Jewish Foundation Fosters Youth Philanthropy

by Jennifer Bayer
Assistant Director of Development

This spring, the Jewish Foundation, in partnership with Amplifier Giving, the National Network of Giving Circles, ran a Pop-Up Giving Circle for JTE Students.

With the help of student leader, Samantha Hass, our next generation of philanthropists had an opportunity to talk about shared values around giving, philanthropic priorities and come to a consensus as a group to disburse $3,600 provided by the Jewish Foundation.

The JTE student board chose three organizations to pitch project ideas as a component of the workshop. Amy Rashba, Jewish Family Service Acting Executive Director, talked about the JFS Stars of David Program for families with adopted children. Mara Balk, Jewish Community Center Program Director, pitched a program for its new MakerSpace, and Laurel McCormack of IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services) talked about their program, Youth Leaders for Refugee Teens. It was particularly meaningful for JTE students to get to meet one of the participants of IRIS’s impactful program. Ultimately, our students awarded funds to all of the organizations, with the majority of funding awarded to IRIS.

Faced with funding decisions on behalf of the community, teens experienced first-hand what some of our lay leaders experience when making group decisions for the benefit of the community.

Samantha Hass reflected on the process. “The JTE giving circle allowed teens to make a lasting difference in the community,” she said. “I’m so happy we were able to collectively decide to help sponsor refugees, among other important projects in Greater New Haven.”

To learn more about youth philanthropy, contact Lisa Stanger at (203) 387-2424, ext. 382.


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