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    Kol Isha: Frequently Asked Questions

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    OFJCC Palo Alto JCCWho?

    Kol Isha is comprised of 10–15 women from our local community of Palo Alto, California. The cohort is chosen based on a process of nomination, application and interview. Our cohort will be comprised of a diverse group of women from a variety of backgrounds and ages. Apply today!

    Kol Isha is facilitated by the OFJCC's very own Luba Palant, Tova Birnbaum and Zoe Fertik.


    Kol Isha is comprised of several programmatic elements. Each activity is meant to reflect the three core values of Kol Isha: Women, Jewish Peoplehood and Social Justice.

    Kol Isha is an 18-month program that aims to build stronger community relationships through serious Jewish learning and social justice work. The group meets every three weeks for Jewish learning, group bonding and social justice project planning. We hope that the group can also gather for a three-day retreat in the summer of 2021.


    Kol Isha will meet every three weeks, on Thursday evenings from 7:00–8:30 PM.

    The program begins in January 2021 and will run through June 2022. In addition to the regularly scheduled meetings, Kol Isha participants will be responsible for designing their very own social justice project. Participants are expected to contribute throughout the program's duration. The project's content—and as a result, its frequency and time commitment—are to be determined and agreed upon by the group. The group will also gather for a three-day retreat from June 11–13, 2021.

    How much?

    The Kol Isha program costs $540. For scholarship, please email Zoe Fertik at [email protected].

    Participants are expected to fully participate in the program. The dates are provided far in advance to ensure availability and commitment. Participants are expected to choose a mutually agreed upon social justice project, and to determine the group's expectations around participation in this project. Participants are highly encouraged to offer home hospitality during the program's trips.

    What is the programming in Palo Alto?

    Monthly Learning Sessions at the OFJCC

    All sessions will be facilitated by Tova Birnbaum and Zoe Jick. The curriculum was created in consultation with Dr. Ruth Calderon.

    Jewish Learning at the OFJCC is open to learners of all backgrounds and levels. We believe in learning that is based on traditional Jewish texts, but that traverses the breadth of the timeless Jewish canon. We provide the content and the facilitators; the rest is up to you.

    The Kol Isha curriculum will center on the theme of Jewish Women: Then, Now, Always. Our learning will introduce Biblical heroines, tell rabbinic stories and open conversation about issues relevant to Jewish women throughout time. The learning will include Jewish texts in both Hebrew and English, chevruta study sessions, and group discussion. We intend the learning to reflect the guiding values of the Kol Isha program and to add to the participants' hands-on experiences. 

    The learning sessions will also, of course, contain ample time for schmoozing, debriefing and group bonding. 

    Local Social Justice Project

    The group is responsible for embarking on a communal social justice project that spans the program's duration. The project is a hands-on experience that will include personal work with a local community. We hope you will also invite friends and family to join!

    The participants will decide on its project as a group, and are welcome to use the resources of the OFJCC's Social Impact team led by Luba Palant.

    We encourage the social project to be hands-on, local and open to participants' family members.


    For information on the facilitators, click here.


    Applications are due December 1, 2020.

    More Information

    To request more information about Kol Isha, to express interest or to ask questions, please contact Zoe Fertik, Associate Director of Jewish Content, [email protected].



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