Source: Jim Joseph Foundation
Rose Community Foundation (RCF) in Denver, CO announced the launch today of a multi-faceted Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative, supported by a four-year matching grant up to $2,256,015 from the Jim Joseph Foundation. The collaborative initiative has five key components and is designed both to increase the number and diversity of high school age Jewish teens participating in Jewish education and engagement experiences, and to deepen the quality and diversity of those experiences. The grant was awarded within the framework of the Jim Joseph Foundation’s national-local funder collaborative, a group of funders interested in working together to expand and deepen community-based Jewish teen education and engagement.
The Initiative draws from a variety of best practices, proven models of engagement, and new ideas to offer teens an array of Jewish education and engagement opportunities. RCF will serve as the manager of the initiative, working with multiple local and national organizations to support both existing and new Jewish teen initiatives.
The Initiative will support:
- expansion of Jewish Student Connection's (JSC) network of Jewish clubs in local high schools, along with the start of new clubs in middle schools;
- expansion of Moving Traditions' gender-based monthly discussion groups for Jewish teens—“Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!” and “Shevet Achim: The Brotherhood.”
- launch of a new Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative (BJTI) in Boulder modeled after the North Shore Teen Initiative, which facilitates collaboration among Jewish youth groups and synagogues;
- launch of a pilot experiment, Jewish Teens Make it Happen Fellows, that will provide micro-grants and support to Jewish teens in Greater Denver interested in creating Jewish experiences for their peers; and
- training and support for the Jewish Youth Professionals Council, a network of all Jewish youth professionals in Greater Denver as they collaborate to manage participation data, increase their skills to mentor adolescents, and seek to reach the under-engaged.
The structure of the initiative reflects an understanding of various effective Jewish teen engagement strategies. As one example, the Jewish Teens Make it Happen Fellows will put financial resources directly into the hands of Jewish teen innovators to create their own Jewish experiences to engage their peers and to make a meaningful difference in their community. As another example, the BJTI—spearheaded by Jewish Student Connection, the Boulder JCC and all major synagogues in Boulder—will offer teens the chance to engage in Jewish experiences regardless of denomination or organizational affiliation.
Read more at the Jim Joseph Foundation website.