GatherDC’s Open Doors Fellowship (ODF) is an immersive 10-month experience that brings together and trains Jewish young adults who live in the DMV to become leaders, conveners, and facilitators of DMV Jewish life. Fellows will become exceptional relationship builders and work to create a more welcoming, inclusive, and interconnected Jewish DMV community.

Fellows in the 2023-24 cohort will learn leadership and engagement skills at monthly meetings, welcome DMV newcomers to the region, and receive financial support to bring a unique capstone project to life – all while forming deep, lasting friendships with one another.

What can I expect from the Open Doors Fellowship?

Professional leadership, program facilitation, communications, and team building training at monthly learning sessions.

Stipends to take DMV newcomers out for coffee to help them find their place in Jewish life.

Your cohort may include a celebratory Shabbat experience or a Sunday retreat so you can develop meaningful relationships with like-minded peers.

Financial support to create a unique capstone project of your choosing that will enrich our local Jewish community.

A network of professional staff and peers to be a go-to resource for you.

Should I apply?

If you are a 20- or 30-something living in the DMV who is passionate about creating Jewish community, curious to learn more about your neighborhood and DMV Jewish life, interested in honing your leadership skills, and invested in building connections with other Jewish young adults — then this experience is perfect for you!

Applications for the 2023-24 Open Doors Fellowship are now closed — but check back for next year’s Fellowship!

What exactly will I do as a Fellow?

  • Attend one meeting per month to learn essential leadership and relationship building skills.
  • Take young adults who are new to the DMV out for coffee (on us).
  • Create and implement a unique capstone project to enrich the Jewish community.
  • Serve as a greeter and friendly face for peers at events across Jewish DMV.
  • Build lasting connections with a cohort of your peers.

Note: ALL are welcome to apply. It doesn’t matter how involved you are – or aren’t – in Jewish life, what your Jewish background is, your gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or nationality. If you’re thinking about applying but are unsure because you’ve never attended a Jewish event, service, or experience across the DMV – please still apply!

Have questions?

Contact GatherDC’s Engagement Director Noa Nir at for any questions you may have about the fellowship!


“The Fellowship allowed me to affect the Jewish Community by encouraging me to listen to the community’s needs, and providing me resources to create positive change.”

“The Open Doors Fellowship helped me remember what I love about my Judaism, as well as learn how to work with others to create a Jewish community that speaks more deeply to more of us.”

“This experience was a cornerstone experience for me. I learned to engage with others in a new way and to deepen my relationships. I’m excited to carry on the joy of connecting with my community!”