Jewish Teen Foundation FAQs

Which ages/grades can apply to join? 

Teens entering 9th-12th grades are welcome to apply. We especially encourage rising 9th-10th graders so they have maximum opportunity to participate in subsequent year programs. 

What is the time commitment to be a teen board member?

The Jewish Teen Foundations (JTF) program includes a weekend retreat, seven Sunday board meetings (4-8p), two small group committee meetings (2.5 hours) and a Grants Celebration. All teen board members must commit to full participation in all of these events. Accepted teens are also expected to commit about 2 hours per month outside of meetings for fundraising and researching the causes/organizations they hope to support. 

When are applications open? 

Applications for the 2018-19 JTF boards will become available April 2 - May 6, 2018.  

When are interviews?

Group interviews are scheduled on a rolling basis in May at the OMJCC, PJCC, OFJCC and the Federation office in downtown San Francisco. 

When are acceptance notices and registration forms delivered?

Acceptance notices and registration forms will be delivered in late May/early June.
 

2018-19 Program Calendar

 

NORTH PENINSULA

SOUTH PENINSULA

MARIN/SAN FRANCISCO

Orientation

September 16, 2018

September 30, 2018

September 16, 2018

JTF Retreat

October 26-28, 2018

October 26-28, 2018

October 26-28, 2018

Board Meeting 1
Researching/ Vetting Nonprofits

November 18, 2018

November 11, 2018

November 18, 2018

Board Meeting 2
Fundraising Skills 101

December 9, 2018

December 9, 2018

December 9, 2018

Committee Meetings*

January 13-15, 2019

January 13-15, 2019

January 13-15, 2019

Board Meeting 3*
Service Project + First Grant!

January 27, 2019

January 27, 2019

January 27, 2019

Board Meeting 4
Grant Proposals

February 10, 2019

February 10, 2019

February 10, 2019

Board Meeting 5
Interviewing Nonprofit Presenters

March 3, 2019

March 3, 2019

March 3, 2019

Board Meeting 6
Interviewing Nonprofit Presenters

March 17, 2019

March 24, 2019

March 17, 2019

Committee Meetings*

April 15, 16, or 17, 2019
(select one of 3 TBA dates)

April 15, 16, or 17, 2019
(select one of 3 TBA dates)

April 15, 16, or 17, 2019
(select one of 3 TBA dates)

Board Meeting 7
Final Grant Decisions!


May 5, 2019

 


May 5, 2019

 


May 5, 2019

 

Grants Celebration

May 19, 2019

May 19, 2019

May 16, 2019


*Board Meeting 3, our Service Day, is usually scheduled earlier and longer (around 12-5pm) to match the availability of wherever we will be volunteering. Please allow for some flexibility for this date until official times are set in the late Fall).

*
Committee Meetings are 2.5 hours in casual attire spent getting important work done in small groups. In January, board members will be building their online fundraising website and other key tasks. In April, we will offer meeting dates that accommodate for different school Spring Break schedules, making sure all members are ready for the final board meeting.

Attendance is required at all sessions, barring unforeseen illness or emergency.

JTF makes every effort to avoid scheduling meetings on Jewish holidays, school finals, vacations, and other large community events that interest teens and Jewish families. We have the unique opportunity this year to honor a couple of Jewish holidays at board meetings by engaging in traditions and learning together.

How long can I be on a Jewish Teen Foundation Board?

Every teen begins their journey as a board member and can continue for 2-3 years in various ways.
 

JTF Board Member

[first year for all]

Join the board, research your cause, let your voice be heard, fundraise for a cause, and run your own nonprofit foundation to make a real difference in the world.

Leadership Council Board Member

[2nd or 3rd year]

Teens who wish to participate on the board for a second year and assume a greater leadership role on their foundation may apply for a spot on the Leadership Council. This group of 5-8 teens on each board meets weekly to develop their own leadership skills (agenda planning, facilitation, public speaking, mentorship), go deeper into philanthropic principles, plan and lead board meetings and mentor new members.

JTF Intern

[3rd and/or 4th year]

A unique opportunity for 1-2 self-motivated teens per region who are ready to take on projects in the office and the local community. A hands-on taste of what Project Directors do between board and LC meetings with real ownership; including leading teen philanthropy workshops for 7th graders, organizing site visits and service projects, JTF social media, research, interviews and working at board meetings.


What is the financial commitment for teen board members?

Thanks to the generous support of the Federation (JCF), private donations and endowments, the majority of this high quality, high touch program is subsidized for participants. A $550 program fee helps support the costs of events, materials, and services for the year, including the 2.5 day JTF Retreat (Embassy Suites hotel rooms, meals, board rooms) in October. Financial aid is available to participants each year (again thanks to the support of local community philanthropists). Contact Lom Friedman for more information regarding financial assistance.

