November 25, 2014
Letter from Steve Weintraub
Subject: Branching Streams Fellowship Program
Dear Branching Streams Leaders,
I am very pleased to let you know of the new Fellowship Program that San Francisco Zen Center is initiating. One of the needs that numerous Affiliate sanghas have expressed over the years is for “in person” leadership and support from senior, trained individuals currently practicing at SFZC. And, on the other hand, there is the developmental usefulness for those senior, trained individuals to have experience teaching and working outside of our three main SFZC practice places. The Fellowship Program is designed to help fill these needs and be mutually beneficial. The general idea is to have individuals who are practicing at SFZC go to an Affiliate for a period of time, to act in a teaching and/or support capacity. Part of the funding SFZC received in the recent, successful capital campaign, was to support a program such as this.
I have attached two documents that give details and specifics on the Fellowship Program. One is a Visiting Teacher Fellowship Program, the other, a Sangha Support Fellowship Program. They are similar but not the same. A Visiting Teacher Fellow would generally be someone more experienced than a Sangha Support Fellow, and thus would have more independent authority. In both cases, financial support for the Fellow is shared by the inviting sangha and SFZC; and we are hoping that SFZC’s taking on a share of the financial support will make the invitation of a Fellow more feasible. Please see the attached documents for more details.
This is just the beginning of this program, and we are excited to see what uses may be made, by you, of this new resource. Also, as this is a new program, the documents attached give you a general sense of guidelines, but some adjustments may be necessary for any given particular sangha. The program is open and available to all the Branching Streams Affiliate sanghas.
In writing this letter, then, I have two intentions:
1 – To let you know of this new program. And please feel free to write me with questions for further clarification.
2 – To invite you, if you would like to participate in the program and invite a Fellow, to write a “letter of interest” to me, about how you would imagine you could work with such a Fellow at your sangha. We don’t currently have a formal application document or process. But, if you are interested, let me know with such a letter of interest.
Please send me the letter (Steve Weintraub, c/o San Francisco Zen Center, 300 Page Street, San Francisco, 94102) by January 15, 2015. Once we’ve accrued all the requests, I will review them with the SFZC Central Abbess, and others, to make a decision about Fellowships that we can offer in this coming year.
In this first year we have the possibility to fund up to two full time Fellows.
Again, I am very glad that we are able to initiate this program that can begin to meet these long felt needs, and be developmental both for the sanghas and the individual Fellows involved.
With warm regards,