The Helen Diller Family Foundation has awarded 15 young Jewish leaders the 2014 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards in recognition of their exceptional leadership and commitment to social good. Recipients convened recently in San Francisco, where each teen was awarded $36,000 to support their future philanthropic vision or educational pursuits.
The event provided recipients with the opportunity to meet and engage with socially conscious peers. The awardees’ passion for making a difference inspired them all to create and lead their own dynamic social action projects, from student-run clubs that raise funds for critical cancer research to initiatives that support and empower low-income families.
One highlight of the afternoon was the debut of a special documentary-style video tribute that featured the accomplishments of the 15 teens. Guests took a behind-the-scenes visual journey as they saw projects in action, learned about the inspiration behind the teens’ projects, and heard first-hand how the guiding spirit of tikkun olam, a central Jewish precept meaning to repair the world, informed their volunteerism. The video spotlighted the diversity of recipients’ projects, which encompassed social causes such as public health, education, sustainability, and promoting volunteerism among youth. At the same time, it highlighted a common thread: the remarkable impact that each one of the 2014 recipients have made in their communities, nationally, and globally.
Created by Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller in 2007 as a way to recognize the next generation of philanthropic visionaries and provide them with support and resources in their drive to make the world a better place, the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have since granted a total of nearly $2 million to further the visions of 55 Jewish teens from across the United States. Now in its eighth year, the program added an additional five national awards this year, expanding its reach to honor 15 young Jewish leaders with $36,000 award each – marking 2014 as the largest year of funding to teen change makers with $540,000 granted.