The Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership


“There is a single Jewish world: intertwined, interconnected”

—JDC Honorary Executive Vice President Ralph I. Goldman, z"l

Are you the one?

The Ralph I. Goldman (RIG) Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership is JDC’s premier leadership opportunity, awarded to one person annually, for young thinkers and doers -- writers, artists, policy shapers, business innovators, and community builders.

The Fellowship is a paid, professional opportunity to live and work in several overseas locations where JDC is active, providing an inside look at JDC’s global operations though individualized assignments.

Each Fellow works with JDC staff to identify and design their unique overseas placements, shaped by their skills, interests, and critical needs of communities overseas. 

Qualifications include:

  • 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

Applications for the next Ralph I. Goldman Fellow will open in Spring 2018.  If you would like more information, please contact

Read an interview with 2016 RIG Fellow Noa Tal on the chance to transform Jewish lives here

Read more about 2015 RIG Fellow Eliran Douenias efforts in Nepal here.

Read profiles of our current and past fellows here.  


Eliran Douenias

Eliran Douenias holds a combined Bachelor’s Degree in social science, Psychology, Criminology and Sociology, a certificate in human resources management and a Master’s Degree in Law from Bar Ilan University.

Eliran served as an officer in the IDF for 7 years, both taking on leadership roles in the IDF evaluation unit and participating in several delegations to North America and Europe to facilitate the conscription of new immigrants to the IDF.

In 2012, Eliran co-founded the organization, Olam, a social enterprise that identifies needs, provides innovative solutions, and promotes ethical goals in the Israeli society. In 2013, Eliran was selected to participate in Kriat Kivun, a unique program of the Prime Minister’s Office for young leaders in the public sector. In 2014, Eliran was appointed as Vice Chairman of Youth Division for The Israel Communication & Press Association. Eliran is engaged in Israel advocacy worldwide and led Young Ambassadors delegations to the UN Headquarters in NY and to parliament houses in several states. Eliran also collaborated with partners in the Ministry of Education to create a digital interactive tool for high school students interested in pursuing a career in diplomacy. This joint program is now taking on an integral role in the Israeli education system.

Shaun Goldstone

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 in International Jewish Service.

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 initatives affecting these Jewish communities. Shaun now serves as JDC's Former Soviet Union Program Specialist and is based in NYC.

Zev Nagel

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.

Alejandro Okret

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.

Today, Alejandro Okret is the Senior Director of International Development at Moishe House in London.

Sara Reef

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. In recognition of her work, she has been invited to present at global conferences along with the United Nations in New York. For the past year, Sara has also served as Acting Director to the Intercultural Forum, a global organization dedicated to promoting youth intercultural dialogue through innovative workshops in private, public, and faith based high schools. Sara earned an M.A. degree from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, focusing on International Studies, and received her B.A. degrees in International Studies and History from American University. Sara was awarded the Anna Sobel Levy Fellowship to be a visiting graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is an active member of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, New York and the Jewish Diplomatic Corps.

Sara is developing essential employment training models for unemployed Arab-Israeli and Ultra-Orthodox populations in Israel and is headed to Addis Ababa for her next placement developing evaluations for JDC’s work in Africa alongside senior JDC staff.

Violetta Shmulenzon

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.

Dr. Andrea Siegel

Andrea taught as Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at Purchase College SUNY and at Pepeprdine University. Andrea was a 2012-2013 Fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. She is currently Program Manager of the Jewish Communal Leadership Program at University of Michigan's School of Social Work, and Adjunct Lecturer in Judaic Studies at the University's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Joy Sisisky

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.

Adam Steinberg

Adam is a junior doctor based in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. After attending Mount Scopus Memorial College, he spent the year with his youth movement in Israel on a leadership abroad program. Upon his return, Adam was heavily involved in the running of the youth movement, mentoring hundreds of young adults as they developed their Jewish identity. Today, Adam is a doctor of internal medicine, with an interest in Indigenous health and community development. At the same time, he is pursuing his Master's in Public Health, with a focus on health economics. Most recently Adam has been involved as a volunteer in the education team at Jewish Aid Australia, a member of staff on March of the Living and as a programme coordinator for Tzedek, the UK Jewish community's international development organization where he was based in Tamale, northern Ghana for nearly four months. Adam is known for his strong work ethic, good sense of humor, and ability to maximize the potential of everyone around him. Adam came to apply for the Fellowship after participating in an Entwine trip to Ethiopia, where he was so moved by JDC's work that he was determined to become more involved.

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.

Noa Tal

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.

For the past four years, Noa has worked in the Council for Higher Education, where she manages national projects, including the Israeli Centers of research Excellence program, and develops strategic plans for academic studies during high-school and army service.

Aviad Tamir

As the 2011-12 Ralph I. Goldman Fellow in International Jewish Service, 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 most recently worked in Israel’s office of the Prime Minister, as an Advisor to the Director General in the Ministry for Senior Citizens.

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