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 which brings together 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.
What criteria is needed to participate in the Fellowship program?
- Enrolled full-time or part-time in an undergraduate or graduate program at a Canadian post-secondary institution for both semesters of the 2020-2021 academic year;
- Canadian citizen or permanent resident; unfortunately we cannot accept exchange students;
- Available to attend all 3 days of the national virtual conference, no exceptions;
- Applicants cannot be employed in a political position at the federal or provincial level (i.e. the parliamentary or constituency office of an MP/MPP/MLA/MNA, Minister’s office or Party office headquarters), for more than 4 hours per week; unpaid volunteers in these offices will be considered.
What are the program dates?
The Fellowship program takes place over a full academic year, beginning in mid-October through to the beginning of May. Please note that all applicants who are accepted must be available to attend the three-day virtual conference in Ottawa (Sunday, November 15 to Tuesday, November 17, 2020) 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 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:
The Fellowship year begins with participating in a three-day virtual conference. At the conference, Fellows 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 get the most out of the experience?
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.
What happens if I am unavailable for one of the virtual conference dates?
Participation on all three days of the virtual conference is mandatory. You must be available from 5:00pm on the Sunday until Tuesday at 4:00pm.
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, Dovi Chein, 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 2020-2021 Fellowship program?
Fellowship applications are due September 14, 2020. The Fellowship Conference is Sunday, November 15 to Tuesday, November 17, 2020. 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.