Why Relational Engagement?

When people feel genuinely connected, understood and valued, it fosters trust and enthusiasm to participate.  Relationships are among the most significant tools to both promote wellbeing and authentically connect teens to appealing and relevant Jewish experiences and programs.  Relational engagement is proven to cultivate inclusive communities of belonging and positive youth development.  It is a strategy that prioritizes people over programs; empathy and authenticity over recruitment.

When Two Sit Together

When Two Sit Together is a ten-lesson peer-to-peer relational engagement curriculum founded on the premise that young people have the power to be trusted peer connectors and changemakers.  This curriculum cultivates communities where teens can help one another thrive, engage in meaningful self-discovery, and experience a strong sense of belonging. Through hands-on experiential learning, and activities framed and enhanced with unique Jewish wisdom, participants are exposed to the principles and practices of relational engagement.  Each session is designed specifically to be customized and adapted for a wide variety of Jewish settings and contexts.

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Grant Opportunity

The FC is thrilled to offer a unique grant opportunity for communities or organizations who are passionate about nurturing strong connections for the teens (or other identified demographics) they serve.  These microgrants will support and catalyze the adaptation and implementation of our acclaimed Peer-to-Peer Relational Engagement curriculum designed to foster positive relationships between Jewish teens (or other identified demographics) and empower young people to cultivate communities where they and their peers can thrive, engage in meaningful self-discovery, and experience a strong sense of belonging.  Through this grant we invite community organizations to join us in revolutionizing how we engage and connect with Jewish teens (or others) to make a lasting impact on their lives.

Grant recipients will also be connected to the national Relational Engagement Community of Practice to benefit from a national network, new learning opportunities, and the sharing of best practices.

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There are a limited number of grants available for up to $2500.00.  These catalyst grants require easy and minimal reporting and are designed to support community or organization-based projects such as but not limited to:

Launch a teen peer-to-peer relational engagement program

Enhance an existing teen program with relational engagement curricular touchpoints

Adapt the teen peer-to-peer relational engagement curriculum for other audiences

We welcome the opportunity to better understand local or organizational needs, brainstorm potential projects and discuss their applicability, as well as introduce you to potential partners or collaborators.

As you are completing the following proposal, please feel free to reach out to Rabbi Dena Shaffer, Director of Learning and Engagement for the Jewish Teen Funder Collaborative ( to discuss your project idea.