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New York, December 20, 2023 – In a testament to the power of forging connections and building bridges, the JCRC’s BridgesNY Fellowship celebrated its first cohort of young leaders at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The event, held on December 19, 2023, marked the conclusion of a leadership-building and mentoring program aimed at nurturing individuals interested in political office or leading organizations with diverse memberships.

The gathering brought together a diverse cohort of young New Yorkers, reflecting the city’s multicultural tapestry. Rabbi Bob Kaplan, the founder of the initiative and Director of Center for Shared Society, expressed pride in the accomplishments of the first cohort. “This event speaks to accomplishment, leadership, joy, connectivity, inspiration, and hope,” Rabbi Kaplan remarked. “JCRC and our Center for Shared Society are extremely proud of our first cohort of this remarkable fellowship designed to identify the next generation of political leadership for our city, state, and nation and give them the tools to ensure a better future for all.”

The event featured eloquent testimonies from participants, underlining the transformative impact of the BridgesNY Fellowship. The young leaders shared their journeys, aspirations, and the sense of purpose instilled by the program. Adama Bah, one of the BridgesNY fellows, expressed gratitude, saying, “As our fellowship reaches its conclusion, we eagerly embark on new journeys, each filled with hope and purpose. Heartfelt thanks to the Bridges NY Fellowship and the inspiring Rabbi Bob Kaplan for illuminating our path with wisdom.”

Sheikh Musa Drammeh, a respected New York community interfaith leader and guest at the event, emphasized the significance of such programs in fostering peace and coexistence in the city. “JCRC’s BridgesNY is an example of how moderate investments in smart programs can yield high rates of returns in building peace, improving quality of life, maintaining public safety and the attainment of peaceful coexistence. Thanks to Rabbi Bob Kaplan and JCRC,” remarked Sheikh Musa Drammeh.

The closing gathering at the Museum of Jewish Heritage echoed with themes of accomplishment, leadership, and the promise of a brighter future. As the BridgesNY Fellows bid farewell to this phase of their journey, the event stood as a testament to the success of programs that invest in nurturing the leaders of tomorrow.

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