Shaping The Future of Jewish Arts

The Braid’s NEXT Emerging Artist Program is a unique and groundbreaking paid fellowship that provides professional development, networking opportunities and a platform for directors, writers and other creatives in their 20s and 30s who want to shape Jewish cultural arts. Each year, a group of six to eight new artists is selected through an application process to serve in a cohort that works together over a nine-month period to create a NEW Salon Theatre production.

NEXT has supported 40 paid fellowships who have engaged 245 emerging artists in creating new work. Click Here to view our alumni.

Meet our 2022-2023 NEXT Fellows

This talented group will curate the third Salon of The Braid’s 2023 season!

CASEY ADLER holds a BFA in Theater Performance and a minor in World Religions. As an actor, writer, educator, and theater producer, he has appeared on television, written for the stage and film, and organized community theater. He often mixes these varied interests with his passion for Jewish arts and culture as a creative director for TEATRON: A Festival of Jewish Theater. He enjoys reading 19th and 20th century history, engaging in discussion and debate around contemporary issues, playing basketball, and practicing Taekwondo.


DILLAN COHEN is originally from Boca Raton Florida, but one visit to Los Angeles three years ago led to Dillan realizing “West Coast Best Coast” was more than just a catchy rhyme and he’s been lucky to call this creative outlet of a city home ever since. From teaching theater in Shanghai, to learning Muay Thai in Thailand to studying Torah in the holy city of Jerusalem, Dillan is passionate about immersive experiences, self growth and capturing the poetry hidden in the small moments all around us. Having danced between tech and the arts for most of his career, Dillan is finally diving headfirst into the literary world. A big believer in the power of the stage and the journey one can take an audience with nothing more than the right words spoken at the right time, Dillan couldn’t be more excited and honored to be rolling up his playwriting sleeves and joining The Braid as a Next Literary Fellow. 

GENEVIEVE FOWLER is a Chicago and LA based director whose multidisciplinary performance works act as a liminal space – weaving together memories of the past, present, and future – to discover ways in which our current reality is questioned and sanguine futures are dreamed on.  This practice revolves around radically inclusive, community based work and socially minded critiques of the classics for a contemporary audience. She has worked with The Kennedy Center, REDCAT Theater, The Tank Center for Sonic Arts, The Center for New Performance, California Institute for the Arts, The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Lookingglass Theater, Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Big Bridge Consortium, Heritage Arts Company, The Special Olympics of Illinois, the senior citizen musical theater troupe Still Acting Up. Genevieve is a company member of Collaboraction Theater Company and artistic associate with Medina Theater Collective. As part of her social justice work Genevieve holds the position of Program Associate with ArtChangeUS. Genevieve holds an MFA in Directing from the CalArts School of Theater and a BA from Vassar College.

SHIRA GORELICK is a writer, producer, and educator who grew up in New York and New Jersey. She values injecting vulnerability and authenticity into storytelling as a way to explore perspectives, heighten consciousness, and expand empathy. She has worked in writer’s rooms for TV shows on HBO, HBOMax, Showtime, and Amazon Studios. This past year, she associate produced a documentary called A Feminist Lens: The Art of Activism of Photographer Joan Roth. She writes for the Jewish Feminist publication Lilith Magazine and teaches 1st graders at Nefesh’s spiritual education program Makom. She loves photography, nature, naps, and psychobabble.  

JORDAN HERSKOWITZ is a comedy writer, director, and educator. Born and raised in Texas, Jordan received his BA in Theatre with a minor in Judaic Studies from The University of Tulsa. Following graduation, Jordan toured with his award-winning autobiographical one-man show, Growing Up Jordy Pordy, across the US, UK, and South Africa. While on tour, Jordan founded Richie’s Spirit Foundation, a non-profit promoting organ donation in memory of his younger brother and double-lung transplant recipient, Richie. After his tour, Jordan taught Theatre at Golda Och Academy, a Jewish day school in NJ. What was supposed to be a one-year gig turned into 11 incredible years with a variety of leadership roles, including Arts Department Chair, Dean of Students, and Upper School Principal. In 2021, Jordan moved to LA with his dreams and a cardigan to pursue screenwriting. He is an avid yogi, ice cream enthusiast, and Kelly Clarkson’s #1 fan.

STACEY WEINGARTEN is an Emmy-winning director, writer, producer, and puppet artist who’s worked everywhere from Sesame Street to Avenue Q, with everyone from The Muppets to Julie Andrews. Through Chinese Mother Jewish Daughter LLC she develops projects that explore social awareness through entertainment, and was represented Off-Broadway last season as writer/director of Rescue Rue, a musical fairytale inspired by her dog’s adoption. Stacey is consulting creative

producer, series director, and contributing writer for Reading Buddies (PBS), co-creator of Monica’s Mixing Bowl (Independent) and Cone of Shame (Handmade Puppet Dreams). Other favorites include LUDOʼs Broken Bride, time-travelinʼ sci-fi rock opera; 5th Republic, a chanson-infused historical fiction; Madame, a 1890s gender-affirming Storyville tale; and spirits – the bar plays, a shorts series based on real-life. A former Dramatist Guild Fellow, Stacey teaches puppetry at Pace University, serves as the LA Chapter President of the Children’s Media Association, and promises not to put puppets in anything unless it’s appropriate.

DAPHNA SHULL is is a four-time NEXT Fellow, literary manager, and writer. She received her bachelor’s degree in media production from Florida State University. After graduating in 2014, she headed West to pursue a career in screenwriting and the arts. Daphna now works as The Braid’s Creative Associate and produces Sundays with The Braid events.  She previously served as a museum educator for the Cayton’s Children’s Museum.


“The NEXT Fellowship is a rare opportunity — in Los Angeles, an artist gets thrown into the deep end to sink or swim. The nurturing and respect we receive at the Braid allows us to become the best versions of our artist selves.” -Recent Fellow

“It is invaluable as an emerging artist to have programs that guide in the creation of art, not just praise work that has already been completed. In this way, this fellowship allows us to grow and learn in a supportive environment guided by experts in their craft. That each fellow is invited to stretch their skills and to share our strengths with others, makes for a collaborative, enriching environment that is hard to find elsewhere.” -Recent Fellow

For other questions or more information, contact:
Daphna Shull, The Braid’s Creative Producer & NEXT Coordinator:

Pushing the Boundaries

We work with artists from all mediums to push our storytelling into the digital space! Here is a filmed piece from our 2019 salon, The Way Home…

Where Jewish Artists Collaborate

Hear from our 2018/19 cohort on the AudioNosh Podcast! What happens when you bring together the next generation of Jewish theatre artists under one roof?

Hear what audiences, writers, past and present Fellows, and contributing artists have to say about NEXT!

Here’s more of what Fellows have appreciated:

“NEXT is important for the arts because young artists need to see how art institutions are working and to understand where they came from to be able to move forward and create our own art more effectively.”
-Vicki, 2016-2018 Fellow and Digital Producer Consultant

“…I most appreciated that everyone got to have a voice in this group.”
-Devan, 2017-2018 Fellow

“NEXT has informed me what’s really important about storytelling.”
-Chelsea, 2016-2017 Fellow and Actor in 2018

“I think trying to figure out your identity within your community and being able to incorporate art within that, it helps me to figure out who I am.”
-Daphna, 2016-2018 Fellow and now Artistic Associate of The Braid

“In the arts so often our peers are our competitors, here it was so refreshing they were my collaborators”
-Sarah, 2017-2018 Fellow

This program is generously supported by grants from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los County Department of Arts and Culture, and Erwin Rautenberg Foundation. We are also grateful for generous suppo