GIFT recruiting image

Giving Initiative for Teens

Jewish Teens. Making a Difference.

The Giving Initiative for Teens (GIFT) is part of a national program to teach teens about grant-making, non-profit management, fundraising, and Jewish values. The program encourages engagement in the community and empowers teens to be part of the grant-making process from start to finish, as they work together to raise and allocate funds to distribute to local non-profits. GIFT runs from roughly September to June, with applications for the upcoming school year opening each spring.

2020-21 Dates

Dates for the 2020-21 program will be sent to participants soon. Please note, due to COVID-19, all GIFT meetings in 2020 will be held online. As the SJCC continues to monitor the safety of our community, we will decide in January if there will be any in-person meetings in 2021. If we are able to gather in-person, meetings will be held at the SJCC on Mercer Island. Dates are subject to change.

Support GIFT

A donation in support of the Giving Initiative for Teens program allows us to continue this important work in providing a space for teens to gain leadership and philanthropy experiences.

Support GIFT



Application & Nomination Forms

Applicants must be in 9th-12th grades in fall 2020 to be eligible. The cost is $200 per participant, and financial assistance is available.

Applications and nominations for the 2020-2021 cohort are closed.

If you have questions, please email Stephanie Aaronson, Community Development Manager.

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“GIFT allows us to be passionate about current issues in our society and carefully select organizations that we would like to help. It shows that teens can make a difference.” – Olivia Levitan, 17

“GIFT showed me that Judaism can have a real-world impact beyond the spiritual aspect,” he said. “GIFT helped me figure out how to use Jewish values to make a difference.” – Boaz Malakoff, 17

“It’s hard to get to temple as often as I used to, but my monthly GIFT meetings helped me stay connected to the community and to other Jewish teens.” – Danielle Lavitt, 16

“I’ve learned I can apply Jewish values to different endeavors. Now, whenever I’m making big decisions I can think about my values and make sure my decision is aligned with them.” – Matt Feldman, 16

GIFT 2019-20 Grantee Organizations

  •  Facing Homelessness
  • FareStart
  • Kent Youth and Family Services
  • Leket Israel
  • Recovery Café
  • Ryther
  • Therapeutic Health Services

GIFT 2018-2019 Grantee Organizations

  • Eastside Legal Assistance Program
  • Jewish Family Services
  • Kent Youth and Family Services
  • King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
  • Mary’s Place
  • Sound Mental Health

Thank you to our generous sponsors

The Foundation Board Incubator is a project of the Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) generously funded by Laura Lauder and the Maimonides Fund. GIFT is generously funded by JTFN, the Samis Foundation, and the Bianco family.

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