University of Rochester graduating senior Jonathan "Yoni" Jochnowitz-Kahn has been selected as a recipient of the competitive Dorot Fellowship in Israel for 2007-08.
The Dorot Foundation of Providence, R.I., sponsors the fellowship in Israel, which began in 1990. The fellowship funds young Jewish college graduates with extraordinary leadership potential for a yearlong immersion experience in Israel. During the program, fellows live with Israelis and pursue part-time study in a field of interest, participate in weekly seminars, a community engagement experience, leadership training, and travel. About 30 finalists are selected each year—or 10 to 20 percent of the total applicant pool—with about 15 candidates chosen as fellows.
Jochnowitz-Kahn, of Albany, N.Y., will graduate from the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering with a bachelor's in political science, and has completed coursework in Hebrew, Jewish studies, religion, and the history of the Middle East. He is a regular on the Dean's List and he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Jochnowitz-Kahn has gained considerable familiarity with Israel through a brief period of residency and school attendance in the country and participation in summer camps and the Birthright Israel program. He was attracted to the fellowship program because of the opportunities it provides for deepening his understanding of the Jewish faith and Israeli society, and developing the leadership qualities that would enable him to employ key Jewish principles to redress social wrongs in the United States and abroad.
Jochnowitz-Kahn co-founded the Breaking Barriers Committee at the University, which was established to develop stronger ties between Jewish and African-American students. He interned at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights in Washington, D.C., and was awarded a grant by the World Union of Jewish Students to participate in a youth leadership conference in Israel that included Israeli and Palestinian leaders in discussions of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Jochnowitz-Kahn also served for several summers as a counselor at Jewish camps in Albany and Atlanta, Ga., and has taught high-school students at Rochester's Temple Brith Kodesh.