Fellowships & Awards
Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel
THE 2017 CALL FOR APPLICATIONS IS NOW LIVE!
The deadline is Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - scroll down for more details.
CJS Honoring the memory of sandy vinnik
We honor the memory of Sandy Vinnik, an inspiring leader, a committed volunteer, and a dedicated learner. Sandy was deeply involved with the Center for Judaic Studies (CJS), the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society (RMJHS), and the Holocaust Awareness Institute (HAI) for decades, bringing a profound blend of mind and heart to everything she did. Sandy was the thoughtful founder of and outspoken advocate for the Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel.
Click to learn how you can make a donation in memory of Sandy Vinnik
To make a donation in memory of Sandy Vinnik to the Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel: Make your check out to 'Center for Judaic Studies' Indicate 'Vinnik Fellowship' on the check memo line
Mail checks to:
Center for Judaic Studies
University of Denver
2000 E Asbury Ave., Suite 157
Denver, CO 80208-0911
Also to share: Upon receipt of your donation, your name will be added to the below, alphabetical list of all the people who have donated to the Vinnik fund in Sandy's memory. If you wish to donate, but do not wish to have your name included on this special tribute page, please just let us know; otherwise, we will add your name here.
If you would like further help, please contact the Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) at 303.871.3021 or email email@example.com
Click for an alphabetical list of those who have given in Sandy's memory
Robert & Mary Behrns
Karla M. & David Berman
Aaron & Ellen J. Bregman
Peggy D. Brody
William & Alberta Buckman
Kenneth & Barbara Card
The Chotin Foundation
Mary Lynne Connor
David Dansky & Vicki Perlmutter
Sanford & Linda Dee
William & Sharon Elfenbein
Alan & Sally Gass
Daniel & Jill Goldstein
Ronald & Michelle Goss
Edward & Elka Haligman
Roberta A. Heisterkamp
Mark & Cathy Huttner
Bernard & Lenore Jacobs
Herbert & Beatrice Kaplan
Melvyn & Roberta Klein
Rochelle G. Krovitz
Nancy L. Levy
Michael & Cynthia Lowinger
Sue B. Lubeck
Audrey Friedman Marcus
B.A. & Linda Matarrese
Pushpa & Suner J. Mehta
Kathleen J. Meyer
Larry A. Mizel
Brent & Julie Morse
Jonathan & Lisa Perlmutter
Theodore & Sandy Pomeranz
Suzzane L. Renwick
Lenore G. Schottenstein
Jerry & Marilyn Snyder
Ann Baxter Stailey
Stanley & Marilyn Stark
Joseph & Irene Szyliowicz
Triad Securities Corp.
Harry & Lucile Trueblood
Tyler & Company, P.A.
Jerry & Bobbie Wagger
Thomas III & Molly Walsh
Stephen D. Vinnik
Congratulations to the 2016 recipients of the Vinnik Fellowship!
Camilla Belfon has been a student in the Joint PhD program at the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology since 2013. Her research interest is in Diaspora Judaism in the Second Temple Period. Having a diverse heritage with origins in an Afro-Caribbean and Sephardic Jewish blend, she conducts dissertation research in Jewish ethnic constructions. Prior to beginning her PhD, she served as Assistant Professor in New Testament at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL. Belfon is extremely grateful for the opportunity to further her dissertation project through studying archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (summer 2016). It is only with the support of the Vinnik Fellowship for Advanced Study in Israel that this trip could have been possible.
Chad Leahy is Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Denver. His research on a range of topics in Early Modern and Medieval Spanish cultural studies has been recognized in journals including Anuario Lope de Vega, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Cervantes, Criticón, Hispanic Review, Revista de Literatura Medieval, and Romance Notes. His current monograph project, Jerusalem in Early Modern Spain: The Poetics and Politics of Possession, explores the place of Jerusalem in 16th- and 17th-century Spanish culture.
