Fellowship Placement FAQs

*Sign up to learn more at our February 5 informational call at 12:00PM EST here!*

Q: What are the criteria for being a placement organization?

Q: What are the costs associated with hiring a JOIN fellow?

Q: What are opportunities to request funding to support hosting a Fellow?

Q: I know JOIN is a year-long fellowship, but I really want someone who will stay on longer. Is this possible?

 Q: I have someone on my staff already who fits the profile of your Fellows, and who would benefit from being a part of the program. Can they participate?

 Q: I’d like to be a partner organization and have someone on my staff get the benefit of JOIN, but I’d like to recruit my own staff member outside of your process.  Can I do this?

 Q: I’m nervous that I may not find someone who fits our organization’s needs.  What if I don’t find someone I want to hire at the matching event? By submitting an application and participating in the matching event, am I required to take on a Fellow?

Q: When do Fellows begin working?

 Q: How frequently will a JOIN Fellow be out of the office for training sessions?

Q: What are the benefits to placement organizations of hiring an Empower Fellow?

Q: What are the differences between being an Empower Placement and a Jewish Organizing Placement?

Q: What does JOIN mean by “disability”?

Q: Our organization isn’t totally accessible, or we don’t have much experience employing people with disabilities. Can we still be an Empower placement?

Q: How are Empower Fellows selected?

Q: How will the hiring process work?

Q: I have questions or concerns, or I’m not sure if this is a good fit for my organization.

Q: What are the criteria for being a placement organization?

A:JOIN for Justice is seeking partner organizations that will provide excellent opportunities for the emerging organizers who participate in our fellowship to gain experience in community organizing. These criteria were developed to ensure that organizations that partner with JOIN will provide a supportive and challenging working environment for their Fellow, and that, in turn, JOIN’s training curriculum will be most relevant to their organizational needs.

To be eligible, organizations must demonstrate that they meet the following criteria: 

  1. The supervisor takes primary responsibility for the development of the Fellow as an organizer, including, but not limited to, weekly hour-long supervision meetings. 
  2. The Fellow’s work has a significant component of recruitment, training, and developing of leaders.
  3. The Fellow plays a key role in a project or campaign the organization is undertaking.
  4. The project or campaign the Fellow works on is something that builds towards a measurable social justice goal.

It is highly desired, although not required, for organizations to demonstrate the following criteria:

  1. The supervisor of the JOIN Fellow has significant organizing experience and/or is currently an organizer.
  2. There is a demonstrated organizational commitment to organizing as a method used for social change.

Organizations will be prioritized to participate in the Empower Fellowship based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of organizational commitment to disability justice, rights, or inclusion in internal practices and/or organizing campaigns, or evidence of commitment to learning in these areas 
  • Strength of supervision practices
  • Strength of opportunities for Fellow to do rigorous, strategic organizing towards meaningful justice goals

Q: What are the costs associated with hiring a JOIN fellow?

A: We ask our partner organizations to hire Fellows at a minimum salary of $31,500, and to provide health benefits commensurate with other full time employees. Fellows are typically paid $31,500-$45,000, reflecting the range in their prior work experience, and there is no maximum salary. (We sometimes approve part-time placements, and in that case the Fellow’s salary can be lower but should be proportional to the full-time minimum salary based on hours.)

If you are applying for a current staff member to be a Fellow, the salary requirements do not apply.

We understand that small organizations in particular, may find the minimum salary a challenge. This year we have two sources of funding to support organizations applying to host a Fellow. Please see next question for the funding opportunities.

Q: What are opportunities to request funding to support hosting a Fellow?

A: There are two opportunities to request funding to support a fellow:

  • The Empower Fellowship is an initiative within the Jewish Organizing Fellowship designed to support Fellows with disabilities and their placement organizations. Placements that match with an Empower Finalist will receive $3,500. See section VII of the Placement application for more information. 
  • We have funds available to provide $1,000-$3,000 need-based subsidies for organizations that meet our general criteria and subsidy eligibility. For details, please see section X of the Placement application.

Please note that the review processes for these two opportunities are separate. If you match with an Empower Fellow, you will automatically receive $3,500, and will not be eligible for further funding. If you request a need-based subsidy, we will tell you whether you are receiving funding when offering a match with a particular Fellow.

Q: I know JOIN is a year-long fellowship, but I really want someone who will stay on longer. Is this possible?

A: Absolutely!  More than half of JOIN Fellows stay on after the year-long fellowship program is over. In fact, we recruit many individuals with the desire to see this as their first year of a job rather than a one-year commitment. If you are looking for a long term employee, hiring a JOIN Fellow is a good way to invest in an emerging professional’s first year at your organization.

 Q: I have someone on my staff already who fits the profile of your Fellows, and who would benefit from being a part of the program. Can they participate?

A: Yes!  JOIN encourages our partner organizations to consider this option – you may already have a potential JOIN Fellow on your staff.  If your staff member is between 21-30, identifies as a Jew, and is organizing at least 20 hours a week, they may be eligible.  We are happy to speak with anyone considering the option of gaining professional training and supportive community through the JOIN Fellowship next year. The person would need to complete the written application and screening process to determine eligibility for the program, but if accepted, would not need to participate in the spring matching event. They can apply here.

 Q: I’d like to be a partner organization and have someone on my staff get the benefit of JOIN, but I’d like to recruit my own staff member outside of your process.  Can I do this?

A: Yes!  We encourage our partner organizations to meet their organizational needs by recruiting their own JOIN Fellows. The person would need to be screened by JOIN to determine eligibility for the program.  Please contact us for further details.

