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Teens What Is the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston?

By Bridget Connor-Feldbaum
three smiling faces

What is the JTFGB?

JTFGB is a Jewish teen philanthropy program. Teen board members decide together on an issue area to focus on, then they raise money to eventually allocate grants to nonprofit organizations working in that area. These are substantial grants, typically ranging from $5,000-$8,000. In this way, the teen boards are able to make a real impact on these important issues.

Teens and philanthropy? How will this benefit my (or my child’s) future career and/or education?

There are so many important skills that teens develop in the program. We learn about the consensus process, and how to make fair decisions as a group. We learn about nonprofit organizations—what they do and how they function. We learn about fundraising, and we develop communication and leadership skills. Most importantly, the program is grounded in Jewish values, and exploring how to put them in action.

What does an average meeting look like?

JTFGB teen board meetings are two hours on Sundays, once or twice a month (we meet ten times throughout the school year). We often start with a fun opening activity or icebreaker game. Then we go over where we are in our process (deciding on our issue area, writing a mission statement, fundraising, researching and sending RFPs to nonprofits, reviewing grant applications, etc.). We do a lot of work in small groups, including looking at Jewish texts to guide our discussions about how to put our values into practice. We follow a consensus process to make decisions, which can take a while, but ensures that everyone’s voice is heard. Oh, and we have snacks!

What have previous teens accomplished in the program?

Each year, JTFGB typically raises $30,000-$70,000 collectively and allocates 6-10 grants to nonprofit organizations. These are a mix of local, national, and international organizations, some of which are Jewish organizations, and some which are not. You can learn more about which organizations JTFGB has funded here.

Who should apply to be part of JTFGB?

Teens who are interested in tikkun olam, the nonprofit sector, leadership, and working as a team to make impactful decisions and create positive change in the world are great candidates for JTFGB! You don’t have to have any experience in fundraising or philanthropy, just an interest in jumping in and learning through our process.

How much does the program cost?

JTFGB costs $575 per student per year. Financial aid is available.

JTFGB is a year-long program for Jewish high school students with different denominational backgrounds from across the greater Boston area. Together, they develop strong leadership and communication skills, learn the ins and outs of professional philanthropy and grant-making through a Jewish lens, and allocate grants to effect real change in the causes they care about most. Learn more on our website

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