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Voices: The Chicago Jewish Teen Foundation

Year Founded: 
Name of Host Organization: 
Jewish United Fund/Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
Host Setting: 
Jewish Federation
Program Type: 
Teen Foundation
Funding Areas: 
Global, Israel, Local, National
Program Description: 

Each year, approximately 25 outstanding Jewish teens are selected to participate in Voices: The Chicago Jewish Teen Foundation based upon their outstanding academic achievements, exceptional extracurricular activities, and proven leadership abilities. Now in its eighth year, Voices provides a forum to Chicago area Jewish teens from diverse religious and social backgrounds to meet one another in a fun and challenging atmosphere.Over the course of the academic year, the teens work together as a real philanthropic foundation. Kicking of the year with a full-day retreat and continuing with regular monthly meetings, they:

  • learn the ins and outs of both the grant making and grant writing process
  • apply Jewish values to philanthropy
  • acquire critical research skills
  • hone leadership abilities
  • debate social justice issues
  • participate in intensive training on how to solicit and evaluate grant proposals from non-profits
  • conduct site visits, utilizing professional interviewing techniques
  • challenge each other to make thoughtful, insightful grants that address the causes that matter most to them

At the end of the year, teen board members work together to grant over $25,000 to both Jewish and secular charities in Chicago, across the country, and all around the world. Voices is a very real, very substantial demonstration not only of tzedakah and tikkun olam, but of the tremendous social and financial impact that tomorrow's grant makers can have upon the world TODAY.

Program Contact
Stephanie Goldfarb, Director of Youth Philanthropy & Leadership
Work Phone: 
30 S. Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60606 US

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