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Dorot Fellowship in Israel (DFI)

Fellowships to USA and Canada Young Lay Leaders
to Travel to Israel and Develop Leadership Skills

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Dorot Foundation

Deadline Date:

01/15/20 11:59 PM EST


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Fellowships to USA and Canada outstanding young lay leaders to travel to Israel and develop their leadership skills. In Israel, Fellows will be given the opportunity to strengthen their skills and characteristics, gain the required experience, and expand the network needed for Jewish leadership in the 21st Century.

The Dorot Fellowship is designed to assemble and empower a network of young Jewish lay leaders to enliven the American Jewish landscape. 

The Dorot Fellowship encompasses both individual and communal learning experiences. Each Fellow devises a Personal Learning Program, comprised of formal and experiential learning and volunteer activities. In addition, Dorot Fellows and Educators exist in a Collaborative Learning Community in which all members take responsibility for developing and executing a communal learning agenda throughout the year. Through travel, study, and dialogue (among themselves and with others), the Dorot Learning Community seeks to assist Fellows with their personal learning goals, so as to develop a sophisticated understanding of Israeli society, and to address both the breadth and depth of issues critical to Jewish communal leadership.

Throughout the year, Fellows concentrate their learning in four primary areas: Language, Jewishness, Israel, and Leadership Development. The Dorot Fellowship is composed of these primary elements:

  •  Leadership Development
  •  DFI Learning Community
  •  DFI Personal Learning Program
  •  Dorot Fellowship Network (After the Program Year in Israel)

For further information about each of these elements, see the Program Components listed in Pre-Application below.

Upon their return from Israel, Fellows participate in the Dorot Fellowship Network, an ever-growing cadre of innovators, reformers, creative artists, organizers and activists who are working together to enliven the American Jewish landscape.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165991

Number of Grants:

Twelve applicants will be selected as Dorot Fellows (approximately 15-20% of applicants).

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Fellowship award includes up to $7,000 toward the cost of one’s Personal Learning Program and a $25,000 Living Stipend, as follows:

- Learning Stipends are made available to Fellows at the outset of the Fellowship Period.

- The Living Stipend is designed to cover the cost of travel to Israel (in the midst of the August Orientation) and from Israel (returning to North America at the end of the year) and all typical living expenses.

Term of Contract:

- The Dorot Fellowship in Israel is scheduled to begin in the US on August 2, 2020.
- The program is scheduled to end, in Israel, in early-June.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In addition to reformers and innovators who will enliven the American Jewish landscape, the Dorot Fellowship also seeks artists whose artistic endeavors illuminate the values, the conflicts, the challenges and opportunities related to Jewishness in the 21st Century.

The DFI is open to American/Canadian Jews between the ages of 22-29. (To be eligible, one must be 22, but not yet 30 prior to August 1st of the fellowship year.

Non-American/Non-Canadian citizens may be eligible for the DFI -- with prior approval of the DFI Director. Candidates must be/have been residents of the US, having graduated from an American high school and/or an American college/university, and must intend to reside permanently in the US. Non-American/Non-Canadian citizens interested in receiving approval for application should contact Steven M. Jacobson Vice President of Strategy and DFI Director.

The DFI is designed for the future Jewish lay leader, one who has neither received nor intends to receive formal training in any other Jewish professional preparatory program (e.g., rabbinical school, Jewish communal service programs).

As the purpose of the Dorot Fellowship relates to the American Jewish landscape, candidates who do not intend to reside in North America are not eligible.

The Fellowship does not require that candidates have previous experience in Israel, knowledge of Hebrew, or a particular affiliation with any denomination or movement.

Pre-Application Information:


- The Dorot Fellowship in Israel (DFI) begins accepting applications for program year 2020-2021 on Oct 31 2019 11:59 PM (EDT).
- The DFI application deadline is January 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.
- Candidates will be notified prior to February 1st, 2020 if they have qualified for a Round One Interview. All first round interviews will be conducted via Skype (with video when possible). (Phone interviews will be possible at the discretion of the DFI Director.) All Round One Interviews will be conducted in February 2020.
- Prior to March 1st, all Round One Candidates will be notified as to whether they have qualified for the second interview stage. The second round of interviews will be conducted much like the first interview via Skype, all during the month of March 2020.
- Prior to March 13th, 2020, all Round Two Candidates will be notified as to whether they have been selected as a DFI Finalist. All in-person Finalist Interviews will be conducted in New York City from March 30th - April 2nd, 2020. (No exceptions will be made. If you know now that you will not be available to travel [if necessary] to a face-to-face interview, please do not apply.)
- All candidates will learn of their status prior to April 24th, 2020. (Candidates placed on the DFI Wait-List will learn of their final status prior to May 15th, 2020.)

The DFI Application begins with a pre-application questionnaire designed to assist potential candidates in determining whether the DFI is a good fit for them and whether they are a good fit for the DFI.

The Dorot Fellowship in Israel is scheduled to begin in the US on August 2, 2020. All Fellows must be available to participate from the outset and attend both the North American and Israel orientations which are mandatory. If you have concerns regarding your availability, please be in touch with Marsha Rice during the application process.

A full program calendar will be made available to Fellows upon acceptance to the program.

Candidates who have not been awarded a Fellowship who wish to receive feedback about their candidacy may request a phone meeting with the DFI Associate Director after May 1st, 2020. To do so, please send an email to Aaren Alpert after May 1st.

For a list of helpful links concerning this program, see the URL for Full Text below.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online:

For questions regarding the Dorot Fellowship or the application process, please contact Marsha Rice, Assistant to the VP/Operations Manager, at

Aaren Alpert, DFI Associate Director

Steven M. Jacobson, DFI Director

Dorot Foundation
Phone: (401) 351-8866

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon