Jewish Federations Support Expansion of Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards September 20, 2012
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Jewish Federations throughout the country will partner with the Helen Diller Family Foundation to inspire and encourage Jewish teen volunteer service nationwide.
The Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, is expanding the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, issuing a national call for nominations to identify Jewish teens whose volunteer service projects demonstrate a determined commitment to make the world a better place. Up to 10 selected teens, five from California and five from other communities across the country, will each be acknowledged for their visionary actions with an award of $36,000, to be used to further their philanthropic work or their education. Deadline for nominations is Jan. 6, 2013.
The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards were founded by Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller in 2007. The Helen Diller Family Foundation has given more than $1 million to 30 teens to further their vision of tikkun olam – a central precept of Judaism meaning repair of the world.
“It has been a joy to celebrate so many incredible Jewish teens over the past six years, and to support them in their efforts to repair the world,” said Helen Diller, president of the sponsoring foundation. “This opportunity to empower and nurture teens throughout the entire United States is a dream come true, and a simple way to foster the spirit of tikkun olam among our future leaders.”
Past recipients of the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have created a wide range of projects that support causes such as education, tolerance issues, autism awareness, anti-poverty efforts, environmental responsibility, wildfire safety and others, including a nonprofit that helps terminally ill high-schoolers attend their prom and a soccer-focused social media fundraising campaign (which David Beckham praised) that supplies water to third-world communities. Recipients have gone on to engage with world leaders, celebrities and internationally-known sports figures, while attracting public and media attention including CNN, The New York Times, National Geographic, MTV and The Today Show.
“We applaud those who demonstrate such dedication to Jewish values and service at a young age,” said Jerry Silverman, president and CEO of JFNA. “The Helen Diller Family Foundation is known for its commitment to providing enrichment opportunities that truly do change lives. We are delighted to collaborate with them on this innovative program, which will help create a vibrant future for the Jewish People.”
Now in its 13th year of giving, the Helen Diller Family Foundation has granted more than $200 million to support education, the arts, medical research and development, leadership training programs for teens, and many other charitable endeavors.
Jewish Federations are encouraged to nominate teens in their communities who are helping repair the world.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR NOMINATION: • Teens may be nominated by teachers, community leaders, rabbis or anyone who knows the value of their volunteer service and commitment —except family members. Teens may also nominate themselves. • Each candidate must be a U.S. resident aged 13-19 years old at the time of nomination, and must self-identify as Jewish. • Community service projects may benefit the general or Jewish community. • Teens compensated for their services are not eligible.