WHAT WE DOEach year, the Jewish Fund engages a diverse group of 25 Jewish high school students in grades 10 through 12 who want to make a real difference by learning about philanthropy (the practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people) and becoming grantmakers. Our Teen Board is a youth-led program. Each year, members will decide how they want to engage their Jewish values to improve their community. Members will identify issues in the community, determine funding priorities and meet with organization leaders in order to decide how to create positive change through grantmaking. Over the course of the academic year, the teens work together as a real philanthropic foundation and:

  • Learn the ins and outs of the grantmaking process while applying Jewish values to philanthropy
  • Acquire critical research skills and enhance leadership abilities
  • Debate social justice issues
  • Participate in intensive training on how to evaluate grant proposals from non-profits
  • Challenge each other to make thoughtful, insightful grants that address the causes that matter most to them, within the scope of the mission of The Jewish Fund.

At the end of each year, The Jewish Fund Teen Board members will work together to grant $50,000 to both Jewish and secular charities in metro Detroit. The Teen Board is a very real, very substantial demonstration not only of tzedakah and tikkum olam, but of the tremendous social and financial impact that tomorrow’s grant makers can have upon the world today.

Please look at the latest Teen Board video:

Teen Board 2014-2015.




BACKGROUNDThe field of Jewish teen philanthropy grew during the late 1990s as programs emerged at various Jewish institutions around the United States. Students are empowered to explore Jewish values, grow as leaders, and engage in building communities.

Jewish teen philanthropy programming goes beyond a simple tzedakah lesson or fundraising project. By engaging teens in collective philanthropic giving, these programs help youth to understand the Jewish obligation of tzedakah on a much deeper level.

The Jewish Fund Teen Board is honored to be one of two communities selected by the Jewish Teen Funders Network (www.jtfn.org) to take part in the first cohort of The Foundation Board Incubator which is generously funded by Laura Lauder and the Maimonides Fund. This initiative seeks to create 8 to 10 new Jewish teen foundations by 2016. The Jewish Fund Teen Board will receive support, resources and consultation from JTFN for the initial 5 years of programming.


tb3The Jewish Fund accepts applications from teens interested in joining the Teen Board on an annual basis. In order to apply as a first year board member, teens must be entering grade 10 or 11, and identify as Jewish. Following the successful completion of a year on the Board, students can continue to be involved in a variety of ways, including applying for an optional Leadership experience, provided they meet the participation requirements.

We are looking for teens who are not involved Jewishly, and those who are; those who are involved in community service, and those who are not; those who are athletes and those who are mathletes. We encourage Jewish and Jewish-interfaith youth to apply.


tb1The Teen Board is an eight-month program, beginning in October.
Participation Expectations are as follows:

  • Attend the Opening Retreat
  • Attend all Sunday afternoon meetings (unless previously discussed with Teen Board Coordinator prior to the meetings)
  • Participate in at least two site visit meetings with potential grantee organizations
  • Participate fully in grant proposal reviews and prepare for meetings with occasional research and reading
  • Contribute meaningfully to The Jewish Fund Teen Board group process
  • Attend the end of the year Grants Celebration

Most meetings will be held at the Max M. Fisher Federation Building at 6735 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301.

  • Applicant interviews will take place on the following dates: June 14, 16, 20 and 22, 2016. We plan to conduct individual interviews for all applicants. However, should the number of applicants exceed our time constraints, we may need to limit these interviews to those who apply sooner rather than later. We encourage you to apply as soon as you feel confident that you wish to participate.
  • All applicants will be notified of selection decisions on Thursday, June 23, 2016 via email.
  • Orientation for members and parents – Thursday, October 15, 2016, 6:15 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Fall Retreat – Sunday, September 25, 2016, 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m. (Please note: in order to participate in the Teen Board 2016-17, you must attend this retreat)
  • Monthly Board Meeting Dates (all meetings are 4-7 PM):
    October 9, November 6, December 4, January 22, January 29, February 12, March 5, April 23, May 7
  • Site Visit Meetings with Potential Grantees – scheduled after school on the following dates: March 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16.
  • Grants Celebration – Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

For More Information email Martha Goldberg at mgoldberg@jfmd.org or call 248.642.4741.


Thank you for your interest in applying to The Jewish Fund Teen Board. We are no longer taking applications for the 2016-2017 year. For more information, please contact Martha Goldberg at mgoldberg@jfmd.org.