Mission




The Gralla Fellows Program, which ran from 1998-2009, was a program of the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University. It sought to enhance the quality of religion journalism by providing journalists in the early and mid-stages of their careers with an intensive four-day program of instruction in Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. Focus is on the American Jewish religion “beat.”

Faculty featured leading scholars, community leaders, and senior journalists conducting seminars, lectures, tours, and workshops on issues of key concern to journalists working on religion stories with Jewish content or context. The program was designed to enhance journalists’ knowledge of Judaism, American Jewish life, and trends relevant to religion reporting. 

Topics in the program included “front burner” stories; Jewish history, religion, and culture; changing American Jewish life and institutions; Israel-America and Israel-Diaspora relations; interfaith issues; and researching and reporting new story ideas.

Specific topics covered included American Jews and American Politics; American Jewish-Christian relations; American Jewish-Muslim relations; covering sensitive religion topics; an overview of Jewish texts; new ways of covering Jewish holidays; the 350th anniversary of Jews in America; visits to area synagogues and Boston’s historic Jewish districts; trends in Jewish museums and memorial sites; Jewish education; Jewish medical ethics; the historical, cultural, and organizational background of the American Jewish community; current trends in Judaism and spirituality and much, much more.