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The nationally renowned CJPAC Fellowship Program is Canada’s premier political training program. Each year, the Fellowship Program trains 50 of the top pro-Israel, politically-engaged post-secondary students from across Canada to become the next generation of political leaders. It provides the opportunity for Fellows to enhance their understanding of all levels of government in Canada, build their networks and develop skills which will help them in their post-graduate careers.
This year the program will once again include a mandatory political conference in Ottawa in November where Fellows will meet with Members of Parliament, senior political strategists and receive advanced campaign training.
All Fellows must be pro-Israel and demonstrate a strong interest and some experience in Canadian politics. Over one-third of our alumni have gone on to work in political offices across levels of government. Click the video below to see what happened at the most recent Fellowship Conference.
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/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.
No, however, travel costs, room and board are paid for by CJPAC during the Fellowship conference.
The Fellowship program takes place over a full academic year, beginning early October through to the end of May. Please note that all applicants who are accepted must be available to attend the in-person conference in November with no exceptions. In addition to the conference there are bi-weekly Sunday night Zoom calls; the schedule will be published in November.
The process includes completing the application form (found on the CJPAC website), submitting short responses to questions and including an updated resume. Providing at least one political reference is strongly recommended, but not required. Political references could be an elected official, Senator, Candidate, campus club president, campaign team member or a director from an Electoral District Association.
Short listed candidates will be contacted for an interview, which could take place by phone, Zoom or in person. Successful applicants will be notified by mid September. Please note, only successful applicants will be contacted.
The Fellowship year begins with participating in the conference in November. There, 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 7:00pm EST. Participants are also required to create and execute a campus event to promote political engagement amongst their peers.
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.
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.
Participation in the November conference is mandatory.
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, Klara Mancini-Hupel, 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.
The Fellowship Conference is mid-November. The Sunday night conference call schedule will follow.
Yes, however the strongest applications will have at least a few hours of political experience.
Yes. There are only 50 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.
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.
Name: Zane Colt (Co-Chair), Fellow 2012-14
Occupation: Senior Government Relations Consultant at Extendicare
Where I live: Toronto
Fave CJPAC Memory: Being invited to celebrate Hanukkah at 24 Sussex Drive with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, all of the Ottawa Conservative Fellows were invited and it was an amazing opportunity.
Name: Matthew Cressatti, Fellow 2016-18
Occupation: Lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Where I live: Edmonton
Fave CJPAC Memory: Meeting other politically engaged students from across the country at the Fellowship conference.
Name: Eric Greenberg, Fellow 2014-15
Occupation: Development Officer at McGill University’s Faculty of Law
Where I live: Montreal
Fave CJPAC Memory: Rubbing elbows with all the politicians at the CJPAC ACTION parties!
Name: Kirpa Kaur Grewal, Fellow 2018-19
Occupation: Policy Analyst at the Public Health Agency of Canada
Where I live: Ottawa and Brampton
Fave CJPAC Memory: Reunions at the Fellowship conference during the Shabbat Dinner!
Name: McKenzie Kibler, Fellow 2014-15 and 2016-17
Occupation: Chief of Staff to Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education
Where I live: Edmonton
Fave CJPAC Memory: Either staying up all night to finish our campaign plan before presenting the next day or seeing my CJPAC colleagues from different political backgrounds working together to stop 2 BDS motions at McGill in the same year.
Name: Jessica Klasser, Fellow 2015-16
Occupation: Policy Analyst, Aviation Security, Transport Canada
Where I live: Ottawa
Fave CJPAC Memory: My favorite thing about my CJPAC experience was the lifelong friendships I made.
Name: Jeremiah Kopp (Co-Chair), Fellow 2012-14
Occupation: Associate at Kilmer Group
Where I live: Toronto
Fave CJPAC Memory: The lifelong friendships that came out of the Fellowship conferences.
Name: Paige MacPherson (Co-Chair), Fellow 2010-11
Occupation: Associate Director of Education Policy at the Fraser Institute
Where I live: Halifax
Something Fun: A photo of me once went viral in an article titled “This photo of Canada’s newest premier, tiny reporter is an absolute delight.” Google it- you won’t regret it!
Name: Jacob Morris, Fellow 2010-12
Occupation: Coordinator, Digital Media and Communications at AthletesCAN
Where I live: Welland
Fave CJPAC Memory: Meeting Ken Dryden at my first fellowship conference! That was when I realized that sports and politics were compatible career paths.
Name: Andrew Reeve, Fellow 2012-14
Occupation: Press Secretary and Communications Manager for the Official Opposition Caucus at the Legislative Assembly of BC
Where I live: Victoria
Fave CJPAC Memory: Getting to meet so many incredible like-minded political nerds and following their exciting lives and careers in the years since.
Name: Justin Shapiro, Fellow 2016-18
Occupation: Resident Physician, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Western University
Where I live: London, ON
Fave CJPAC Memory: The Shabbat dinners in Ottawa.
Name: Chip Smith, Fellow 2018-19
Occupation: Special Assistant (Issues Management), Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Where I live: Ottawa
Fave CJPAC Memory: It’s too hard to pick just one! Everything made it such an amazing experience!
Name: Sally Zhou, Fellow 2020-21
Occupation: Associate at Jenni Byrne & Associates
Where I live: Toronto
Fave CJPAC Memory: Meeting up with everyone from my year at Toronto before the 2022 Action Party, I have only most of the fellows online and it was great to finally meet them in person.
The CJPAC Fellowship Alumni Association Steering Committee was founded in 2020 by alumni Najva Amin and Zane Colt.
Our Alumni have gone on to do incredible things in politics and beyond.
If you’re a past or present participant of the Fellowship program, we’d love to hear about your experiences.