Israeli emissary to R.I. named an iFellow

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Or Cohen, the Jewish Agency’s shlichah (emissary) to the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island for the past year, has been selected to join the iFellows, a program for Israeli educators in North America.

The iFellows Master’s Concentration in Israel Education nurtures and challenges the next generation of knowledgeable and passionate educational leaders committed to the integral role of Israel in contemporary Jewish life. 

iFellows is a project of The iCenter, a nonprofit organization established in 2008 by The Jim Joseph and Schusterman Foundations in order to build and shape robust Israel education in the North American Jewish community. The goal of the iFellows initiative is to create systemic change in how education about Israel is defined, approached and integrated into every area of Jewish education throughout North America. 

The program convenes students studying across a broad spectrum of graduate institutions to train Jewish communal leaders in education, nonprofit management, rabbinical studies and allied fields. This year, a select group of 57 shlichim will begin the program virtually in June, including nine shlichim currently working in diverse settings across North America.

Cohen will participate in three Chicago-based intensive seminars facilitated by an eclectic faculty comprised of leading Israel educators from around the world. Due to the pandemic, the initial seminar will be virtual. As part of her participation, she will eventually create a program to be implemented in Rhode Island to bring to life what she has learned.

Cohen’s expenses in the iFellows program will be covered by The Marcus Foundation, a family foundation based in Atlanta.

As the shlichah in Rhode Island, Cohen has been teaching, speaking and facilitating programs throughout the state and at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center, in Providence.

During the pandemic, she has worked with other   to create the Israel in the Box project, which was delivered to homes from Barrington to East Greenwich, and Cumberland to Middletown, as well as in the New Bedford area. In April, she also spearheaded virtual programs about Israel, one of which attracted over 500 viewers. And, with Tslil Reichman, a former shlichah, she created a virtual escape room about Tel Aviv.

Currently, among other programs, Cohen is working with author Daniel Chertoff to present a virtual multimedia program on June 10 about the birth of the state of Israel.

For more information about the programs that Cohen facilitates in Rhode Island, please contact her at ocohen@jewishallianceri.org.

LARRY KATZ is the director of Jewish Life and Learning at the Jewish Alliance of Greater R.I.