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Jewish Teen Foundations Impact Report A program of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Celebrating a Landmark Achievement

2004 - 2012 9 years, 500 teens, over $1 million granted to nonprofits in the Bay Area, Israel, and worldwide

Jewish Teen Foundations address issues locally, in Israel, and around the world

Countries where teens have distributed grants

The causes teens support include:

Creating a culture of giving for the next generation

As a parent…

I am humbled and inspired by the powerful transformations our Jewish teens experience when they go through this program. Their journey is transcendent and leaves me with the hope for a better world that only youthful commitment can inspire. For the past nine years, on a weekend in late November, 100 nervous adolescents in new business attire walk into a hotel, kicking off their membership and commitment to the Jewish Teen Foundations for one year. Each joins with a desire to make a difference, but most have no clue what a room Sue Schwartzman full of Jewish teens with a common purpose can ignite. Director of Philanthropic Education First-year participants are guided by returning teens, ready to teach their peers how collective effort and individual fundraising translate into real and profound impact – water systems for entire communities, school scholarships for needy kids, medicine and proper nutrition for ailing Holocaust survivors, help for impoverished Jewish babies in Argentina, and a brighter future through education for children who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks of poverty.

“It is probably one of the most worthwhile activities our daughter has participated in. It not only helped her to further develop a sense of empathy, but taught her how to turn empathy into positive action.”

Believing that you can change the world – and then actually doing it – not only instills confidence in teens, it transforms who they are as adults. I am grateful to the Federation and our many funders who had the foresight to invest in this innovative program and who continues to support it today. And I am blessed to have taken this journey with 500 teens, amazing staff, and nonprofit partners. These teens are my moral compass. May their stories and accomplishments inspire us all to fulfill our philanthropic potential.

– Cheryl

As a participant…

“The Jewish Teen Foundations acted as a stepping stone for understanding how philanthropy and grant-making work in the real world. It was incredibly powerful to see what impact we, as a group of teens, had on issues that we deemed important.” – Allison

One Alumna’s journey to discovering her passion I do not know even where to begin or how to express the importance of the Jewish Teen Foundations on my life. Starting with the JTF board from 8th grade onwards, this experience has been one of, if not the most important thing for helping me find my personal interest and think critically.

“Teens step up when they are entrusted with responsibility.”

The Teen Foundations provided me a place to interact with adults as peers, and I owe a lot of my personal growth to the program. It made me step back and think about what my role – as a Jew and as a global citizen – was and is in the larger worldwide community. I had to think about ways to integrate my Jewish values into projects that are bigger than just the Jewish community. The Teen Foundations helped me find what I am passionate about. This year, I am starting a job in Malawi where I will be running an evaluation of a project that reduced barriers to accessing savings accounts. I could not be more excited to be part of an organization working to measure effectiveness. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today without the Teen Foundation. Rachel Levenson, JTF alumna

Where is Rachel today? Rachel focused her university studies on international development in Africa. She conducted research over the course of four months in Uganda, which ultimately led to her thesis. She participated in American Jewish World Service learning in Nicaragua and Uganda, and studied in Senegal where she perfected her French. Rachel spent a year at Oxford studying international development. Today, Rachel is a Wesleyan University graduate, who has opened a donor advised fund at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund and has pledged to give at least 10% of her income to charities until her retirement.

“I will bring forward the skills I have learned, but also a stronger understanding of the world, its conflicts, and its peoples.” – Leah JTF board member

“You can look at a list of twenty Jewish values in Sunday school and it’s just that, a list of great values. But doing this work has actually made those values a physical, tangible experience.” – Ryan JTF board member