Ajelet Mor is a rising senior at the University of Denver. She is majoring in International Studies and Sociology with minors in Leadership studies and Judaic studies with an emphasis in Hebrew. She grew up in the east coast but has always had a love for Colorado and anything having to do with the outdoors. Ajelet is involved in many sports and clubs on campus, loves to travel and is passionate about Israel, Judaism, and Jewish culture. She is excited to have this opportunity to learn more about her passion and to share her experiences with others.
Aaron Novy recently received his Master's of Art from American University in Washington DC. His program of study was US Foreign Policy with an emphasis in geopolitical threat assessment. He attended the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs for his undergraduate studies where he received a degree in Political Science and another in International Business. Aaron went to Israel to learn Hebrew and gain international experience. Specifically he wanted a better understanding of regional influences impacting Israeli society and to develop familiarity with the dynamics that have been shaping the region for hundreds of years. He is also connecting to Jewish culture; a life long dream of his. While in Israel, he will also intern with a private security company as an analyst on Middle East and North Africa affairs. Prior to going to Israel, Aaron worked at the US Congress for a Member from Colorado and spent 3 years in various political roles throughout the State of Colorado. When he returns, Aaron looks forward to educating the Colorado Springs Jewish Community about the many opportunities and resources available to young people who also want to go to Israel.
Joshua Rheins is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he received a Bachelor's degree with a Major in Political Science and a Minor in Classics. Josh has been involved with several Jewish and political organizations, including AIPAC, and recently served as a delegate at the Colorado Republican Assembly and Convention. Having been to Israel multiple times with a focus on Israeli culture, religion, and history, he will now return to further his understanding of Israeli politics and government operations through firsthand experience. Josh will be working for the Israel Government Fellows program, which employs its Fellows within various government ministries. Upon his return, he plans to share his experiences and help educate the Colorado community about Israeli government and politics.
Carmiella Salzberg is a Colorado Native and alum of Denver Jewish Day School. She is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy at The European Graduate School in Switzerland. She has been active in the Denver refugee community as an art teacher and creative facilitator for several years. Her work has included establishing a weekly women's art class at the African Community Center, co-organizing a community 'edible screen printing' event during the 2016 Denver Month of Printmaking, and designing and organizing two large-scale mural projects with teens in Aurora and Westwood. She is thrilled to utilize the Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship to participate in a 6 month internship with ASSAF - Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel. Carmiella is excited to learn the Israeli approach to therapy and community building with its diverse and complex refugee population as she embarks on her path to becoming an Expressive Arts Therapist.
Dr. Alison Schofield, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Judaic Studies at DU, is currently working in the Dead Sea Scrolls lab in the Israel Museum where she has reported some breaking news – a new, nearly-complete papyrus manuscript was looted from a "new" cave in the Dead Sea area. This presents a remarkable new find, and after recovering the manuscript, the IAA is now launching a two-week excavation of this cave near the Dead Sea. There has not been an excavation of this kind in the area in the past 30-35 years, and the director of the IAA has invited Dr. Schofield to participate. You can read the official press release here.
Hear from some of our past winners from our 25th Vinnik Fellowship Anniversary Video:
Source: DU VideoManager
The application deadline for 2017 is Wednesday, March 15th!
About the Fellowship & Application
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.
A complete application includes the following:
Cover page: On the cover page, please provide us with your name, address, phone, email address and a one-paragraph synopsis of your proposal.
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.
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.).
Two letters of reference
Resume or CV
Budget of your Israel program up to $2,500: The committee reserves the right to fund selected proposals in total or partially.
- 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 March 15, 2017 to:
Vinnik Fellowship Application
Center for Judaic Studies
University of Denver
2000 E. Asbury Ave., Ste. 157
Denver, CO 80208-0911
For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Congratulations to the 2015 recipients of the Dr. Irwin E. Vinnik Fellowship!
