The Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) is thrilled to announce the establishment of two new teen foundations launching in the fall of 2018 as a part of fourth cohort of the JTFN Foundation Board Incubator. Indianapolis, IN and Seattle, WA are the newest incubator communities, joining the 7 others: San Diego, California; Detroit, Michigan; Boston, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Toronto, Canada; and Melbourne, Australia, and Israel. Funded by Laura Lauder and the Maimonides Fund, the JTFN Foundation Board Incubator brings the success and impact of Jewish teen philanthropy programs across North America into cities around the world. “Both communities are poised to engage their next generation in learning, leadership and connection to their community where the opportunity for making an impact is limitless,” says Wayne Green, Director of the Jewish Teen Funders Network. Programs in the Foundation Board Incubator give teens an opportunity to participate in a group grantmaking process, consensus building, developing leadership skills, understanding authentic selves with personal and Jewish values, and learning the principles of strategic philanthropy.
The Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC) together with the Samis Foundation and the Bianco Family in Seattle, WA, is excited to announce the launch of GIFT, the Giving Initiative For Teens. “It’s a great acronym that speaks for itself: for the organizations that will be granted money, for the teens participating in the program, and for the community at large,” says Jessica Ost, Program Leader of GIFT. This SJCC program takes a fresh look at teen impact in the community, providing the program content and community leaders to teach young people how to identify areas of need, research with intention, give generously and measure impact. GIFT is a phenomenal addition to the teen service program SJCC has in place today. SJCC’s CEO Amy Lavin adds, “Philanthropy has always been central to Jewish life, making GIFT a fantastic way for us to deliver on our agency’s mission of celebrating Jewish life and culture.”
Since hearing of its acceptance into the JTFN Foundation Board Incubator Cohort 4, the Engagement & Education team at the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (JFGI) has been busily preparing for the official launch of this new program in Indy. Debby Grant, JFGI CEO, notes, “The Indianapolis Jewish Community is excited to partner with this innovative global organization. Offering a program of this caliber for our teenagers activates the impact teens can make through empowering them and cultivates future leaders and philanthropists for our Jewish community.” The JTFN program in Indianapolis will be called YoPhI (Youth Philanthropy Indy), which also relates to the Modern Hebrew expression יֹפִי/yophi which means “excellent” or “good job.” At its core, YoPhI aims to engage Jewish youth in the greater Indianapolis Jewish community in “doing good” through philanthropic giving and service learning grounded in Jewish values and community connection.
“Welcome to Indianapolis and Seattle as they join our Jewish teen philanthropy network. It is so rewarding to be able to bring this program to so many new communities around the world. We are thrilled to be building a platform for informed and passionate future Jewish leaders,” says Ricky Shechtel, co-founder of the Jewish Teen Funders Network. With these programs launching this fall, these teens will continue the legacy of teen philanthropy in the US and around the world, by joining thousands of other Jewish teen changemakers who collectively grant more than $1 million annually to non-profits around the world.