Instilling teens with the skills needed for life-long activism and philanthropy Philanthropy requires training, experience, and a commitment to tzedakah (justice). The Jewish Teen Foundations (JTF) offer select groups of Bay Area Jewish teens (9th-11th grade) the opportunity to explore Jewish values, address social justice issues, develop leadership skills, and practice informed and directed philanthropy. The participants make a one-year commitment to serve on one of the four Jewish Teen Foundations (North Peninsula, South Peninsula, Marin/San Francisco, and East Bay). This responsibility includes attending a weekend retreat and seven, youth-led Sunday board meetings. Guided by a talented group of staff, teens learn how to fundraise, distribute grants, and run their own nonprofit foundations. As a program of the Bay Area Jewish Community Federations, our teens gain access to resources, expertise, and opportunities, as well as share in the mission and work of these philanthropic institutions. The JTF exposes Bay Area teens to local and worldwide social, political, economic, and environmental issues. It also introduces them to a variety of on-the-ground organizations working to address these issues. From runaway San Francisco youth, to a Darfur refugee’s journey to Israel, to the atrocities in the Congo and elderly Ukrainian Jews living on $2 a day – the intent is to create awareness, deepen their commitment to social action, and empower them through responsibility and decision-making. Within the process, teens find real joy in giving.

Organizations funded The Jewish Teen Foundations are proud to have funded over 100 nonprofit organizations*. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

A Child’s Right A Glimmer of Hope Advancement for Rural Kids A.H.A.V.A. Magen David Adom American Jewish World Service American Nicaraguan Foundation Arava Institute Art of Yoga Ashok Gadgil Research Laboratory, UC Berkeley Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program Bedouin Women’s Embroidery Project Beit Issie Shapiro Ben Shemen Blue Planet Network Bread Project buildOn Canal Alliance Center for Independent Living Charity: Water College Track Direct Relief International Earth Justice Eastside College Preparatory School East Meets West Foundation Ecumenical Hunger Program ELI Enrich the World Freedom From Hunger Fresh Lifelines for Youth Friends by Nature Yad b’Yad (Hand in Hand) Heal Africa Heartland Alliance

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society Herschel Center Himalayan Cataract Project Holocaust Center of Northern California The Hunger Project I Have a Dream International Rescue Committee Israel Union for Environmental Defense Israel Venture Network Jaffa Institute Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center Jewish Agency for Israel Jewish Coalition for Literacy Jewish Community Free Clinic of Sonoma County Jewish Family and Children’s Services Jewish Heart for Africa Jewish Home of San Francisco American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) Jewish National Fund Jewish World Watch Journeys Within Our Community Life Learning Academy Lift Up Africa Living Compassion Malaria No More Meir Panim Midrasha of the East Bay Migdal Ohr The Mosaic Project mothers2mothers Nepal Youth Foundation Nomad Foundation

• North American Conference of Ethiopian Jews • One Family Fund • Polish American Jewish Alliance for Youth Action • PlayPumps International • Real Options for City Kids • Resource Foundation • Reut Sderot • Riders for Health • Riekes Center • Room to Read • Sexto Sol • Shelter Network • The Sierra Club • Sociedad Israelita de Beneficencia de Mendoza • Solar Electric Light g Fund

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Sumba Foundation Sustainable Cambodia TanzSolar Tel Hai Academic College Tibet Fund Trailblazer Foundation Trips for Kids The Vaccine Fund Verde Partnership Garden Vitamin Angels Water Partners International World Medical Fund USA World ORT Yad Sarah Yemin Orde Youth Renewal Fund

*This is a partial listing.

Here are some examples of our impact Partnering with: • Jewish Heart for Africa and utilizing Israeli solar technology, our teens have powered a school, an orphanage, and two medical clinics and provided refrigeration for vaccines. • Yemin Orde (an Israeli youth village serving adolescent survivors of trauma and displacement), our teens have funded a volunteer project, a learning center, rebuilt their water system after a devastating fire, and supported a post-high school preparation program. • Friends by Nature, our teens supported two years of a community garden project for Ethiopian Israelis that fostered a connection between the youth and elderly, provided nourishment, and ultimately led residents to take pride in their local community. • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, our teens provided medical assistance and vaccines to impoverished Jewish babies and children in Argentina and funded three water wells in Ethiopia.

