Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Springboard’s Bet Cohort: Key Findings and Future Considerations

Nicole Samuel, Amy L.Sales, Rachel Minkin, and Eliana Chapman

June 2020

Springboard report coverSpringboard is Hillel International’s two-year professional development fellowship for recent college graduates. The aims of the Fellowship are to identify and cultivate emerging professionals, to motivate them to apply their talents to the Jewish sector, and to build a talent pipeline for Hillel and beyond. Bet cohort is the focus for the Springboard evaluation because it represents the Fellowship at a liminal point in its evolution—after the initial test case (Aleph cohort) and before scaling (Gimel cohort). The study also examines Springboard within a broader context: where Springboard stands vis-à-vis other Hillel Fellowships for emerging professionals, how Springboard fits with other efforts at Hillel International, and how Springboard is affected by the context of the local Hillel where Fellows are placed.

Key Findings

  • Bet Fellows demonstrated remarkable growth in professional expertise and confidence from Year 1 to the end of Year 2.

  • The largest increases in expertise were related to student engagement: reaching out to students and developing new methods. For both measures, more than half of Bet Fellows (53%) rated themselves as highly expert, up from 11% in Year 1.

  • At the end of Year 2, all 19 Bet Fellows saw themselves as Jewish leaders, compared to 17 of 19 Fellows in Year 1. Fifteen of 19 Bet Fellows saw themselves as Jewish educators, an increase from eight fellows in Year 1.

  • Springboard had a demonstrable impact on the Fellows’ career interests.

  • In the year after the Fellowship, the majority of alumni (81%) continued to work in the Jewish community (including Hillel), as did their peers in the Aleph cohort (67%).

  • Of the three comparable groups of Hillel Fellowship alumni (Springboard Aleph, Springboard Betand Ezra Fellowship), Bet Fellows were the most likely to see themselves as Jewish leaders and educators.

  • Two thirds of Bet alumni had already sought out professional development opportunities for themselves only four months post Fellowship.

  • 76% of Bet alumni considering a professional move in the next two years said it was somewhat or very likely that their next position would be in the Jewish community.