Lessons in philanthropy | Jewish teens learn how to distribute money and raise it for various charities

More than two dozen Jewish teens, including 12 from Mercer Island, will present checks totaling $8,600 to nonprofit agencies they selected as a group over this past school year. This presentation will complete a year of philanthropic learning experienced by members of J.Team, the Jewish Youth Philanthropy Team, of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

Islanders who participated included: Ashley Bobman, Alexis Chamberlin, Sarah Drucker, Maya Federman, Zach Goldblatt, Woodrow Jacobson, Alec Leibsohn, Jake Leibsohn, Cora Miller, Olivia Rosen, Sonya Saepoff and Rachel Witus.

J.Team is comprised of teens who meet monthly throughout the school year. They participate in nonprofit site visits and community service projects, and learn about Jewish values of giving. Finally, they decide as a group where to distribute a pool of community-donated funds.

“Being on J.Team makes me feel like I’m part of something important that will make a difference and I feel great about what we accomplish at each session. My experience on J.Team will be very useful later in life and will help me be a better Jew and a more effective philanthropist,” said Islander Maya Federman.

While Jewish values of giving are a key component of J.Team, not all agencies receiving money are Jewish. J.Team members allocated the grants to the following nonprofits:

Leket Israel – finding excess, nutritious food and redirecting it to people in need in Israel: $500.

Sport For All – providing healthy, orga­nized sports programming to youth in Hof Ashkelon in Israel: $550.

Ultimate Peace – building bridges of friendship and understanding for Jewish and Arab youth from different social and cultural backgrounds through a one-week Ultimate Frisbee camp in Israel: $550.

Camp Scholarships – enabling Jewish children to experience camping: $1,000.

Kiva – providing micro-lending to help individuals participate in poverty alleviation directly: $1,250.

Treehouse – supporting foster children in our community: $1,250.

Save a Child’s Heart – Israeli-based pediatric cardiac care for children from develop­ing countries: $1,500.

FareStart – providing food and job train­ing to the homeless and disadvantaged: $2,000.

A celebration of the J.Team will take place on Sunday, June 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the Stroum Jewish Community Center on Mercer Island. The community is invited.

In order to participate in the J.Team, teens are selected through an application process during the summer for the following school year. Applications are due by June 30.

Learn more

To learn more about this program and others, visit:

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