Measuring success Over the course of our nine years, the Jewish Teen Foundations have conducted both qualitative and quantitative studies on the impact of our programs on teens and families. The results highlight the program’s success in developing leadership skills, enhancing Jewish identity, and increasing awareness of local, Jewish and global problems. We are proud to be a leader in establishing a set of best practices in the field of youth philanthropy.


of parents said that JTF had a strong or extremely strong impact on their teens.


of participants say that they apply the leadership and grantmaking skills they learned in the program to other endeavors.


of participants said they left the program understanding more about Jewish organizations that help the world.

The Jewish Teen Foundations timeline 2006: The Marin JTF was launched with support from the Federation and other generous funders. A total of $91,500 was raised by the three Teen Foundations. The JTF won the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

2004: The South Peninsula pilot board and the East Bay Teen Foundation were established. They raised a total of $23,200, which was granted to six organizations dedicated to improving quality of life through education and eradicating hunger.


2006 2005

2005: Building on the momentum of the first year’s program, the 2005 JTF participants raised more than $36,250, which was distributed to 19 different nonprofit organizations. John and Marcia Goldman created an endowment for the South Peninsula JTF.

2008 2007

2007: The Federation and other funders helped launch two additional Teen Foundations in the North Peninsula region and in San Francisco, doubling program participation in a single year. A total of $95,501 was raised by the five Teen Foundations.

2012: In its 9th year, our landmark program raised $220,000 reaching over a million dollars granted by over 500 teens to more than 100 nonprofit organizations practicing tikkun olam.

2010: A philanthropist endowed the Marin/SF Jewish Teen Foundation, ensuring that it will exist in perpetuity. That year $177,856 was raised.

2008: The Marin and SF JTF merged in the fall of 2008. More than 150 organizations submitted grant proposals for teen board review and selection. That year a total of $204,011 was raised.

2010 2009 2009: The JTF was named Program of the Year by the Jewish Community Federation and noted in the June 2009 San Francisco Magazine cover story, “In Good We Trust, Ideas Changing the World.� A total of $168,206 was raised by the Teen Foundations.

2012 2011 2011: Marin/SF region launches first-ever Alumni Council, in which program graduates spread their philanthropic knowledge to the community by teaching in schools, synagogues, and creating a national network of teen philanthropists. A total of $194,129 was raised.

An optimist and an activist I try to keep myself busy. I run track & field. I’m a leader of my school’s Jew Crew, Model United Nations team, and Eco-Council. I am also passionate about photography and love the outdoors. I first heard about the Jewish Teen Foundations at a program fair at my synagogue, and was immediately interested because it was a way for me to make a difference in my community. The more I read about it, the more interested I became, and so I decided to apply.

“If 22 Jewish teens can help at-risk youth on the streets of Tel Aviv, anything is possible.”

JTF is a group of teens that raise money to work towards solving a certain issue in the world. We choose a cause – any problem that needs solving – and spend months writing letters and making phone calls to raise money. Then we review grant proposals and choose five or six great nonprofits to receive grants. By learning about the issues that face us and the groups working to solve them, I see the world through the lens of an activist and an optimist. If 22 Jewish teens in San Francisco can help at-risk youth on the streets of Tel Aviv, anything is possible. What I have been most surprised by is how many people are willing to support a worthy cause. It gives me hope that so many people, even in these economic conditions, want to help in any way they can. Consensus, leadership, and outreach are some important life skills I will definitely take away from the Jewish Teen Foundation and will be able to apply in college and beyond. I know I will look back on this experience with pride, and view it as a reminder that a small group of dedicated people really can change the world! Ari Goldstein, JTF board member

Jewish Teen Foundations in the headlines For the past nine years, the JTF has been featured in various online and print publications, distinguishing themselves from a myriad of other youth philanthropy programs across the country.

