Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Fellowship Program FAQs

What political and education backgrounds do Fellows have?

While the majority of Fellows are in political studies programs at university or college many Fellows study business, sciences, communications, arts, law, etc. Most Fellows have previous volunteer experience from federal/provincial/municipal election campaigns, have volunteered for their local EDA, MP/provincial representative/municipal representative or are members of their campus political club. The Fellowship is a unique environment to mix students of diverse academic, social, regional, cultural, partisan and religious beliefs.

Is this a paid Fellowship?

No, however travel costs, room and board are paid for by CJPAC during the Fellowship conference.

Are there costs associated with participating in the Fellowship program?

Each participant accepted to the program must pay a $150.00 deposit, which can either be fully refunded upon participation in all five days of the November Fellowship conference or donated to CJPAC. This deposit serves a few purposes: (1) it demonstrates to us that you are serious about participating in the program; (2) it helps prevent last-minute cancellations which prevent other students from benefitting from the Fellowship Program; and (3) it helps us cover any fees or penalties that we incur with a last-minute cancellation.

What criteria is needed to participate in the Fellowship program?

  • Enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate program in a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution for both semesters of the 2017-2018 academic year;
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident (unfortunately we cannot accept exchange students);
  • Available to attend all five days of the national conference in Ottawa, no exceptions;
  • Cannot be employed in a paid political position at the federal or provincial level (i.e. the parliamentary or constituency office of an MP/MPP/MLA, Minister’s office or Party office headquarters’), for more than 4 hours per week; unpaid volunteers in these offices will be considered.
  • Applicants have greater chance of being accepted into the Fellowship program if they can demonstrate political involvement/activism

What are the program dates?

The Fellowship program takes place over a full academic year,  beginning in early-October through to the beginning of May. Please note that all applicants who are accepted must be available to attend the five-day conference in Ottawa (Wednesday November 8-Sunday November 12) with no exceptions. In addition to the conference there are Sunday night conference calls; the schedule will be published in November.

What is the application process for the Fellowship?

The application process includes completing the application form (found on the CJPAC website), submitting responses to eight short answer questions and including an updated resume. Providing at least one political reference is recommended. This person could be an elected official, Senator, Candidate, campus club president, campaign team member or a director from an Electoral District Association.

After submitting my application, what is the next step?

Short listed candidates will be contacted for an interview, which could take place by phone, Skype or in person. Successful applicants will be notified by October 27. Please note, only successful applicants will be contacted.

Describe a typical year for a Fellow:

Fellows participate in a five-day conference in Ottawa, where they will hear from high-profile guest speakers and participate in intensive political training. During the conference Fellows will also work on a group project that puts their political skills to the test. During the year Fellows must participate in all conference calls, which take place on Sunday at 8:00pm EST.  Participants are also required to choose between two options for active participation in the political process during the program: 1) they can create and execute a campus event to promote political engagement amongst their peers, or 2) take on an independent option with political engagement challenges to complete throughout the year; these challenges include but are not limited to writing a blog post for CJPAC’s website, canvassing for a candidate at any level of government and attending an Israel on Campus event.

While the Fellowship Program is demanding, it is also a tremendous opportunity for Canadian students to learn about our democracy and gain the skills required to really make a difference. Not only do Fellows meet with elected officials and staffers, they also build a network. Fellows are always willing to help one another out on campus-related issues and later on in their professional lives. There are also opportunities to attend CJPAC events, political events and other conferences.

What does it take to have a successful application and be a successful Fellow?

Successful applicants are willing to fully commit themselves and engage in all training and development opportunities and volunteer activities. They will work to develop professional relationships with CJPAC staff and guest speakers, as well as other Fellows.

In order to get the most out of the Fellowship experience it is important to have a number of interests and extra-curricular activities. However, our experience has shown that those who are over committed tend not to be able to give the Fellowship the focus it requires and therefore they miss out on the opportunities the program provides.

Does the program cover all of the costs to attend the five-day Ottawa conference?

Yes. CJPAC covers the cost of travel to and from Ottawa (flights or train travel). We cover all meals (provided by a kosher caterer) and accommodation during the conference. All participants, including those who reside in Ottawa will stay at the hotel for the entire duration of the conference. We do not cover the cost of taxis from your home to point of departure (airport or train station) or from arrival/departure in Ottawa from the airport or train station to the hotel. We do not pay for travel for Ottawa-based Fellows between their home and the hotel. However, if paying for taxi transportation will prove financially onerous special exceptions may be made.

What happens if I am unavailable for one of the Ottawa conference dates?

Participation in all five days of the Ottawa conference is mandatory. You must be available from 5:00pm on the Wednesday until Sunday at 4:00pm, plus any travel required to meet the start and end times of the conference.

Am I required to attend all Fellow training/events throughout the year?

Participation in all Sunday night conference calls is required. There are no opportunities to makeup missed training or events. Should there be a conflict with work obligations or serious personal circumstances, please speak with the Director, Eleanor Millar, in advance. Please note that absences from training/events without reasonable explanation may result in your removal from the program. As any of our CJPAC Fellow Alum would attest, it is  a privilege to participate in the program, we expect you to treat it as such.

What are the important dates for the application process and 2017-2018 Fellowship program?

Fellowship applications are due October 2, 2017. The Fellowship program will begin on October 22, 2017 and end on May 6, 2018. The Fellowship Conference is Wednesday November 8-Sunday November 12, 2017. The Sunday night conference call schedule will follow.

Am I still eligible to apply if I do not have political experience?

Yes, however the strongest applications will have at least a few hours of political experience.

If I didn’t get accepted this year am I eligible to apply next year?

Yes. There are only 46 spots available each year so competition is fierce for the CJPAC Fellowship Program. Unsuccessful applicants are always invited to ask for suggestions on how to improve their application for next year. Through volunteering, participation in events (both political and CJPAC) and additional training you can improve your political and leadership skills which will certainly make your application stronger the following year.

What personal traits are you looking for in a CJPAC Fellow?

We are looking for diversity. We are looking for Fellows with strong communication and interpersonal skills, who are eager to learn, committed to respectful interaction and dialogue with people from different political parties and beliefs and who are willing to generously commit their time and energies to political involvement, as well as involvement with CJPAC and the pro-Israel community.