The Jewish Community Youth Foundation (JCYF) celebrated its 19th year by distributing more than $36,000 to 21 non-profit organizations by 121 teens representing 12 synagogues and 29 area schools.
JCYF is a project of Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) of Greater Mercer County and the Ricky and Andrew J. Shechtel Philanthropic Fund.
The program has disbursed $967,043 since its inception 19 years ago, according to a statement prepared by JFCS.
Highlights from the evening on Feb. 27 included a live trivia quiz about this year’s program. The quiz winner designated one of the JCYF recipient agencies as the winner of an additional grant.
The Annual Alumni Award was presented to Robbinsville alumna Mandi Lichtenstein, Class of 2020, for her work at Elon University. She designated Mazon – A Jewish Response to Hunger as the recipient of her $360 award prize.
Jonah Adler of Lawrenceville spoke about how wisdom, understanding and divine inspiration impact the important decisions we make, according to the statement.
This year, teens from all over Mercer and Bucks counties met to discuss ways to make a difference in local, national and international communities. They enjoyed meeting again in person and on Zoom where they were exposed to a broader range of agencies and resources, according to the statement.
Part of this year’s curriculum included Amplify Our Impact 2021, which provided an opportunity to increase giving by reaching out to family, friends and community contacts, according to the statement.
Harrison Fehn of Bordentown, Class of 2022, said, “[JCYF’s] value is immeasurable on Jewish youth as it teaches us, from a young age, how to evaluate grants, allocate funds, and most important of all, collaborate. JCYF is an organization that I would deem necessary for any aspiring leader to partake in before they have graduated.”
Sophie Berman, a member of the JCYF Senior Class and Hamilton resident, mentioned, “I developed a passion for helping others and giving to those in need. JCYF taught me the importance of philanthropy and my Jewish identity. I have learned copious amounts of leadership skills that will aid me as I move into the next chapter of my life.”
Scott Nahoum, West Windsor resident and member of the graduating class, said, “I now have a passion for social justice and engaging volunteers to fight poverty in the community and beyond.”