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Kuriansky Teen Tzedakah Corps

Year Founded: 
Name of Host Organization: 
United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien
Host Setting: 
Jewish Federation
Program Type: 
Teen Foundation
Funding Areas: 
Program Description: 

The Kuriansky Teen Tzedakah Corps, a program of The United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, is a teen philanthropic leadership program designed to train the next generation of community philanthropists. Corps members are accepted from an elite pool of 10th-12th graders representing many local high schools. Each month of the academic year, Corps members meet to explore the fundamentals of philanthropy. Topics include analyzing and measuring impact, conducting thoughtful site visits, and comparing and contrasting Jewish and secular philanthropic values. They learn about and debate big thinkers like Abraham Maslow and Maimonides and engage with community guest speakers. A core component of the program is a matching gift-driven fundraising process, courtesy of a generous gift from the Louis J. Kuriansky Family Foundation. For many years, the Foundation has dedicated funds to the Corps to introduce teens to philanthropy and foster leadership skills and Jewish values. Corps members are charged with raising their own funds to match the Foundation grant. Midway through the year, Corps members craft an organization mission statement, unique to their cohort, which includes specific funding areas. In 2018, they decided to focus their efforts to fundraise and allocate funds for nonprofit organizations that focus on poverty, illness, and education issues affecting youth in our region. Corps members creat a marketing plan and formally distribute requests for proposals throughout the community. They navigate the full grant allocation process, including visiting the sites of applicants. In the final sessions, Corps members evaluate proposals and decide to fund between one and four organizations/projects.

Program Contact
Jessie Katz, Director of Kuriansky Teen Tzedakah Program
Work Phone: 
(203) 321-1373
1035 Newfield Avenue, Suite 200
Stamford, CT 06905 US

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