Through the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program, fellowships are awarded each year to outstanding individuals who seek to prepare themselves through graduate training for careers in Jewish Education, Jewish Professional Leadership, Jewish Studies, and the Rabbinate/Cantorate.
Applications Are Closed
The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program selects exceptional candidates with a strong personal commitment to the Jewish community, a record of demonstrated excellence in academic achievement and the potential to assume significant professional leadership roles in the North American Jewish community.
All Wexner Fellows/Davidson Scholars will participate in four years of Fellowship-wide Institutes and gatherings, regardless of funding status.
These programs build a cohesive community of Fellows while enhancing the leadership skills of each individual Fellow. All Fellows are afforded unique opportunities for ongoing interaction with outstanding Jewish leaders and for extensive collaboration with one other. Fellows receive leadership training, peer support, professional mentoring and networking across career choices and denominational affiliations, both during school and throughout their lives.
The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program experience extends well beyond the four-year leadership program, as our extensive alumni network serves as a professional community throughout Fellows’ careers.
To apply for the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program, you must be:
Cohorts are selected based on applicants’ individual records and assessed potential, as well as a commitment to creating a diverse cohort. Therefore, all eligible applicants are encouraged to apply, irrespective of denominational affiliation, gender, racial or ethnic origin, disability, or sexual orientation. Please note that the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program honors the admissions policies of participating educational institutions.
All Wexner Graduate Fellow and Davidson Scholar applicants are required to submit the following through an on-line application:
ESSAYS: The application includes two long essays (4500 characters maximum), one short essay (1000 characters maximum), and many short-answer questions about your academic and educational experiences and professional aspirations.
ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS (UNDERGRADUATE, AND IF APPLICABLE, GRADUATE): Transcripts should be uploaded to the application form. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted.
GRE TEST SCORES: If any of the programs to which you are applying require the GRE or other standardized graduate test, please submit your scores as part of your application. If none of your schools require the GRE or a standardized test, you do not need to submit them to The Wexner Foundation.
VIDEO RESPONSE: Applicants must submit a 60-second video in response to a question posted within the application. The video should not be created professionally. Additional guidelines are provided within the application.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation as part of the application. At least one must be from an academic instructor who has worked closely with you and one from a supervisor who is well-acquainted with you and your experience in a professional or volunteer setting. If you are in the first year of your graduate program, one of your letters must be from a teacher or academic advisor in your current program (this could suffice as your academic reference). No more than three letters will be accepted.
DOCUMENTATION OF ACCEPTANCE: While you do not need to have been accepted to your graduate institution at the time you submit your application, fellowships will not be formalized until there is official documentation that you have been accepted into the program designated for your career preparation.
JEWISH STUDIES – COPIES OF FUNDING OR FELLOWSHIP OFFERS: Jewish Studies applicants must submit copies of funding or fellowship offers from graduate institutions or other sources if such an offer is extended prior to our interviews. See below for further guidelines.
The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program supports students pursuing graduate programs in Jewish Education, Jewish Professional Leadership, Jewish Studies, and the Rabbinate/Cantorate.
The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program seeks Jewish Studies applicants who intend to pursue dissertation research on a Jewish Studies-related topic and become university professors in a Jewish Studies discipline and also have a commitment to exercising leadership in the Jewish community at-large, thereby bridging the gap between the university and the community.
In addition to the eligibility criteria outlined for all applicants to the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program, eligibility for Jewish Studies candidates may depend on university admissions policies, some of which distinguish between master’s program and doctoral program admissions. Because the PhD is considered the appropriate terminal degree for academics, the Foundation will only consider applicants who are applying for admission to the following academic programs:
Jewish Studies applicants who are selected as Wexner Graduate Fellows are expected to secure tuition/stipend offers from their university. Wexner Fellows who are funded through other sources will be afforded all other privileges of the Graduate Fellowship Program as well as a financial award of $10,000 annually (which can be distributed to the Fellow in smaller increments over more years depending on graduate institutions’ cap on annual outside funding).
The Wexner Foundation reserves the right to make judgments about the eligibility of applicants for Jewish Studies Fellowships.
Individuals who have previously applied for the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program may reapply for the upcoming academic year. That said, the Foundation does not encourage former applicants to re-apply unless you feel certain that a new application will present a significantly different profile of your skills and potential than the previous application.
Re-applicants are required to submit an entirely new application, including new letters of recommendation, as well as an additional statement describing your most recent activities (e.g., additional education, employment, and volunteer work). If you have attended a graduate program since your last application, you will need to submit a transcript and a letter of recommendation from an academic advisor or instructor from that program.
Please note: Former applicants who may have been finalists will not automatically be granted the same status.
Application opens. Applicants must complete an eligibility form as the first step of the application process.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2021 AT 1pm EST
All applications, including re-applications, are due.
EARLY MARCH 2021
Finalists will be invited, via email, to a 30-minute virtual interview with the Selection Committee, comprised of leading professionals who are committed to the fields encompassed by the Fellowship program.
WEEK OF MARCH 8-15, 2021
Finalist interviews will be conducted via Zoom. Finalists must inform the Selection Committee at their interview, if not before, which graduate program they will be attending starting Summer or Fall 2021.
Orientation (first year)
May 10-12, 2021 (virtually)
Leadership learning calls (first year)
Monthly peer consultations, by Zoom
Summer Institute (every year)
August 22-27, 2021; August 22-26, 2022; August 21-25, 2023, August 19-23, 2024
Winter Institute (every year)
January 17-20, 2021, January 16-19, 2022, January 15-18, 2023, January 14-17, 2024
Mid-Fellowship Retreat (third year)
Three-day program over Shabbat, usually mid-November
*Dates subject to change.
Wexner Graduate Fellows and Davidson Scholars pursuing careers in Jewish Education, Jewish Professional Leadership, and the Rabbinate/Cantorate will:
Wexner Graduate Fellows/Davidson Scholars will commit to participate in all fellowship-sponsored programs and institutes.
Wexner Graduate Fellows/Davidson Scholars will commit to working full-time in North America, serving the North American Jewish community, for a minimum of four years upon completion of their graduate programs.
Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Alumni meet annually for institutes centered on themes relevant to modern Jewish life and their professional development. The Wexner Foundation is committed to creating a continental and international web of Jewish professional leaders working together to foster life-long leadership growth and to strengthen Jewish peoplehood.
Meet Our Alumni and Fellows
Wexner Graduate And Field Fellowship Community Coordinating Committee
We help shepherd initiatives, serve as a resource to the Foundation staff, and try to identify ways that Wexner Graduate Fellows/Davidson Scholars, Wexner Field Fellows and alumni can be of service to and make the most of the talent and energy of the Wexner community.
Most significantly, WexCoComm invests time and energy thinking about how to most effectively and efficiently communicate opportunities to members of the Wexner community that could be personally or professionally enriching. Through gauging the interests, issues and concerns of alumni community members, the committee is responsive to those needs and interests that could be appropriately helpful.
The Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program was established in 1988 by The Wexner Foundation to encourage promising candidates to successfully meet the challenges of professional Jewish leadership in the North American Jewish community.
In 2005, Leslie and Abigail Wexner launched a philanthropic partnership with William z”l and Karen Davidson. This partnership established an annual cohort of ten Davidson Scholars as part of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Owing to this collaboration with the William Davidson Foundation, ten Fellows in each new fellowship class are selected in the career areas of Jewish Education and Jewish Professional Leadership and designated as Davidson Scholars.
In 2013, The Wexner Foundation launched a partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation to establish the Wexner Field Fellowship and to support alumni of both the WGF/DS and the WFF programs.