Are you a young, progressive, Jewish adult looking to discover personal and collective revelation, and enrich your Jewish spiritual journey through learning, mentorship and community building?
ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal is pleased to announce the (re)launch of the 5783 Kesher fellowship, a cohort-based experience that will begin virtually in February 2023, include a convening at the 18th Kallah in West Chester, PA (July 3-9, 2023), and wind down in time for the high holidays of 5784.
A dozen fellows ages 22-39 will come together as a cohort with the kavvanah/intention of learning about Jewish Renewal philosophy, engaging in spiritual practice, developing a mentorship relationship and creating community. We’ll journey together through Jewish time, beginning during the dormant winter days of Tu B’Shvat, gathering during the heights of summer at the 18th Kallah, and winding down in the month of Elul as we prepare to enter the gates of 5784.
Moving through the seasons of winter, spring and summer, this fellowship will be centered around embodied, earth-based, personal and collective experience of Judaism tied to the cycles of Jewish time and themes.
The fellowship includes:
- An opening virtual Shabbaton (Feb 17-19, 2023) designed to build connection, deepen learning, engage in meaningful prayer, and get to know one another as a cohort.
- An immersive, all-inclusive VIP-esque experience at the 18th Annual ALEPH Kallah in West Chester, Pennsylvania July 3-9, 2023 including a travel stipend (retreat registration and stipend valued at $1500)
- 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 gatherings as a cohort.
- 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
- A transition ritual during the month of Elul
Following the fellowship, participants will be invited to join the alumnx/ae/i network and:
- Engage in an annual renewal-themed Kesher book club
- Exclusive access and invitations to future Kesher events and gatherings
- Discounted access to ALEPH programming and events
- Opportunities and invites to lead, teach, and contribute to ALEPH programming and events
- Ongoing connection to the Kesher Alumni Network and the greater ALEPH community
Applications close on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 and acceptances will be confirmed by mid-December. In the meantime, please save the date(s) for our Virtual Opening Shabbaton (February 17-19, 2023) and the in-person Kallah (July 3-9, 2023) in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
If you have questions or curiosities about whether this is a good fit, please join us for a 30-minute ZOOM info session on Tue, November 8, 2022 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT. The co-directors will be sharing about the fellowship and fielding questions. Register for info session here. All registrants will receive a recording of the info session.
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-$720, which includes registration and travel subsidy to the 18th in-person Kallah in Pennsylvania in July 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: February 2023 – September 2023
Opening Virtual Retreat: Feb 17-19, 2023
In-Person ALEPH Kallah: July 3-9, 2023
Applications Close: November 23, 2022
Information Session: November 8, 2022 at 8pm 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