The OU Executive Fellowship Goals

To build a community of program alumni engaged as lifelong activists for the Jewish people, whether in a lay or professional capacity
To promote a culture of service and responsibility among emerging Jewish leaders. 
To leverage the OU’s expansive network of idealistic, leadership oriented, and talented Orthodox collegiates in order to identify and build a pipeline of talent within the Orthodox Union for early career professionals.

The future of the Orthodox community in America is young. As the Pew Research Center and others have reported, even as other denominations suffer from declining numbers and engagement, the Orthodox population has increased in both share and number over the past decade. More specifically, the number of young Orthodox Jews has grown dramatically and is expected to continue to do so.

One area where the Orthodox community has excelled is in its development of impactful youth programs that foster both Jewish engagement and leadership among participants. Through its many volunteer opportunities and college programs, the Orthodox Union has a uniquely broad and diverse network of emerging talent.

Yet for all the opportunities at the student level, motivated Orthodox young adults lack a natural pathway into Jewish leadership at the professional level. Whether ultimately returning to school, transitioning to other professions, or continuing to careers in the Jewish community, many young adults are both willing and eager to give back if given the opportunity. But in most cases, ambitious young professionals with demonstrated leadership qualities are forced to seek opportunities outside of the Orthodox community simply due to a lack of adequate opportunities for growth within it. The OU Executive Fellowship will extend the pipeline of leadership from adolescence to adulthood, and in doing so avoid the talent drain of our community’s most motivated leaders.

Program alumni will remain active within the Fellowship framework and return for continued professional development as part of an ever-expanding cohort of fellowship participants. As this network grows in number and impact, the OU Executive Fellowship will be a premier opportunity for highly motivated young adults, not merely as a prestige program within the OU but as a meaningful opportunity to influence and serve the Jewish community both at a local level and at a national scale.

Training the next generation of Jewish leaders requires finding those who are content not merely with their own personal Jewish experience but who are able leverage that attitude to better the communities around them. It is critical that we move these individuals from beneficiaries to active contributors of Jewish communal investment.

The Orthodox and broader Jewish community need Jews, of all professions, to be communally minded and find ways to contribute to the needs of their fellow Jews.  Whether an OU Executive Fellow moves forward in a career in Jewish communal service, or within other professions, the Fellowship will cultivate an ethos of lifelong activism.

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