Berrie Fellowship Cohort IV visits the Israeli Knesset, Summer 2016
The Berrie Fellows Leadership Program is an 18-month fellowship for visionary lay leaders from Northern New Jersey, representing a range of religious denominations and political philosophies. The program is a partnership of Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, and the Russell Berrie Foundation.
Diverse individuals serving in executive volunteer leadership positions at Jewish organizations, agencies, synagogues, and schools in the northern New Jersey community are invited to participate. The program consists of 10 evening learning sessions with Shalom Hartman faculty, four immersive overnight retreats, and a 10-day trip to Israel during which the Fellows study at the Shalom Hartman Institute, meet with key Hartman faculty, and learn about Hartman initiatives in Israel and North America.
SHI North America's intensive work with the Berrie Fellows helps curate their understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the Jewish people today. Within this framework, the Fellows explore topics including Jewish Peoplehood, Israel, Jewish Identity, and Ethical Leadership, studying with Hartman scholars other leaders in these fields.
Now in its fifth cohort, Berrie Fellows are passionate advocates for enriching North American Jewish communal life and fostering a spirit of religious understanding and pluralism.
From some of the Berrie Fellows following the summer 2016 trip to Israel:
“I thought I had a really good handle on what goes on [in Israel] and felt pretty confident in my viewpoints. Subconsciously, I thought this trip would back up my viewpoints…what I learned instead is that nothing is as it appears initially. Everything is far more complicated. I see there is a lot more that needs to be done...and there are amazing volunteers, professionals, and politicians working on these issues. Seeing all the moving parts has given me a much deeper understanding of what’s going on here.” -Yeshiva executive director
“Things are way more complicated than I thought, but everyone seemed optimistic. It’s about the people-to-people connection, the relationships and the groundswell from the deep thinkers to the school principals. That message resonated with me.”-Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey trustee
“Our group is very diverse, and [in Israel] we have gotten close despite strong religious and political differences. Everyone’s been able to accept others and it’s been a wonderful bonding experience. We’re all committed to the cause of the Jewish people and Israel but come at it from different angles.” -Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey board member and temple officer
“We’ve heard such valuable insights that we will bring back, but how much more significant it would be if we could bring the people to our own communities. When you hear it face to face, it’s more impactful.”
-Temple executive officer
Click on links to read more about 2016 Berrie Fellows in Israel
The Berrie Fellows Go To Israel Unity in Diversity in Israel