Grooming a New Generation of Jewish Philanthropists

jewish teen funders networkHebrew College has been selected to serve as one of a handful of new incubator sites in the rapidly growing field of teen philanthropy.

The Jewish Teen Funders Network chose the college, along with Gann Academy in Waltham, to train and mentor a cohort of 40 Greater Boston high-school students as part of a new initiative to groom future Jewish donors and communal leaders throughout the United States and around the world. The two institutions will work under the auspices of a grant awarded to Combined Jewish Philanthropies — one of just three such grants awarded by JTFN this year.

"We're thrilled to be on the ground floor of this innovative program," said Prozdor Director Dan Brosgol, who helped bring the program to Hebrew College. "In addition to meeting a real need in the growing field of teen philanthropy, it represents another way for Prozdor to broaden its impact beyond the traditional Sunday morning learning experience."

Students in the program will receive 25 hours of philanthropic and leadership training grounded in Jewish principles and practices. They will put their new skills into action by forming a kind of grantmaking collective that will award monies to local worthy organizations after a careful process of assessment and evaluation.

"Teens make philanthropy a blast," said Laura Lauder, a co-funder of the program along with the Maimonides Fund. "They love dissecting grant proposals and discussing the worthy distribution of every dime. Teens learn how to build consensus and incorporate Jewish values and texts all along the way. We are creating real leaders and philanthropists."