WEST SPRINGFIELD – Jewish teens in grades 9 through 12 are invited to apply to join the B’nai Tzedek Youth Foundation, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation where teens learn about and participate in philanthropy.
Teens begin the program by discussing issues that are important to them and developing a group mission statement. They later meet leaders of local Jewish organizations to learn about the grant-making process and discover important work being done by local, national, and international non-profit organizations.
To obtain the funds needed for the allocations, teens achieve a fundraising goal which is later matched dollar-for-dollar by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. The group solicits and reviews project proposals from Jewish organizations around the world and makes collective decisions about which projects to fund.
In 2012-13, the teens allocated funds locally to Jewish Family Service in Springfield to provide household supplies to refugees in Western Mass; Lander-Grinspoon Academy in Northampton, to support a yearlong food justice project, and Rachel’s Table in Springfield, in support of their gleaning program. Funds were also allocated nationally and internationally to Orr Shalom in Israel, to provide basic living supplies to at-risk children in that country; Kulanu Inc. in New York City, for a school nutrition program in Israel; Be’chol Lashon in San Francisco, who coordinated a teen peer education program in Uganda; and Footsteps Inc. in New York City, a career advancement program that helps ultra-religious individuals enter the mainstream workforce.
The Youth Foundation will meet one Sunday per month, November 2013 through April 2014. Applications will be accepted until October 15, 2013. For more information and to apply, visit http://bit.ly/BTYF2013-14.