B’nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy Program

Our B’nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy Program sets teens up for a lifetime of philanthropy.

Philanthropy: Phil = love | Anthropy = humankind 

B’nai Tzedek redefines Jewish philanthropy by showing teens that they, too, can change the world through a personal and engaged relationship to lifelong giving. Participants learn about modern philanthropy and apply their knowledge by making heartfelt grants from their own long-term B’nai Tzedek charitable funds to the organizations and causes they care about. Whether it’s ending hunger, poverty, and homelessness, or supporting animal rescue, and more, the B’nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy Program helps teens find organizations working to address the causes that most concern them. They also learn about leadership, service, financial literacy, and long-term investing to use their funds for good — now and in the future. 

Briefly, the program offers teens: 

An overview of the B’nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy Program

Activities and Time Commitment 

We understand busy teen schedules. B’nai Tzedek provides service opportunities for teens throughout the year with no minimum time commitment. Teens, in conversation with their parents, determine their level of involvement. Teens seeking deeper engagement in philanthropy and advocacy education can apply to serve on the Youth Philanthropy Board. 

Find out about upcoming events!

Community Service 

B’nai Tzedek is a community of mitzvah-doers. Throughout the year, organizations will contact B’nai Tzedek looking for volunteers. We send these volunteer opportunities out by email to all teens on our email list. 

As Jewish people, we embrace the concept of tikkun olam – repairing the world – and passing this tradition along to our children. Teens in the B’nai Tzedek program typically complete a mitzvah project and donate at least $500 (usually from the gifts they’ve received upon becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah) to a fund they create in their OWN name (e.g. The Leah Schwartz B’nai Tzedek Fund). Then, once a year, they select a charitable organization and recommend a donation of 5% from their fund. The more the fund grows, the more tzedakah they can give each year, contributing only from the investment growth of the fund. 

Learn more about community service opportunities.

How a Teen’s B’nai Tzedek Fund Works

As a lifelong tzedakah investment, B’nai Tzedek fund holders will have money to grant from their fund once a year for the next 20 years or when they reach age 33, whichever comes first. Then, if the fund has remained active and reached a level of $2,500 or more, donors can continue using the fund to make lifelong, yearly charitable contributions. If the fund is less than $2,500, it will roll into the Foundation’s B’nai Tzedek Endowment Fund to support the B’nai Tzedek program for future generations. If an individual fund grows to $10,000, it will convert to a donor advised fund at the Foundation, with all the granting privileges of such a fund. 

Anyone who wants to be a philanthropist, CAN be a philanthropist.

Questions about B'nai Tzedek?

As someone who loves working with teens, I’m excited to share this program with you and the young people in your life. If you want to help them make a difference, please reach out to me. I’ll be happy to tell you more and answer any questions you may have.

Andrea Cohen
Director, Youth Philanthropy & Community Engagement
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