivate us to reflect on our own teaching, considering how we teach, why we teach, and what our responsibilities are as teachers of Torah.
- Hillel & Campus Professionals: “Caring for Our Students, Caring for Ourselves - Mental Health on Campus Today”
Taught by Rabbi Elie Lehmann
Though campus life is largely no longer defined by pandemic restrictions, so many students are continuing to feel the effects of anxiety, disconnection, and mental health struggles. What can Jewish wisdom teach us about supporting our students and ourselves? How might this ancient wisdom, filled with sage tales and spiritual guidance practices, speak to these challenges? We will explore these questions through text study, reflective journaling and peer consultations.
- Social & Direct Service Professionals: “On Hesed -- Embodying Compassion, Kindness, and Love”
Taught by Rabbi Shai Held
Jewish tradition makes the radical claim that not only in hesed a mitzvah, it's in a sense the highest mitzvah, "walking in God's ways." What is hesed -- is it an action, an attribute, or both? How is it connected to Talmud Torah, and to a life of mitzvah observance more broadly? How are loving God and showing compassion to others related? How do we grow in hesed?
Accepted participants will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of the fellowship in recognition of their time, energy, and enthusiasm.
Schedule of Learning
The fellowship will run for 5 weeks in June and July of 2023. The structure includes 2-3 weekly meetings: one 90-minute meeting devoted to learning with Hadar faculty and one 30-minute meeting dedicated to paired, one-on-one, havruta learning with another fellow. During the middle two weeks, the program will include an additional 60-minute workshop session dedicated to developing fellow’s projects. All meetings for this fellowship are virtual.
Faculty sessions will take place on Tuesdays of each week from 1:30-3:00 PM Eastern. Havruta sessions will occur on Thursdays. Project Workshops will take place on Wednesdays from 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern.
|Week 1||Tuesday, June 20, 2023||Opening Session (90 min)|
|Thursday, June 22, 2023||Havruta Session 1 (30 min)|
|Week 2||Tuesday, June 27, 2023||Faculty Session 1 (90 min)|
|Thursday, June 29, 2023||Havruta Session 2 (30 min)|
|Week 3||Tuesday, July 11, 2023||Faculty Session 2 (90 min)|
|Wednesday, July 12, 2023||Project Workshop (60 min)|
|Thursday, July 13, 2023||Havruta Session 3 (90 min)|
|Week 4||Tuesday, July 18, 2023||Faculty Session 3 (90 min)|
|Wednesday, July 19, 2023||Project Workshop (60 min)|
|Thursday, July 20, 2023||Havruta Session 4 (90 min)|
|Week 5||Tuesday, July 25, 2023||Closing Session (90 min)|
Jewish Professional Cohort 1
Sonia Marie Leikam
Jewish Professional Cohort 2
Lea New Minkowitz
Jewish Professional Cohort 3
Marlene Copeland Dodinval
Hazzan Matthew Austerklein
Rabbi Betsy Forester
Rabbi Megan GoldMarche
Rabbi Hart Levine
Rabbi Sharon Mars
Rabbi Shuli Passow
Rabbi Marcelo Polakoff
Rabbi Michael Satz
Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose
Rabbi Benji Stanley
Rabbi Noah Arnow
Rabbi Alex Braver
Rabbi Abe Friedman
Rabbi Jonah Geffen
Rabbi Meir Goldstein
Rabbi Lauren Henderson
Rabbi Ron Muroff
Rabba Dorothy Richman
Rabbi Baruch Rock
Rabbi Ariella Rosen
Rabbi Rachel Rubenstein
Rabbi Becca Weintraub
Rabbi Ilana Zietman
Robert J. Saferstein
Rabbi Elyse Wechterman
Jewish Professional Cohort 1
Rabbi Stacy Rigler
Jewish Professional Cohort 2
Rabbi MJ Newman
Rabbi Kliel Rose
Rabbi Mitchell Berkowitz
Rabbi Ariana Capptauber
Rabbi Mari Chernow
Rabbi David Glickman
Rabbi Judy Greenberg
Rabbi Ally Jacobson
Rabbi Neal Katz
Rabbi Claudia Marbach
Rabbi Bec Richman
Shalhevet (Sarah) Robinson
Rabbi Scott Roland
Rabbi Ma'ayan Sands
Rabbi Zachary Silver