Wanted: Jewish, Muslim young adults for new Bay Area fellowship group

Jewish and Muslim young adults are being encouraged to apply for fellowships with NewGround, a program that aims to foster positive partnerships between the Jewish and Muslim communities.

After two years in Los Angeles, the Progressive Jewish Alliance program is launching its first Bay Area cohort. Up to 20 fellows will be selected.

Beginning in January, NewGround will offer participants tools for constructive conversation about issues related to the Middle East conflict, education sessions with local community leaders and collaborative civic engagement opportunities. Participants in the six-month course commit to five weeknight meetings, two half-day Sunday meetings and two weekend retreats in February and April.

“We try to have a diverse array of religious affiliation, political views and personal experience,” said Rachel Biale, the Northern California regional director for PJA. “There is a good deal of learning about core issues in each religious and ethical tradition. Eventually they talk about the most difficult issue, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but [not until] they have learned how to listen to the other and how to have conversations about difficult subjects.”

Toward the end of the fellowship, cohort members will decide how to disseminate what they have learned or create future projects. “The fellowship is a training period which leads to ongoing community involvement,” added Biale.

Applicants must be Muslims and Jews in their late 20s and 30s who live in the Bay Area. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, and a form is available at www.newgroundproject.weebly.com.

For more information, visit www.pjalliance.org, call (323) 761-8350 or contact Malka Fenyvesi at MFenyvesi@pjalliance.org.