Jewish Teen Foundation


Where Jewish high school students become empowered, confident, and effective leaders who influence, affect, and drive change.  

If you’re a high school student reading this right now, it already says so much about you…

1. You’re not like other teens. You want to be a part of something bigger and make meaningful contributions to your community.

2. You’re ready to have your voice be heard. Just because you’re a teen doesn’t mean your perspectives, values, and opinions don’t matter. The time to speak up is now.

3. There is so much financial abundance within the Bay Area, and you want to know how this wealth can better serve the community. Understanding how fundraising works, learning about nonprofits, and making wise donation choices doesn’t have to be reserved for the adults. You can develop these lifelong skills today.

4. You want every opportunity to open up to you – from scholarships and colleges, to internships and jobs, to learning opportunities – being a part of this prestigious program is a crucial stepping stone to manifesting that reality.

Watch the latest video from our most recent Celebration.

Watch Alex’s story to see how this program impacted her life.

Who should apply for the Jewish Teen Foundation (JTF)?

JTF has stewarded more than 900 teens to raise over $2.2 million for nonprofits in the Bay Area, Israel, and beyond. As a JTF board member, you have the opportunity to be a part of this immense impact. 

Each year, we select a small number of high schoolers to cultivate skills in philanthropy, fundraising, leadership, social justice issues, confidence, communication, and collaboration. 

The issues that JTF teens focus on are decided by them. For example, last year's Boards raised $91K to support youth impacted by the foster care system and individuals struggling with their mental health, and this year's board's are focused on supporting people affected by domestic violence and individuals struggling with addiction. The impact you can make as a JTF board member is truly limitless. 

Graduates of the program carry these skills with them into college and beyond, leveraging their experiences to build successful careers and take on leadership roles in their communities. 

We welcome 9-12th grade students of all backgrounds including race, socioeconomic, gender identity, sexual identity, ethnicity, and Jewish identity to apply! 

The Application deadline is Tuesday, April 2, 2024.

The earlier you apply, the better!  When you complete the application, you will receive an email from us explaining the next steps (additional documentation to submit before receiving an invite to group/individual interviews).

Have questions? Email the JTF Program Director, Rachel Halevi. Thank you for applying and good luck!

Does JTF provide community service hours?

JTF Board members have the opportunity to earn up to 32 community service hours per program year.

How often are meetings and where do they take place?

The seven Sunday board meetings will take place in the San Francisco/ the Peninsula (3:00 – 7:00 pm).

If accepted, what is the cost of the program?

The cost of the program is $1,000. Need-based financial assistance is available.

What if I have more questions?

Please contact Rachel Halevi for more information.


An inside look at the JTF experience

Each year, we select a small number of high school students to cultivate skills in philanthropy, social justice issues, confidence, communication, and collaboration. Graduates of the program carry these skills with them into college and beyond, leveraging their experiences to build successful careers and take on leadership roles in their communities.

Taking place from August through May, JTF welcomes 9-12th grade students of all backgrounds including race, socioeconomic, gender identity, sexual identity, ethnicity, and Jewish identity to apply!  

If accepted into the program, here is how the journey begins for both teens and parents:

There will be two virtual orientations – one for teens and one for parents – to receive the JTF schedule, connect with JTF staff, gain deeper insight into the program’s impact, and have all of your questions answered.

All further meetings are just for teens, starting with Meeting 1 and a weekend-long training retreat during which JTF teens will collaborate together to bond, learn philanthropic concepts guiding their work, and finalize their 2024-2025 Mission Statement.

The immersive retreat, and other events throughout the year, will be hosted in collaboration with teens from Contra Costa Midrasha’s Hamsa Fund (the East Bay’s teen philanthropy Board).

The following six Board meetings will challenge the teens’ world view by confronting complex issues, while simultaneously equipping them with the knowledge and confidence to create positive change together.

What to Expect

Participants will:

  • Research – Seek an in-depth understanding of mission-aligned nonprofits through research, informational interviews, and volunteering.
  • Report – Share learnings with your fellow Board members.
  • Fundraise – Learn how to be an intentional and effective philanthropist and fundraiser.
  • Decide and Allocate – Discuss, debate, and come to a consensus on which nonprofits will receive funds and how much money to allocate to each grantee.
  • Communicate – Inform selected nonprofits about the awarded funds and discuss the future of their project.
  • Declare – Present final grant decisions to the community and showcase newfound knowledge with a call to action.

Time Commitment*

1.5-hour orientation for teens (one hour for parents)

Full-weekend retreat (Friday at 12:00 pm – Sunday at 5:00 pm)
4-hour monthly Board meetings (Sunday 3:00 – 7:00 pm)

Monthly half-hour check in with mentor group ("Pod")

Individual/small group fundraisers (in person and/or online)
4-hour culminating event at the end of the year
6-8 hours of monthly individual and/or small group work (both in-person and online)

Time commitment differs for members of the Leadership Council, an experienced group of teens in leadership roles.


Jewish Teen Foundation Leadership Council

The JTF Leadership Council (LC) is exclusively for returning JTF members (2nd, 3rd, or 4th year) who are ready to take their leadership and fundraising skills to the next level. The LC has a unique and important role in helping plan and facilitate JTF Board meetings, making executive decisions, guiding programming, mentoring their peers, and operating as leaders to the rest of the group.

LC participants gain a more in-depth understanding of:

  • Group facilitation
  • Peer to peer mentorship
  • Program development/evaluation
  • Event planning
  • Professional verbal and written communication
  • Empathic leadership

Throughout the year, the LC members will identify their own leadership style, gain knowledge from one another, and hone their new skills by facilitating Sunday Board meetings and mentoring their peers.


  • 10-12th graders
  • At least one year of participation in JTF

Time Commitment

The additional time commitment for LC members is 9-11 hours per month, which includes:

  • 4-6 hours of individual and/or mentoring work (both in-person and online)
  • 4 hours of bimonthly LC meetings
  • 1 hour to facilitate correspondence between meetings with mentees


What’s expected of JTF Board members:

  • Time – Prioritizing punctual and full attendance at all in-person or online meetings and completing all assignments on or before mutually agreed-upon deadlines.
  • Values – Making a concerted effort to embody the Jewish and universal values learned or reinforced during the program.
  • Consistency – Exerting the same level of effort and investment in the program through the duration, from acceptance to final celebration.
  • Responsibility – Acting as a dependable and conscientiousness member of the team, specifically fulfilling all personal obligations and communication to assure the success of all

How parents can support a successful year for their teens:

  • Learn with and from your teen – Ask your teen to teach you what they have learned to show your investment in their work and reinforce their newly acquired knowledge.
  • Support the prioritization of JTF – Be fully aware of your teen’s significant commitment; encourage them to honor it by attending all meetings and events as well as ongoing responsibilities and deadlines.
  • Leverage your network to support your teen’s work – Encourage your teen to reach out to your personal and professional networks, which will greatly advance their cause.
  • Emulate the newly-formed skills and behaviors your teen exhibits – Foster growth by embodying the same qualities they are learning.
  • Remain in consistent communication – Ongoing communication between you, your teen, and JTF staff will create a stronger relationship and greater opportunity for us to support you and your teen.


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Rachel Halevi
Program Director, Jewish Teen Foundation