Julia Ullman of Pepper Pike was recently accepted into the Weitzman-JDC Fellowship in Global Jewish Leadership, a graduate program initiative between the Joint Distribution Committee and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Ullman, 24, is a member of Temple Emanu El in Orange.
The two-year program offers students from North America and around the world a combination of tailored coursework and hands-on field experience, both in North America and abroad. Students spend their first year at HUC-JIR’s Jerusalem campus, where they learn about the importance of global Jewish responsibility through the history and present of JDC’s work. In their second year, students return stateside to learn how to make global Jewish responsibility a key part of their Jewish professional life as they continue their studies.
“Temple Emanu El is justly proud of Julia Ullman’s accomplishments as one of our students as well as her college and graduate school commitments to Jewish scholarship and Jewish education,” Rabbi Steven L. Denker said in a news release. “The blessings she already brings as a scholar, teacher and leader are no surprise to those of us who have been privileged to witness Julia’s growth and development. It is especially nice to know that her extraordinary talents have been recognized as she prepares to begin formal rabbinic studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.”
Ullman said in the release, “Temple Emanu El has given me opportunities to learn, teach, and grow all throughout my life. Ever since I was a child, I have felt at home on the bima leading the community in prayer, song and learning. I have been honored to be mentored by the temple’s clergy and staff, especially Rabbi Denker and Beth Mann, and have developed deep, lasting relationships with many congregants and families which I treasure.
“Temple Emanu El is the foundation of my Jewish life, the most formative element of my Jewish identity, and a place I will always call home. I am so grateful for the numerous opportunities TEE has given me, and the immeasurable lessons I’ve learned as a congregant, lay leader, and professional within the community. As the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, who I never had the chance to meet, being able to practice Judaism freely and proudly has been a blessing and a comfort for me. My family has handed down a Judaism that I fully embrace, one that is inclusive and open, creative and calls on me to never lose sight of the gift we have been given of rich tradition and complex heritage.”
Ullman completed her undergraduate degree in 2018 at the University of Chicago with a double major in Jewish studies and Near Eastern languages and civilizations. Since then, she has spent time working in Cleveland and around the world and pursuing a master’s degree. From 2018-19 she attended the Pardes Experiential Educators Program in Israel, a partnered program between Pardes and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Continuing her studies online, she also spent time in Shanghai to serve as the community coordinator of Kehilat Shanghai, and returned to the United States to complete her work remotely when the pandemic was rising in Asia. She plans to graduate with a master’s degree in April.