Jeremiah Fellowship FAQs
Who is eligible for the Jeremiah Fellowship?
Applicants should meet the following criteria:
- Jews approximately 22 to 32 years old who live in a Jeremiah city: Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area
- Desire and motivation to delve deeply into Bend the Arc's social and economic justice work and explore the connections between Judaism and social justice; develop leadership skills; and understand pressing local social, economic and political issues
- Ability to commit to consistent participation in the entirety of the Fellowship.
How much does the program cost?
Thanks to the generosity of individuals and foundations, participants do not pay for the vast majority of the costs associated with their Fellowship experience, This includes trainings, guest speakers, and materials, as well as accommodations, meals, and materials for two weekend retreats and for special programs throughout the year.
What is the commitment?
Dates for the 2018 fellowship will be announced in the spring. Consistent attendance is required, including participation in the opening retreat. Fellows come together for one Sunday day-long meeting every month, participate in two weekend retreats, and participate in ongoing campaign work in meetings and through individual and small group work. Fellows should plan to spend approximately 22-28 hours a month, or approximately 6-7 hours a week, on their engagement with Bend the Arc.
What is the core focus of my work as a Fellow?
Each Jeremiah Fellow puts their skills and values into action by participating in a Bend the Arc campaign or issue area. Within that context, Fellows can choose their focus depending on the skills they want to develop and/or the issue they are most compelled to work on.
For example, Johana Finetti (Fellow 2011 - 2012) joined the campaign selection team to help her Bend the Arc region research and select a new campaign. As a public school teacher who was personally impacted by the State of California's budget shortfall, she had a particular interest in taxation. As part of the campaign selection team, Johana helped turn this problem into an actionable campaign and helped develop a group of leaders to work on it. At the final campaign selection event, Johana presented the Progressive Taxation for the Common Good campaign, which was selected as Bend the Arc's next campaign. After graduating from the Jeremiah Fellowship, Johana has continued to be a key leader in the Progressive Taxation campaign, and joined Bend the Arc's Bay Area Regional Council. Read about Johana's experience as a Jeremiah Fellow in her own words.
Joel Abramovitz (Fellow 2011 - 2012) was moved by what he learned about the criminal justice system as a Jeremiah Fellow. This new interest led him to write an article for the local Jewish press to engage the Jewish community and advocate for reforming the state's Three Strikes Law. After graduating from the Jeremiah Fellowship, Joel has continued to be engaged with Bend the Arc as a primary leader in the Progressive Taxation for the Common Good campaign, and has been involved with the Criminal Justice Reform campaign team since the campaign's launch this year.
What are Bend the Arc's current campaigns and issue areas?
Who are some of Bend the Arc's partner organizations?
In the San Francisco Bay Area region we partner with Oakland Rising; PICO Affiliates Oakland Community Organization (OCO) and San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP); the Domestic Worker Coalition, including Mujeres Unidas y Activas; the California Calls Coalition; Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE); Courage Campaign; ACLU; and many more organizations and coalitions.
In the Southern California region we partner with LA Voice, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LA (CHIRLA), the Domestic Worker Coalition, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), the California Calls Coalition, SEIU, National Council of Jewish Women, Death Penalty Focus, ACLU, 30 Years After, Jewlicious, and many more organizations and coalitions.
How much social justice or community organizing experience do I need?
Candidates with all levels of experience are welcome to apply. We look at each candidate holistically. More important than any single experience is the will to be an effective change-maker and the desire to partner with Bend the Arc staff and members, along with our ally organizations, to work for social and economic justice by organizing Jewish communities. The Jeremiah Fellowship is rooted in the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “And seek the well-being of the city in which you live … for in its peace you shall find peace.” [Jeremiah 29:7]
How “Jewish” do I need to be to become a Jeremiah Fellow?
The Jeremiah Fellowship embraces Jewish pluralism as a core value of our community. Jews from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including religious, secular, cultural, and atheist Jews as well as converts.
Why should I apply to the Jeremiah Fellowship?
Participants emerge from the Fellowship with tangible community organizing and activism skills grounded in Jewish values, better equipped to pursue social justice work through Bend the Arc and beyond. The Jeremiah Fellowship expands the leadership vision of participants, deepens their Jewish social justice values, and provides them with a progressive Jewish context and community for their activism.
Through the Jeremiah Fellowship, you will:
- Access a dynamic network of organizers, activists, rabbis, and visionaries;
- Empower yourself through in-depth training in professional and leadership skills;
- Expand your knowledge of Jewish tradition, text and history to put ethics into action;
- Develop tangible organizing and activism skills within a Jewish context;
- Explore your city through the intersection of social justice, Jewish values, and leadership; and
- Join a lasting community of vibrant and engaged leaders.
What else will I learn?
In addition to taking action with Bend the Arc, Fellows learn about the history and current context of the organizing and issue areas they work on. For example, when joining the Progressive Taxation for the Common Good campaign team, Fellows will learn about Prop 13, which was passed in 1979, the anti-taxation political culture it spawned, and the ways in which this culture and set of priorities continue to limit resources and opportunities available to low-income communities and communities of color, increasingly affecting society as a whole.
Jeremiah Fellows will also create community with one another. Fellows create a supportive peer group that affirms each other, but also goes beyond affirmation to challenge and support each other's growth. Through the experience of being supported and challenged in community, and articulating, developing and acting on our values, Fellows will come out of the program as stronger leaders and more effective agents for change.