Teens today have so many options to express their connection to Judaism. Whether you're interested in textual study, creating art, or building deep relationships, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia supports a number of organizations to help you on your journey. Check out these programs and resources—one might just be perfect for you!
Questions? Reach out to Rachel Berger, Director, Jewish Life and Learning at email@example.com.
1. Teen Leadership Incentive Grants
Rolling applications open for programs taking place through August 2021
Through the Teen Leadership Incentive Grants program, the Jewish Federation provides financial resources to reduce cost barriers for teens to participate in immersive experiences that foster Jewish identity and leadership with their youth movements, such as BBYO, USY, NIFTY, NCSY, CTeens and Tzofim, also known as the Israeli Scouts.
Each participant may receive up to $150 for a program which is two nights or less, or up to $300 for a program that is three nights or longer. Due to COVID-19, virtual gatherings may also be eligible for grants and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information and to apply, click here.
2. Diller Teen Fellows
Applications open through Friday, June 25, 2021
The Jewish Federation’s Diller Teen Fellows program is an incredible one-year leadership training experience for 10th and 11th graders that aims to build the next generation of committed Jewish leaders.
A part of a global network of teens, our Philly cohort allows participants to make connections and friendships with peers in the area as well as from around the world. During the course of the program, our fellows connect with teens in the Jewish Federation’s Israeli partner city of Herzliya. Our Philly teens host their Israeli friends for nine days and later travel to meet them in Israel for a three-week trip that is filled with exploration, learning and a Global Diller Congress summit, which is attended by 650 Diller Teens from across six continents
By way of Diller Teen’s experiential and dynamic curriculum, our fellows are empowered and equipped with the skills, confidence, knowledge and Jewish values to create a better tomorrow.
We are closely monitoring the pandemic and will continue to do so in determining whether this year’s fellowship will be in-person, virtual or a hybrid of the two.
To apply for the 2021-2022 Diller Teen Fellows program or to nominate a teen for this year’s cohort, please click here. For more information about Diller Teen, please contact Darren Rabinowitz, Diller Teen Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. jGirls Magazine
Accepts submissions on a rolling basis
jGirls is an online community and magazine for and by self-identifying Jewish teenage girls and young women to share their voices with the world and each other. Supported by Jewish Federation’s Women of Vision, jGirls' content is created by teens and curated by a teen-led editorial board. The magazine’s aesthetic is shaped by teen staff photographers.
jGirls accepts submissions of creative materials (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, photography, and music) on an ongoing basis from girls ages 13-19. Published teen writers and artists are paid for their work. For more information, click here.
jGirls is accepting applications now through Sunday, April 11th for the 2021-2022 teen editorial board and staff photography cohort from girls and young women who will be in 10th-12th grades in the coming school year. To apply, please click here.
4. Moving Traditions’ Kol Koleinu: Teen Feminist Fellowship
Application open through Sunday, May 2, 2021
Moving Traditions’ Kol Koleinu fellowship, offered in collaboration with NFTY and USY, invites young Jewish feminists to explore and deepen their feminist knowledge, channel their voices to share their beliefs, and use their skills to create tangible change in their communities.
Open nationally to Jewish high school students (10th, 11th, or 12th grade for the 2021-2022 academic year), this year-long fellowship brings together teens to learn about gender analysis, feminism and social change, to use their expertise to teach their peers, and to complete projects that share their learning and leadership with their greater Jewish communities.
For more information and to apply, click here.
5. JFCS Teen Volunteering
Ongoing volunteer opportunities
Teens as well as pre-teens looking to fulfill service hours in preparation for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah can take part in a variety of volunteer activities available each month. Opportunities include grocery delivery to homebound clients, clothing drives, virtual volunteering, and building relationships with older adults. B’Nai Mitzvah students can explore different volunteering opportunities or engage with a single service project to create a meaningful connection with programs and clients. To see a list of volunteer opportunities and to sign up, please click here.
If you are interested in setting up a clothing drive for Our Closet or in taking part in our Adopt-an-Older adult program, where teens are matched with a senior to bring monthly care packages, please reach out to Emalie Clamage at email@example.com.
6. JEVS Human Services: College Prep Program
Applications are open for Summer 2021
JEVS’ Lasko College Prep Program offers college counseling and SAT test prep for Jewish high school juniors and seniors interested in attending college.
The program now offers two tracks this summer for free. Each track is tailored to meet students where they are in the college planning process and offers evening classes to accommodate the schedules of active high school students.
For more information and to register, click here.
7. Jewish Relief Agency (JRA) Volunteering
Want to make a difference in the fight against hunger and are looking for a B'nai Mitzvah project that is a hands-on, but socially distant, community service? JRA has what you’re looking for with their B'nai Mitzvah program. In the program, participants complete 10-hours of service with the following opportunities: pack and/or deliver at three JRA food distributions, organize a kosher canned food or toiletry donation drive, and/or create artwork for JRA recipients. You can also customize your project for an even more meaningful and personal experience. After finishing your project, you will receive a certificate of completion and a t-shirt.
For more information and to sign up, email JRA’s Volunteer & Program Manager Maddy Levine-Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. The Israeli Scouts: Philadelphia Chapter
Tzofim, or the Israeli Scouts, is a youth movement for Israeli, Hebrew speaking children in North America. The youth-led movement has about 25 shvatim or chapters across the country. High school students plan weekly activities that are held in Hebrew for kids in 3rd - 9th grade.
For more information about the Philadelphia chapter, Shevet Pa'amon, please click here or email email@example.com.
To learn about other youth movements, contact Rachel Berger, Director, Jewish Life and Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Gap Year Program
Know a high school senior considering a gap year? There are incredible Jewish experiences both nationally and abroad — and we can help connect you! Contact Rachel Berger, Director of Jewish Life and Learning, at email@example.com to talk options and financial aid.
10. Israel Programs Scholarship Aid Fund
The Jewish Federation oversees the Israel Programs Scholarship Aid Fund (IPSAF), which provides financial support for anyone who wants to participate in a program in Israel. This fund helps teens travel to Israel with youth movements and attend educational programs, such as the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, an institution supported by the Jewish Federation that provides a semester of study abroad in high school.
For more information and to apply, click here.
*Special Mention: Full Merit Scholarship to Camp Tel Yehudah
Tel Yehudah is the teen leadership overnight camp of Young Judaea. Every summer, hundreds of Jewish teens from across the United States, Israel and around the world create a community dedicated to fun, friendships, learning and changing the world. The Garin Scholarship is a full merit scholarship for rising 9th and 10th graders to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of four weeks at Camp Tel Yehudah this summer. For more information and to apply, click here. To nominate a teen, click here.