Skills JTF board members acquire

• Fundraising

What makes this program unique? The JTF offers a tangible way for teens to practice tikkun olam in order to make a significant impact in the world. • The JTF’s are based on a youth empowerment model. Teens work with local and global nonprofit leaders and innovative philanthropists.

• Creating mission statements • Evaluating grant proposals • Vetting nonprofit organizations • Allocating funds

• Board members make all decisions by consensus, a throught-provoking and challenging group process that ensures every voice is heard.

• Consensus decision-making

• Program alumni are some of the first in the field to design curricula and educate the broader community about the principles and practice of youth-led philanthropy.

• Researching

• Each year, our teens raise more money than any other Jewish youth philanthropy program in the world to support the causes they care about.

• Meeting, planning, and facilitating • Event planning

A chance to do good I first heard about JTF from a good friend and I ended up joining because I wanted to meet Jewish teens who had similar interests. It’s a way to raise money for all sorts of important issues that need to be addressed throughout the world. It’s also a way for teenagers to develop fundraising skills, working to make important decisions that most teens don’t get an opportunity to make. In the final meeting, when we make the official decisions of where the money is going and how many projects we’re funding, as the meeting leader, I had to listen to a group of 24 teens and do my best to help the group come to a consensus on where the grants would go.

Andrew Gerson, JTF alumnus

“Participating has definitely helped me figure out what my Jewish identity is.”

Before I was on teen board, I was a loud voice in the group, and afterwards, I learned to be present in a different way. I’m not the main voice, but facilitate groups instead. It’s more rewarding. Participating has definitely helped me figure out what my Jewish identity is. I want to serve my community in a way I wouldn’t have wanted to before. I also recruited three close friends, who today have significantly benefited from the program. I see how much teenagers can grow from this experience. You can see someone completely change from who they were, and you’ve helped that happen, that’s awesome!

Where is Andrew today? Andrew is attending summer courses at Stanford and entering UCLA in the fall. He is still involved in the Jewish Teen Foundations by helping to staff retreats and takes part in interviewing candidates for the Foundation program director positions. A Giants baseball fan and movie buff, his career goals include making films one day.

“It's remarkable to see what happens when the students realize that their choices are between a new iPhone or iPad, and then they meet people who have to decide which child to feed.” – Jackie parent of JTF board member

“When we met the Jewish Teen Foundations, we had never gotten a penny from a teenager. Thanks to [their leadership], word spread and now we've been able to do a lot of good as a result.” – Jewish Heart for Africa JTF Grantee

The Future of the Jewish Teen Foundations Building on the success of the past nine years, our goals for the future include: • Increasing philanthropic and educational opportunities for Jewish Teen Foundation families; • Expanding opportunities for program alumni to share their experience and knowledge about philanthropy; • Creating a powerful and engaged alumni network in order to continue this work; • Securing long-term funding to ensure the continuity of the North Peninsula and East Bay Teen Foundations.

Realizing I could make a difference I first heard about the JTF at my synagogue’s teen involvement fair. I remember hearing about the program, and knowing that it was something I could definitely envision myself being a part of. This experience has taught me that, even as an individual in a world of close to seven billion, I can make a difference. From the time I was little, I have been taught that, but never really believed it until I became a part of JTF. I realized that it is totally possible to make an impact on the world, and as an active member of the Jewish community, I feel it is an obligation to continue this philanthropic work in any and every way possible.

Hallie Goldstein, JTF board member

“Often adults will overlook your potential and might not always take you seriously. However, throughout this process, we have met with dozens of adults from various nonprofits who have taken us very seriously – and it feels good!”

The most interesting thing I discovered by participating is that adults will take you more seriously in the nonprofit world than I had previously expected. Often adults will overlook your potential and might not always take you seriously. However, throughout this process, we have met with dozens of adults from various nonprofits who have taken us very seriously – and it feels good! I plan to use the knowledge I gained involving nonprofits, budgets, overhead, impact, and reliability throughout my life. I plan to be someone who stays involved and connected in my community and in the greater Jewish community as well, whether it is monetarily or through service. Despite feeling very satisfied about my fundraising, I am still a firm believer in practicing tikkun olam through service as well.

