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naomi chazan

The Naomi Chazan Fellowship equips young leaders with the tools they need to make an impact on the Australian and international Jewish communities -- it includes a ten-day study tour in Israel, learning and development opportunities, and the chance to share their knowledge and passion with the rest of the Jewish community.

In 2015, NIF Australia sent our first cohort of six Naomi Chazan Fellows. Last year another four Fellows participated in the program. The Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for young Australian, American and English Jews to build on their knowledge of Israel, and create a more holistic and pluralist communal discourse around Israel.

The Naomi Chazan Fellowship takes engaged and committed leaders to the next level. Potential Fellows may have been involved in youth movements, student leaders on campus, active in Jewish welfare bodies, or have volunteered for other social justice groups.

The Fellowship is for a specific type of person – someone who has already taken leadership roles in the community, and is looking to stay committed and engaged. Fellows will possess a fierce sense of social justice, human rights, equality and pluralism, and be concerned about Israel’s future. The Fellowship take these leaders into an immersive and experiential educational environment, enriches their understanding of Israel’s reality, and empowers them to lead a vibrant Jewish community conversation.

As part of the program’s progression, Fellows will be involved in some immersive educational and hands-on human rights experiences (i.e. a trip to Israel), some day-long developmental education experiences (i.e. three Fellowship Seminars), and will also run their own events and programming for other members of the community.

Kerryn Baker Scholarships

Honouring Kerryn's commitment to equality and justice in Israel, and the enrichment of the next generation of community leadership, we are pleased to have two of our Naomi Chazan Fellows acknowledging Kerryn's legacy.

  • About Naomi Chazan


    Born in Jerusalem during the British mandate era, Professor Naomi Chazan is synonymous with an Israel that defends human rights, promotes equality and seeks a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Naomi’s commitment to building an Israel as envisioned by the Declaration of Independence has been seen in her roles as a former Deputy Speaker for the Knesset for Meretz, a senior Israeli academic, activist for women’s rights, and former President of the New Israel Fund.

    Naomi’s years of service and dedication to social justice, peace and tolerance, are the perfect inspiration for NIF Australia’s new Fellowship.

  • Changing the Dynamics of the Communal Conversation on Israel

    The Naomi Chazan Fellowship is an integral part of building a strong community for Australian Jews whose vision for Israel is pluralist, just and democratic.

    Fellows, with the experience of their holistic study tour in Israel, and the training and development of the Fellowship’s framework, will become part  of an international movement of people who are are able to speak passionately about the fusion of their social justice, Jewish and Zionist values.

    Bringing the social justice conversation back to Israel

    Our Jewish community has a proud tradition of working with communities facing injustice. Still today, Jewish Australians are at the forefront in pursuing justice for Indigenous Australians and working for humane solutions for asylum seekers and refugees. Let’s align our support for Israel and those values and fight for democracy and equality, the end of the occupation, and against inequality and extremism.

    Partnering with Israeli and international change-makers

    There is only so much we can do in Australia. By collaborating with prominent members of Israel’s civil society not only will Fellows understand the important work that is being done, but they will also have a chance to develop partnerships with these change makers and work together for a better Israel.

    A sense of community

    Conversations about social justice and human rights do not exist solely outside the Jewish community, they are part of it. It’s important to take responsibility over the path the community takes, to ensure it is pluralist, respectful and inclusive, and to treasure the stories of social justice and equality in the narrative of the Jewish people.

    A framework for leadership

    Having the knowledge to work for change is only one part of the story; making sure one has the tools to work with others to effect that change is crucial. It is essential to further develop one’s leadership skills, perfect story-telling, and know how to bring others along in this journey.

    International leadership and collaboration

    The 2017-2018 Fellowship will for the first time combine Fellows from Australia, the UK and the US. It is a unique opportunity to meet and work with like-minded individuals from communities around the world. There will be opportunities for collaboration both during the Israel trip and afterwards.

  • The Next Step for the Engaged and Committed Leader

    The Fellowship’s aim is to change the community’s conversation about Israel by providing Fellows with the skills and knowledge to become ambassadors for an Israel that is progressive thinking, pluralist, inclusive and looking towards peace with its neighbours.


    1. Three Fellowship Seminars in Australia
    2. Trip to Israel
    3. Programming and events to initiate conversations in the community

    The Fellowship’s core component is a ten-day study tour in Israel. By engaging with Israel’s brightest civil society leaders, and experiencing the work of Israeli social change organisations, Fellows will bring back to the community a unique and much needed perspective.

    Upon return, Fellows will be part of two important streams. First, receiving further development and training on how to use their knowledge to have the maximum impact on the community.

    Secondly, as part of the program, Fellows will initiate four distinct Israel-focused programs and conversations within the community. Fellows will be partnered with each other and given the mentoring and resources they need to be set up for success. This could mean running programs for their peers, for youth movements, specific sectors of the community, or the community at large, using many of the formats NIF Australia has successfully been using for the last several  years.

  • Past Participant Stories


    "My connection with Israel has always been strong, despite concerns about growing socio-economic inequality and the increasing marginalisation of non-orthodox streams. It is also concerning that the peace camp is failing to advance a narrative that Israel’s long-term security depends on its ability to build ties with its neighbours. I have long admired the work of NIF in support of Israeli civil society, and applied for the Fellowship so I could gain a greater understanding of these issues. I was also keen to learn how liberal Zionists in the Diaspora could support grass roots movements in Israel which are advancing a more progressive agenda. As a result of the Fellowship, I have a deeper understanding of the complexities of Israeli society and feel privileged to share my knowledge and experiences with others in the Sydney Jewish community."

