JewishGen Home Page

An affiliate of

FALL 2023 UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in this program. We are excited to announce that the 2024 Future Scholars Fellowship Program will take place July 9, 2024 - July 18, 2024. The application process will open in late December 2023. In the meantime, you can view details from last year's program below.

About the JewishGen Future Scholars Fellowship

JewishGen is pleased to invite applications for its third annual JewishGen Future Scholars Fellowship program to take place from June 20, 2023 – June 29, 2023. Rising second-fourth year undergraduate students in accredited colleges or universities are invited to apply.

This immersive program, created in partnership with The Matzevah Foundation, and the Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland, focuses on the role of Jewish cemeteries today in preserving the memory and legacy of former Jewish communities.

The purpose of this program is to inspire and begin the training of the future generation of leaders in Jewish genealogical involvement. Focusing on Poland, we seek to explore basic tools of genealogical searching in Poland, once home to more than half of world Jewry, and share and protect the history that gave shape to that genealogy of the past and future.

Participants will help clean-up a cemetery, learn about symbols and epitaphs on tombstones, the general state of Jewish cemeteries in Poland after the Holocaust, efforts to preserve them from both a communal, political, and Halachic perspective,  and consider lessons that can be gleaned to inform our own life choices today. 

On this 10-day journey, participants will tour many Jewish heritage sites starting with Warsaw, including an inspirational Shabbat in Krakow, visit Auschwitz/Birkenau, and then travel to Lublin, Poland, where the group will participate in the clean-up and preservation of the historic Old Jewish cemetery in partnership with Polish volunteers.. 

The trip will be led by highly experienced staff and participants will have an opportunity to learn from rabbis, scholars, dignitaries, and community leaders, who will offer first-hand insights regarding the imperative (and challenges) of cleaning-up cemeteries in accordance with Jewish law. They will address how local Polish communities view Jewish cemeteries in their towns, the need to preserve Jewish memory, and more. 

During the trip, Fellows will have nightly reflection exercises to discuss and internalize everything they learned during that day. Upon returning home, each Fellow will be expected to record a video and write an essay describing his or her experience.

How Much Does It Cost & Frequently Asked Questions

This program is nearly fully subsidized, save for a $400 (to be paid upon acceptance and commitment to the program) non-refundable registration fee. All other expenses will be completely covered by JewishGen (including r/t travel from NY, transportation in Poland, meals, lodging, materials, etc). Dietary laws will be observed. 

For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions:

Questions may be sent to

How to Apply

The application period closes at midnight EST on Feb 21, 2023. To get started, please click the "Apply" button below. (Please note that you need to be logged into your gmail account to complete this form).

Thank you to our partner organizations:

Collaborating Institutions:

2023 JewishGen Fellows Trip Summary Itinerary
Tuesday, June 20 – Thursday, June 29, 2023

All details are subject to change

TUESDAY, JUNE 20 – New York City
  • Tour of Museum of Jewish Heritage NYC
  • Program Orientation and Expectations
  • Lunch at the Museum
  • Fly from JFK to Warsaw
  • Arrive in Warsaw
  • Walking Tour of Jewish Warsaw and Okopowa Street Cemetery
  • Evening session at the Nozyk Synagogue with Guest Speaker
  • Optional: Warsaw Night Life
  • Tour POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
  • Genealogy Session at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute.
  • Departure for Lublin via coach bus.
  • Travel to Lodz.
  • Meet with Lodz community represenative.
  • Leave Łódż
  • Coach bus to Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Post Auschwitz discussion
  • Evening Services at the Izak Synagogue (optional)
  • Shabbat Dinner at Kraków JCC
  • Morning Services at the Izak Synagogue (optional)
  • Meet with Kraków Jewish community representative
  • Walking tour of Kazimierz (Jewish) District Kraków
  • Free time (Optional walk to and from Old Town Kraków)
  • Evening session:
    Why did you apply for this fellowship, and what are your expectations?
  • Departure for Tarnów
  • Tour Tarnów bima and cemetery
  • Departure for Lublin
  • Visit “New” Jewish Cemetery of Lublin
  • Tour of Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin
  • Evening Session: Deciphering Tombstones
  • Orientation to Jewish cemeteries from Andrzej Jankowski, Jewish Community of Warsaw-Lublin
  • Cleaning begins at Old Lublin Jewish Cemetery
  • Walk to Przysucha synagogue
  • Debrief: What did you experience on your first day in the cemetery?
  • Evening Session: History of Jewish Lublin
  • Old Lublin Jewish Cemetery cleaning
  • Grodzka Street tour
  • Brama Grodzka-Teatr NN Living Museum Tour
  • Debrief: What did you experience on your second day in the cemetery?
  • Evening Session: Fellows’ Genealogy Presentation
    • Old Lublin Jewish Cemetery cleaning
    • Debrief: What did you experience throughout this trip?
    • Optional: Lublin night life
  • Departure for Warsaw via coach bus
  • Arrive at Chopin Airport, Warsaw
  • Fly from Warsaw to JFK
  • Arrive at JFK Airport, New York


AVRAHAM GROLL | Executive Director,
Avraham Groll, Executive Director of, is passionate about connecting people with their Jewish roots, and helping them experience what it means to be part of the Jewish people. He holds an MBA from Montclair State University, an MA in Judaic Studies from Touro College, a certificate in Jewish Executive Leadership from Columbia University, and a BS in Business Administration from Ramapo College. Avraham spent two years studying at Yeshiva Ohr Yerushalayim in Israel and is a frequent lecturer on a variety of Jewish genealogical and historical topics. He is married to Dina, and has four children.
DR. DAN OREN | President and Founder, Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland
Dan A. Oren, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry (adjunct) at Yale University has worked for thirty years as a psychiatrist and faculty member at. Oren is author of the new book on Jewish genealogy and family history "The Wedding Photo". He is married to Judaica artist Jeanette Kuvin Oren. He has been tracing his genealogy for more than forty years and has led multiple groups in Poland. He leads FJHP as a volunteer devoted to helping Jewish descendants partner with Polish organizations to preserve their ancestral cemeteries.
DR. STEVEN REECE | Founder & CEO, The Matzevah Foundation
Steven D. Reece worked as a photojournalist before entering religious and charitable work. He leads The Matzevah Foundation to care for and restore Jewish cemeteries in Poland, commemorate mass grave sites, and educate the public about the Holocaust. Steven is an ordained Baptist minister and is a graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Steven is certified to teach about the Holocaust through Yad Vashem and Tel Aviv University. He received his Ph.D. in Leadership from Andrews University in 2019 and is currently on a Fulbright teaching grant in Poland.
JewishGen Home Page Edmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery Place | New York, NY 10280
646.494.5972 | | © 2023, JewishGen, Inc. All rights reserved.