With five years of Jewish teen philanthropy programming completed, the JCFC and the Calgary Jewish community is contributing to a North American movement.
Brianna Holtzman, Director of the Jewish Teen Funders Network says, “In Jewish teen philanthropy programs, Jewish teens don’t just gather for the sake of gathering. They talk and they listen. They learn and they teach. They voice their opinions while respecting and considering those of their peers. They hold the tools of grant proposals and financial reports up to the words of Maimonides and values of a long-held Jewish commitment to bettering the world, and they consider what impact their giving will have. They ask the hard questions while guiding each other through sorting out the best answers. They enlist their families, friends, and teachers to join them on this journey.”
The JCFC Teen Philanthropy Camp and Dorshei Tzedec Program are part of 133 registered programs across North America that help teens explore Jewish values, grow as Jewish leaders and engage in building Jewish communities.
In the past four years the JCFC has hosted Teen Philanthropy Camp programs at Camp BB Riback. This program has engaged a total of one hundred and seven grade ten students in an eight-hour mini philanthropy program. The students are introduced to the eight steps of philanthropy and the program ends with the selection of Alberta non profit organizations to receive one thousand dollars in grant funds. A group of twenty seven campers in the “Leaders-in-Training” program participated this past July.
The majority of the participants have already been involved in service projects and charitable fundraising, either through B’nai Mitzvah programs or school projects. In a group discussion the teens recounted the charitable activities they’ve been involved in this year. These projects involved dozens of volunteer hours and raising a over $35,000 for a variety of causes. The weekend of grant making skill development enhances their ability to make sound decisions independently, as part of a group, or family setting and completes the circle of philanthropy for each participant.
The annual teen philanthropy camp experience is generously funded and supported by B’nai Brith Lodge Calgary.