Press Releases

Highly Competitive Program Offers 12-month Opportunity To Engage In Jewish Needs Worldwide

Michael Geller / JDC
Telephone: (212) 885-0838

Jamie Epstein / JDC
Telephone: (212) 885-0849

For Immediate Release

New York, NY,, –

Applications for the 2016 Ralph I. Goldman (RIG) Fellowship -; an annual paid, professional opportunity to live overseas and engage in the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s work addressing Jewish and humanitarian needs -; are now being accepted at through May 31. Each year, a RIG Fellow is chosen in a highly competitive selection process to gain exposure to the most pressing issues facing the Jewish people in some of the more than 70 countries where JDC operates. Past fellows have worked on Jewish identity cultivation in Hungary and Argentina, emergency relief work in the Philippines, and international development in Ethiopia. Eliran Douenias -; this year’s Fellow and the first person to receive the fellowship after the death of Ralph I. Goldman (z”l), the towering Jewish leader for whom the program is named -; is currently in Berlin where he is focused on further strengthening Jewish community services for Germany’s expanding community. “Our beloved Ralph Goldman dedicated his life to the Jewish people, Israel, and bettering humankind, especially by cultivating visionary young people. There is no more fitting testament to that legacy than to have Eliran Douenias, deeply dedicated to these efforts, to serve as this year’s RIG Fellow. There’s a wondrous reciprocity there that I know Ralph would have loved,” said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill. “At this time of tremendous change in the Jewish and wider world, the need for bright, young Jews who can take on future challenges is paramount and we know the RIG Fellowship is critical to building this cohort of Jewish leadership.” Douenias served as an officer in the IDF for 7 years; led Young Ambassadors delegations to the UN Headquarters; co-founded Olam, an Israeli social enterprise organization; and was selected to participate in Kriat Kivun, a unique program of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office for young leaders in the public sector. In 2014, Eliran received his Master’s Degree in Law at Bar-Ilan University and was appointed as Vice Chairman of Youth Division for The Israel Communication and Press Association. “Whenever you enter a JDC space, you feel the saying kol yisrael arevim zeh la’zeh come to life.” said Douenias. “In many ways, that was Ralph’s vision about being a Jew–to be responsible for one another, to be always there for every Jew around the world. That’s the mission statement of the organization. I think it’s Ralph’s legacy, to continue this fundamental statement, to be there, and to make sure that every Jew wherever they are, can still stay a part of this global Jewish community.” The Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship (RIG), established in 1987, is named after JDC’s honorary Executive Vice-President, who served as the organization’s top professional leader and was instrumental in the establishment of the State of Israel. Fellows participate in JDC’s global programs through a range of unique assignments that respond to the changing needs of Jewish communities around the world. The RIG Fellowship is an initiative of JDC Entwine, a one-of-a-kind movement of young Jewish advocates, influencers, and leaders, who seek to make a lasting impact on the global Jewish community.

About JDC

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.

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