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Summer Fellowship

Tanenbaum Inter-Religious Peace Fellowship Summer Fellows

Students will receive stipends to spend a summer abroad working for an organization—religious or secular—that focuses on inter-religious engagement as an agent for peacemaking and social change. Your application materials are to make clear how your project meets these Tanenbaum Fellowship goals for inter-religious engagement. Students may apply individually or in partnership with another student who wishes to work for the same organization. Placements are expected to be approximately eight weeks in length (and not less than six weeks). All Vassar students are eligible to apply, with a preference going to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students. It is expected that awards will be up to $3,000 to support the costs associated with the project (with additional funds available for students with financial aid obligations for summer earnings).   

The fellows will be responsible for finding an organization with which they would like to work. The Office of Religious & Spiritual Life will provide resources, as necessary, to assist students in finding an appropriate organization.  These resources include the listing below of web-links for possible international sites in fourteen different countries. Tanenbaum Fellows cannot be funded for projects that take place in countries or locations that are currently under a US travel warning or restriction (check www.state.gov.)

We are seeking funding for this program and hope it will resume in 2016/17 academic year. Awards are not available at this time. 

  1. Use the Recommendation Registration Form to register two people to serve as your referees.  One letter of recommendation and one letter of support: A letter from the organization with which you would work describing the activities and opportunities in which you would be able to participate. Please note: this letter may not be appropriate in all cases. Those proposing more independent projects may not have access to such a letter but should provide an alternate letter from someone who can attest to the opportunity and potential for success of the proposed project. You must register your writers before you submit your application and inform them that the letters are due by the campus deadline. 
  2. Download the Budget Worksheet and complete prior to completing your application. You will need it when you are ready to submit.
  3. Complete the Tanenbaum Application and submit it by the campus deadline.

For Applicants: You must submit your application through the online system as indicated above. Please note that you cannot save information in the application and return to it at a later date. You'll need a transcript with your fall grades included so you won't be able to submit the application until mid January, the earliest. You should save your work in a separate document and enter it all at once when you are ready to submit. 

For Letter Writers: Candidates should register their references through the online application. Once registered, writers will receive a link to this form Letter of Recommendation Submission Form. If you haven't received an email please follow up with the applicant to ensure that you have been registered to write on his/her behalf. You may access this form at any time through this site, however you cannot save information and return to the form at a later date.

Fellowships must be used during the summer and may not be deferred.  All arrangements in connection with the project including appropriate health insurance, travel (including visa arrangements) and housing are the responsibility of the Tananbaum Fellow.  Vassar College is not responsible for any physical or mental injury, illness or property loss sustained by a Fellow during the course of his or her fellowship.  Fellows may not use the funds to support or defray the expenses of other persons or for non-project related expenses.  Fellows who do not carry through their intended project must return any unused portion of the funds to Vassar College.  All Fellows will submit a report outlining the summer's work to the religious and Spiritual Life Office by September 8.  

The following listing of organizations was compiled by contacting leading inter-religious organizations in the U.S. Applicants for the Tanenbaum Peace Fellows program are expected to research their placements and to show how their proposed work fits within the guidelines for the fellowship:

Unescocat  (Barcelona, Spain) ʺis a secular institution that respects and values religious faith, defends the right to freedom of religion and promotes initiatives and reflection about interreligious dialogue, interfaith management of conflicts and the promotion of human rights inside and between beliefs and convictions.

The Project for Religious Pluralism Medellin, (Colombia) is directed by Dr. Carlos Arboleda Mora, seeks to ʺstudy the religious diversity in Colombia with a focus on Medellín. This project was developed by El Grupo Religión y Cultura de la Universidad Pontifica Bolivariana de Medellín. This group is dedicated to the study of contemporary religion.ʺ

St. Philips Centre (Leicester, England) is ʺRecognised by the Church England as one of two national centres, the St. Philip’s Centre is a response to the growing need since 9/11 and 7/7 for increased understanding between and within faiths. This includes an urgent need for Christians to have confidence in what they can offer –how to celebrate difference but to stay faithful to their tradition.ʺ

Religions for Peace (Paris, France) The organization ʺbrings together members of major religious traditions established in France and whose goal is to work with the encounter between religions, as well as collaborate with other actors of civil society in the goal of peace, solidarity, coexistence and mutual knowledge.ʺ

PluReligion (Germany )The aim of the capacity building project, ʺNetwork on the Investigation of Religious Pluralism in Europeʺ, is to establish a dialogue between local research projects in order to obtain cross-project findings about the process of religious pluralisation.

Henry Martyn Institute - International Centre for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation (HMI) (Hyderabad,India ) is a center for research and activism between people of different faiths. They host classes on Islam and interfaith engagement and sponsor a number of local conflict-resolution initiatives. 

Liberal Islam Network (Jakarta, Indonesia) serves to represent a vision of Islam that attempts to balance a critical understanding of tradition with a tolerant view of modernity. The Liberal Islam Network serve as a media hub, through publications and radio broadcasts, for liberal Islamic thinkers.  

Jordan Interfaith Action CC  (Amman, Jordan ) supports the growth of inter-religious cooperation in the Middle East and the world. They host a variety of youth arts initiatives for young Jordanians and host international conferences on the role of faith in peace-building.

Interfaith Scotland (Glaskow, Scotland) encourages dialogue between individuals, religious groups and government. They host discussions and sponsor events, including Scottish Interfaith week. 
Phaphama Initiatives (Soweto, South Africa) aims to use non-violent teaching and action as a means to achieve reconciliation and community building. They provide tours and trainings that explore non-violence in South Africa. 

The Thai Sikh Organization (Pra Nakorn, Thailand) represents the Sikh community in Thailand.  They publish a journal on Sikh life in the country and hold events for this Thai religious minority.   

The Tanenbaum Inter-Religious Peace Fellows Program is established in memory of Sidonie Bennett. The program has been made possible thanks to a gift to Vassar College from Sidonie Bennett's daughter, Dr. Georgette F. Bennett '67, President and Founder of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, via the Polonsky Foundation.