Teens Grant 40,000 for Community Needs

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40 high school juniors and seniors representing public and private high schools and 12 different synagogues have come together to recommend grants totaling $40,000 to 11 organizations for crucial programs in the Jewish and general communities through the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s 2015-2016 Maurice Saltzman Youth Panel.

Joanna Sherman, a junior at Hawken School, and Joshua Wild, a junior at Fuchs Mizrachi School, presented the panel’s recommendations to the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Board of Trustees on May 25, 2016. Recommendations from the panel were unanimously approved by the board.

“The Saltzman Youth Panel is about more than just choosing worthy programs to help fund,” said Sherman. “It is about the Jewish community, the importance of the work we do, and the importance of community process.”

Some of the Jewish community grants included $7,500 to the Hebrew Shelter Home for new furniture and appliances, $7,500 to Jewish Family Service Association (JFSA) to provide an improved multisensory environment for adults with developmental disabilities, $7,000 to Menorah Park to support rehabilitation programs for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, $2,500 to help create an ecological coexistence playground in Israel to promote peace and educate young people, a program run by our international partner, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and $1,600 to The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland for the Teen Clinic and Outreach Education program.

Prior to the Board of Trustees meeting, panel members and their families gathered for a reception to celebrate their accomplishments. Federation President Stephen H. Hoffman congratulated the group on their successful collaboration and philanthropic spirit. Panelists commented on how much they learned about community needs, vulnerable populations, evaluation of grant proposals and the struggle to prioritize needs when resources are limited.

Panel members, selected through a competitive application process, met nine times throughout the school year. They created a Request for Proposals, reviewed grant applications, learned about consensus decision making and, in the end, had a tremendous impact on programs and organizations which improve the lives of others.

For information about submitting nominations or obtaining an application for the 2016-17 Saltzman Youth Panel, please contact program coordinator Leora Hoenig lhoenig@jcfcleve.org or 216-593-2798. Application deadline is September 1, 2016.

View photos from the Final Reception.

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