Last year, Lower Merion 10th grader Dylan Hurok participated in one of two Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia teen programs, the Teen Giving Project, and now he’s back for another year. Why? First, because it was a lot of fun, but also because Dylan is thinking about the future. “If I want to participate in fundraisers, volunteering or be on a board, I want to have experience so I’m not starting from scratch,” he explains. And Dylan’s right; through our two experiential programs, students can choose to gain hands-on experience as philanthropists or to develop their global leadership skills, helping them develop the knowledge and ability to make a real impact on our world, both today and far into the future.

Throughout our eight-month Teen Giving Project, philanthropists in 9th and 10th grade learn to raise and allocate funds to solve real community issues, preparing them for a lifetime of Jewish leadership. Together, they go through every grantmaking step by conducting research, creating a Request for Proposal, fielding and thoroughly reviewing grant applications. They even learn how to read organizational and program budgets and make site visits. After selecting a handful of organizations to support, they work together to raise the necessary funds, making an important difference in their Greater Philadelphia communities.

And through our second program, Diller Teen Fellows, teens have the opportunity to gain even more hands-on leadership experience. By enrolling, 10th and 11th graders spend the year engaging closely with peers in Herzilya, Israel, including two meetups in which each group travels to visit the other in their home country. “Being part of something so globally connecting shows how important it is to share lifelong friendships with people all around the world,” says last year’s Diller Fellow Samantha Dichter. Diller Teen Fellows’ unique curriculum focuses on Jewish pluralism, peoplehood and international partnership, inspiring participants to connect more deeply with their Jewish identities. Through international collaboration, participants share knowledge, skills and culture as they grow together into our next generation of global Jewish leaders.

Click here to learn more about each of our programs, and to fill out an application. Applications for both are open through May 25, 2018.