Press release on the 2010 program

Published on by rothschild


Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship to grow and nurture a transatlantic network of social entrepreneurs that spans cultural lines

NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A groundbreaking initiative that brings Jewish and Muslim social entrepreneurs together to collaborate on finding innovative solutions to socio-economic challenges like healthcare, gender inequality and education disparities kicks off July 5, 2010 at Columbia Business School in New York City. The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship & Cross Cultural Network is the only program in the world that works to improve Jewish-Muslim relations by building a transatlantic network of innovators who all strive to apply business-driven tools to create sustainable social change. Part of the program's objective is to test a model for bridging the divide that exists between conflicting communities.

The intensive two-week program, sponsored by the New York-based Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, in partnership with faculty from Columbia Business School and the University of Cambridge, consists of three components:

  • Business training in skills like raising capital, marketing and assessing the social impact of a project;
  • Cutting-edge scholarship in history and politics between Jews and Muslims, including contemporary Islamism and Zionism;
  • Facilitated workshops to address cross-cultural challenges.


There is also a social component, in which the participants will visit religious sites and other venues in New York City.

"Globalization has made countries more interdependent than ever before in human history, but rather than creating bonds between cultures, it has provoked a reactive 'retrenchment' of cultural identity," says Firoz Ladak, the Executive Director of the Edmond and Benjamin de Rothschild Foundations. "Our program aims to address the tensions between communities – in this case, Jewish and Muslim – by encouraging collaboration in solving society's most pressing problems."

This year's 24 AdR Fellows were accepted into the program on the strength of their business plans, among other criteria. They include Rachel Maryles, creator of religious diversity training modules for hospitals and health care providers in the U.S.; Jonah Canner, founder of Fertile Grounds, an organization that provides non-traditional learning opportunities for at-risk youth in America's inner cities; Ali Ansary, the Afghan-American founder of SeventyK, an organization dedicated to improving cancer care for young adults ages 15-39; Jonathan Myara-Weisz, the French creator of, an interactive news website for young citizen-journalists; and Mussurut Zia, leader of Practical Solutions, a center that counsels women in the U.K. who have been forced into marriage or live in fear of honor killings.

"Academics should not hide away in ivory towers and wait for global division and conflicts to be resolved by someone else," says Professor Gareth Stedman, the Fellowship's faculty director from King's College, Cambridge. "We should be actively driving world change forwards by applying our knowledge and ideas in a practical way."

The program's faculty director at Columbia Business School, Bruce Kogut, the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Professor of Leadership and Ethics, said the new crop of students "show great promise." He noted that the School's "expertise in socially conscious businesses allows us to impart the 2010 AdR fellows with the skills they need to grow their enterprises."

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