Saltzman Youth Panel Frequently Asked Questions

 Q: What is the Saltzman Youth Panel?

A: The Saltzman Youth Panel (SYP) is a program that brings together up to 40 area high school juniors and seniors to make important decisions and allocate $50,000 in grants to local organizations in order to improve the Jewish and general communities. The panel is comprised of Jewish students from a variety of different backgrounds to learn about the philanthropic process and responding to community needs.

The Saltzman Youth Panel was established through the Maurice Saltzman Youth Grant Program of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland to educate younger members of our Jewish community about the importance of Jewish communal decision-making, the philanthropic process and responding to Jewish and general community needs.

The program was established in spring 1998 by Shirley Saltzman and her family. It perpetuates the goals of the late Maurice Saltzman, a past president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, who cared deeply about educating the next generation of Jewish community leadership.

Q: How do I apply?

A: Applications to become a panelist can be acquired in a number of ways:

  1. 1. We request nominations from local synagogue staff and leadership. Students who have been nominated receive an application packet via mail. Nominated students are under no obligation to complete an application.
  2. You can download the application directly from our website here.
  3. 3. You may contact Leora Hoenig, coordinator of SYP, directly via e-mail ( ) or phone (216-593-2798). She will be happy to answer any of your questions throughout the application process.

Applications require some basic information: a list of all extracurricular activities, and 1 short essay.

Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: Jewish students who will be in their junior or senior years of high school during the 2016-2017 academic year. Students do not need to be affiliated with any Jewish organization or congregation to apply.

Q: If I get nominated by someone in the community, does that assure me a spot on the panel?

A: No applicant is guaranteed a spot on the panel. The selection committee makes every effort to fulfill its mission of putting together a diverse panel of outstanding students that reflects the intention of the Saltzman family.

Q: How do I submit my application?

A: Applications are accepted electronically according to the directions included with the application.

Q: When are applications due?

A: Applications are due by 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 1.

Q: When will I know if I have been accepted?

A: Applicants will be notified of their status no later than Thursday, September 22.

Q: What if I don’t get selected?

A: We are fortunate that there is a very impressive cohort of high school students in our community, all of whom would be great panelists. Our program, though, allows for a maximum of 40 participants in an effort to maximize the experience and group dynamic. Each year, we receive many more applications of impressive students than slots on the panel. In fact, our applicant pool has grown significantly over the past three years.

If you apply as a junior, and we are unable to accommodate you, please know that we not only want you to consider applying again senior year, we ENCOURAGE you to do so! Seniors, as it is their last opportunity to participate, are given weight during our selection process.

Q: When does SYP meet?

A: SYP meets 7 times throughout the year. In addition, panelists are required to participate in SUPER SUNDAY, TWO phone-a-thons, and a daytime reception which corresponds with the May Federation Board of Trustees Meeting. Parents are invited to attend this reception. Panelists are also highly encouraged to attend J-Serve.

We meet on Sunday afternoons from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at various locations throughout the Jewish community. The schedule for the 2016-17 Panel is as follows:

September 25, 2016: Super Sunday - 9:00am-5:00pm @ JFC
October 9, 2016: Session 1 - 2:00pm-5:00pm
November 13, 2016: Session 2 - 2:00pm-5:00pm
December 4, 2016: Session 3 - 2:00pm-5:00pm
January 8, 2017: Session 4 - 2:00pm-5:00pm
February 5, 2017: Session 5 - 2:00pm-5:00pm
March 5, 2017: Session 6 - 2:00pm-5:00pm
April 9, 2017: Session 7 - 2:00pm-5:00pm
May 2017: Board of Trustees Meeting @ JFC

The closing reception will be held in conjunction with the Federation's May 2017 meeting of its Board of Trustees. Panelists and their families are invited to attend; that date will be released as soon as it is confirmed.

Panelists are expected to attend all meetings. Each panelist will receive only ONE excused absence. Upon acceptance to the panel, panelists and their parents will sign a letter of commitment to these scheduled dates and to this attendance policy.

Q: Is there any outside work I will have to do as a panelist?

A: Yes.  During the December break, panelists – in small groups – will be assigned to interview local Jewish agencies and prepare a report for the large group.  Once grant applications have been submitted to the panel, panelists will be expected to read them thoroughly on their own in preparation for meetings.  Minimal additional work may be asked of panelists as the decision-making process progresses.

Q: Who can I contact with more questions about SYP?

A: Leora Hoenig

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