Community Building Fellowship

Young Jewish couples are often faced with a dilemma: on one hand, putting down their roots in large, established Jewish communities is enticing for professional and social reasons; on the other hand, the cost of living in these communities is usually much higher than they can afford. Moreover, lesser known, small and mid-size Jewish communities around the country may be hidden gems that many couples would thrive in given the opportunity.
Addressing these concerns, Kochvei HaShamayim seeks to work with and connect communities of all sizes with young couples from different backgrounds. Young couples joining a given community are expected to become active members, and invest in the community by, for example,

  • offering classes for adults, teens or children
  • organizing social events for adults, teens or children
  • leading services and leining
  • organizing special holiday events
  • leading or supporting shul initiatives and programs
  • volunteer services related to the career path they are pursuing in graduate/professional school

The community would, in turn, support the young family by providing, for example,

  • free or subsidized housing
  • free or subsidized daycare services
  • free or subsidized car
  • free synagogue membership

Of course, the above lists are just examples. Communities who partner with KHS are expected to make their own lists of incentives they are willing and able to offer couples, as well as a list of responsibilities they would like incoming couples to undertake.

Young Professionals in Israel

Kochvei HaShamayim’s Young Professionals in Israel Program includes several initiatives:
  • A scholarship for young couples where one or both spouses are pursuing graduate or professional education. Eligible couples are those that either pursue their education in an Israeli university, or pursue their education in the United States but intend to move to Israel (make Aliyah) upon completing their studies.
  • Connecting couples to specific communities within Israel.
  • Providing a social and professional network in Israel for couples making Aliyah.

Rising Stars Scholarship

In his code of Jewish Law, Maimonides explains that a man should first learn a craft that could sustain himself, then secure a home, and only then get married. On the other hand, Yehuda ben Tema, a Mishnaic scholar, suggests that a man could get married as early as eighteen years of age! These ideas are reconciled once we consider that, as recently as a few hundred years ago, one could complete one’s education or training by the age of eighteen. In today’s society, however, the required training for most jobs, especially in technical or professional fields, takes young adults into their late twenties or early thirties.

Unfortunately, it seems the Jewish Community has not yet responded to the challenge posed by this societal change, as many young couples either push off starting a family until much later, or forgo opportunities to continue their education in order to start a family.

KHS’s Rising Stars Scholarship was created to address this very issue by offering these couples scholarships to offset the financial burdens imposed by their educational goals and personal familial expenses. By defraying the costs of professional or graduate education, KHS enables young couples to start families sooner than they otherwise would have, or conversely, allows young parents to pursue further education. These funds would also allow these couples to avoid the exorbitant financial burden of long-term loans, instead encouraging them to use those same funds to invest in their own families and to pay the help they received forward.

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