New York, NY; March 7, 2018 – To diversify and strengthen the leadership of Reform Jewish communities throughout North America, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is investing in 16 individuals as participants in the JewV’Nation (pronounced “juvenation”) Fellowship’s Jews of Color Leadership Cohort. This program will increase opportunities for Reform Jewish communities to benefit from the leadership of Jews of Color.

The 2018 fellows will work to design, create, and implement impactful programs that are inclusive and intentional about Jewish diversity, and the richness and depth that Judaism offers. URJ resources, executive leaders, and support strategies will bring the best ideas to life. These programs will be created with congregations, communities, and groups in mind.

Eleven percent of Jews in the United States are Jews of Color, according to Brandeis University’s Steinhardt Social Research Institute. That number increases to 20% when including all Mizrachi and Sephardi Jews. Furthermore, recent demographic studies, including the one recently conducted in San Francisco, tell us that Jewish multiracial households comprise 25% of the Jewish population in major metropolitan areas.

The fellows bring a deep and broad level of experience as congregational professionals, educators, board members, alumni of URJ camps and programs, and leaders across Jewish communal life.

The JewV’Nation Fellowship is led by April Baskin, URJ’s Vice President of Audacious Hospitality, who was named a “Faith Leader to Watch” by the Center for American Progress.

Launched in 2017, the JewV’Nation Fellowship is a leadership development program and project incubator. In its first year, the fellowship’s projects focused on creative interfaith outreach initiatives, engaging more than 1,200 people in the work of becoming a more broadly diverse and aware Jewish community.

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