Passport to Jewish Life Fellowship

Please click here to see the first cohort of Passport to Jewish Life Fellows!

The Passport to Jewish Life Fellowship is a unique 18 month professional development initiative designed to provide experiential educators and leaders in the Montreal Jewish community with the knowledge, skills and tools to enhance their own work in the field of experiential Jewish education and build new opportunities for cross-community collaboration.

Run by M2: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education and built around a series of three (3) intensive seminars for educators, in addition to a seminar for executives, this model focuses on motivating and equipping the educators who are most likely to lead change as well as creating a structure for systemic collaboration and deep impact. Executives and educators from select organizations across the community will work together and develop a shared language and a strong collaborative structure over the 18 months of this project.

The Fellowship consists of:

a. Intensive and Ongoing Professional Development for Educators

Up to 20 diverse and carefully-selected educators will participate in a series of three 3-day seminars. During these meetings they will be learn M2’s unique approach to experiential Jewish education. This series of professional development seminars will give participants a strengthened professional identity as educators, a comprehensive and robust approach to the theory and practice of experiential Jewish education, strengthened relationships and networks between them, and many practical tools they can apply in their diverse settings.

b.  Executive Involvement and Seminar

At the same time, the executives who manage the organizations from which the educators come will be engaged in their own process, separately from their supervisees, and together with them. They will also participate in one of the 3-day seminars, with some time dedicated to their own professional development and enrichment, and some time to work as small teams with their educators. These executives will learn the basic theory and language of experiential Jewish education and consider strategies for change and implementation. This will allow them to empower their educators, understand the broader educational language and encourage collaboration across community organizations.

c. Community of Practice and Individual/Team Coaching>

As a support system for the educators’ seminars, a Community of Practice will meet on a monthly basis. The Community of Practice will reflect and apply the learned material through case studies, learn Jewish texts and train others in the community. This Community of Practice will function as the ongoing “glue” for this project, providing educators with a community that shares their language and develops new modes for collaboration.

Additionally, Fellows and their supervisors will receive regular coaching to help them integrate new theories and methodologies into their work and organizations.

The coaching and Community of Practice will be staffed by a local M2-trained educator who will teach, manage and support the community of educators.



Program Component


August 29, 2019

Recruitment for cohort


September 27, 2019

Final application date


October 15-30, 2019

Interview process

Zoom interviews for select candidates

November 18-19, 2019

Final decisions

Applicants are notified

December 9, 2019

Webinar with M2

Group orientation and introductions


Program Structure

Seminars Community of Practice/Coaching
  • Seminar I – January 5-7, 2020
  • Seminar II – June 4-7, 2020
  • Seminar III – January 24-27, 2021
  • 10 full days for seminars
  • Executives/Organizational Leaders have parallel track in Seminar II
  • In-person, intensive work on core concepts of Experiential Jewish Education
  • Taught by M2faculty
  • Based in Montreal, NOT residential
  • Monthly meetings (3-4 hours each) between seminars
  • Strengthen community, build strong network
  • Apply concepts
  • Develop case studies Led by Rabba Rachel Kohl Finegold
  • Community of Practice and Coaching run until June 2021


Who will be the Fellows?

There will be up to 20 participants in this Fellowship, selected from a wide range of organizations in Montreal and representing the diversity of the community.

We will craft the group in order to ensure diversity and a range of settings, backgrounds and experiences.

Fellows must have/be:

  • Currently in a management role in an educational organization or setting, eg., Director, Assistant Director or supervising other educators or Madrichim
  • At least 3 (preferably 5) years of experience in Jewish or educational work
  • Open to learning in a cross-communal, pluralistic setting
  • Commitment to their own professional development and willing to try new things
  • Potential for future educational leadership in Montreal

What are the participation requirements?

This is a highly-selective Fellowship that demands commitment over a period of one and a half years. Fellows will be required to participate in the following ways:

  • Participation in 10 full days of seminars.
  • Monthly half-day meetings of the Community of Practice, during the work day.
  • Monthly coaching calls (up to 2 hours per month).
  • Commitment to actively find ways to implement new learnings in the context of ongoing work.

How do the Supervisors fit in?

This Fellowship is built on the assumption that in order to make educational change in any organization, even the most talented and motivated educator needs the support of his/her supervisor to provide strategic perspective, offer resources, clear away obstacles to change, and more. As a result, this Fellowship includes a component for supervisors.

Each Fellow will be accompanied on the Fellowship by their Supervisor in the following ways:

  • Supervisors will support the participation of the Fellow and provide them time to be at seminars and at meetings of the Community of Practice. We also encourage supervisors to ensure that the organization pays the participation fee (see below).
  • Supervisors are invited to an opening half-day of learning in Seminar I.
  • Supervisors will participate in a full 3 days of learning at Seminar II. Some of this time will be spent jointly with the educators and some will be separate and designed just for them.
  • Supervisors will have access to joint coaching with their educator, in order to help make the relevant organizational change and apply the learnings from the Fellowship into the organization.

What is the cost of the Fellowship?

The Fellowship is funded by a generous grant from the Passport to Jewish Life Funders that covers costs of participation, valued at over $20,000 per participant.

Participants are asked to contribute $1,500, $1,000 of which will be refunded, upon successful completion of the program, for the organizations to reinvest in the participants/programs. We anticipate and encourage Fellows’ organizations to pay this fee. Subsidies are available and should not be a deterrent for applying.

What is the application process?

Please note that receiving this invitation to apply does not guarantee participation. We will be looking to accept a diverse and representative group and anticipate that there will be more applicants than spaces. If you are interested and qualified to participate as a Fellow, please follow this application process:

  1. Speak to your supervisor and discuss your participation. Ensure that you will be given days off in order to participate. Supervisors are also required to participate and commit the organization to participation. Make sure that you and your supervisor are both interested in this opportunity.
  2. Complete and email this application form with a current resume and high-resolution headshot to [email protected] by September 27th, 2019. We will review your application and follow-up with next steps shortly
  3. You will be contacted in October about your application and may be invited for an interview.
  4. Final decisions as to participation in the cohort will be made by November 19, 2019.

For more information, please contact Natana Shek at [email protected]

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