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Dorot Fellowship in Israel (DFI)

Fellowships to USA and Canada Young Adults
to Travel to Israel and Develop Leadership Skills

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Dorot Foundation

Deadline Date:

05/06/21 5:00 PM (EDT)


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Fellowships of up to $32,000 to USA and Canada outstanding young adults to travel to Israel and develop their leadership skills. In Israel, Fellows will be given the opportunity to strengthen their skills and abilities, gain experience, and expand the networks 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 is a unique opportunity for young American Jews to spend 10 months in Israel, diving deep into the complex realities of personal and collaborative leadership, social change, Israel, and Jewishness. The Fellowship is a distinct blend of independent and communal learning, as Dorot believes that learning effective, collaborative leadership must happen within a community. Fellows and educators come together for extensive dialogue, travel, and study.

The Dorot Fellowship takes a creative, holistic approach to education, recognizing that leadership requires a broad range of skills, characteristics, and competencies. The program is designed for those who have a recognizable track record, commitment, and ability to lead in matters of innovation and social change.

The Fellowship year is composed of three distinct components: the DFI Leadership Development Curriculum, the DFI Learning Community, and the DFI Personal Learning Program (PLP).

  • The DFI Leadership Development Curriculum has been developed by the Dorot Staff over the course of several years and reflects the particular approach of the Fellowship. The curriculum focuses on three primary components -- Emotional Intelligence, Skillful Communication, and Change Management -- through group activities as well as individualized coaching.
  • The DFI Learning Community is the dynamic group of DFI Staff and Fellows who, together, dive deeply into Judaism, Israel, Diaspora Jewry, traditional and contemporary Jewish texts, and more.
  • The DFI Personal Learning Program (PLP) is a self-directed curriculum that each Fellow develops meant to allign with their specific interests and growth areas, in partnership with the DFI Staff.

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

Upon returning from Israel, Fellows are warmly welcomed into the DFI Alumni Network, a group of more than 400 who are eligible to receive financial awards, personal development stipends, ongoing communal learning, networking opportunities, and countless other resources.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165991

Number of Grants:

Twelve applicants will be selected as Dorot Fellows (approximately 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.

Food and transportation during all group convenings (Community Days, Seminars, Retreats, etc.) are covered by the Foundation.

Term of Contract:

Due to COVID-19, all dates for the 2021-2022 Cohort are tentative. The DFI will begin after the High Holidays in mid-October and is scheduled to end by July 1, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The DFI welcomes and encourages applicants and Fellows from all backgrounds, physical/developmental abilities, sexual orientations, and gender expressions. DFI welcomes people of all backgrounds, including but not limited to Jews of Color, Mizrahim/Sephardim, LGBTQ+ Jews, Jews from interfaith families, Jews by choice, and Jews who have been excluded from or marginalized by Jewish spaces.

The DFI values a variety of models of leadership (reform, innovation, and [cultural] creation) and seeks candidates who are active in conventional, as well as unconventional, forms of civic and Jewish engagement.

The DFI is open to American/Canadian Jews between the ages of 22-30. (To be eligible, one must be 22, but not yet 31 prior to November 1 of the fellowship year.) Successful candidates exhibit the maturity and life experience to be able to make the best use of the Fellowship to refine, rather than construct, their individual identity. Please note that the DFI will not make exceptions to this or other eligibility requirements.

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.

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.

All Fellows must be available to participate from the outset of the program.

Pre-Application Information:

Complete 2021-2022 Selection Timeline:

- May 6: Application Deadline, 5:00 PM (EDT)
First time applications are due by May 6th, 2021. You are welcome to submit a late application, although Dorot Foundation cannot promise its consideration.
- May 10: First Round Interview Notification
- June 7: Second Round Interview Notification
- July 7: Finalist Interview Notification
- July 12-22: Finalist Interviews
- August 2: Acceptance Notification
- August 16: Alternate Notification

For more detailed information on this timeline, see Application Process:

Dorot is beginning the application process with caution as the Foundation does not yet have definitive answers to important questions. As Dorot continues to investigate where it can and watches the rollout of vaccines both in the US and in Israel, Dorot is hopeful that a truncated program is in fact, possible. And yet, while Dorot is hopeful – Dorot is also aware that the program’s feasibility this fall cannot be guaranteed. Updates will be provided as often as possible.

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.

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

Explore DFI:



For a complete list of helpful links concerning this program, see "Related Pages" on 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:

Non-American/Non-Canadian citizens interested in receiving approval for application should contact Aaren Alpert, DFI Associate Director:

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

If you have any concerns about financial barriers to your potential participation, please contact 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;


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