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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Center for Judaic Studies

Degree Programs

Fellowships & Awards

Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel

Congratulations to recipients of the 2014 Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship:

  • Elsa Asfaw

    Elsa Asfaw

  • Sari Havis

    Sari Havis

  • Betsey Coleman

    Elizabeth Coleman

  • David Krouwer
    David Krouwer

  • Sarah Fenn

    Sarah Fenn

  • Alex Rosenthal

    Alex Rosenthal

  • Galen Goldsmith
    Galen Goldsmith

Hear from some of our current and past winners from our 25th Vinnik Fellowship Anniversary Video:

Source: DU VideoManager

We will begin accepting applications for the 2015 Vinnik Fellowship in January, 2015

The new application deadline is May 4, 2015.

About the Fellowship

The Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel honors the life of the late Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik, esteemed physician, scholar, professor of medicine, and respected community leader and activist.

His love of education and dream of bridging the gap between the United States and Israel, and among Jews, Muslims and Christians inspired the Vinnik family to establish the memorial scholarship fund.

By providing funds for educational travel to Israel, the fellowship honors Dr. Vinnik's wish to foster increased understanding of Israel, Judaism, and Israeli and Jewish culture.

Since 1989, more than 80 students, community leaders, and educators of diverse faiths and cultures have received fellowship support. Fields of study have ranged from the Dead Sea Scrolls to peace studies to Israeli music.

  • Eligibility criteria: This award is open to anyone age 18 or older interested in educational travel to Israel. We encourage applications from community members from all religious and cultural backgrounds, as well as from teachers, clergy, and students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. Those enrolled in programs in Judaic studies, religion, and interfaith studies, or who are pursuing ministerial or rabbinic degrees are encouraged to apply.

Application instructions:

A complete application includes the following:

  1. Cover page: On the cover page, please provide us with your name, address, phone, email address and a one-paragraph synopsis of your proposal.
  2. Statement of Purpose: Please provide a proposal (no more than 3 double-spaced, 8 1/2" by 11" pages) that clearly articulates in detail your proposed plan of study and/or research project, and explains how it will inform your general course of study or professional development. Please be sure to state how your plan addresses one or more aspects of the late Dr. Vinnik's wish to foster an increased understanding of Israeli and Jewish culture, Judaism and Israel. Please be as detailed as possible (e.g. if you are going to participate in a program, tell us the name of the program and a bit about it, and include the website address so that committee members can look up more information easily). Your proposal should also make clear what other sources of funding you have or are pursuing to enable you to pursue your plan.
  3. Colorado Impact Plan: Fellowship awardees must bring their experiences back to positively impact on Colorado within one year of their return from travel. This can be done in the form of a lecture or presentation, a publication, or in some other creative way; the goal is to benefit the Colorado community in which you study or work, or perhaps to build a bridge to help some new Colorado community with which you are less familiar. As part of your application, please provide a one-paragraph (and no more than one-page) proposal articulating how you will share your experience upon your return to Colorado. Please be as detailed as possible (e.g. if you plan to give a lecture, please tell us where, etc.).
  4. Two letters of reference
  5. Resume or CV
  6. Budget of your Israel program up to $2,500: The committee reserves the right to fund selected proposals in total or partially.
  7. Winner requirements
    • As a Vinnik Fellowship recipient, you will be expected to:
    • Share your experiences upon your return from Israel (see Colorado Impact Plan above).
    • Submit a 500-word essay about your experience within one month of returning from travel. (Submitting photos of your experiences in Israel are also encouraged and will be used for publicity purposes in connection with the fellowship.)
    • Submit to us a JPEG photo of yourself (for use in publicity).
    • Attend a special Vinnik Award reception at DU to talk about your experience. This might include speaking for about 3-5 minutes and/or preparing a PPT, or a one-page write-up for use as part of a poster display. (Note: This would be in addition to whatever you will be doing as part of your Colorado Impact Plan.)
    • Work with the CJS staff to complete paperwork for receiving your award.

Sending in your application

Please send completed applications by May 4, 2015 to:
Vinnik Fellowship Application
Center for Judaic Studies
University of Denver
2000 E. Asbury Ave., Ste. 157
Denver, CO 80208-0911

Contact Information:
For further information, please contact us at, or by phone at 303-871-3542.

Some of our Past Winners

To learn more about some of the funded projects, click on the award winners' names below.

• Kira Altman
• Maxine Brumer
• Elizabeth Coleman
• Gina McReynolds
• Jonathan Sciarcon

• Josh Fixler
Dustin Gutierrez
• Alison Schofield
• Lee Treadwell

• Adrina Durham
Barbara Figg
Mark Genter
Sari Havis
Sharon Mar Adams
Amy Balogh
Michelle Stapleton
• Mason Wedgle

Sarah Chin
Barbara Figg
Zilla Goodman
Justin Howland
Roddy MacInnes
Ella Peterson
Amy Balogh

• Adam Rovner
• Kristin Hissong
• Thomas DeClerck