Looking Back at Seven Years of the Denver Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative: Key Outcomes & Lessons Learned

– by Informing Change

January 18th, 2022

The Denver Boulder Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative began in 2014 with a partnership between Rose Community Foundation and Jim Joseph Foundation. The Initiative was conceived in part in response to a research project on local Jewish teen engagement conducted in 2010 by Rose Community Foundation’s Jewish Life Committee and the Allied Jewish Federation (now JEWISHcolorado).

The Initiative began its first phase (2014–18) with three objectives and a commitment to encourage innovation in
Jewish teen programming. The Initiative’s original objectives were:

  1. Increase funding to existing innovators and new projects as a means to provide higher-quality experiences
    and achieve incremental growth in teen participation.
  2. Increase the number and quality of Jewish professionals and trained volunteers working with Jewish
  3. Promote youth initiatives and youth-led ideas that engage teens and their peers in Jewish life.

The Denver Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative was one of the first of 10 initiatives across the US working collaboratively to create new Jewish teen programming and increase teen engagement. The Jewish Teen Funder Collaborative organized a group of national and local funders to study and explore pathways to greater Jewish teen engagement. Since 2014, each community working with the Collaborative has worked toward a common set of outcomes, expectations, and measures of success, with some additions and adaptations to address specific needs or interests of a sponsoring community. A national evaluation effort, referred to as the Cross-Community Evaluation (CCE), developed tools for this shared measurement and aggregates the data collected from the 10 communities’ evaluations to capture national-level trends and common learnings.

Over its seven years, the Jewish Teen Initiative has produced both positive outcomes for the region’s teens and an abundance of information and lessons learned that will help inform future investments in the local teen ecosystem. As our region and communities across the country consider future models and innovations for improving Jewish teen programming and increasing teen engagement, we hope this report will serve as a useful resource.
– Vanessa Bernier, Community Impact Officer – Jewish Life, Rose Community Foundation

Looking Back at Seven Years of the Denver Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative: Key Outcomes & Lessons Learned, October 2021, Informing Change

View Informing Change’s evaluations of Year 1 and Year 3 of the Denver Boulder Jewish Teen Initiative. View the Cross-Community Evaluation of the Jewish Teen Funder Collaborative.