“If you are not a better person tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for tomorrow?”
--Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
The Dorot Fellowship is a unique opportunity for young American Jews to spend 10 months in Israel, diving deep into complex realities of personal and collaborative leadership, social change, Israel, and Jewishness. The Fellowship is a distinct blend of independent and communal learning, as we believe 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.
Marshall Ganz defines leadership as “accepting responsibility for enabling others to achieve purpose in the face of uncertainty.” In these times of great uncertainty, the DFI provides the tools, mentorship, financial resources, time, and space for self-exploration that allows individuals to achieve their potential as agents of social change.
For more than three decades, the Dorot Fellowship has been empowering cadres of individuals who have shaped the American Jewish landscape and beyond, going on to start spiritual communities and collectives, write for top-tier publications, direct plays and musicals, ignite social movements, work in politics, publish books, and more. 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.
The DFI welcomes and encourages applicants and Fellows from all backgrounds, physical/developmental abilities, sexual orientations, and gender expressions. Please see our Inclusion Statement and FAQs for more information.
The great challenge, and gift, of the Dorot Fellowship is taking the infinite possibilities it offers and carving those possibilities into some personally meaningful shape. For me, that meant a chance to rethink my career path and choose another, which led to two more years in Israel and an unexpected career in journalism where I’ve been able to contribute to a public conversation on Jewish and Israeli culture and politics. It’s clear now how much Dorot influenced that outcome: the weekly seminars, the ongoing debates among the cohort…that's where I learned to question, dig deeper, process, and communicate. Dorot was like a reset button, and at times like an alarm waking me up. It was also just a really damn fun year.
Brian Schaefer, DFI 2010-2011