    Eli Oshorov, Sydney


    "I applied for the Naomi Chazan fellowship because I wanted to experience Israel through the lens of the New Israel Fund and learn more about the complexity of contemporary Israeli society. I have always appreciated how invested our diaspora community is in the future of Israel, and that our voices count, my issue was the predominant voice did not represent mine. Being able to connect with a community that believe in the same Israel as I do has provided me with a framework to stand up and inspire change. The combination of actively experiencing the work of NIF grantees in Israel and the provision of skills and knowledge received from NIF Australia has also given me the confidence to discuss complex and multi layered issues."

    Elysheva Elsass, Melbourne

    Meet The 2015-16 Cohort

    Meet The 2016-17 Cohort

    Meet The 2017-18 Cohort

  • Fellowship Timeline – June 2017 to May 2018

    We have outlined the progression of the Fellowship from June 2017 to May 2018. An undertaking to complete each element of the Fellowship is required. While Fellows can choose the timing of many of their programs and initiatives, the dates listed below list the compulsory sessions that all Fellows must attend.



    Details and Location


    Sunday June 4

    Introductory Fellowship Seminar

    Fellows will come together, meet each other, and lay the foundation for a successful Fellowship year

    Thursday July 13 - Saturday evening July 22

    Study Tour in Israel

    Fellows will be required in Israel on these dates. The trip will include components in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Palestinian Territories, and northern Israel. On the tour, minimal free time will be programmed, but Fellows’ tickets may be extended, if they wish (at the individual’s cost)

    Sunday August 13 (Sydney)
    Sunday August 20 (Melbourne)

    Community Fellowship Events

    Fellows will present experiences from their Israel trip to the community

    Sunday September 10

    Second Fellowship Seminar

    The Fellowship seminars are an opportunity for Fellows to get together in person, and to receive ongoing personal and professional training and development

    Sunday October 8 (TBC)

    Fellowship Check-In

    Fellows will link up via video to check-in and share their progress in the Fellowship including their international peers

    Friday November 24

    “Food for Thought” Shabbat Dinners

    Fellows will host a Shabbat dinner which includes insightful and engaging discussions with their friends. (See this page for more information on the 2016 Food For Thought dinners.)


    Sunday February 4

    Fellowship Check-In

    Fellows will link up via video to check-in and share their progress in the Fellowship including their international peers

    Sunday March 11

    Third Fellowship Seminar

    The Fellowship seminars are an opportunity for Fellows to get together in person, and to receive ongoing personal and professional training and development

    End of May (TBC)

    Graduation and Reflection Event

    This event will thank the 2017 Fellows and introduce the 2018 cohort

    Ongoing Events 2017-18

    Fellows will plan and run four events in the community (including the two above), in partnership with the NIF Program Manager. Examples include: working on our ‘The Other Hagaddah’ supplement, film screenings, creating content for and hosting topical shabbat dinners, mini-courses for student leaders, presentations at youth movement camps/seminars, op-eds for the Jewish News, and video link ups with NIF grantees in Israel.

  • Study Tour in Israel, July 13-22, 2017

    The core of the Fellowship is a study tour in Israel. For ten days, Fellows will travel the country to meet with grassroots activists, civil rights lawyers, academics, jurists, journalists, writers and artists who are shaping the social change movement in Israel today. Representing the full dynamic range of Israeli society -- religious and secular, left and right, Jewish and Palestinian, Ashkenazi and Sephardi -- Fellows will develop a holistic picture of Israeli society, and where it needs to be improved.

    Fellows will learn about the challenges to Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state, investigate the issues and politics of religion, immigration, land use, women’s role in society, the environment, and other pressing civil and human rights challenges.

    By meeting with changemakers in Israeli civil society, and experiencing the reality of the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinians, Fellows will have the knowledge they need to initiate new conversations in the Australian Jewish community about Israel.

    Click here to see a sample itinerary.

    Here are three examples of how Fellows might spend their time in Israel:

    • Jerusalem (click to expand)
    • Tel Aviv (click to expand)
    • Southern Israel (click to expand)
  • Application Process and Costs

    To apply for the program, you must fill in the application form available at www.nif.org.au/fellowship_apply. Applications must be submitted by March 19, 2017.

    The cost of the Fellowship is $1,900. This is heavily subsidised by generous donors, who cover the cost of over 75% of participating in the Naomi Chazan Fellowship.

    This cost includes:

    • All flights and accommodation, and most meals, during the study tour in Israel
    • Domestic flights to the three seminars throughout the year
    • Programming resources (including a small budget for Fellows to use) to run initiate programs during the Fellowship

    This cost does not include:

    • In Israel, the accommodation is shared, if a single room is desired the difference in cost will be paid by the Fellows
    • While Fellows will be able to extend the trip in Israel (and even use it as a platform to visit Europe!), any additional costs must be covered by the Fellow
  • Questions?
    • 1. What are the requirements for joining the Naomi Chazan Fellowship?
    • 2. What must I agree to in order to be a part of the Naomi Chazan Fellowship?
    • 3. What will Fellows have to do as part of the program?
    • 4. How many people will be part of the Naomi Chazan Fellowship?

    For more information you can contact NIF Australia Program Manager Sharon Berger at sharon@nif.org.au

  • Apply for the Fellowship

    Applications for the 2018-19 Fellowship will open in February, 2018. You can email sharon@nif.org.au for more details.