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2019-06-06T20:43:06+00:00May 30th, 2019|

By Aaron Saxe “What would remain if Foundation funding disappeared?” This was a common question that former Jim Joseph Foundation Executive Director Chip Edelsberg posed to challenge the professional team during the early launch phases of Foundation-supported teen education initiatives. But really, the question itself reflects a guiding principle of the Foundation since its inception; that [...]

Cracking the Programming Code

2019-06-06T21:00:36+00:00May 28th, 2019|

Executive Summary Phase One of the New York Teen Initiative (NYTI) has been a four-year, nine-million-dollar endeavor to redefine the New York City area’s Jewish teen engagement through the incubation of new and innovative models for summer engagement, a robust online marketing platform (, and the provision of scholarships to participating teens and their families. The [...]

Serving as Leaders for the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative

2019-05-15T22:33:33+00:00May 15th, 2019|

By Melanie Schneider and Brian Jaffee, eJewishPhilanthropy As the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative continues the work that started in 2013, we are excited about the advances we see in the field. More communities have more resources to offer, in an increasingly diverse, supportive, and genuinely creative field – which leads to more offerings to engage [...]

Why Leaders of Jewish Teen Initiatives All Went to See “Dear Evan Hansen”

2019-05-15T22:40:31+00:00May 10th, 2019|

By Jessica Green As educators working to engage teens in meaningful Jewish experiences, all of us in the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative know the facts surrounding teen angst and concerns about young people’s mental health. We wring our hands over the impact of social media on our teens, providing “connections” yet ultimately often leading to loneliness and self-loathing. We have [...]

Creating Relationships Defined by Radical Candor

2019-02-01T17:51:22+00:00February 1st, 2019|

By Emily Messinger Creating an environment in which relationships defined by openness, honesty, and transparency can flourish is a great goal to have, albeit difficult to achieve. In my role as Director of the Northeast Teen Collective, I am privileged to work with two camps—URJ Camp Eisner and Crane Lakes Camps—and two different NFTY regions, Northeast [...]

Dear Evan Hansen: We Are Here to Help

2019-01-13T22:43:58+00:00January 13th, 2019|

I experienced my lowest point as a parent early on, when my 2.5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. I felt distraught, guilty, and helpless. Sure, I could advocate for her care, research the latest treatment options, and pray to anyone or anything listening to return my daughter to her delightfully silly and lovable self, but I [...]

Communities Embrace a Holistic View of Teen Engagement

2018-08-30T23:26:34+00:00August 30th, 2018|

As the High Holidays approach, many of us will engage in introspection and reflection: What do we make of the past year?  What are hopes for the year to come?  Turning inward to find deeper understanding of our place in the world fills some people with joy and a sense of freedom; others may feel great uncertainty, anxiety, and [...]

Training the Educators We’ll Always Remember

2018-06-28T05:27:28+00:00June 28th, 2018|

Developmentally, teens are in the midst of a significant process of becoming. In the teen years, we begin to move from our parents’ ideas and habits to our own. And at the same time, we are too young to truly be independent — we are deeply influenced by our peers and any mentors we find. This [...]

Testing the Waters: New Summer Teen Experiences

2017-09-27T04:14:22+00:00September 27th, 2017|

There was something fishy about the Sci-Tech Israel program.Just ask Robert, a rising junior at a Westchester high school, who joined 28 other teens from the New York area and around the country for three weeks on this Israel adventure. The teens met Israeli science and technology experts while exploring the country from Sinai to Eilat [...]

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