About the Program

Wherever Jews settled in the world, artists and thinkers created new traditions and interpretations that enriched Jewish life and responded to contemporary challenges. This creativity enabled successive generations to discover the beauty of Judaism and draw on its resources to imagine new futures. Today, as ever, we need artists and cultural producers to lead the way, harnessing creativity, imagination and courage to shape the Jewish future and more just and democratic societies.

The Cultural Leadership program is a two-year fellowship designed to support artists and cultural producers with high potential as agents of change in Jewish communities and across society. The program aims to cultivate fellows’ creative wellsprings and work, leadership capacities and visions for change, and cross-boundary, collaborative networks.

Photo from Adam W. McKinney/DNAWORKS’ Shelter in Place (2020) photo by Mario Gallucci.

Program Overview

The program will include four seminars, one retreat, online sessions, time to advance creative work, and dedicated work with an adviser. Two seminars will take place in Brookline, MA, where the Mandel Institute is based, and two will be traveling seminars to Israel and a North American community selected by the cohort. Fellows will receive a $20,000/year stipend, which will support their time in the fellowship’s educational program and independent work on a creative project. The program’s curriculum will be organized around three strands:


Fellows sharpen their visions for impact and build skills in public narrative, arts management, and network leadership.


Fellows examine the distinctive role of art and culture to catalyze change through study of historical models of arts activism, training in cultural strategy, and inquiry into contemporary social issues.


Fellows deepen their creative wellsprings through Jewish text study, exploration of cultural history, and inquiry into contemporary forms of Jewish art and creativity.


The fellowship is designed for artists and cultural producers who have a desire to integrate Jewish themes in their work and/or harness Jewish culture to address communal and global challenges. Eligible candidates include, but are not limited to, visual artists, musicians, dancers, actors and theatre artists, writers, filmmakers, new media and multidisciplinary artists, as well as a range of cultural producers, such as journalists, curators, chefs, comedians, video game world builders, cultural organizers and culture bearers. 

Candidates may work independently or in organizational settings such as museums, arts centers, media platforms, and cultural strategy organizations, among others. We will seek fellows who value boundary crossing and collaboration, and whose personal experiences and creative voices represent the diversity of the Jewish people.



Eva Heinstein

Director, Cultural Leadership Program



Joshua Lambert

Sophia Moses Robison Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and English, Wellesley College



Kendell Pinkney

Theatre-Artist, Producer & Rabbi



Erin Potts

Co-Founder, Jumpslide Strategies



Shani Rosenbaum

Faculty, Hebrew College Rabbinical School


Eligibility & FAQ

Applications are now closed for Cohort I.