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COVID-19 Update (January 2022): We are currently planning to run this program, and accepting applications. All dates subject to change. 

About the JewishGen Future Scholars Fellowship

JewishGen is pleased to invite applications for its second annual JewishGen Future Scholars Fellowship program to take place from July 5, 2022 – July 14, 2022. Graduate students, along with current third and fourth-year undergraduate students, 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 what lessons can be gleaned to inform our own life choices today. 

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

The trip will be led by hightly experienced staff and participants will have an opportunit 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 play a leadership role in working with the Polish university students(in collaboration with the Historical Institute of the University of Szczecin), and will have nightly reflection excercises. Upon returning home, each Fellow will record a video and write an essay describing his or her experience. These recordings/essays will be made available on the JewishGen website.

How Much Does It Cost & Frequently Asked Questions

This program is nearly fully subsidized, save for a $350 (to be paid upon acceptance and commitment to the program) non-refundable registration fee. All other expenses will be completely covered by JewishGen.org (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: https://jewishgen.org/fellowship/faq.html

Questions may be sent to FutureScholars@JewishGen.org.


How to Apply

The application period closes at midnight EST on Feb 28, 2022. 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).
Apply

Thank you to our partner organizations:

Collaborating Institutions:


2022 JewishGen Fellows Trip Summary Itinerary
Tuesday, July 5 – Thursday, July 14, 2022

All details are subject to change

TUESDAY, JULY 5 – New York City
  • Tour of Museum of Jewish Heritage NYC
  • Program Orientation and Expectations
  • Dinner at the Museum
  • Fly from JFK to Warsaw
WEDNESDAY, JULY 6 – WARSAW
  • Arrive in Warsaw
  • Walking Tour of Jewish Warsaw and Okopowa Street Cemetery
  • Evening session at the Nozyk Synagogue with Guest Speaker
THURSDAY, JULY 7 – WARSAW/LUBLIN
  • Tour POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
  • Genealogy Session at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute.
  • Departure for Lublin via coach bus.
  • Bus session: Getting to Know Each Other
  • Stop at Markuszow cemetery.
  • Evening Session with Agata Radkowska: Polish Care of Jewish Historical Sites
  • Optional: Old City of Lublin Night life
FRIDAY, JULY 8 – LUBLIN/KRAKÓW
  • Tour Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin Synagogue and Museum
  • Tour Grodzka Street, Lublin Old City
  • Coach bus to Kraków
  • Optional visit to Old City, Kraków
  • Shabbat Dinner at Kraków JCC
SHABBAT/SATURDAY, JULY 9 – KRAKÓW
  • 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?
SUNDAY, JULY 10 – KRAKÓW/AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU/OŚWIĘCIM/PRZYSUCHA
  • Departure for Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Tour Oświeçim Jewish Center, Pl. Ks. J. Skarbka 5, Oświęcim
  • Departure for the town of Przysucha
  • Evening meet and greet session with University of Szczecin Prof. Radek Ptaszynski and Polish University students
MONDAY, JULY 11 – PRZYSUCHA AREA
  • Orientation to Jewish cemeteries from Alek Schwartz, representative of the Chief Rabbinate of Poland
  • Przysucha Jewish Cemetery work
  • Walk to Przysucha synagogue
  • Debrief: What did you experience on your first day in the cemetery?
  • Evening Session: Deciphering Tombstones
TUESDAY, JULY 12 – PRZYSUCHA AREA
  • Przysucha Jewish Cemetery work
  • Debrief: What did you experience on your second day in the cemetery?
  • Evening Session: The History of Jews and Przysucha
WEDNESDAY, JULY 13 – PRZYSUCHA AREA
    • Przysucha Jewish Cemetery work
    • Debrief: What did you experience throughout this trip?
THURSDAY, JULY 14 – PRZYSUCHA/WARSAW/NEW YORK CITY
  • Departure for Warsaw via coach bus
  • Arrive at Chopin Airport, Warsaw
  • Fly from Warsaw to JFK
  • Arrive at JFK Airport, New York

FACULTY BIOS

AVRAHAM GROLL | Executive Director, JewishGen.org
Avraham Groll, Executive Director of JewishGen.org, 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 Yale and has been Visiting Professor of Physiology at the University of Rzeszow, Poland. Oren is author of the new book on Jewish genealogy and family history "The Wedding Photo". He is author or co-author of numerous scientific articles. 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.
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.
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