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The Field of Jewish Teen Philanthropy

Jewish teen philanthropy programs provide teens with an opportunity to engage in hands-on philanthropy while learning the Jewish values of tzedakah, gemilut chasadim, and tikkun olam.

The field of Jewish teen philanthropy grew during the late 1990s as programs emerged at various Jewish institutions around the United States. Jewish teen philanthropy draws on many of the principles and programs that exist in the greater field of youth philanthropy, and helps students explore Jewish values, grow as Jewish leaders, and engage in building Jewish communities.

Jewish teen philanthropy programming goes beyond a simple tzedakah lesson or fundraising project. By engaging teens in collective philanthropic giving, these programs help youth to understand the Jewish obligation of tzedakah on a much deeper level. Jewish teen philanthropy operates through two types of programmatic models: collective teen foundations and individual giving programs.

Programs are housed in Jewish Community Centers, day schools, religious schools, synagogues, social service agencies, Jewish Federations, camps, and community foundations. Currently, there are 133 Jewish youth philanthropy programs for teens in the JTFN network. To see the complete listing of all programs, please view our network.

Several reports and publications about the impact of Jewish teen philanthropy have been published over the years, and are available for download in the resources section.




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