 Q: I’m nervous that I may not find someone who fits our organization’s needs.  What if I don’t find someone I want to hire at the matching event? By submitting an application and participating in the matching event, am I required to take on a Fellow?

A: Not at all! Applying to partner with JOIN does not mean you are required to hire anyone who doesn’t meet your organizational needs. Partner organizations only hire JOIN Fellows when they find the right fit – this may happen at the matching event, in the weeks immediately after it, or not at all. If you are uncertain whether your organization has the financial resources to hire a fellow or whether you will find the right person through our process, we encourage organizations to keep their options open by applying to partner with us.

Q: When do Fellows begin working?

A: The JOIN program year officially begins in late August/early September at our Orientation retreat, and traditionally, Fellows begin work at their placements right at the beginning of September. However, many Fellows make arrangements with their placement organizations to start working earlier, and some begin working as early as the spring preceding the fellowship year.  If you require someone who can start work earlier, this can be negotiated directly with the Fellow you are planning to hire. We recommend that you apply in the early round of Placement applications (deadline February 28) in order to begin interviewing candidates in March and hiring a Fellow as early as mid-April.

 Q: How frequently will a JOIN Fellow be out of the office for training sessions?

A: JOIN Fellows meet from 9:00am-1:00pm on Fridays. Fellows also participate in a total of 3 trainings. A 5-day intensive before their placement year begins, a 4-day training in the winter, and a final 4-day retreat at the end of the program year.

 

Q: What are the benefits to placement organizations of hiring an Empower Fellow?

A:

  • Training and coaching about best practices for employing people with disabilities. Empower placement supervisors (and potentially other staff) will participate in 1 training and ongoing individual consulting as needed to learn about accessibility and inclusion, reasonable accommodations, and disability justice. This training will both help you have a positive experience working with your Fellow, including addressing any challenges that may arise, and deepen your capacity to employ people with disabilities long-term. Each Empower supervisor will be expected to attend a day-long training (date pending) and possibly another training mid-year. These will be opportunities to learn about best practices for supervising people with disabilities, creating inclusive work environments, how disability justice relates to other justice issues, and related topics. 
  • Access to talented, highly qualified candidates who might otherwise face barriers to an organizing career. Only placements approved for the Empower Fellowship will be able to interview candidates from our full pool of talented young organizers.
  • Additional training and mentorship for your Fellow, beyond the rigorous curriculum available to all Jewish Organizing Fellows. For example, Empower Fellows will explore individual adaptations to organizing practices based on their accessibility needs and strengths, and explore lessons from disability movement history that can be applied to their work at their placements. Fellows will also develop a rich understanding of inclusion and disability justice that can strengthen their work at any placement.

Q: What are the differences between being an Empower Placement and a Jewish Organizing Placement?

A: To become an Empower placement, an organization must meet the criteria for all Jewish Organizing Fellowship placements and match with an Empower Fellow. If Placement’s hire an Empower Fellow, they will have access to additional training and coaching. Their Fellow will have 1 additional training session each month, and additional resources and mentorship to support their abilities as disabled organizers.

 

Q: What does JOIN mean by “disability”?

A: We understand “disability” broadly. It can include, but is not limited to, the following experiences:

  • Physical disability or mobility impairment
  • Mental health, psychiatric, or psychosocial disability
  • Learning disability
  • Sensory disability, such as blind, low-vision, Deaf, hard of hearing, or DeafBlind
  • Chronic illness
  • Neurological or cognitive disability
  • Intellectual or developmental disability

Q: Our organization isn’t totally accessible, or we don’t have much experience employing people with disabilities. Can we still be an Empower placement?

A: Yes! Empower placements do not have to be experts at employing people with disabilities already, or be fully accessible to people with all types of disabilities. Instead, we are looking for organizations that are eager to learn and collaborate to fully include their individual Fellow. In the matching process, we will work with each organization and potential Fellow to help make strong matches based on each Fellow’s needs and the requirements of each job.

 

Q: How are Empower Fellows selected?

A: Empower Fellows will go through the same rigorous selection process (including application, phone interview, and video interview) and meet the same criteria as all Jewish Organizing Fellows. We are looking for talented emerging organizers who have an interest in exploring the connections between their organizing work and their Jewish and disability identities. 

Q: How will the hiring process work?

A: Empower Fellowship candidates will be fully integrated into the Jewish Organizing Fellowship hiring process, so that employers have the opportunity to meet a variety of candidates who could be a good fit for their organization. As always, we will strive to introduce each organization to candidates who might be a good fit. To facilitate that, before our interview event on May 11, 2020, we will ask each organization for detailed information about qualities, skills, and abilities they require. For example, we may collect information about whether your office is wheelchair accessible, what languages your organizer would need to speak, and how much schedule flexibility you can offer. At the same time, we will ask candidates about their skills and abilities. Then, we will do our best to match you with candidates to interview who may be a good fit. Throughout the process, JOIN staff members are available for individual conversations with both organizations and Fellowship candidates, in order to develop a nuanced understanding of your needs and work together towards the best possible match. We will also support organizations in considering what accommodations might be possible within their work, and in preparing to interview candidates with disabilities. As with all Jewish Organizing Fellowship placements, there is no commitment to hire a Fellow until and unless you agree to make an offer to a specific candidate.

Q: I have questions or concerns, or I’m not sure if this is a good fit for my organization.

A: Please contact Jihelah Greenwald at jgreenwald@joinforjustice.org or 617-350-9994 x 208. We want to work with you and figure it out together. We are very happy to answer your questions and discuss how and whether this opportunity can be a good fit for your organization.