Aryeh Fellows

RZA Aryeh Fellows FAQ Page
Thank you for your interest in the RZA Aryeh Fellowship. Here is the application link. Note that the application is due on June 1 at 11:59pm
Have a question that’s not mentioned here? Email RZA.AryehFellows@gmail.com
Here is a timeline for the 2017-2018 RZA Aryeh Fellowship program.

1. What is the RZA?

The RZA is the Religious Zionists of America, a branch of World Mizrachi. It is the sole organization which educates and advocates for the Religious Zionism for the American Jewish community.

RZA-Mizrachi’s mandate is: am yisrael, b’eretz yisrael, al pi torat yisrael – the people of Israel, in the land of Israel, according to the laws of Israel.

The RZA has an illustrious history. For example, Rav Soloveitchik’s presented his Chamesh Derashot at the RZA – a bedrock series of lectures outlining diaspora Zionism.

More recently, the RZA has experienced a resurgence with tens of events within the past year in Jewish communities across the country – in California, Florida, New York, and New Jersey – thanks to Rabbi Gideon Shloush’s leadership.

For more info about RZA click here.

2. What is the RZA Aryeh Fellowship?

Students across America are eligible to join the RZA Aryeh Fellowship. The fellowship entails three elements:

  1. Impact the American Jewish community through a team leadership project (for more information, see question 5)
  2. 2.Winter break trip to Israel (for more information see question 6).
  3. Participate in leadership seminars (for more information see question 7.

3. How did this all start?

During the wave of terror back in winter 2015-2016, the RZA chose to subsidize a winter break mission for college students. With just a week of advanced notice, the RZA received over 200 applications and sent 50 to Israel. Students learned in yeshiva/midrasha and participated in a Yom Iyun at the World Mizrachi headquarters where they learned from Religious Zionist educators like Shani Taragin, Stephen Flatow, and Rav Doron Perez. Students found that mission to be edifying, powerful, and rejuvenating.

The following year, the RZA continued this momentum and ran a yearlong fellowship for 2016-2017. Forty fellows from Jewish communities and colleges across America spearheaded leadership projects, thereby spreading Religious Zionism across America. And like the year before, fellows spent their winter break in Israel where, again, they learned in yeshiva/midrasha, participated in a Yom Iyun at World Mizrachi Headquarters, and participated in a social media campaign.

Considering the past success from the past two years, the RZA is excited to continue the fellowship program.

4. What is the RZA looking for in a fellow?

Applicants will be selected on several grounds:

  1. The depth, quality, and professionalism of written application and in-person interview
  2. Shown commitment to Religious Zionist ideals
  3. Demonstrated leadership potential

 5. What is the Manhigut Project?

Fellows will work in teams of up to 3 fellows in a year-long leadership project (September through May), with the aims of:

  1. Encouraging the fellow to develop their talents; grow in their leadership skill and potential
  2. Infusing a college community, congregation, or school with Religious Zionism
  3. Will take a full academic year to accomplish
  4. Ideally project contains an educational component
  5. Ideally unites partnering organizations

Here are examples of some effective projects from last year:

-College Israel Week at University of Maryland

-Collegiate Chidon HaTanach

-A shiur series about Religious Zionism

-Translating Divrei Torah authored by Roshei Yeshiva in Yeshivot Hesder

-Creating webpage content for the RZA website

If the project involves making event planning – all flyers will undergo approval and will contain the RZA logo.

All projects will undergo a careful proposal and approval process. Throughout the year, teams will have regularly scheduled meetings with Rabbi Gideon Shloush and Sarah Robinson to follow up about the team’s progress. With this guidance, we believe fellows will succeed in their project and goals.

6. What do I have to do when I’m in Israel?

Fellows are responsible to do three things while in Israel for winter break:

1. Learn torah and rejuvenate themselves in the Zionist Yeshiva/Midrasha they studied in pre-college. Given hectic winter break schedules, fellows are asked to learn for a minimum of 4 days. (Go to question 15 and 16 if you have questions about this.)
2. Meet in World Mizrachi Headquarters 54 King George St, Jerusalem for a program TBD
3. Participate in a social media campaign which includes: posting two photos with #AryehFellowsRZA @MizrachiWorldMovement @RZAMizrachi. (see question 19 if you do not have Facebook)
4. Compose a short article reflecting on your experience to be published in your local Jewish newspaper or The Times of Israel

7. What can I expect at the leadership seminars?

Fellows will learn about leadership topics like:

  1. What is Religious Zionism? How can one be a Religious Zionist in Chutz La’Aretz?
  2. How can be an innovative leader?
  3. How do I best engage my community?

