For the sixteenth year in a row, San Diego teens participated in a summer Philanthropy Leadership Training Institute, learning the basics of effective philanthropy within the context of Jewish values. The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego leads this innovative program in partnership with the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS. Over the course of one week, participants are exposed to the opportunities and challenges of charitable decision-making, as well as the importance that Judaism places on giving back to one’s community. At the end of the Institute, teens worked together to grant $3,600 to community organizations, abiding by a mission statement they had created to focus their approach and the requirement that at least half of the funds granted needed to go to Jewish organizations.

This year, teens learned about our region’s challenges in meeting residents’ basic needs. They met with staff from local nonprofit organizations that are addressing the challenges and discovered potential strategies for a positive philanthropic impact. Teens studied community services ranging from emergency resources to those aimed at promoting an individual’s or a family’s self-sufficiency. They engaged in numerous nonprofit site visits, assessing organizational leadership, approach to service delivery, and evaluation methods.

“I found it difficult to decide where to give,” said Zach Cohen, a Bishops School student. “I was impressed by all of the organizations we visited. We selected the five we did because their work most closely aligned with our mission statement – to support organizations that provide basic needs services in a way that maintains the dignity of their clients.”

Maia Zelkind, a Canyon Crest Academy student continues, “There is more need in San Diego than I knew. Tikkun olam, the Jewish teaching to repair the world, asks us all to do our part.”

The Institute culminated in a total of $3,600 in grants to Dress for Success, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, La Maestra Community Health Center, Mama's Kitchen and San Diego Rescue Mission. Support was made available through the Foundation’s Endowment for Youth Philanthropy Fund. An official check presentation and teen participant panel discussion will be held on August 21. For more information, contact Darren Schwartz at 858.279.2740 or darren@jcfsandiego.org.

About the Jewish Community Foundation

The Jewish Community Foundation partners with individuals, families and community organizations to help them achieve their philanthropic goals. During fiscal year 2012-13, the Foundation awarded and facilitated $98 million in 5,600 grants to more than 1,300 Jewish and general organizations in San Diego, Israel and around the world (figures are preliminary as of print). Visit the Jewish Community Foundation at www.jcfsandiego.org or call 858-279-2740.


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