History of the Program:
The Machon Kaplan program started 36 years ago. Machon is Hebrew for “program” or “institute,” and Kivie Kaplan served as a vice-Chairman of the Union for Reform Judaism and, for the last eight years of his life, the national president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Kivie and his wife, Emily, provided funds for the purchase of the building that houses the Religious Action Center. Kivie Kaplan was the embodiment of the spirit and idealism upon which the Religious Action Center was founded. Summer pariticiapnts are Kaplan fellows both the summer and follwoing academic year.
The program will begin June 9 and will conclude July 21, 2013.
February 1, 2013. This includes all supporting material, letters of recommendation, resume, and essay.
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in the nation's capital for 50 years. It has educated and mobilized the American Jewish community on legislative and social concerns as an advocate in the Congress of the United States on issues ranging from Israel and World Jewry, to economic justice and civil rights, to international peace and religious liberty.
The RAC is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), encompassing 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1,800 Reform rabbis in more than 900 congregations throughout North America.
The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) is the institution of higher learning for Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR, with campuses in Cincinnati, New York, Los Angeles, and Jerusalem, offers rabbinic ordination as well as advanced degrees in Judaic studies, Jewish education, Jewish Nonprofit management, and sacred music. HUC-JIR is accredited by the following:
Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
Each school has a unique set of requirements for transfer credit from another institution. Please check with your University to determine if they will accept credit from HUC-JIR.
The Program receives generous funding from:
The Crown Family, Audre and Bernard Rapoport, the Gus and Barbara Kuhn Fund, the Bobroff family, the Oppenheim family; and the Sisterhood of Central Synagogue, NY, NY
The Machon Kaplan program is open to students currently enrolled in and attending college. To be eligible for academic credit, freshmen must have a 3.0 GPA at the end of their freshman year and provide an official transcript with their fall and spring grades prior to the start of the program. All other students must send one official transcript at the time of application.
There is no program fee:
The costs of the program are covered by generous donors and almuni of the program. Participants are also expected to serve as campus ambassadors for the Religious Action Center on their University campus. In the following academic year, as a campus ambassador, participants are expected to write two blog posts for the RAC blog, serve as a Local Advocacy Chair, help with future recruitment, support the work of the RAC.
Provided by the program: academic credits*, three evening meals per week (Friday evening and two other evenings), program supervision, placement at an internship with the Religious Action Center or one of its partner organizations, and several cultural programs in which the group will participate as a whole.
Not provided by the program: meals (other than those specified), personal laundry, transportation to and within Washington, D.C., and incidental expenses not mentioned above.
The Machon Kaplan program has a unique strength drawn from its communal residential aspect. Participants will live in air-conditioned apartments on the campus of George Washington University in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The RAC is able to heavily subsidize the housing and students will only be responsible for a $1,000 to cover a portion of the housing cost.
Accommodations are four students per apartment, and each apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, and common space. Laundry facilities are conveniently located in the building. Although most meals are not included in the tuition, food service is available on an “a la carte” basis in the University cafeteria. (Please note housing will be provided but the specific apartments described above may change.)
Two written references are required. They should be written by someone (other than relatives) who knows you personally. One must be by a teacher or professor, and the other should be someone who has been involved with your Jewish growth and development. Please provide each one of your references a copy of the “Guideline for References” page and have them send the letter of recommendation directly to the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Machon Kaplan, 2027 Massachusetts Ave, Washington, DC 20036 or send by e-mail to email@example.com.
Please mail a sealed copy of your current official academic transcript. College freshman only need to send a copy of their transcript at the end of the academic year.
Once a participant is accepted into the program, he or she must confirm their participation with a $300 nonrefundable deposit.
After acceptance into the program each member of the group will be asked to submit health forms signed by a physician indicating that he/she is in general good health and showing any limitations to activities. Each participant must be up to date with proper vaccines. Consult your physician concerning these and other immunizations.
Participants must provide an accurate and full report of his/her past, current, and potential health problems, in order to protect him/her from unnecessary medical complications. Proof of health insurance coverage is required for participation in the program.
For More Information:
If you have any questions, please contact Rabbi Michael Namath at 202.387.2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rac.org/mk.
Once you begin your application you MUST fully complete the process.
It is not possible to save a partial registration and return to complete it at a later time.
In order to complete your application you will need the following information:
- Your GPA
- The date of your last class for the Spring 2012 semester
- Names and Addresses of 2 References (one must be a Jewish professional, the other should be an academic professional)
- Your Resume
- Essay responses (500 words or fewer per answer) to the following questions:
1. How have Judaism and social action been important in your life?
2. Why are you interested in the Machon Kaplan Program?
After you complete the online section of the application, be sure to send the recommendation form to each of your references and request that an official transcript is mailed!
Kaplan Fellowship Online Application