Ivor S. Douglas, MD is Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine and Section Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Denver Health where he directs the Medical Intensive Care Unit and is a highly cited researcher in lung failure, sepsis and critical illness. Dr. Douglas, frequently provides critical care consultations for gravely ill patients around the world including Israel. With a particular interest in health care policy and the ethics of end-of-life and palliative care, Dr. Douglas is active in several national and international organizations, including chairing the American Thoracic Society’s (ATS) Health Policy committee. Since relocating to Colorado in 2002, the Douglas family has actively participated in Jewish community programs and organizations and education institutions. He and his family are committed to in the vitality of traditional Jewish culture in Colorado and the vital role of a robust, viable and vibrant modern Israeli democracy.
Rachel Fenn is a student at the University of Colorado Boulder in civil engineering. She is a Colorado native and looks forward to bringing her 7-month Israel experience home. The most significant of my programs in Israel are the Green Apprenticeship at Kibbutz Lotan and exchange semester at Technion Israel Institute of Technology. These unique experiences enable her to be fully immersed in Israeli culture, heritage, and language and have allowed her to gain the intellectual, technological, and sustainable knowledge that Israel has to offer.
Prof. Maha Foster is a Lebanese American and has been teaching Arabic at the University of Denver for the past 7 years. She is currently working on her PhD dissertation on visual speech perception and has completed 2 Master degrees, one in education at the American University of Beirut, and the other in linguistics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Besides visiting the Holy Land, her motivation for applying to the Vinnik scholarship is to assess three different approaches used at 3 different institutions in Israel in teaching Arabic.
Amy Oppenheimer-Abitbol is the creator and director of Faces of Israel, an honest and nuanced educational program that explores Jewish identity, religious pluralism and civil liberties in Israel in a dynamic and engaging way. Amy, who was raised on the East Coast but spent significant amounts of time living and teaching throughout Colorado, has been a guest speaker and scholar-in-residence at over 300 institutions in North America and Israel and serves as a frequent keynote speaker for the Israeli Ministry of Finance through the Israel Bonds Division. Amy is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with 8+ years of experience in the management consulting and non-profit consulting worlds. She recently married the love of her life, David Abitbol, and looks forward to studying and conducting research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem next year.
Tiffany Sanders is a third year student at the University of Colorado Boulder, pursuing a degree in Advertising and Communications, along with a minor in Technology, Arts and Media. A Colorado native, she has always loved our great state and had a desire to be involved in the diverse and dynamic Jewish community. She attended Denver Jewish Day School, was a leader in BBYO in Denver, and is an avid member of Chabad at CU, all of which has contributed toward seeking study abroad at Tel Aviv University.
Chany Scheiner is co-director of Boulder Center for Judaism. Any successful organization needs a heart and that is what Chany provides, along with organization, marketing, innovative programming, and countless Shabbat dinners. Some of her accomplishments are large and public like the annual menorah lighting on Pearl Street and the Matzo and Shofar factories, while others are quiet and private like the time she spends counseling individuals and sharing the wisdom that comes from study.
Keelie Sorel is incredibly grateful to have this opportunity. Her passion in visiting Israel is largely based on her desire to learn more about interfaith cooperation both within society and in educational settings. Currently at the University of Denver, she is the Program Coordinator for the Social Justice LLC, a master's candidate in the Higher Education program, and Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Outreach and Support. In an effort to better support her students, social activism, and personal development, this trip will serve as foundation for her work in the interfaith community. Prior to DU, she received her B.A. in Communication Studies with a minor in Ethnic Studies at Colorado State University. After graduation, she spent a year teaching English in Pohang, South Korea, highlighting her love of travel and cultural exploration. Keelie is eager to continue exploring and learning and looks forward to sharing what she learns with the larger community.
• Elsa Asfaw
• Elizabeth Coleman
• Sarah Fenn
• Galen Goldsmith
• Prof. Sari Havis
• David Krouwer
• Alex Rosenthal
• Kira Altman
• Maxine Brumer
• Elizabeth Coleman
• Gina McReynolds
• Prof. Jonathan Sciarcon
• Josh Fixler
• Dustin Gutierrez
• Prof. 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