1st National Cohort Launch

The 1st National Cohort of the Sephardic Leaders Fellowship has officially launched! This exceptional cohort of rabbis, educators, strategists, Jewish communal professionals, and lay leaders will convene throughout six months of bimonthly learning and engagement sessions facilitated by top Mizrahi and Sephardic thought-leaders, scholars, activists, and rabbis from around the world. Through a Sephardi and Mizrahi lens, fellows will build foundational knowledge of contemporary issues facing the Jewish world, including antisemitism, Jewish diversity, Arab-Jewish relations, and Jewish education. Fellows will gain traditional and contemporary knowledge and skills to bring back to their respective agencies and Jewish spaces in an effort to build institutional abilities to start better integrating Sephardic content, needs, and culture in a meaningful way.

Our first national cohort is a diverse group of committed Jewish leaders from cities across the United States including; New Orleans, St. Louis, New York, Miami, Chapel Hill, Seattle, Washington D.C. area, and other regions. Fellows include:

  • Cameron Cushner, President of Tulane Jewish Law Student Association
  • Cristina Dominguez Ramirez, Librarian and Lay Lay Leader
  • Dr. Guila Benchimol, Senior Advisor on Research and Learning and SRE Network
  • Dr. Isaac Amon, Director of Academic Research and Jewish Heritage Alliance
  • Isabel Shech, Program Manager at Leading Edge
  • Joshua Hoffman, Executive Director of The Sephardic Foundation on Aging
  • Laura Belinfante, Senior Director of Digital Strategy at Repair the World
  • Lauren Bensussen, Lay Leader of Seattle Sephardic Network
  • Manashe Khaimov, Executive Director of SAMi: Sephardic American Mizrahi Initiative
  • Rabbi Dr. Yehonatan Elazer-DeMota, Rabbi at Beth Midrash Eleazer
  • Rabbi Michael Beyo, CEO and Rabbi at East Valley JCC and Center for Holocaust Education
  • Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg, Rabbi at Kol Ami: A Center for Jewish Life
  • Sami Rahamim, Director of Communication and Community Affairs at Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota
  • Sarah Cohen Domont, Director of Lifelong Learning at Kehillah Synagogue
  • Sepi Djavaheri, Senior Community Mobilizer at UJA Federation
  • Shanie Mieka Reichman, IPF Atid Director at Israel Policy Forum
  • Shirley Ozery-Cohen, National Mishleanu Program Director at IAC (Israel American Council)
  • Stephanie Sebag, International coach, author, artist, and mother
  • Yonatan Rafael Rahmani, National Rabbinic Fellow at SAMi: Sephardic American Mizrahi Initiative

Due to a high volume of qualified applicants, JIMENA has opened an additional cohort for campus professionals to begin convening in February. For more information on joining this cohort, please reach out to the Director of the Sephardic Leadership Institute, Ty Alhadeff.

This fellowship is made possible by support from the JCRIF: Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund.