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two JTFGB teens work together

JTFGB and Gateways

A partnership between Gateways and the Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston  (JTFGB) offers teens in grades 9–12 from diverse learning backgrounds a year-long opportunity to build leadership skills and engage in philanthropy.

The Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston

The Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston (JTFGB) is an innovative leadership development program for Jewish high school students who want to learn how philanthropy works by participating in a year-long foundation-like group experience. A project of the Jewish Teen Funders Network, JTFGB is a part of the Foundation Board Incubator initiative, generously funded by Laura Lauder and the Maimonides Fund.

An inclusive philanthropy and leadership skill-building initiative

Gateways and The Jewish Teen Foundation of Greater Boston (JTFGB) are collaborating to bring the program, which fosters leadership and a commitment to philanthropy to teens of diverse learning backgrounds.

Both Gateways and JTFGB believe that all teens should have the opportunity to put Jewish values such as tikkun olam and tzedakah into practice and learn the skills needed to set a life-long pattern of activism and philanthropy. An experienced facilitator guides second year JTFGB participants in mentoring new teens, providing support and partnership as they work together in an inclusive and collaborative group environment. Many returning JTFGB teens are committed to passing on the tools they have learned and to fostering relationships and providing support to new participants coming to the program through this new partnership with Gateways.

Providing Hands-on, Lifelong Skills

Over the course of the academic year, the teens on each JTFGB board work together as an actual philanthropic foundation, identifying the issue they would like to address and eventually making grants to nonprofit organizations located in Boston, elsewhere in the US, or around the globe that focus on their issue of interest. Throughout the process, teen board members collaborate to:

  • Learn how Jewish values apply to philanthropy and the grant making process.
  • Acquire critical research skills and hone leadership abilities.
  • Explore issues of social justice.
  • Create requests for proposals and evaluate grant proposals from non-profits.
  • Develop skills to solicit and raise funds to support the causes that are important to them.
  • Challenge each other through insightful discussions and make thoughtful grant decisions that address the causes that matter most to them.

Program Requirements

Teens selected for this program are expected to make JTFGB a priority, and boards meet monthly on Sundays throughout the academic year.

Students are expected to participate in:

  • 9 monthly meetings
  • An all-day kick-off retreat in the fall,
  • A parent/student orientation,
  • Spring weekday site visits to non-profit organizations and
  • An end-of-year grant presentation ceremony.
  • Each board member is responsible for raising a minimum of $360 that will go directly to the grant-making pool. 

Program Fees

Program participation is $360, but no applicant will be denied participation based on financial need. Students remunerate the program fee upon acceptance into the program. Please note that this amount goes directly to program fees and is NOT contributed to the teens’ overall grant-making pool.