New York Teen Initiative: Taking Root and Branching Out

April 30th, 2018

The four-year, nine-million-dollar New York Teen Initiative is a jointly funded investment of the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jim Joseph Foundation. With The Jewish Education Project serving as lead operator, the Initiative seeks to redesign and redefine the area’s Jewish teen engagement through the creation of compelling summer experiences. The Initiative builds on UJA Federation of New York’s historic and current efforts to support programs that attract teenagers to Jewish life and experiences. The Initiative is part of a national effort — spearheaded by the Jim Joseph Foundation — in which 14 foundations and federations are working together as a “Funder Collaborative” to expand and deepen Jewish teen education and engagement in 10 communities across the United States.

Conceived as an effort that would set in motion a long-term sea change in Jewish teen programming, the NYTI includes three main components:
1. Incubation of new programmatic models for Jewish teen summer experiences, including local New York area programs, domestic travel in the United States, and Israel travel.

2. Comprehensive marketing to increase awareness of new and existing summer opportunities.

3. Scholarship programs to help make new and existing summer experiences more affordable for teens’ families.

New York Teen Initiative: Taking Root and Branching Out, Year 3 Evaluation Findings, March 2018