The Bay Area’s four Jewish Community Teen Foundations announced grants totaling $162,000 during recent ceremonies in Mill Valley, Foster City, Palo Alto and Piedmont.
The Jewish Community Teen Foundation teaches teens about philanthropy and social change through hands-on learning, in which they raise money and make informed decisions about how to allocate those funds. Teens view the entire process through Jewish values.
“It’s a great learning experience,” said Ruth Dreisbach, 15, of San Francisco. She raised $5,000 by writing letters to friends and family and collecting small donations.
“And it makes you feel really good about yourself — obviously, it’s not about yourself, but still it makes you feel good because you’re really helping someone and making a difference in the world,” Dreisbach added.
Last year, 100 Bay area Jewish teens in four foundation chapters raised more than $204,000 to help people in need across the globe. This year, despite the continuing recession, the teen philanthropists allocated $162,000 to nonprofit programs in the Bay Area and throughout the world.
The money will support a range of nonprofits, including those working in Darfur to install gray water projects to seed and grow vegetables; funding eye care for impoverished Arab Israeli and Ethiopian Israeli children; using art therapy to aid Bay Area homeless children.
The teens who raised the money for those grants did so as a member of one of four Jewish Community Teen Founda-tions: San Francisco/Marin, the South Peninsula, the North Peninsula and the East Bay. The grants were announced at ceremonies May 17 and 20.
For more information and a complete grant history, visit www.jewishteenfoundation.org.