History

Our Timeline

2008:

  • Jim Joseph Foundation funds a new venture to boost engagement among teens, post bar or bat-mitzvah; North Shore Teen Initiative (NSTI, now Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston or JTI) is born
  • Our founding board members are called & Adam Smith is hired as Executive Director
  • Adam and various board members spend year 1 on a “listening tour” to get a sense of the existing community as well as find the holes in programming and communication

2009-2011:

  • In 2009 we launch our first web site, create our Facebook account and configure our email database – our goal was to connect with teens the way they naturally connected with others
  • We ran 6 original programs and advertised 36 programs from 15 partner agencies on the North Shore to connect with 140 teens
  • In 2010, we linked up with BBYO to participate in J-Serve, a global day of service for Jewish teens. Today, J-Serve is one of our biggest, best-recognized programs
  • 2011 saw us on our first trip down to Wake County, NC, for Habitat to Humanity’s Alternative Spring Break (and we’ve gone back every year since!)

2012-2014:

  • Beginning in 2012, the Jewish Federation of the North Shore entrusts us with the annual privilege of giving out the Derek M. Sheckman Teen Leadership Award
  • By 2013 we had engaged 615 unique teens since our program launch with more than 1,200 program touch points that year
  • In August of 2014, we sent our first group of family volunteers to Camp Sunshine in Casco, ME, where they helped provide respite, support, joy and hope to children and families with life-threatening illnesses

2015-2016:

  • We are formally recognized as a 501(c)(3), legally incorporated as the Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston
  • Combined Jewish Philanthropies pledges to help fund expansion to Boston’s Metrowest region
  • The original Jim Joseph seed grant wraps up; beyond 2016, we must be entirely community supported
  • We add a new position, an associate director, to support existing North Shore programs while working to establish new relationships in our new Metrowest catchment area
  • A generous community member enables us to launch the Peer Leaders Fellowship, a ground-breaking pilot program focused on peer-to-peer engagement and modeled from Hillel International’s highly successful collegiate program. It quickly garners local and national praise

2017-2018:

  • Programs and partnerships on the North Shore continue to grow as the we shift from making introductions to forming productive partnerships with Jewish agencies in Metrowest
  • The Peer Leaders Fellowship grows to include Cohort II on the North Shore and its inaugural class in Metrowest; Adam travels to five cities to consult on replicating the success of this groundbreaking program
  • In September 2017, NSTI is reborn as Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston, or JTI Boston, to better reflect the two constituencies we serve
  • As we continue to rely on our communities for financial support, Adam also turns his attention to local and national Foundations to help support our growth and community demand