Maimonides Fund Announces Jewish Writers’ Initiative Digital Storytelling Lab

Jewish Writers Initiative Digital Storytelling Lab

The goal is to develop new Jewish stories for a modern media environment

We are thrilled to support a new cohort of storytellers in developing compelling and substantive Jewish stories for online audiences that reflect the rich heritage and vibrancy of the Jewish people.”

— Mark Charendoff, Chairman of the Maimonides Fund

NEW YORK, NY, USA, April 12, 2022 / — The Jewish Writers’ Initiative’s Digital Storytellers Lab has officially opened the application process for digital media creators to kick-start digital media development narratives exploring Jewish themes. During the eight-month program, fellows will receive a generous stipend, mentorship, and technical and thematic expertise to support the development of their projects. Applications are due June 1, 2022.
A Maimonides Fund project, the lab will enable US-based digital artists, including social media creators, short-lived scriptwriters and podcast visionaries, to develop projects that explore culture, values, Jewish spirituality or history on audiovisual digital media platforms. like Youtube, Instagram Reels, TikTok, Webtoon and podcast networks. Proposals for animated, audio-only, live-action, and mixed-media projects are welcome.
The Lab will also offer artists the opportunity to consult experts on the unique subject of their projects. Using first-hand sources, historians, and educators will help writers achieve dynamic and authentic stories.
“We are thrilled to support a new cohort of storytellers in developing engaging and meaningful Jewish stories for online audiences,” said Maimonides Fund President Mark Charendoff. “As new digital media platforms proliferate, we want to help creators use these spaces to share content that reflects the rich heritage and vibrancy of the Jewish people – our shared history, texts and values ​​as well as the diverse perspectives and experiences we share. bring to the tent.
The lab will select up to twelve storytellers for the first cohort of scholarships. The writers will each receive a $20,000 stipend to support them as they develop their creative enterprise.
The program is led by BimBam creator Sarah Lefton and arts educator Janine Okmin. It is guided by an advisory board including Rabbi David Wolpe, producer Jonathan Rubenstein, media acquisitions expert Jennifer Monier-Williams, Corey Rosen of Tippett Studios, Sundance chief content officer Liz Nord, lead producer of Sesame Workshop’s international social impact Estee Bardanashvili, Emmy-winning writer Jay Bushman and Columbia University professor and author of Jewish literature Jeremy Dauber.
“There is a tremendous amount of support for creators across platforms – Youtube, TikTok, podcasts, etc. – and in different niche communities. We are proud to nurture creators with Jewish stories to tell across all of these platforms,” said Sarah Lefton, Creative Director.
Applications for the Digital Storytellers Lab can be submitted here:

About the Maimonides Fund and The Jewish Writers’ Initiative:
The Maimonides Fund is a private granting organization that funds in North America and Israel. The Fund founded the Jewish Writers’ Initiative in 2019, in partnership with Crystal City Entertainment, to support the development of Jewish-themed film and television scripts, with the goal of bringing these projects to the mainstream media market. With the Digital Storytellers Lab, the Initiative is expanding to digital media platforms, bringing innovative Jewish stories to new audiences in new ways.

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