Leadership Initiative for Professionals

WEXNER FIELD FELLOWSHIP

Leadership development for Jewish communal professionals
in the field

The Wexner Field Fellowship provides opportunities for professional growth to promising Jewish professionals who plan to continue to pursue careers as professional leaders in the North American Jewish community.

Through the Wexner Field Fellowship, Jewish professional leaders are provided coaching, Jewish learning, and professional development funds. This cohort-based program will deepen these professionals’ leadership skills alongside a rich network of colleagues for this three-year program and the rest of their career.

Applications Are Closed. Click here to be notified when the application opens in 2021 for Class 6.

Program Overview

Through this three-year intensive professional development program Field Fellows will:

  • Participate in six cohort-based institutes (or virtual equivalent during the COVID-19 health crisis) on leadership and Jewish issues with skilled leadership teachers and peer Jewish educators.
  • Receive one-on-one professional coaching and Jewish learning, along with access to funds toward customized professional development opportunities.
  • Become part of The Wexner Foundation’s network of 3,000 professional and volunteer leaders in the North American Jewish Community and in Israel.
  • Connect with their fellowship cohort remotely between institutes to network, share concerns and for peer-consultations.
  • Develop a nuanced appreciation for the diversity of the North American Jewish community.
  • Focus on developing strengths in adaptive leadership, storytelling, difficult conversations, negotiation and other crucial leadership skills.
  • Connect with members of The Wexner Foundation’s alumni community.

Staff

Dara Katzner, Program Coordinator
Ruthie Warshenbrot, Director

Eligibility 

Re-Applicants
If you have applied to any of The Wexner Foundation’s programs in the past, you are welcome to re-apply with an entirely new application. Because we are creating a cohort, each applicant pool results in different selections and re-applications are considered independently from past applications.

To apply for the Wexner Field Fellowship, all eligibility requirements must be met. Please note there are no exceptions to the eligibility requirements listed below. A new class will be selected each year, so you may be eligible to apply in the future if you are not currently eligible.

Applicants:

  • Are based in North America and employed full-time by a Jewish communal organization
  • Were born between March 2, 1978 and March 1, 1994 (ages 28-43 on March 1, 2022)
  • Have at least five years of post-baccalaureate full-time work or volunteer experience
  • Are a citizen of the United States, Canada or Mexico, or have documentation that allows them to work in that country
  • Receive the written support of the Executive Director and Board President of their current organization for full participation in the Fellowship Program (a letter of support will be provided for those invited to complete the full application)

All eligible applicants are encouraged to apply, irrespective of denominational affiliation, gender, racial or ethnic origin, disability or sexual orientation.

If you are in your first year of full-time graduate school or applying to study full-time in the upcoming summer or fall, you may be eligible for the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program.

Benefits & Expectations

Field Fellows will:

  • Participate in all Fellowship-sponsored programs totaling approximately eight days of travel (six business days) per year for three years and ensure that there will be no conflicts with these programs. Fellows will attend two Institutes annually (a Spring Institute around March and a Fall Institute around September). The Wexner Foundation covers all expenses for program participation.
    • During the COVID-19 health crisis and building on what we have learned so far about virtual education, Fellows will be expected to give more of their time than the Virtual Gathering dates previously listed in order to build trust within the cohort. This time will be spread out over multiple days. Exact timing will be determined based on Fellow availability but with an expectation that Fellows will prioritize these virtual meetings. We will share as much detail as possible in advance of Finalist Interviews so that applicants can determine if they are still able to fulfill these expectations.
  • Commit to work full-time at a North American Jewish communal organization for all three years of the Fellowship Program and three years beyond (six years total)
  • Select a professional coach from a roster of approved professional coaches to work with one-on-one on an ongoing basis. The coach will partner with Field Fellows and will meet 15-20 times a year for three years to help them reach their potential.
  • Work with a Jewish educator 12-15 times a year for three years to help expand their Jewish understanding based on their unique needs or participate in an immersive experience for the equivalent amount of time.
  • Benefit from access to a pool of funds (approximately $5,000 per fellow per year) for additional learning and growth. These funds can be used on Foundation-approved professional development opportunities and associated travel and accommodations. Field Fellows will be reimbursed for these expenses.
  • Must submit a personal W-9 (signed and dated in the current year) to The Wexner Foundation after they have been accepted. The Wexner Foundation cannot give tax advice. Some opportunities which are reimbursed may incur taxes.

How to Apply

Application Requirements
All applicants must fill out their basic information and upload a resume as part of a pre-application eligibility form. Pre-applications are approved manually on a rolling basis during business hours. Please ensure you submit your pre-application with enough time to fill out a full application (if approved). Those invited to complete a full application will need to provide the following items.

Essays


Several short answer questions (Step 1) and two essays (Step 5). Please click here to view the essay prompts.

Video


A 60-second video answering the question provided within the application in Step 6 (“Video Answer”). The video should not be created professionally and must be uploaded in one of the following formats: .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, .avi. Additional guidelines are provided within the application (Step 6).

Letter of Support


A letter of support form (provided in Step 6) signed by your organization’s Executive Director and Board President. If you are the Executive Director, you should sign your own letter of support along with your Board President. The form ensures your organization is aware of the time commitment the Wexner Field Fellowship requires. Applicants should submit the signed form electronically.

Two Letters of Recommendation


Two letters of recommendation (Step 8), which are available for electronic transmission to your identified referees through the online application. The first recommendation needs to come from your current direct supervisor. If you are the Executive Director, your board chair serves as your current direct supervisor and therefore should write a recommendation.

“I think my focus of balance in coaching, Jewish learning, and professional development, in different capacities, has 100% made me more effective in both leading my team, managing up and taking better care of myself. All of which have made me a stronger and more effective professional- both personally as well as a part of my organization.”


Deborah Leipzig
Vice President, Leadership, Anti-Defamation League
Wexner Field Fellowship, Class 3

Alumni Offerings

Wexner Graduate And Field Fellowship Community Coordinating Committee

We help shepherd initiatives, offer advice to the WGF/WFF professionals when asked, and try to identify ways that Wexner fellows and alumni can be of service to and make the most of the talent and energy of the Wexner community.

Most significantly, WexCoComm invests time and energy thinking about how we can most effectively and efficiently communicate opportunities to members of the Wexner community that could be personally or professionally enriching.  We try to gauge the interests, issues, and concerns of alumni community members and we try to be responsive to those needs and interests where we think we can be appropriately helpful.

LEARN MORE ›

Meet Our Alumni and Fellows

History & Partnerships

The Wexner Field Fellowship was created in 2013 in partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation to focus on developing promising Jewish professionals’ leadership skills while enveloping them in a rich network of Jewish professionals. Through in-person, intensive conferences and virtual meetings, Wexner Field Fellows are exposed to Jewish educational and professional growth opportunities while addressing their unique needs of career progress.

Fellows are selected based on their past accomplishments, current motivation and engagement, and the exceptional attributes they will contribute to the cohort of 15 Jewish professionals of which they will be a part.