From strength to strength

All across Europe, Jewish communities large and small are reviving old traditions and blazing new ones. The Kaplan Leadership Initiative fellows from Europe each bring the vibrancy of their own Jewish community to the table, making a natural space for innovation and new ideas.

In Europe, the Kaplan Leadership Initiative is part of Yesod, a partnership of  JDC,  Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, and  Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, which help Jewish community professionals across Europe develop Jewish fluency, create their personal career goals, empower young Jewish leaders and more.

Frequently asked questions

Yesod is a collaborative project of the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Rothschild (HaNadiv) Foundation, Europe. Yesod supports, trains and develops Jewish community professionals and educators across Europe.  

Kaplan Leadership Initiative Fellows fulfill the following requirements:

  • Between 25-40 years old.  
  • Hold an academic degree
  • Currently employed in a professional, full time position within the Jewish community in the FSU, Europe or Latin America.
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in Jewish communal/educational frameworks.
  • Speak and understand English at a high level.
  • Be resident in one of the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Servia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The Kaplan Leadership Initiative is funded almost entirely by Ed and Carol Kaplan. At the same time we believe that participants should demonstrate commitment with some financial contribution. Therefore, participants (or their organizations) are asked to pay a total of 400 Euros, reflecting 100 euros per seminar.

The following costs are covered by the Kaplan Leadership Initiative:

  • Round trip tickets to international seminars
  • Same-gender shared accommodation during seminars
  • All meals during seminars. All food is supervised kosher.
  • All activities and materials during seminars
  • Mentoring (9 meetings throughout the programme)

The following costs are not covered by the Kaplan Leadership Initiative:

  • Visa expenses
  • Transfers to and from airports (in home country and in seminar countries)
  • Health insurance

Applicants who meet all the qualifications (detailed above) will be notified by program staff in a timely manner. Applicants can expect to interview with several Kaplan Leadership Initiative staff members; the selected participants will be notified well before the beginning of each year’s program.

Each cadre of fellows participates in the initiative for one year. This period includes three regional seminar and one international seminar which is held in Chicago, USA. These seminars generally last several days and include intensive skills training, collaboration and, of course, time to get to know each other. Outside of these four seminars, additional activities, meetings and learning opportunities are defined by the local partner organization.

The European Kaplan Leadership Initiative fellows are from a wide variety of European countries, including East, West, and Central Europe. We strive to accept participants with a wide diversity of backgrounds, languages, experiences and approaches to being Jewish.

Applicants must apply to participate in the fellowship in the geographic region in which they live: Europe, the Former Soviet Union and Latin America. 

Fellows who participate in all 4 seminars and complete all program tasks will be awarded the Spertus Certificate in Global Jewish Leadership, issued by the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

 All seminars and training activities are held in English. During the application process we will assess your level of English. 

10-14 February 2019 – Jerusalem, Israel 

30 June – 4 July 2019 – Prague, Czech Republic

November 2019 – Chicago, USA

16-20 February 2020 – Barcelona, Spain

No, each Kaplan fellow is required to attend all 4 seminars. We will work with you to explain to your supervisor why this programme is important and how it will contribute to your work. 

Yes! If you meet all the criteria, we encourage you to re-apply.

Got a question not covered here? Contact, we are happy to help! 

We are not accepting applications at the moment. If you want to get more information, please reach out via Contact Us form