Emerging Scholars Award


In 1999, the Network for Research in Jewish Education established a fund that provides assistance for graduate students conducting original research.  The amount of the award, which is capped at $3000 is intended to support research, underwrite technical and/or clerical support, or the purchase of equipment.

Award criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to their proposed contribution to scholarship on Jewish education.  Award-winning projects 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.

Application process

By April 15, 2018, please compile a portfolio that includes:

  1. A description of your research project (1000 words maximum)
  2. A letter (not to exceed two pages) that explains:
    1. Your research progress to date
    2. The intended contribution of your research project
    3. The motivation behind your research efforts
    4. How this project fits into your larger program of research, looking forward.
  1. A budget for the amount requested, with as much specificity as possible.  The budget should include a narrative explanation for each item.
  2. Names and contact information for two referees.
    1. You should ask your recommenders to submit their recommendations individually and directly via email to Professor Ari Y. Kelman, Chair, Awards Committee

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 2018 meeting of the Network for Research in Jewish Education. The conference takes place on June 11-12, at The George Washington University in DC. The recipient will discuss the research project at the conference.


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 The George Washington University in DC on June 11-12. 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 

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

Meredith Katz (TC)

2003 Miriam Heller Stern (Stanford)

Ben Jacobs (TC)

Barry Kislowicz (TC)

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

Alan Selis (UMD)

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

Leslie Ginsparg (NYU)

Rebecca Shargel (JTS)

2008 Sivan Kroll-Zeldin Zakai (Stanford)

Zohar Rotem (The New School)

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

Arielle Levites (NYU)

2013 Greg Beiles (OISE, U of Toronto)

Owen Gottlieb (NYU)








2017Sivan  Zakai (Stanford)

Lauren Applebaum (JTS)

Mijal Bitton (NYU)

Matt Williams (Stanford)

Sarah Ossey (NYU)

Sara Smith (NYU)