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Recognizing START Alumni: Creating More Inclusive, Connected, and Responsive Jewish Communities

This article was originally published by The Covenant Foundation on January 5, 2023



Image Description: From Left to Right, START Alumni and Covenant Foundation Awardees, Ariele Mortkowitz, Emily Aronson, Eliana Light, Jen Gubitz


New York - 2023 - The Covenant Foundation announced $1.7 million in new grants, partnering with national and local leaders in the field of Jewish education to create more inclusive, connected, and responsive Jewish communities.


The four START Alumni are Eliana Light, Founder of The Light Lab, Durham, NC, Rabbi Emily Aronson, Founder of Chronic Congregation, New York, NY, Rabbi Jen Gubitz, Founder of Modern JewISH Couples, Boston, MA, and Ariele Mortkowitz, Founder of SVIVAH, Washington, DC.


The Light Lab, Durham, NC. The T'fillah Teachers Fellowship. To create the T'fillah Teachers Fellowship, a cohort learning experience that will train congregational educators in an innovative pedagogy of spiritual development through t'fillah to enrich spiritual education in religious schools across the country.

Project Director: Eliana Light


The Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU, New York, NY. Chronic Congregation: Centering Judaism, Chronic Illness, and Disability. To launch a Jewish learning program in which students explore disability and illness in traditional Jewish texts and re-envision prayers and rituals to reflect their lived experiences, with the goal of bringing increased inclusion and accessibility to Bronfman and beyond.

Project Director: Rabbi Emily Aronson


Modern JewISH Couples, Boston, MA. Modern JewISH Couples Workshop and Trainings. To expand its programming, which supports Jewish couples of all identities and affiliations who are on the pathway to partnership and marriage, by scaling premarital workshops, cohorts, and trainings for the couples, their families, and clergy.

Project Director: Rabbi Jen Gubitz


SVIVAH, Washington, DC. HerSpirit. To support the expansion and deepening of the HerTorah program through the launch of HerSpirit, a complementary initiative that will support educators and learners by integrating pastoral knowledge and sensitivity into adult Jewish education.

Project Director: Ariele Mortkowitz and Rabbanit Aliza Sperling


Glean Network shares its congratulations with all awardees and encourages all journal readers and subscribers to learn more about our START Alumni and START program announcements.




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