 

8. Will the trip to Israel work with my school’s winter break schedule?

You are welcome to fly on any dates you wish as long as:

1. you are able to attend the program in World Mizrachi headquarters (date tbd)
2. you can learn in yeshiva/midrasha for a minimum of 4 days

9. How do I apply?

Here is the link. Application deadline is Yom Yerushalayim (Weds May 24) at 11:59pm. No applications will be accepted after that time. No exceptions.

10. What are important dates and times?

Information Session: Monday May 15 in Yeshiva University’s Heights Lounge 2520 Amsterdam Ave New York, NY 10033

Application deadline: Yom Yerushalayim, Wednesday May 24 at 11:59pm. No late applications will be accepted. No exceptions.

Students continuing for interviews: Interview schedule will be finalized from May 28-30.

Group interviews will be held on:  June 5-15 in the RZA office at 305 7th Ave Fl 12, New York, NY 10001, between 28th and 27th streets. (Note that the RZA shares office space with the Beth Din of America and the Rabbinical Counsel of America.)

If you are out of state, you will join on GoogleHangout.

Acceptance, waitlist and rejection letters by: Accepted fellows must confirm their placement by June 26 with their bio, headshot, and signed forms. Waitlisted then accepted fellows must confirm placement by June 30 with their bio, headshot, and signed forms.

11. How does the money work?

Fellows will purchase their own flights and send receipts to Sarah Robinson by Monday July 10. As long as the trip dates fit with the requirements in question 8, the RZA will provide the fellow with a $500 travel reimbursement.

(Note: fellows who do not meet fellowship requirements will return $500 back to the RZA.)

12. I was selected for an interview. What should I expect?

Interviews will be held in groups of 2 to 5 people. All interviews will be held in the RZA’s office 305 7th Ave Fl 12, New York, NY 10001, between 28th and 27th streets. (Note that the RZA shares office space with the Beth Din of America and the Rabbinical Counsel of America.) If you are out of state, you will join on GoogleHangout.

Applicants should expect to discuss their personal and leadership background, their past involvement in Religious Zionist initiatives, and why they want to join the fellowship.

13. I was accepted! What’s next?

Applicants must confirm their placement in the fellowship by Monday June 26 with their bio, headshot, and signed forms.

14. I was waitlisted. What should I expect?

You will hear from us by Monday June 26th if you are taken off the waitlist. If taken off the waitlist, applicant must send bio, headshot, and signed forms by June 30 to secure spot.

15. I studied in a yeshiva/midrasha after high school but I don’t feel comfortable returning there for winter break. Can I study in a different yeshiva/midrasha?

Contact the Religious Zionist yeshiva or midrasha of your choice. It is possible they will ask you to pay for room and board since you did not study there post-high school. For a list of yeshivot and midrashot, follow this link to the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program through YU: http://www.yu.edu/israel-program/gis/

16. I didn’t have the chance to study in any yeshiva/midrasha after high school. Can I still apply?

Contact the Religious Zionist yeshiva or midrasha of your choice. It is possible they will ask you to pay for room and board since you did not study there post-high school. For a list of yeshivot and midrashot, follow this link to the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program through YU: http://www.yu.edu/israel-program/gis/

17. I’m a smicha student, in graduate school, or young professional. Can I still apply for the Fellowship?

The Fellowship is open to all students in undergrad, grad, and smicha. Fellowship not open to young professionals.

18.I live outside the New York metro area. Can I still apply?

Yes. Please note the following things:

  1. You will have to GoogleHangout into the interview and all subsequent fellowship meetings.
  2. Ideally your teammate in the leadership project will be in your state. Otherwise, be prepared negotiate your role if your fellow teammates are in a different state.

19. I don’t use social media like facebook and twitter. How can I fulfill the social media requirement?

An alternative to posting on social media is emailing family and friends about your experience. Remember to bcc RZA.Aryehfellows@gmail.com when sending the email.

20. I live in Israel and I’d love to join the program at World Mizrachi. Can I join even though I’m not part of the fellowship?

Yes! Check out the RZA and World Mizrachi facebook pages for more information in the fall for more info.

21. I have a question which wasn’t on this list. Who should I contact?

RZA.AryehFellows@gmail.comsarah.robinson@mail.yu.edu, or office@rza.org