Ralph i.

What is the Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship?

The Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership (RIG) is the Joint Distribution Committee's (JDC) premier leadership opportunity, awarded to one person annually, for young thinkers and doers — policy makers, writers, business innovators, artists, and community builders. The Fellowship enriches a rising leader through direct exposure to local communities around the world and key challenges confronting the Jewish people. Fellows plan their year alongside senior JDC staff, identifying and designing 2-3 unique overseas placements shaped by their skills, interests and the critical needs of communities abroad. This is a paid, professional opportunity for an exceptional young leader who is committed to impacting the global Jewish world. RIG Fellows receive a stipend and generous benefits.

Who was Ralph I. Goldman?

Ralph I. Goldman (1914-2014) was JDC's beloved Honorary Executive-Vice President, a builder of the State of Israel, and a global Jewish leader whose historic investments in Jewish life worldwide have ensured a strong, vibrant Jewish future for generations to come.

There is a single Jewish world: intertwined, interconnected

Who are we looking for?

We seek passionate young leaders- those who care deeply about the world and are committed to making it a better place.

Where do RIG Fellows serve?

JDC works in over 70 countries around the world. RIG placements are based on an individual fellow’s strengths, background and preferences. Previously, RIG Fellows have served in locations including Belarus, China, Georgia, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Hungary, the Philippines, and Ukraine. Typically, RIG Fellows will serve in two or three different country assignments during the fellowship year.

Who are past RIG Fellows?

Each of our past fellows had uniquely impactful years. Learn more about them here.

Eliran Douenias took on the tough task of showing his experience as the '15 RIG Fellow in just 4 minutes. Somehow he did it, and beautifully encapsulated his year learning about, contributing to and leading in the global Jewish world. Follow Eliran through Germany, Nepal, the FSU and beyond in this compelling video

Applications for the 2018 RIG Fellowship will open in March 2017

• Professional achievement in the candidate's chosen career
• Demonstrated exceptional leadership and communication skills
• Strong interest in international Jewish affairs and public service
• Knowledge of foreign language(s) is a plus but not a requirement
• Formal and/or informal Jewish education is a plus but not a requirement
• Bachelor's degree and proven academic excellence. Master's degree a plus but not a requirement.

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⊕ What is the Ralph I. Goldman (RIG) Fellowship?

The Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship (RIG) in Global Jewish Leadership, JDC’s premier leadership opportunity for the world's top young professionals. Awarded to one person annually, is a one-of-a-kind experience that exposes, confronts, and enriches a talented rising leader through direct work with and access to multiple communities and key challenges confronting the Jewish people. With senior JDC staff, our RIG Fellows identify and design unique overseas placements shaped by their skills, interests and the critical needs of communities abroad.

⊕ Where do RIG fellows serve?

JDC works in over 70 countries around the world. RIG placements are based on an individual RIG fellow’s strengths, background and preferences. Previously, RIG fellows have served in locations including Israel, Philippines, Ukraine, Georgia, India, China, Australia, Hungary, and Belarus. Typically, RIG fellows serve in two-three different country assignments during the fellowship year.

⊕ When does the RIG Fellowship begin?

The 2017 RIG fellowship begins January 2017 in with an orientation period at JDC’s headquarters in New York and Israel, and continues with two or more overseas assignments, concluding in December 2017.

⊕ I don’t have a master’s degree, can I still apply?

You can still apply for the RIG fellowship without a master’s degree. Equivalent experience and a demonstrated commitment to international Jewish affairs and public is recommended.

⊕ Is there an age limit?

No, but you must be older than 18 to apply.

⊕ Is the Fellowship only open to North Americans?

No. We accept applicants of all nationalities and urge everyone to apply. We have former RIG Fellows from Australia, Argentina, Israel and the Former Soviet Union.

⊕ I have a spouse and family, can I still apply?

The Fellowship is open to applicants with spouses and children; however, JDC Entwine only covers costs associated with the individual RIG fellow accepted to the program. A RIG fellow may choose to relocate with his/her spouse or family, likely two – three times throughout the year, and the RIG fellow is responsible for any costs (such as flights, etc.) for family members should they choose to join the Fellow in field placement locations. In the past, RIG fellows have chosen both to travel with and without their spouse and/or family to placements.

⊕ What does JDC cover during the fellowship?

