The Maurice Saltzman Youth Grant Program of the Jewish Federation was established in 1998 by Shirley Saltzman and her family. The program perpetuates the goals of the late Maurice Saltzman, a past president of the Jewish Federation. Having grown up at the Jewish Orphan Home, now Bellefaire Jewish Children's Bureau, Maurice Saltzman became a generous philanthropist and community leader who cared deeply about educating the next generation of community leadership.
The panel educates younger members of our Jewish community about the philanthropic process and responding to Jewish and general community needs. The panel consists of 40 area high school juniors and seniors who are selected through rabbi, religious school director, youth group advisor nominations and at-large applications. Each year, a new Saltzman Youth Panel makes decisions about allocating funds to worthy organizations – 85% of which is awarded to programs serving the Jewish community. Through this process the participants learn about community decision-making, leadership and most importantly, tzedakah.
Among the grants was $7,500 to Jewish Family Service Association to support adults with developmental disabilities; $7,500 to support backpacks with school supplies for Ethiopian first graders in Israel, a program run by the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; and $2,000 to Recovery Resources to address mental illness and addiction.
Applicants must be in the 11th or 12th grade
There is no cost to participate on the Saltzman Youth Panel.
Selection to the Saltzman Youth Panel is highly competitive, and participation, while very rewarding, can be demanding. Panelists are required to attend all scheduled sessions (seven Sunday meetings, plus Super Sunday, and a presentation to the Jewish Federation Board of Trustees in the spring) as well as conduct outside research and agency site visits. While reasonable efforts are made to avoid schedule conflicts, they may, on occasion, occur. Members of the Saltzman Youth Panel are expected to make their participation on the panel a priority, both for their own experience and for that of fellow panelists.