Jewish Teens Grant $50,000 for Community Needs

June 1, 2010 at 11:33 am | Posted in Press Releases | Leave a comment

The 2010 Maurice Saltzman Youth Panel of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland recommended grants totaling $50,000 to 10 organizations for crucial programs in the Jewish and general communities.

Kari Semel and Jacob Miller (both of Shaker Heights High School) presented the panel’s recommendations to the Jewish Federation’s Board of Trustees on May 26, 2010. Recommendations from the panel of 40 juniors and seniors representing 14 high schools and 13 synagogues throughout Greater Cleveland were unanimously approved by the board.

Among the grants were $7,500 for Hebrew Shelter Home for financial assistance for families in need; $5,000 for school supplies and backpacks for Ethiopian-Israeli children entering first grade, a program run by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (and supported by the annual Campaign for Jewish Needs); and $2,500 for a program to provide disabled children an environment that supports learning and skill retention during the summer, to the Help Foundation, Inc.

Prior to the Board of Trustees meeting, panel members and their families gathered for a reception to celebrate their accomplishments.  Federation President Stephen Hoffman and incoming Board Chair Michael Siegal congratulated the group for 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 of limited resources mandating the prioritization of needs.

Panel members, selected through a competitive application process, met seven 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 which improve the lives of others.

The Maurice Saltzman Youth Grant Program of the Jewish Federation was established in Spring 1998 through a generous gift from Shirley Saltzman and her family in memory of the late Maurice Saltzman.  The program perpetuates the goals of Maurice Saltzman, a past president of the Jewish Federation, who cared deeply about educating the next generation of Jewish community leadership. Each year, a new Saltzman Youth Panel makes decisions to allocate $50,000 to worthy organizations – 85% of which are awarded to programs serving the Jewish community.  The other 15% is awarded to non-profit programs serving the general community.  Through this process the participants learn about the philanthropic process and responding to community needs.

– JFC –


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