Additionally, since an important part of the philanthropic work, skill building, and learning process includes individual fundraising, each teen is expected to contribute a minimum of $100 of their own money to their fundraising. Teens then allocate these funds to the organizations and causes selected in a group consensus process.

What do we do at the JTF Retreat and at Board Meetings?

The Teen Philanthropy Training Retreat is a full introduction to your JTF year. You meet the other teens on your board as well as other boards. You learn about the philanthropic process you lead during the year. You will meet with professionals who work locally and globally on pressing social issues that you may choose to focus on. At the end of the weekend, your board creates a mission statement that will guide your research, discussions and decisions the rest of the year.

At the JTF Retreat weekend in October, ~90 teens will participate in:

  • Ice breakers and team building games
  • Shabbat
  • Workshops with nonprofit leaders
  • A fun simulation of the grantmaking process
  • Jewish values-clarification activities
  • A Saturday night adventure excursion

Note: except for Saturday night, business attire is expected (a packing list is provided).

At the Sunday board meetings, ~25 teens gather to:

  • Learn the causes and solution-oriented organizations related to their Mission Statement
  • Participate in a hands-on volunteering project in your local community
  • Discuss grant proposals from nonprofit orgs that you nominate for grants
  • Decide which organizations to fund and how much
  • Investigate morality, power, philanthropy, and relationships through a Jewish lens
  • Develop leadership skills through activities and running the foundation
  • Eat ridiculous amounts of snack food

What skills will I gain by being on a JTF teen board?

  • Creating a Mission Statement
  • Nonprofit Research
  • Public Speaking
  • Consensus Decision-Making
  • Grant Making
  • Fundraising

How long has JTF been around?

Jewish Teen Foundations is entering its 16th year! JTF began with pilot programs in the East Bay and South Peninsula. By 2008, there were additional foundations in Marin/SF and North Peninsula. Over 800 JTF-trained teens have raised over $2.1 million in funds granted to over 250 nonprofit organizations locally, in Israel and around the world. Causes our teens have supported include at-risk youth, homelessness, protecting the environment, education and health care to vulnerable communities. View our impact report.

What kind of grants have teens made?

Sample Grants include:

Boys Hope, Girls Hope - $10,000 [Bay Area - Housing & Academic Services - Homeless, At-risk youth]
The “College Road” program serves local, impoverished youth by providing comprehensive college preparation and guidance through college graduation. Nearly 1 in 4 Californian children live in poverty, making them 6 times more likely to drop-out of high-school, continuing the cycle of poverty. Providing motivated youth with the structure and support that they need to be academically successful enables them to live up to their potential and break the cycle.

Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel - $7,250 [Israel: Green Technologies]
The “Living Green Roofs” program will promote Israel’s first living roofs, which help address the problem of urban heat islands. Living roofs save energy and also support local biodiversity among birds, butterflies, and vegetation. This program will cool buildings and allow them to self-regulate their temperature for more months of the year.

Splash - $10,000 [Cambodia - Clean Water & Education – Urban Poor Children]
“Safe Water for Kids” provides state-of-the-art, multi-use water purification systems, as well as hygiene education at schools and orphanages where clean water systems are installed. When combined, access to clean drinking water and effective hygiene practices can dramatically decrease waterborne illness, to which children are particularly vulnerable. *Prior SPJTF boards have also funded Splash (formerly A Child’s Right) to install such systems in two communities.

American Jewish World Service - $8,000 [Senegal: Communication and Education]
The installation of a community radio station in the Casamance region of Senegal will increase access and exchange of information to rebuild and connect communities that are isolated and divided by violent civil conflict. Over 30 years of armed conflict in the region has led to poverty, forced refuge, and uncertainty for those that remain. Access to radio broadcast will allow residents to not only be informed, but to participate in the early stages of the peace process.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee - $5,000 [Israel: Relocation Services for New Immigrants]
“Ethiopian Rescue: Completing the Journey” provides support to Ethiopian Jews through all stages of their relocation to Israel, including food, healthcare, educational and Jewish programming, and ongoing support services facilitating successful integration into Israeli society. Through this grant, five Ethiopian Jews will be relocated to Israel, rescuing them from brutal conditions, and providing them with freedom, community, and opportunity.

Who are the JTF staff in my area?

At the head of each foundation is a talented Project Director with experience in teen leadership, philanthropy/grant making, and Jewish education. In our youth empowerment model, these mentoring adults guide and support a teen Leadership Council for each foundation, who in turn run the larger board meetings. Our staff helps all board members navigate the intricacies of a strategic grant-making process, fair consensus-building, and living Jewish ethics and values through this work. Project Directors are there to build the group, support individuals, and communicate with parents. Feel free to call any of our professional staff anytime!
 

Marin/ San Francisco Lucia Panasci LuciaP@sfjcf.org 415.499.1223 x8103
North Peninsula Daniel Farkas DanielF@sfjcf.org 650.349.1523 x8303
South Peninsula Beth Delson BethD@sfjcf.org 650.852.9020 x8007