Who We Are
In 2013, Jim Joseph Foundation convened more than a dozen local and national funders of Jewish teen programming for a series of discussions on expanding teen involvement in Jewish life. The funders learned together and commissioned groundbreaking research—and ultimately began to design responsive local teen engagement initiatives in communities across the country. This group evolved into a robust, collaborative community: The Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Funder Collaborative, now powered by Jewish Federations of North America. This innovative learning and sharing network has created an environment that fosters risk-taking, experimentation and ongoing reflection.
Funders serve as resources and thought-partners to their practitioner colleagues who are at different points in the process of launching, growing, refining and sustaining their initiatives. Members share a commitment to transparency, with the goal of increasing knowledge and contributing tools to help advance the entire Jewish teen engagement field. The Funder Collaborative also shares its internal process and findings with others who may choose to embark on their own co-funding endeavor.
For more details about our structure and participating organizations, please visit our FAQ section below.
A New ParadigmThe insights our research generates is reshaping the national conversation and influencing the practice of Jewish teen education and engagement.
A New Paradigm
We are uncovering valuable information about the desires, beliefs and motivations of Jewish teens, and discovering and refining the most promising engagement practices.
Local Teen InitiativesOur initiatives signify a shift in traditional Jewish programming and offer diverse new ways to reach, educate, engage and inspire unengaged teens.
Local Teen InitiativesInitiatives draw on the strength of partners and respond to the needs and desires of local teens.
Key LearningsWe invest heavily in two concurrent evaluation efforts to create shared frameworks and universal tools so we may analyze outcomes across communities.
Key LearningsEvaluative efforts allow us to understand our process and outcomes; all of our findings are published to benefit the field of teen engagement.
Funder Collaborative Community-Based Initiatives
The Funder Collaborative is comprised of ten communities of varying sizes and demographic composition. Each has embarked on responsive teen initiatives informed by rich, ongoing conversation with community stakeholders, local organizations, collaborative colleagues and teens.
Rabbi Dena Shaffer
Director, Education & Learning
Director, Resiliency Roundtable
Wellness Coordinator, LICSW
Wellness Coordinator, LICSW
Frequently Asked Questions
We are an unprecedented endeavor in which local and national funders collaborate in the work of education, relationship-building and co-investment in multi-faceted local Jewish teen education and engagement initiatives.
We believe the work of the Funder Collaborative, and the teen initiatives underway in each of the communities, can actively build the field of Jewish teen engagement. We strive to improve the existing landscape by driving deep change in local communities to catalyze broader impact.
Through the work of the Funder Collaborative and participating communities, new programs are being incubated, existing program providers are being incentivized to expand or deepen their work, youth professionals are receiving serious professional development – and all are taking evaluation seriously. It is part of our mission to share all that we learn so that others may bring successful strategies to scale.
The Funder Collaborative has evolved into a healthy mix of local and national funders and implementers who continue to come together to discuss, dissect and address shared areas of interest. Jim Joseph Foundation serves an anchor funder and original convener; national funders have co-funded early research on the development of learning outcomes for teens and the tools to measure them; local funders, together with Jim Joseph Foundation, co-invest in community-based teen initiatives and two concurrent evaluative efforts. Participating funders include:
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
The Crown Family
Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, The Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Jewish Federation of San Diego County
Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
Jim Joseph Foundation
Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah
Rose Community Foundation
The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore
The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati
The Marcus Foundation
UJA-Federation of NY
More details on our structure here.
The Jim Joseph Foundation sought out local funding partners who share a desire to invest in new experiments to reach substantially more Jewish teens. Communities were selected for their willingness to engage in community-wide programming, experience developing strong partnerships – locally and nationally – with Jewish teen education organizations, capacity to fundraise for the matching grant, and interest in the teen audience.
Local or national organizations, or lay leaders, seeking more information or interested in exploring programmatic partnership with a local community may contact Funder Collaborative Director Sara Allen at email@example.com.
The ten communities reflect the full membership of the Funder Collaborative, and neither we nor Jim Joseph Foundation are accepting requests for funding.
Local or national organizations interested in exploring programmatic partnership with a local community may contact Director Sara Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosov Consulting is responsible for the Cross-Community Evaluation, aggregating and analyzing data from the participating communities. Additionally, they serve as local evaluators for several of the communities. Informing Change is also retained as local evaluators for several local communities.