Targum Shlishi Supports Innovative Teen Philanthropy Program
(Miami, FL) February 2, 2011 – Targum Shlishi supported the program H.O.P.E. (Helping Organizations Provide Essentials), Areyvut’s Jewish Teen Philanthropy Program at Yeshivat Noam in Bergen County, New Jersey. The goal of the program, which took place during the spring semester, 2010, was to provide sixth- and seventh-grade students with the opportunity to learn about philanthropy, its impact, and the meaning of giving Jewishly.
Students began the bimonthly program with little knowledge about philanthropy. By the end of the program, after reviewing grant requests and meeting with potential grantees from several organizations, the students determined two nonprofit organizations to support and presented a total of $1,000 to the recipient organizations, The Friendship Circle (a Chabad-affiliated nonprofit that helps families of children with special needs) and Habitat for Humanity.
“Our goal as an organization as a whole and through the teen philanthropy program specifically is getting students involved while they are young and igniting a lifelong commitment to chesed, tzedakah,and tikkun olam,” says Daniel Rothner, founder and director of Areyvut. “The teen philanthropy program enabled us to teach these students about the importance of actively making the world a better place.”
During the program, students attended bimonthly sessions where they learned about philanthropy from the ground up. They not only learned the ins and outs of topics such as mission statements, budgets, and requests for proposal, but they took a broad approach to learning about types of philanthropies that address people’s needs in different ways by concentrating on three areas of interest—the arts, self sufficiency, and community building. The teens then prepared Requests for Proposals which they gave to organizations they were interested in possibly funding, discussed each organization, and invited each to the school for a presentation. During the process, the students also met with a professional in the field of philanthropy to learn more about the allocation process. “The goal was to reach a point where the students would be able to make an informed decision about where to allocate their funding,” explains Rothner.
In addition to learning in this way, the students were provided with opportunities to actively volunteer at other organizations that could use their help in the future. Their volunteer work consisted of preparing food packages for the Kosher Meals on Wheels program of the Jewish Family Services of Bergen County.
“This type of experiential learning is a great way for our young people to learn how our actions and our giving—whether through acts of philanthropy or volunteering—impact our community. The students not only learned about philanthropy through study and from experts, but they experienced it first-hand. It’s very heartening to see innovative programs such as H.O.P.E. adding value to the educational experiences of our youth,” says Aryeh Rubin, director of Targum Shlishi.
A non-profit organization established in 2002, Areyvut offers Jewish day schools, educators, synagogues and community centers unique opportunities to empower and enrich youth by creating innovative and meaningful programs that make the core Jewish values—chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (social action)—a reality. The organization’s initiatives include working with Bar and Bat Mitzvah students and their families to find or develop meaningful social action projects. For more information about Areyvut, visit its website at www.areyvut.org.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org.