SF Diller Teen Fellows


Explore your passion. Change your life. Become a San Francisco Diller Teen Fellow!

Applications are now open for the 2019-2020 cohort. Learn More

Know a high school sophomore who would be a great fit for Diller? Submit a nomination by Monday, April 15.

Established in San Francisco in 1998 by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, the Diller Teen Fellows program is San Francisco’s premier leadership development program for Jewish teens in 11th grade.

Now operating in 32 communities in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, South America, Europe, and Israel, the goal of the Diller Teen Fellows program is to develop future generations of active, effective leaders with a strong Jewish identity, commitment to the Jewish people, respect for pluralism and love of Israel. Together with our sister community, the Upper Galilee Diller Teen Fellows, we explore four guiding principles:

  • Jewish Identity
  • Leadership
  • Israel
  • Tikkun Olam (repairing the world)
  • Jewish Peoplehood
  • Pluralism

Diller Teen Fellows gain the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, explore their Jewish identity, connect with Israel through a peer partnership and create a social action project of their choosing.

The International Diller Teen Fellows

Both the International Diller Teen Fellows office and the local Bay Area Diller Teen Fellows program are located at the Jewish Community Federation’s office in San Francisco. To learn more about the International Diller Teen Fellows and the numerous communities that they oversee, visit their website.


"If there is ever a program that seriously reflects the concept of Jewish Peoplehood, it is the Diller Teen Fellows."

– Avraham Infeld, President Emeritus of Hillel International


Diller Teens demonstrate a commitment to repairing the world and a sense of belonging and responsibility to their communities, Israel, and the Jewish people.

Throughout our 12-month program, a cohort of 20 Diller Teen Fellows in each of the 32 partner communities (640 total Fellows internationally) participate in educational workshops and weekend retreats, and create and implement social service projects.

Activities include:

  • Developing leadership skills through 12 monthly workshops
  • Exploring Jewish identity and bonding as a group during 3 fun-filled Shabbaton weekend retreats
  • Forging powerful relationships with a diverse group of Jewish North American, South African, Australian, South American, European, and Israeli teens
  • Meeting and working with the Israeli partners during 2 amazing seminars: 
    • Jewish Community Mifgash – a 10-day visit from the Upper Galilee Israeli Diller Teens to San Francisco and the Bay Area in the sprinh - includes hosting an Israeli teen
    • Israel Summer Seminar – 3 weeks of traveling, volunteering, and exploring Israel with the Diller Teens in the Upper Galilee and the other international Diller groups during the summer
  • Creating an Impact Project - a personal, hands-on community service project



Leadership Opportunities for Diller Alumni

The Junior Counselor Position

Just before Diller Teen Fellows complete their 12-month participation in the program, they have an opportunity to apply for the Junior Counselor position in the next cohort of Fellows. Junior Counselors assist the program coordinator to inspire and empower Fellows, as individuals and as a group, through their unique added value.

Junior Counselors attend all program workshops/meetings, Shabbatonim, the Jewish Community Mifgash, and the Israel Summer Seminar. They serve as great role models to the Fellows they mentor and act as a supportive unit to their program coordinator. They also become part of the international community of Junior Counselors and attend an annual retreat.

The Alumni Intern Position

Diller Teen Fellow alumni also have the chance to apply for the Alumni Intern role. This position serves as a unique platform for post-high school alumni to acquire hands-on professional experience by complementing the program coordinator's work (i.e. preparing educational programs for workshops, generating peer-level interpersonal contacts with the Junior Staff, encouraging Fellows' sense of belonging to a global Jewish network, etc.) throughout the program. The Alumni Intern shares responsibility for the training, support, and empowerment process for Junior Counselors and provides logistical support. They will work closely with the International Diller Teen Fellows office to build an annual training program for the Junior Counselors and actively participate in the national circle of Alumni Interns during two national trainings.

Diller Teen Fellows Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee assists the program staff to continuously expand and enhance the San Francisco Diller Teen Fellow experience. Members represent a variety of expertise, skills, Jewish backgrounds, and Bay Area regions. They do not have to be Diller alumni. Current Advisory Committee Members:

  • Adam Eilath
  • Adam Light
  • Alison Frank
  • Sam Lauter
  • Julie Roston
  • Sandra Braverman
  • Marty Friedman

If you are interested in joining our Advisory Committee or becoming a Jewish community lay leader, please contact Adam Weisberg, Diller Teen Initiatives Director.


Becoming a Diller Teen Fellow

How to Apply

You can either apply directly below under the application process or nominate a teen.

Applicants to the program must:

  • Demonstrate leadership skills or great leadership potential
  • Be enthusiastic about community service/empowerment
  • Be interested in exploring Jewish identity
  • Be interested in exploring a relationship with Israel
  • Commit to full participation in workshops, retreats, Shabbatonim, the Jewish Community Mifgash and the Israel Summer Seminar
  • Be in 11th grade in September of the cohort year
  • Be a Jewish teen residing in the Bay Area

The application process:

  1. Apply online now through April 29
  2. Submit two references.
    Send this form directly to your references to complete.
  3. Participate in a group interview with other San Francisco Diller applicants.
    Please note that interview slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so we encourage you to submit your application early in order to secure your desired time slot.
  4. Optional but encouraged: Join us for an info session on Thursday, April 4, from 5:45 to 6:45 pm at the Federation. Please email Samara Leader, San Francisco Coordinator, to RSVP.

Program Cost

Each participant receives a $10,000 subsidy from both the Helen Diller Family Foundation and the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, which brings the program cost to $3,800 per Fellow, including a non-refundable $500 deposit.

Financial Aid

The Diller Teen Fellows program offers need-based scholarships to its participants upon acceptance into the program. 


Applications will close on April 29. This is also the deadline to submit references.


Please email Samara Leader, San Francisco Coordinator.

Upcoming Events

December 09, 2019
7:30 PM
San Francisco

Connect With Us

Contact Us 

For information about the San Francisco Diller Teen Fellows program, contact:

Samara Leader
Diller Teen Fellows Coordinator, San Francisco