June 25, 2014
This article from eJewish Philanthropy features an interview with Lana Volftsun, executive director of the One Percent Foundation, who traces her philanthropic journey back to her involvement in the Jewish Youth Philanthropy Initiative (JYPI) as a teenager.
"What began as Lana Volftsun’s biggest bummer ended up being her biggest blessing.
It all started with her bat mitzvah, back in 2000, when her mom announced that she had to give away all the money she received to charity.
'I was pissed,' recalled Volftsun. And really, what 13-year-old wouldn’t be?
But then an interesting thing happened.
Volftsun and few other teens in Northern Virginia where she lived pooled their money and together decided which organizations in the area and in Israel would receive their gifts. This was through the Jewish Youth Philanthropy Institute (JYPI), an organization her mom had helped co-found. Both immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Volftsun’s parents felt indebted to the Jewish community for bringing them to America and made it their mission to teach their daughters the importance of tzedakah."