Our Timeline


  • Jim Joseph Foundation funds a new venture to boost engagement among teens, post bar or bat-mitzvah; North Shore Teen Initiative (NSTI) is born
  • NSTI 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


  • The first NSTI web site is launched, Facebook account created, email database configured – 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


  • This year 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


  • Inaugural trip down to Wake County, NC, for Habitat to Humanity’s Alternative Spring Break (we’ve gone back every year since!)


  • The Jewish Federation of the North Shore entrusts NSTI with the privilege of giving out the Derek M. Sheckman Teen Leadership Award each year


  • In 2013, NSTI engaged 615 unique teens since its program launch and more than 1200 program touch points during the year


  • NSTI sent a group of family volunteer teams to Camp Sunshine in Casco, ME, where they helped provide respite, support, joy and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families


  • NSTI becomes it’s own 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 is in its final year; beyond 2016, NSTI must be entirely community supported


  • NSTI hires Brett Lubarsky to support existing North Shore programs while working with Adam to establish new relationships during a “listening tour” of the new Metro West catchment area
  • A generous community member enables NSTI to launch a ground-breaking pilot program focused on peer-to-peer engagement. In partnership with Swampscott’s Shirat Hayam and modeled from Hillel International’s highly successful collegiate program, the Peer Leaders Fellowship quickly garners local and national praise
  • While running new and existing high-quality programs and maintaining strong community relationships, NSTI must also focus on fundraising, as the JJF seed grant is complete


  • Programs, partnerships and growth on the North Shore continue as the organization transitions from making introductions to forming productive partnerships with synagogues and Jewish organizations 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 some of the success of this groundbreaking program
  • To better reflect the two-region constituency it serves, NSTI is reborn as Jewish Teen Initiative of Greater Boston, or JTI Boston
  • As JTI continues to rely on the community it serves for financial support, Adam also turns his attention to local and national Foundations to help support the organization’s growth and community demand