Apply for Kumi: Foundation

Kumi: Foundation is for Jewish teens (10th-12th graders) who want to interrupt racism, sexism, antisemitism, and other forms of oppression. Together, teens will explore justice and equity from a Jewish lens. 

This program covers foundational knowledge and skills to better understand how to identify and combat different manifestations of oppression. Kumi teaches teens frameworks and tools to interrupt oppression through hands-on activities, discussions, and community-building with other Jewish teens from across the country.  The program leverages community organizing and experiential education to create an environment where teens can explore their own identity and values, while learning about root causes of oppression in the world around us.

Kumi: Foundation will run from August to December 2024.

Now Accepting Applications

Kumi applications will remain open on a rolling basis now that the priority application period has ended.

Program Format

Kumi participants will engage in a four-day, in-person learning-intensive retreat  and monthly virtual Community of Practice sessions designed to support and deepen their learning.

In-Person Retreat – November 8-11 in Chicago

Kumi’s in-person retreat will focus on identity-building through two tracks: Jews of Color* Empowerment and Anti-Racist Allies.  In keeping with racial justice best-practices, these two tracks will be learning together and separately over the course of the experience to provide intentional and targeted support of their learning.

Virtual Community of Practice – September, October, December

Virtual Community of Practice sessions prepare participants for the in-person retreat through skill-building (like tolerating disagreement and building affinity space) and offer participants a space to process and plan to implement their new skills and knowledge post-retreat.

After Kumi: Foundation

Upon completing Kumi: Foundation, participants will be eligible for Kumi: Exploration, a new program for Spring 2025. This new opportunity will invite Kumi alumni to continue to build their Jewish justice identity.  Participants will use the history and present of an American city to make real-world connections to the topics they learned in Kumi.  Participants will spend time in experiential sessions like in Foundations, but also exploring a city, and meeting Jewish people doing justice work to start to imagine what their future will be!

*Jews of Color is an imperfect umbrella term that refers to Jewish people who also identify as people of color in an American race context, and we ask that only teens who identify as Jews of Color apply for this track.


You are eligible to apply for Kumi: Foundation if:

  • You identify as Jewish — Kumi is open to teens of all (and no) denominations and affiliations
  • You will be in 10th, 11th, or 12th grade in the 2024-25 school year
  • You are concerned about racism and antisemitism and want to join others to make a difference
  • You want to challenge yourself to learn and grow in a justice-minded Jewish community
  • You can attend the entire in-person retreat on November 8-11, 2024
  • You are committed to deepening your learning by attending three virtual sessions in September, October, and December

Not eligible for this cohort? Sign up to be notified when our application opens for the next cohort.

Program Fee

The fee to participate in Kumi is $500, which includes:

  • Valuable leadership and anti-oppression skill-building within a community of young Jews
  • Room and board for a four-day, in-person retreat
  • Local transportation to/from the retreat center
  • Three virtual community of practice sessions

Travel to Chicago is not included. Financial assistance is available, including travel subsidies. Financial resources should not be a barrier to participation, and requests for stipends can be made upon acceptance and registration.

Funding Partners

Kumi is made possible by support from the Shards of Light Foundation through the Isabel P. Dunst Philanthropic Fund,
a donor-advised fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington