Coming of age as a Jew is much more than having a bar or bat mitzvah ceremony and celebrating with family and friends. It’s about being counted as an adult in the Jewish community and taking responsibility for doing your own mitzvot.
One mitzvah that b’nai mitzvah candidates can do is giving tzedakah, but with all the worthy non-profit organizations out there, how can young teens make meaningful choices?
The Jewish Federation of Louisville has totally revamped its B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program for seventh and eighth graders to make it meaningful and relevant to today’s teens.
With support and materials created by the Jewish Teen Funders Network, participants will meet once every other month. They will:
- Write a mission statement;
- Identify the kinds of programs they want to support;
- Learn about, issue and evaluate RFP’s (requests for proposals);
- Make site visits and do hands on projects; and
- Make decisions on allocating the money available in the program.
Each participant will invest $300 from the gifts they receive when they celebrate their b’nai mitzvah, and a community partner will provide a $200 match. The money from all participants will be pooled. In addition, participants in the original B’nai Tzedek program, many of whom have funds that have remained dormant for a number of years, have been invited to add the money from their funds to the pool.
Since all the funds are pooled, a significant amount of interest will be generated. The same allocation guidelines applied by the Jewish Foundation of Louisville to all its funds will be applied to this fund to determine how much participants will allocate at the end of the program.
Parents and teens who are interested in learning more about the program are invited to an informational meeting on Wednesday, October 9, at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center.
For questions contact Rachel Lipkin at 502-238-2701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.