Organization: Uri L'Tzedek, New York, NY
Grant Year: 2009
Project Director: Rabbi Ari Weiss
Type of Grant: Ignition
Grant Amount: $20,000 (1 years)
Uri L’Tzedek developed the Uri L’Tzedek University Fellowship, which created a cohort of emerging activists who were poised to take leading roles in Orthodox communal leadership. The semester-long Fellowship combined education, mentorship, and social action to empower Fellows and inspire change on campus and in educational communities.
The goals of the program were: to develop a decentralized incubator model that can be replicable in universities and communities across the country, to empower young social justice activists, to effect quantifiable progressive change, and to cause an attitudinal shift in Orthodox identity that focuses on social justice.
In 2010, the project was adapted to include the Uri L’Tzedek Summer Fellowship, a six-week summer program focused on creating and training Orthodox social justice activists.
In the first year of the program, between the University and Summer Fellowships there were 29 participants from across the country and Canada. Many of the participants continued to remain affiliated with Uri L’Tzedek, some in leadership positions.
Ignition Grantee Reflections: Impacts and Learnings
“At JSJR we realized that we are one of only a few organizations doing work with college students on campus. This program allowed us to add capacity of in the field of Jewish social justice on campus. We worked with 35-50 individuals and we changed their Jewish social justice identities, and created committed Jewish students who will continue to work with us. Learning is part of who they are as Jews and they actually did good in the world. There was behavioral change, new skills, knowledge and attitudes.”
— Rabbi Ari Weiss, Project Director