JDC covers international travel expenses and provides a generous fellowship stipend and health insurance package. RIG fellows use this stipend to cover their basic expenses locally in each placement.

⊕ In what language should I fill out my application?

Your application should be filled out in English.

⊕ What language should recommendation letters be written in?

While we prefer that recommendations be submitted in English, if your recommender does not speak English, you may have it officially translated.

⊕ How do I apply?

Applications for the 2018 RIG Fellowship will open in March 2017. Enter your information in the inquiry form above to receive updates.

⊕ When is the application due?

Applications for the 2018 RIG Fellowship will open in March 2017. Enter your information in the inquiry form above to receive updates.

⊕ I still have more questions. Can I speak with someone?

We would be happy to schedule time to speak with you further! Please be in touch with to coordinate. We look forward to speaking soon!

Entwine is a one-of-a-kind movement for young Jewish leaders, influencers, and advocates who seek to make a meaningful impact on global Jewish needs and international humanitarian issues. We do this by offering service experiences in Jewish communities around the world, educational events and programs, and leadership development opportunities. Entwine is an initiative of JDC, the largest Jewish humanitarian organization in the world. JDC works in 70 countries, specializing in humanitarian aid, Jewish community renewal and disaster relief. Learn more:

About the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC): For over 95 years, JDC has provided rescue, relief, and renewal for Jewish communities outside of North America, helped Israel meet the needs of its most vulnerable citizens, and offered a Jewish response to natural and man-made disasters and non-sectarian development needs around the world. JDC's work in over 70 countries is inspired by Jewish values of mutual responsibility, that kol yisrael areivim zeh l'zeh (all of Israel is responsible for one another), and tikkun olam, that Jews have an obligation to repair the world. Learn more:


Ruben Uzan

2017 Fellow

Ruben Uzan has been interested in identities, human dynamics and motivations since his early years in Paris, France, which is why he pursed a cross-disciplinary degree from the department of Communication Sciences at Paris’ Sorbonne University.

Throughout his career, he has received training in several parapsychology and coaching skills, such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Hypnosis, Enneagram and Process-Communication. His career path includes experience in the influence industry of Advertising; the authority industry of Politics; and in the reshaping industry, where he currently focuses on creating brand-storming and brand identities workshops for a variety of clients.

Born to a traditional French Sephardic family, passion and commitment for Israel has long been at the center of his attention. He completed basic training in Israel’s Defense Force (IDF) through the Marva volunteer program and also served as an Israeli Government Fellow. Ruben also worked in business development in Canada. In 2015, he returned to his home town of Paris, where his interest in Jewish global identity shaping is at the core of his consulting work, values and identity.

Noa Tal

2016 Fellow

Noa Tal holds an MSc in Neuroscience and MA in Public Policy and Government, and combined BSc in Psychology and Biology, from the Hebrew University. During her studies, Noa became involved in social organizations and leadership programs, working to make Jerusalem a more tolerant, inclusive, young and vibrant city.

Following these experiences, she decided to change her academic and professional path to public policy. In parallel to studying at the honors program in Public Policy and Government, she started working in the Knesset as a Parliamentary assistant and as a professional consultant on the national budget.

Read an interview with Noa Tal on the chance to transform jewish lives here.

Eliran Douenias

2015 Fellow

Eliran, a native Israeli who served as the 2015 Ralph I. Goldman Fellow, was part of JDC’s crisis evaluation team on the ground in Nepal, providing immediate emergency aid and early recovery support following the 2015 earthquake. Eliran was instrumental in assisting JDC to establish partnerships to support Nepal in its mid- to long-term recovery phase.

Prior to serving as a RIG Fellow, Eliran served as an officer in the IDF for 7 years. He also co-founded the organization, Olam, a social enterprise that identifies needs, provides innovative solutions, and promotes ethical goals in the Israeli society. Eliran is engaged in Israel advocacy worldwide and leads Young Ambassadors delegations to the UN Headquarters in NY. Eliran currently works at the JDC Israel office.

Read more about Eliran's work in Nepal.

