Thursday, May 21, 2009 | return to: news & features, local


Teen foundations do it again: Despite recession, youths raise $162,000 for charity

by stacey palevsky, staff writer

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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



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