Learn Virtually
Jewish Wisdom Fellowship

Ateret Zvi Prize in Hiddushei Torah

Jewish Wisdom Fellowship

A Collective Learning and Thought Leadership Project for Jewish Professionals


Final Projects


Clergy Cohort Project 1: A Kavanah before the sounding of Shofar Blasts

Written by the Hadar Jewish Wisdom Fellowship 2020/5781

Click here to view and download a pdf of the project.



Clergy Cohort Project 2: God, Will You Come to my Sukkah? Masked, or Unmasked?

This project will be presented as a Zoom Webinar (or similar) event during Hol HaMoed Sukkot. Whereas we normally invite friends, family, and mystical guests into our sukkot to celebrate with us, this year we are bereft of that opportunity due to the pandemic. Perhaps, only God will join us this year. That possibility brings to the surface theological challenges and questions many are experiencing at this tragic and challenging time. In our webinar, each of three rabbis from this cohort will offer personal responses to the question: Where, or how, are you finding God now? We will share supporting texts from our shared learning in statements of 8-10 minutes each. Breakout rooms will then give participants an opportunity to explore the same question.



Clergy Cohort Project 3: Looking for God In a Time of Chaos: A Simchat Torah Seder and Haggadah

Click here to view.



Uncertainty 1: Time Capsule Project

We are creating the next piece in the Jewish canon to tell the story of this moment for generations to come. We have designed a living mural (using Padlet) to collect images, quotes, texts, or videos that encapsulate this moment for you and for our Jewish communities.



Uncertainty 2: Questions and Answers of Uncertainty: A Jewish Professional Vlog Project

The past months have resulted in tremendous upheaval in people's personal and professional lives, leaving a present and future that is unclear and uncharted. Yet, Jewish texts contain an incredible amount of wisdom to impart to those facing uncertainty. We invite you to watch a vlog project that documents the accumulated learning of 8 Jewish professionals over the course of 2 months in the midst of global pandemic. As the uncertainty of this moment stretches further and further into the future, we hope this vlog will validate your feelings of doubt, empower you to reflect on the uncertainty in your life, and enable you to embrace the moments of growth that hide within the darkness.



Learning From the Past: We're Still In the Cave

We hope that this resource will help those who engage with it feel seen and heard in the chaos of this moment. This discussion guide is an opportunity to seek wisdom and comfort from our Jewish tradition through stories of characters who experienced their own caves, both literal and figurative.






About the Fellowship
As the Jewish Community acclimates to life under a global pandemic, deep and abiding questions capture our minds and souls. We find ourselves desperately seeking wisdom and leadership to help navigate new moral, intellectual, practical, and ethical challenges, raised by this moment.

Jewish Professionals have a unique role to play in this moment. From day school and supplementary school educators to rabbis and spiritual leaders to musicians, community builders, justice seekers, and more-- Jews turn to these professionals for hope and comfort, for explanations and answers, and most of all, for community and spirituality.

With support from the Lippman Kanfer Foundation, the Hadar Institute invites you to participate in a new kind of collective learning project. Designed for Jewish Professionals, Hadar’s Jewish Wisdom Fellowship will empower thoughtful, passionate, and engaged Jewish professionals to embark on a virtual 2-month learning and thought development project dedicated to wrestling with the questions currently confronting the Jewish community and the world.

Through a combination of guided learning and group work, the Jewish Wisdom Fellowship will enable 24 Jewish Professionals to probe our Jewish tradition for wisdom that will help them and the communities they serve to navigate the current social, moral, and spiritual challenges. The program will conclude with a final project, determined by the cohort, aimed at sharing learnings with the broader Jewish professional field.

We are grateful to Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah for their support of this initiative.


What Will We Learn?


Hadar will crowdsource relevant and pressing questions through a broad public survey of Jewish professionals. From these questions, three will be selected for in depth learning through this fellowship. Questions may include:

  • What is my role in this world at this moment?
  • What is a just society?
  • How do we divide scarce resources in times of need?
  • What is God’s role in the world?
  • How do we honor our dead?

We will create 3 cohorts of 8 professionals. Each cohort’s learning will focus deeply on one question. Once accepted, each participant will choose which question they want to study. Each cohort will meet weekly for 8 weeks, plus a kick-off event and closing program (July - August).

All source materials will include English translation. Hebrew knowledge is not required.

We want to hear from you. We invite you to take part in this fellowship by submitting the questions you think are most pressing today. What are the fundamental questions that people in your communities are asking at this time? What questions do you think the Jewish community needs more guidance on? These questions will shape the curriculum of the program and lead our fellows as they search the Jewish tradition for guidance and wisdom.




Accepted participants will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of the fellowship.




The fellowship will run July - August 2020, with participants meeting (virtually) weekly. Gatherings will alternate between Jewish text classes taught by Hadar faculty and facilitated discussion and processing workshop sessions. Together, cohorts will process their learning and explore the implications for their work. Each cohort will receive a curated collection of articles, podcasts, and videos to pursue individual learning and dive even deeper between sessions.

  • Opening session - Monday, June 29: 1:30-3:00 PM EDT
  • Programming Times: Wednesdays in July and August, 1:30-3:00 PM EDT
  • Closing Session - Monday, August 24, 1:30-3:00 PM EDT


Meet Our Fellows


Designed for Jewish Professionals, Hadar’s Jewish Wisdom Fellowship empowers thoughtful, passionate, and engaged Jewish professionals to embark on a learning and thought development project dedicated to wrestling with the questions currently confronting the Jewish community and the world. We're pleased to introduce you to the 2020 cohort of fellows.

Below is a list of this years Jewish Wisdom Fellowship Cohort. You can click here to learn more about our fellows.

General Cohort

Akiko Yonekawa
Alana Rahmani
Allegra Heath-Stout
Amram Altzman
Ari Hoffman
Eliezer Weinbach
Evelyn Tauben
Ilana Bauman
Josh Satok
Julee Levine
Larisa Klebe
Lea New Minkowitz
Marlene Copeland Dodinval
Matthew Kolbert
Naomi Reem
Naomi Adland
Naomi Tucker
Orlea Miller
Rachel Hodes
Rachel Goldrich
Rachel Dingman
Sonia Marie Leikam
Tamar Zaken
Tony Westbrook


Clergy Cohort

Benji Stanley
Betsy Forester
Carnie Shalom Rose
Hart Levine
Marcelo Polakoff
Matthew Austerklein
Megan GoldMarche
Michael Satz
Sharon Mars
Shuli Passow