Sarah Reef

2014 Fellow

Sara supported JDC Israel in developing essential employment training models for unemployed Arab-Israeli and Ultra-Orthodox populations, evaluated JDC programs in Ethiopia, and assisted JDC’s Former Soviet Union department by developing new models of development for life-saving welfare programs. Before serving as a Ralph I. Goldman Fellow, Sara was the Director of Cross Cultural Initiatives for Intersections International, where for over five years she has led international projects to promote global intercultural dialogue with a specific focus on youth.

Adam Steinberg

2014 Fellow

Adam served as part of JDC’s initial crisis evaluation team in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in November. Since then, Adam has been integral in establishing partnerships for sustainable development in Manilla and beyond, working in some of the most devastated parts of the region. Today, Adam is a doctor of internal medicine, with an interest in Indigenous health and community development in Australia.

Shaun Goldstone

2012-2013 Fellow

Following his year of service in Ethiopia with the JDC Entwine Global Jewish Service Corps, Shaun was selected to serve as the 2012-13 JDC Ralph I. Goldman Fellow. Shaun served in Saint Petersburg, Russia, teaching Hebrew, leading leadership initiative programs, and learning about Jewish life in the region by interacting with community members and leaders. Shaun also worked in Israel, China and Eastern Europe, engaging with a number of initiatives affecting these Jewish communities. Shaun now serves as JDC's Global Program Officer and is based in NYC.

Aviad Tamir

2011-2012 Fellow

As a Ralph I. Goldman Fellow in 2011-12, Aviad began his year in Poland, conducting research about Jewish life in smaller communities across the country, and developing plans for additional outreach and young adult programming. Aviad completed a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a minor in East Asian studies, completed his Master’s degree in Public Policy at the Lauder School of Government, Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, and worked in Israel’s office of the Prime Minister, as an Advisor to the Director General in the Ministry for Senior Citizens.

Alejandro Okret

2010-2011 Fellow

As a Ralph I. Goldman Fellow in 2010-11, Alejandro spent extensive time working with the Jewish communities of the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In Minsk, Belarus, Alejandro worked with all members of the community, developing programs for children at-risk and engaging with the elderly at JCCs and Heseds. In Ukraine, Alejandro worked alongside JDC’s Metsuda program, which seeks to equip young Jews with tools in community building and development, strengthening the program through his experience working with global Jewish communities.

Zev Nagel

2010-2011 Fellow

Serving as a Ralph I. Goldman Fellow in 2010-11, Zev spent nearly 5 months in Hungary, working on JDC-supported Jewish community development programs in the region, helping to plan seminars and retreats that educate young Jewish leaders, ages 18-35, and enhance their skills through training in conflict resolution, leadership, and management, and building Jewish identity. Zev also spent two months in Hong Kong, supporting JDC’s effort to look at newly emerging Jewish communities in Asia and conducting a community mapping study of Jewish life in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mainland China.

Violetta Shmulenzon

2009-2010 Fellow

Serving as JDC’s Ralph I. Goldman Fellow from 2009-2010, Violetta divided her year between Odessa, Ukraine and Jerusalem, Israel. In Odessa, Violetta worked to develop youth and leadership programming at the newly opened Beit Grand Jewish Cultural Center. In Jerusalem, she worked with JDC on issues of capacity building for labor migrants and Diaspora relations. Today, Violetta serves as is the Director of Leadership Development and Camping for the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House (JCH) of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Andrea Siegel

2008-2009 Fellow

As the 2008-09 Ralph I. Goldman Fellow, Andrea researched chaplaincy and family caregiver support programs with ESHEL in Jerusalem, led Hebrew poetry groups for Alzheimer’s patients in Tel Aviv, and crafted young adult leadership training with the Jewish community of Turkey. Today, Andrea works for JDC Entwine as its Director of Jewish Learning.

Joy Sisisky

2007-2008 Fellow

As the Ralph I. Goldman Fellow in 2007-2008, Joy co-founded Do Good Ukraine!, the first volunteer resource center of its kind in Ukraine, and explored opportunities for women to assume more leadership roles in the local Jewish community. Joy then served in Ethiopia, where she identified critical non-sectarian development programs and documented JDC’s non-sectarian involvement in Ethiopia over a 25-year period through research, interviews with past/present clients, written/oral history and photography. Today, Joy is the Executive Director of the Jewish Women's Foundation of New York which works to advance the status of women and girls in the Jewish community in New York and Israel. Joy also serves as Co-Chair of the Entwine Steering Committee.