Cracking the Programming Code: The New York Teen Initiative and Its Contribution to the Field of Summer Experiences and the Lives of Jewish Teens
May 21st, 2019
Phase One of the New York Teen Initiative (NYTI) has been a four-year, nine-million-dollar endeavor to redefine the New York City area’s Jewish teen engagement through the incubation of new and innovative models for summer engagement, a robust online marketing platform (FindYourSummer.org), and the provision of scholarships to participating teens and their families. 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. Over its first four years, NYTI has been jointly funded by UJA-Federation of New York and the Jim Joseph Foundation, with The Jewish Education Project serving as lead operator.
A team at Rosov Consulting has partnered with NYTI to evaluate the efficacy of this endeavor. This report explores NYTI’s ongoing and lasting impact on the programs it has incubated, their sponsor organizations, and the many teens who have benefited from these programs.
In its first four years, NYTI has introduced to the field of Jewish teen engagement a diverse array of programmatic approaches, concepts, and models, some of which are now being replicated by other program providers. It has supported the personal and Jewish growth of hundreds of teens, many of whom would not have otherwise connected to Jewish life. And it has promoted hundreds of Jewish engagement programs through the implementation of FindYourSummer.org.