Due to a death in the family of one of the co-directors, the original application deadline has been put on hold. We will update this page with the new timeline once we’ve reconvened after sitting shiva. Thank you for your understanding and well wishes in this tender time.
ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal is pleased to announce the launch of the 5783 Kesher fellowship. Now in its fifth year, this freshly-conceived experience will take a small cohort of young adults (22-39) on a journey through Jewish time, from the booths of Sukkot to the mountaintops of Shavuot. Fellows will learn about Jewish Renewal philosophy, engage in spiritual practice, deepen ritual leadership, and develop a powerful relationship with a meaningful mentor – all within a co-created communal container.
Guided and facilitated by the program’s co-directors, Kohenet Keshira haLev Fife and Joshua Blaine, we’ll move together through the pilgrimage festival seasons, centering around embodied, earth-based, personal and collective experiences of Judaism tied to the cycles of Jewish time and themes..
The fellowship will include:
- An opening virtual Shabbaton around Sukkot designed to build connection, deepen learning, engage in meaningful prayer, and get to know one another as a cohort.
- Monthly opportunities for both learning and mentorship with seasoned and emerging Jewish renewal leaders, teachers, and ritualists
- Community building and ritual leadership opportunities during monthly Rosh Chodesh cohort check-ins,which allow for shared exploration, reflection and connection
- One-on-one harvesting, processing and peer learning through chevruta pairings
- Access to a dedicated listserv and WhatsApp group for multi-modal communication and connection
- An in-person 2.5 day retreat around Tu’B’Shvat intended to strengthen cohort cohesion and deepen the experience of the journey.
- A closing ritual around Shavuot
Following the fellowship, participants will be invited to join the burgeoning alumnx/ae/i network and:
- Engage in a Kesher summer reading book club
- Gather at 2023 Kallah with other alumni/ae/x
- Gain access to ongoing opportunities within the Kesher Alumni/ae/x network and greater ALEPH community
Ideal candidates for the Kesher Fellowship will meet some or all of the following criteria:
- Identify as Jewish
- Demonstrate a commitment to personal and spiritual growth
- Desire to be a part of group learning and kindred community
- Be excited about learning, mentorship and growth
- Be drawn toward leadership in Jewish context
Cost to participate is on a sliding scale of $360-$540. Travel subsidies are available for a possible in-person gathering in January 2023.
ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal recognizes this may represent a significant financial burden. We encourage all who are interested in the Kesher Fellowship to apply regardless of ability to pay program costs.
ALEPH is dedicated to ensuring our programming is available to those who seek it regardless of economic status and is willing to work on a case-by-case basis to ensure that accepted applicants will be able to access the fullness of the program.
Need for financial support will not affect the application review process. Several demographic questions are asked in the application. These questions are not mandatory and will not be a determining factor in acceptance. We are seeking to build a diverse cohort that draws on a variety of life experiences and to have a better sense of who our programs are reaching.
ALEPH highly values diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. Black Jews, Jews of color, Indigenous Jews, Sephardim and Mizrahim as well as people who experience gender opression, Disabled people, and LGBTQIA+ and/or Queer Jews are particularly encouraged to apply.
2022-2023 Fellowship Dates
Dates of Fellowship: October 2022 – May 2023
Opening Virtual Retreat: Oct 14-16, 2022
In-Person Shabbaton Retreat: January 26-29, 2023 (Location TBD)
Applications Close: September 6, 2022
Information Session: August 28, 2022 at 3pm ET | REGISTER HERE
Kohenet Keshira haLev Fife (she/they)
Kohenet Kishira haLev Fife sprinkles sparkles, disrupts expectations, and offers blessings wherever she goes. In addition to serving as Co-Director of the ALEPH Kesher Fellowship, she is also Oreget Kehilah (Executive Director) of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, Founding Kohenet of Kesher Pittsburgh, and Program Director for Beloved Builders. She is the inaugural Faculty Fellow with the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and also enjoys working with Keshet and the Jewish Learning Collaborative, as well as serving on the board of Kavod v’Nichum. Additionally, she delights in serving as a shlichat tzibbur, life spiral ceremony/ritual creatrix, teacher, facilitator, liturgist and songstress. Her work in these realms is informed by her lived experience as a queer, bi-racial, Jewish person, her belief that Book, Body and Earth are equal sources of wisdom, and the quandries she encounters as a scholar of the Orphan Wisdom School. Keshira received Kohenet smicha in 2017 and earned her BS 2000 and MS 2001 at Carnegie Mellon University. After many years of traveling and living in Australia, she and her beloved once again make their home on Osage and Haudenosaunee land, also called Pittsburgh, PA. www.keshirahalev.com
Joshua Blaine (he/him)
Joshua Blaine is a community songleader & songwriter, Jewish ritualist & storyteller, and resonant healing facilitator & coach. The grandchild of Holocaust survivors, he was raised in a Reform congregation co-founded by his parents before stepping away from Judaism for most of his twenties. The Jewish renewal movement and many influential Kohanot (Hebrew Priestesses), combined with antiracist commitments to reclaiming his own lineage as a songleader, brought him back to an earth-based, joy and resistance-fueled Judaism. His professional and organizing work – primarily with men and white folks – is grounded in practices of nonviolence, relational neuroscience and resonance, Jewish ritual and mysticism, cultural organizing, and the profoundly personal and ongoing processes of unlearning patterns of patriarchy and white supremacy – individually and collectively – for a more just and peaceful world. An alumnus of the ALEPH Kesher Fellowship (2020), he currently serves as the program’s co-director. http://linktr.ee/joshuahblaine