The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) announced that Zev Nagel and Alejandro Okret have been awarded the organization’s prestigious 2010-11 Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship (RIG) in International Jewish Communal Service. This highly-coveted fellowship enables participants to engage in intensive grassroots service and program activity in a number of the more than 70 countries where JDC operates.

“We are incredibly proud that Zev and Alejandro—who embody the impeccable qualities we strive for in RIG Fellows—will take part in this life-changing opportunity in international Jewish service. We look forward to helping them further explore their passion and dedication to Jewish life and serving those in need,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.

In his first placement, Okret will head to Israel to work on issues related to food security, including the regulation of food banks and harvesting of agricultural produce. Nagel will travel to Hungary to work on programs related to young European Jewish leaders and to provide help with conflict resolution training for local institutions.

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 who proved to be 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.

JDC is looking for the best young Jewish thinkers and doers—writers, artists, policy shapers, business innovators, and community builders—to help influence the future of Jewish life and the world through the RIG Fellowship. Submit letters of intent by December 30, 2010 for the 2011-12 fellowship. Complete applications are due by January 15, 2011. For more information, visit