By Wayne Green
The New Year is the start of conference and summit circuits. As the Jewish Teen Funders Network finalizes its programming for the JTFN Summit 2019 in San Francisco, I reflect on the importance of how we as professionals learn and why this JTFN Summit is taking on a new approach to understanding how we impact Jewish teen engagement and identity.
In Jewish teen philanthropy programs today, professionals are tasked not with the utopic vision of teaching teens to change the world, but empowering the youth to understand who they are in the world, how to overcome oppressive forces and how the art and value of philanthropy can have significant impact on changing lives. As Jewish teen professionals who directly interact, support, listen to and teach teens, it is critical that we learn for ourselves how we interact and respond with the world faced with increasing poverty, a significant refugee crisis globally, barriers and evils of anti-Semitism and racism, what it means to strengthen Jewish identity and connection… and the list continues. The JTFN Summit is designed to ensure professionals have a deep and rich experience in which they can learn and have the opportunity to ask questions on behalf of themselves, and therefore have a greater impact when working with teens.
The Summit this year is designed specifically to capture a variety of professionals, those already working in teen philanthropy programs with those who understand the importance of Jewish identity building and teen lead voices and leadership for their programs. By bringing these professionals together, we will create a space filled with innovation, creativity and inspiration for learning and collaborating.
One of the most effective methods to learn is by modeling. From the initial stages of design for the JTFN Summit 2019, the JTFN team has carefully selected and crafted the experience so that all learning opportunities are developed by interacting and participating in the program. Participants will develop a richer understanding of what we all want to see in Jewish teen programming today, including purposeful demonstration of behaviours and values. Workshops will provide new activities and challenges for participants to adapt and take back to their programs. New experiences for professionals will teach how to create programs that enable teens to stand up as leaders, advocates and champions for social change, and fundamentally learn how to instil confidence and pride in Jewish teenagers today. It is our responsibility as professionals to provide the edge and platform for teens for a lifetime commitment of giving back in whatever capacity and means possible.
The JTFN Summit this year will be held in San Francisco alongside the Jewish Funders Network Conference. This is an important opportunity for participants from the Jewish Funders Network and the Jewish Teen Funders Network to come together to learn how the field of philanthropy is shaping our world today. Critical to this, is our understanding of emotions and optimism which impacts our decisions.
This summit will give you the edge you need to be uplifted, inspired and reflective of your practice as an educator, a peer and a champion for our teens today, so you can ask yourself, how are you a reflection of what you are teaching?
Engage, empower and experience with us at the JTFN Summit 2019 in San Francisco, CA, March 17-19. 2019. Find out more about the JTFN Summit 2019.
Find out more about the Jewish Teen Funders Network.
Wayne Green is the Director of the Jewish Teen Funders Network. The mission of the Jewish Teen Funders Network is to strengthen Jewish engagement and identity through supporting and elevating the field of Jewish teen philanthropy. JTFN achieves this by setting field standards, providing training and resources to professionals, mainstreaming philanthropy into the Jewish teen experience, and serving as the lead catalyst for new programs.