Bay Area Federations Launch New Cohort of Teen Philanthropists

Jewish Teens Foundations Grant $1.4 million in 10 Years to Outstanding Organizations Locally and Globally

San Francisco, CA – Today, the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay, announced the launch of a new cohort of teen philanthropists, as part of their highly successful Jewish Teens Foundation (JTF) program.  The program mentors high school teens to find leadership within their own ranks and learn the essential skills for understanding major issues, fundraising, strategic impact, consensus-based decision-making, and making real grants to real change makers around the world.  Applications for new teen board members are available online at until October 6th.  Groups meet in San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Mateo and San Rafael.
What can teens accomplish?  In 10 years, 500 Jewish teens in the Bay Area have raised and granted $1.4 million to nonprofits doing important work locally and around the world.  In FY 2012-2013 alone, 96 teens inspired 1,100 donors to contribute over $200,000 to vital causes, including: communities facing violence, natural disaster relief, global climate change, and access to quality education services. 
“We should be so proud that our next generation of community leaders has truly stepped up to learn about real issues and needs on the ground, and how to address them thoughtfully and head-on through philanthropy,” said SF-based Federation CEO Jennifer Gorovitz.
Palo Alto parent Steve Zelinger called the Jewish Teen Foundations “a mini-MBA program.”
“It’s completely different from anything else you’ve done and it’s truly teen-run,” said one North Peninsula JTF teen board member.
The JTF program runs on a youth-leadership model and is open to all Jewish students in 9th to 12th grades.  Teen board meetings are planned and led by the teen Leadership Council, made up of students returning for a second year in the program.  These student leaders also receive deep mentorship in leadership skills, Jewish values, and effective philanthropy.  The teens do all the research, fundraising, and grant allocations.
In FY 2012-2013, the JTF program made $206,094 in grant recommendations, including:  
North Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation – $48,000        

  • Magen David Adom - $5,000 (Israel: Medical Services for Israeli Citizens)
  • Jewish World Watch - $10,000 (Darfur: Protection and Aid for Refugee Women)
  • American Jewish World Service - $8,000 (Senegal: Communication and Education)
  • American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee - $5,000 (Ethiopia: Access to Clean Drinking Water)
  • Innovation: Africa - $10,000 (Tanzania: Solar Power for Medical Services)
  • Doctors Without Borders - $10,000 (Somalia: Medical Services for Refugees)

South Peninsula Jewish Teen Foundation - $68,711         

  • Boys Hope, Girls Hope - $10,000 (Bay Area: Housing & Academic Services for At-Risk Youth)
  • Innovation: Africa - $10,000 (Tanzania: Health Services for Impoverished Communities)
  • Splash - $10,000 (Cambodia: Clean Water & Education for Urban Children)
  • Jewish Community Federation – ECHAD $10,000 (Israel: Education Services for Israeli Bedouin)
  • Grassroots Soccer- $10,000 (South Africa: Education Services for Girls and Young Women)
  • One Million Lights - $10,000 (Global: Solar Lighting)
  • Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation Inc. - $8,712 (Honduras: Education Services for Youth)

Marin/San Francisco Jewish Teen Foundation - $56,300

  • Burlington City Arts - $3,150 (San Francisco: Vocational Services for Veterans)
  • Coming Home Project - $10,000 (Bay Area: Health Services for Veterans)
  • Hands for Africa - $7,500 (Sierra Leone: Educational Services for Disadvantaged Youth)
  • Jewish Community Federation - $5,000 (Israel: Relocation Services for New Immigrants)
  • Jewish World Watch - $7,500 (Darfur: Health Services for Refugees)
  • NATAL - $3,150 (Israel: Education and Health Services for Victims of War)
  • Swords to Plowshares: Transitions - $10,000 (Bay Area: Vocational and Health Services for Veterans)
  • Ultimate Peace - $10,000 (Israel: Vocational and Educational Training for Youth)

East Bay Jewish Teen Foundation – $35,481

  • Urban Adamah - $10,000 (Berkeley: Environmental Education for Youth)
  • Good Energy Initiative - $7,250 (Israel: Educational Services for Youth)
  • Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel - $7,250 (Israel: Environmental Education)
  • Israel Alternative Strategic Energy Foundation - $5,490.85 (Israel: Educational Services for Professors)
  • Cool the Earth - $5,491 (Bay Area: Environmental Education for Youth)

The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power of the Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Find out more at

For immediate release

September 17, 2013


Ilan Kayatsky
(press questions, SF)

Kevin Vickery
(press questions, East Bay)

Lom Friedman
(for program info)