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 up to $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. We request nominations from local synagogue staff and leadership. Students who have been nominated receive a notification via email. Nominated students are under no obligation to complete an application.
  2. You can fill out your application here.
  3. You may contact Anna Novik, co-coordinator of SYP, directly via e-mail anovik@jcfcleve.org or phone (216-593-2844). 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 2021-2022 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 11:59 p.m. on Friday, August 6, 2021.

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

A: Applicants will be notified of their status no later than Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

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. Our program 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 priority during our selection process.

Q: What skills will I gain as a member of the SYP?

A: Panelists will learn how to create a Request for Proposal, build up their resumes, gain a greater understanding of the philanthropic process, learn about grant writing, develop strong interview skills and critical thinking skills, network with fellow Jewish teens, and learn how to advocate for what they believe in.

Q: When does SYP meet?

A: SYP meets several times throughout the year. In addition, panelists are required to participate in TWO outreach hours, and a daytime reception which corresponds with the April or May Federation Board of Trustees Meeting. Parents are invited to attend this reception.

The current plan is to host all sessions in-person, following CDC guidelines. Sessions may occur online via Zoom if needed to ensure panelists' safety. Later dates TBD. The schedule for the 2021-22 Panel is as follows:

Thursday, Aug 26: Parent & Participant Orientation

Sunday, Sept 12: Session 1

Sunday, Oct 10: Session 2 at Super Sunday

Thursday, Nov 11: Session 3

Thursday, Dec 9: Session 4

Thursday, Jan 13: Session 5

Thursday, Feb 10: Session 6

Sunday, March 6: Session 7 (Final)

April or May (Date TBD): Presentation to Board of Trustees

Weeknight sessions are from 6 – 8:30 pm. Sunday sessions are from 2 – 4:30 pm.

The closing reception will be held in conjunction with the Federation's April or May 2022 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. After each session, panelists will have a variety of tasks ranging from reaching out to Jewish agencies, interviewing family members, and thoroughly reading and reviewing the submitted grant applications thoroughly 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: Anna Novik
216-593-2844
anovik@jcfcleve.org