Teen Jews of Color Fellowship

Introducing a new fellowship for Jewish Teens of Color, a transformative fellowship for 11th and 12th graders that offers an inclusive and vibrant space for participants to explore all their intersecting identities, cultivate leadership skills, and engage in meaningful project-based learning.

Throughout the 8-month program (October 2023-May 2024) participants embark on a journey of personal growth and leadership development, meeting both virtually and at a retreat (November 10-13, 2023). The fellowship provides mentorship from adult Jews of Color who guide and inspire the students along their path. These mentors offer invaluable support, sharing their own experiences and helping fellows navigate the challenges and triumphs of their journeys.

The fellowship emphasizes community building and organizing principles, empowering participants to bring about positive change in their home communities. Project-based learning serves as the cornerstone of this transformative fellowship, allowing participants to explore their passions, engage in hands-on experiences, and make a difference in areas they are most passionate about. 

At the heart of this fellowship lies a commitment to creating affinity spaces—spaces that provide a sense of belonging and understanding among individuals who share common experiences. Within these spaces, Jewish teens of color are encouraged to explore their personal narratives, discuss the intersections of their identities, and forge deep connections with their peers. Participants will emerge empowered, equipped with the tools to shape a future that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and social justice.

Applications for the 2023-2024 school year are closed. If you would like us to contact you when we open the application for the 2024-2025 cohort, please fill out our interest form and you'll be the first to know! Questions? Email Kelly Whitehead, Teen JOC Fellowship Organizer.

Program Cost

Historically Jewish programming comes with a cost that can be inaccessible to groups who have been historically marginalized. This includes lower income families, Families of Color, families with members who live with disabilities, single parent families, and other often disenfranchised groups. Our funders at Shards of Light Foundation agree that diversity is essential, and do not want cost to be a barrier to participation in the Teen Jews of Color Fellowship. 

  • The program fee includes: 
  • Twice-monthly learning sessions with our fellowship organizer and special guests 
  • 1x1 time monthly with a mentor – an adult Jewish Person of Color who is matched to each fellow to guide them through the program and their project 
  • A four-day retreat with a travel stipend 
  • A cohort of other teen Jews of Color interested in exploring their identities and expanding their leadership 

The actual cost of this program is $5,000 per person. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to offer the program at a significantly reduced base price of $500. To ensure that the fellowship is accessible to all who wish to apply, we request that all families with the means to do so contribute above the base price. 

We are committed to making the program accessible to all regardless of ability to pay, and we will work with Fellows and their families privately to ensure cost is not a barrier to participation. If you would like to speak privately about program pricing for your family, please reach out to Logan Zinman Gerber

Please note that the application asks you to submit credit card information. Your credit card will not be charged and payment will not be processed until you are accepted into the fellowship. You will receive an email upon your acceptance, at which point your card will be charged. If you prefer to pay a lower rate, please be in touch with Logan before submitting your application. 

an image of a girl smiling while sitting at a table with other teenagers at L'Taken

About the Instructor

Kelly Whitehead 2021

The Teen Jews of Color Fellowship is led by Kelly Whitehead (she/they), a community organizer and fifth year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Kelly participated in the Reform Movement’s adult JewV’Nation Jews of Color Fellowship, where they learned to create and facilitate anti-racial bias training for Jewish professionals. Prior to Rabbinical School, she worked in a shared youth position between URJ Camp Harlam and Temple Sinai DC. They serve on the board of T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and was selected as one of The Jewish Week’s 36 under 36 for 2021. Questions about the fellowship? Reach out to Kelly.