The work of the Jewish Teen Foundations would not be possible without the generous support of many families and individuals The Youth Philanthropy Initiative and the Jewish Teen Foundations of the North Peninsula, South Peninsula, San Francisco/Marin, and the East Bay are sponsored by the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties (JCF), in cooperation with the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay, and with the support of many generous funders over the last nine years: An anonymous funder* who is endowing the M/SF JTF John and Marcia Goldman* who have endowed the SPJTF Laura and Gary Lauder Philanthropic Fund* Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies** Alexander M. and June L. Maisin Foundation** Morton and Amy Friedkin Supporting Foundation† Jim Joseph Foundation L and R Lawrence Family Foundation** Sandy and Jean Colen Family Foundation† Fanny Bess Philanthropic Fund* Stanley S. Langendorf Jewish Fund** Breetwor-Evans Philanthropic Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Jewish Teen Funders Network David and Mary Cohn Charitable Trust Diana Grand Philanthropic Fund† Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund Alijon Charitable Trust* Warren and Barbi Lazarow Philanthropic Fund* Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation The Schwartzman Family Philanthropic Fund* The Mildred Tillman Teen Philanthropy Fund* The Kohn Fund**

Shoresh Foundation† Herbert and Marianne Friedman Family Philanthropic Fund† The Etrog Fund 2 Milton and Sophie Meyer Fund† Diane and Howard Zack Philanthropic Fund* Nanci and Gary Fredkin* Richard and Lindsay Ehrman Stacy Mason and Tod Cohen Milton and Sophie Meyer Fund† The Piser Family Matthew and Shelly Stein Philanthropic Fund* Maurice Kanbar Charitable Trust* Serena and Lily Foundation Newt Harband Leslie Family Foundation Frederick J. Isaac Philanthropic Fund† Steirman Family Philanthropic Fund* Dana Corvin and Harris Weinberg Philanthropic Fund* Rothenberg Family Philanthropic Fund* The Libitzky Family Foundation† Zoe and Dan Scheinman Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hurst Joshua and Siobhan Korman Philanthropic Fund

Susan Lowenberg and Joyce Newstat Dana Cohen and Jeff Simon Len and Roberta Cohn Family Philanthropic Fund† Ellen and Jerry Saliman Selma and Stanford Tandowsky Jay Cohen June Cooperman The Purple Lady Ann and Irwin Bear Adam Greenstone Bob and Valli Benesch Tandler Philanthropic Fund* Terry and Suzan Kramer† All Voices Welcome Fund† Julie and Todd Kaye Traeger-Muney Philanthropic Fund

Funders as of June 2012 Due to space limitations, this is a partial listing. Additional grants and contributions continue to be accepted. ** denotes a supporting foundation of the JCF * denotes a fund of the JCF † denotes

a fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay

Staff members working on the Jewish Teen Foundations over the past nine years include Phyllis Cook, Judy Bloom, Mark Reisbaum, Amy Rabbino, Sue Schwartzman, Rabbi Serena Eisenberg, Sheila Devore, Sara Nesson, Gilad Salmon, Elana Isaacs, Loal Isaacs, Lisa Tabak, Rabbi James Brandt, Caroline Poland, Michelle Schechtman, Sarah Grossman-Kahn, Anya Schulz, Simon Shachter, Rachel Levenson, Ariel Kurland, Allison Hargreaves, Laura Ruth Rheinheimer, Emily Schoenfeld-Blum, and many others on the JCF staff.

“Our long-term success as a Jewish community depends on cultivating Jewish leaders. The Jewish Teen Foundations are a cornerstone of our work.” – Jennifer Gorovitz Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, CEO

For more information about the Jewish Teen Foundations call 415.512.6263 and visit


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Jewish Teen Foundations Impact Report  

The first 9 years of JTF

Jewish Teen Foundations Impact Report  

The first 9 years of JTF

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