In 1999, the Network for Research in Jewish Education established a fund designed to assist graduate students through annual grants to support individual research projects. This grant:

  • is awarded yearly to individuals who are members of the Network.
  • is for an amount up to $3,000.
  • may be used for expenses such as books and publications, travel (to conduct research or to attend conferences), technical and/or clerical support, and purchase of equipment.

Award criteria

Projects are evaluated for their quality of exposition, the potential for their goals to be realized, their engagement with relevant literatures, and for their contribution to the scholarship of Jewish education. Award-winning projects are ones that have the possibility to make significant advances in knowledge or in methodology that moves the field forward. Doctoral level students should have completed a proposal hearing or its equivalent. See the NRJE website for further information: http://www.nrje.org/awards.

Application process

By April 3, 2017, please submit via email:

  1. A description of your research project, including your institutional affiliation(s) (1800 words maximum). Please write an essay that is accessible to researchers across the many disciplines that comprise Jewish education.
  2. A one- to two-page letter that explains:
  • your research progress to date.
  • how the award funds will enable you to conduct/complete your research.
  • your anticipated timeline for the completion of your research project.
  • the anticipated impact of your research on the field of Jewish education.
  • the way in which the project and your career path will involve ongoing participation and contribution to research in Jewish education.
  1. A budget for the funds is requested. Be specific. In accordance with IRS regulations, recipients of the Emerging Scholars Award will be responsible, within two years of receipt of the award, for substantiating the use of funds in accordance with the permitted purposes, as listed above.
  2. The names of two faculty members or senior scholars in your field whom you have asked to submit letters of recommendation (to be sent directly to the committee chair via email).

The Awards Committee will acknowledge receipt of all applications and will request further information if necessary. The Emerging Scholar Award will be announced at the 2017 meeting of the Network for Research in Jewish Education. The conference takes place on June 5-6, at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The recipient will discuss the research project at the conference.

Ari Y. Kelman, Chair, Awards Committee   Email: aykelman at stanford dot edu.

Tel. (212) 992-9423


Who should apply for an Emerging Scholars Award?

Graduate students who are doing original research in some aspect of Jewish education are encouraged to apply. The most successful candidates are ones who have completed a proposal hearing or its equivalent.

How much money is associated with this Award?

The amount of the award varies depending on the availability of funds for a given year.

Can funds be requested for general living expenses? 

No. Everyone has those! These funds are meant to support specific research-related expenses.

How detailed should my application be?

As with any research project, your application should explain the research question, the context for the research (including key points made in relevant literatures), the methodology being used to advance your inquiry, and your timeline to completion. Remember that you are writing for a multi-disciplinary audience. Please do not exceed 1800 words. The cover letter (1 to 2 pages) should articulate why you think your research will contribute to the field of Jewish education.

Should I include references and a bibliography with my proposal?

Yes. You should demonstrate that your research is grounded in relevant literatures and that your work is part of a “larger conversation” in Jewish education.

What is the Committee looking for in the Letters of Recommendation?

We are looking for brief statements that affirm the confidence of faculty advisors or senior scholars in your field in (a) the seriousness of your research endeavor, and (b) your potential for sustained participation in the field of Jewish education. We do not need a lengthy review of your qualifications or a summary of your research plan.

What criteria will be used in judging my application?

Clarity of exposition; potential for realizing goals; engagement with relevant literatures; contribution to the scholarship of Jewish education; potential to advance knowledge in the field; methodology: robustness, transparency, and appropriateness for research question(s).

What if my educational institution does not traditionally sponsor research in Jewish education?

The Network seeks to bring researchers from across the education spectrum into its conversation about Jewish education. We seek to foster connections among colleagues who share common interests. Applicants for an Emerging Scholar Award should indicate that their research complements work being done by others in the field, but they do not need to be based at the usual “addresses” of research in Jewish education.

How do I join the Network for Research in Jewish Education and learn about its activities?

Information about membership, the annual conference, and the Journal of Jewish Education may be found at http://www.nrje.org. Recipients of the Emerging Scholar Award must be members in good standing of the Network. This year’s conference will be held at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts on June 5-6. The winner is expected to attend the conference; if necessary, funds will be made available for him/her to participate.

What if I still have questions about any of the above?

For additional information, contact Ari Y. Kelman, Chair, Awards Committee   Email: aykelman at stanford dot edu

Past NRJE Young/Emerging Scholar Award Recipients 

2001Ofra Backenroth (JTS)
2002Susie Tanchel (Brandeis)

Meredith Katz (TC)

2003Miriam Heller Stern (Stanford)

Ben Jacobs (TC)

Barry Kislowicz (TC)

2004Tracy Kaplowitz (Hebrew University)
2005Beth Cousens (Brandeis)

Alan Selis (UMD)

2006Tali Hyman (NYU)
2007Michael Kay (NYU)

Leslie Ginsparg (NYU)

Rebecca Shargel (JTS)

2008Sivan Kroll-Zeldin Zakai (Stanford)

Zohar Rotem (The New School)

2009Aliza Segal (Hebrew University)
2010Orly Denman (NYU)
2011Rafael Cashman (OISE, U of Toronto)
2012Frayda Gonshor Cohen (Mills College)

Arielle Levites (NYU)

2013Greg Beiles (OISE, U of Toronto)

Owen Gottlieb (NYU)






Lauren Applebaum (JTS)

Mijal Bitton (NYU)

Matt Williams (Stanford)

Sarah Ossey (NYU)

Sara Smith (NYU)