Jewish Teen Foundation Board Incubator
During high school, Laura and Gary’s children, Josh and Eliana, participated in an innovative Jewish Teen Foundation Board program that Laura helped launch in 2002 through the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. Based on the model of giving circles, Jewish Teen Foundation Board programs offer teens the opportunity to explore Jewish values and ideas, develop leadership skills, and practice philanthropy.
High school students apply to be a part of a local Teen Foundation Board and are selected through an in-person interview process. The teens meet regularly throughout the school year to define a group mission statement, research nonprofits that fit that mission statement, and ultimately make grants using a consensus-based decision-making process. These grants address important social problems, such as access to clean drinking water, human rights violations, environmental concerns, and at-risk youth, using Jewish values that they study and debate during the process.
Inspired by Josh and Eliana’s experiences in the Jewish Teen Foundation Board program, in 2013 Laura partnered with the Maimonides Fund and the Jewish Teen Funders Network of New York to launch the Jewish Teen Foundation Board Incubator to bring Jewish Foundation Board programs to cities across North America. Since then, the program has expanded to offer multi-year leadership opportunities with multiple teen groups throughout the United States (Boston, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Seattle); Melbourne, Australia; Toronto, Canada; and another 10 teen groups in Israel.
Learn more at the Jewish Teen Foundation Board Incubator website.
- Jewish Teen Philanthropy Programs Have Long-Term Impact on Participants’ Connections to Jewish Community and Leadership Abilities
e-Jewish Philanthropy, July 28, 2020
- Teen Funders Network Announces New Teen Foundation Boards
Jewish Philanthropy, March 8, 2015
- JTFN launches foundation board incubator
e-Jewish Philanthropy, September 4, 2004