Fellowship Programme

The René Cassin – AJA Fellowship Programme (RCFP) brings together a cohort of exceptional professionals to explore human rights issues through a unique Jewish lens.

What does the RCFP entail?

  • Five knowledge based evening sessions looking at current human rights issues.
  • A trip to European city.
  • Four skills based evening sessions looking at the tools needed to make positive change.
  • A project using all of the above knowledge and skills to create change.

Who is the RCFP for?

The programme has no fixed age limit – the cohort benefits from a real mixture of age and experience. If you are interested in increasing your knowledge of human rights and Jewish visions of a just society, the RCFP is right for you.

What are the programme’s objectives?

  • To deepen and broaden participants’ knowledge and understanding of human rights principles and Jewish visions of a just society – through the study of Jewish experience and values and contemporary international human rights issues.
  • To galvanise a movement of Jewish social activists who will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to promote social justice and human rights in the UK.
  • To create a group of deeply committed human rights advocates who are actively involved in René Cassin’s campaigning and mobilisation work
    Religious observance.
  • René Cassin is a pluralist organisation, and we welcome applicants from all levels of religious observance. If you observe Shabbat or any level of kashrut, please let us know and we will be delighted to accommodate this.


Reflection on session 1

By Jade Weiner

The 2020 René Cassin-AJA Fellowship Programme began with an exciting and inspiring introductory session. The cohort comprises a diverse group of individuals who, while having a variety of professional and personal experience and expertise, all share the common passion for human rights and social justice.

The session began with an introduction to the mandate of the René Cassin organisation and the pillars of work that the organisation focuses on including; educating about and preventing against genocide, promoting equal rights for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, campaigning against an unfair asylum and detention sysyrm, tackling hate crime, promoting human rights in the UK and abolishing slavery and trafficking. These campaigns resonate so powerfully with the experiences of the Jewish people throughout history.

We learnt about the birth of human rights culminating in a series of legal instruments that are both domestically and internationally binding.  The work of Monsieur René Cassin, the organisation’s namesake, in pursuing a fairer and freer world is embodied in his drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This document, which is the most translated document in the world, helped to codify a universally protected legal, social and administrative standard for the treatment of all people.

The rights included in the UDHR include, the right to life, equality, dignity and protection from discrimination. Human Rights such as these are intrinsically linked to Jewish values and Jewish laws such as tikkun olam, tzedakah and loving our fellow.

Monsieur René Cassin, Hersch Lauterpacht, Raphael Lemkin and Ruth Bader Ginsberg are examples of extraordinary Jews who have contributed to the prosperity of global human rights through witnessing injustices and aspiring to fight against them.

With challenges facing human rights today, the René Cassin-AJA Fellowship Programme will work to promote human rights beyond the precepts of the law, into action. Through programmes, education, discussion, dialogue and engagement, human rights can be protected, promoted and fulfilled. It is imperative that modern day Jewry take to heart Hillel’s aphorism, of not only promoting and caring for the interests of our people, but all people, because “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I?”

René Cassin AJA Fellows go to Budapest!

The trip offered our Fellows the opportunity to learn about why Hungarian society has embraced nationalism, how its ascendance has affected human rights & its impact on organised civil society.

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2019 Fellows

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2018 Fellows

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2017 Fellows

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2015 Fellows

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2014 Fellows

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