Investing in Peer Leadership
Jewish Teen Initiative’s signature Peer Leadership Fellows program trains and empowers teens to be communal connectors. Fellows reimagine how they can develop meaningful relationships with their peers, connecting those peers to the vast menu of opportunities available to Jewish teens in their community and beyond. Fellows meet monthly (in real life and virtually), building a team of leaders helping to strengthen their community and each other. Each Fellow serves as a resource for those that are uninvolved or marginally engaged.
JTI is proud to be working with Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, to adapt their engagement model for the teen community. Hillel has mobilized college peer interns to professionalize its outreach on campus, strengthen student connections, and boost participation. JTI Peer Leadership Fellows receive training based on the Hillel model to practice within their own community. Currently, this opportunity is open to teens in Boston’s Metrowest and North Shore communities.
In 2018-19, JTI developed and piloted a new cohort in our Peer Leadership Fellows family and launched the JTI Ruderman Peer Inclusion Fellows. Partnering with the Ruderman Family Foundation, along with synagogues and organizations throughout the Greater Boston community, JTI Ruderman Peer Inclusion Fellows are helping to redefine what inclusion can look like for Jewish teens.
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019-2020 cohorts. Please contact Brett Lubarsky, Associate Director with any questions or for more information.
Peer Leadership Track: Fellows are trained to be catalysts to better connect their peers to Jewish life. With training and support, Fellows develop and connect with their social networks on a monthly basis, build relationships, and help their peers identify opportunities based on expressed involvement and interest.
Ruderman Inclusion Track: Fellows will help redefine what mainstream inclusion can be in the Jewish teen community, helping to connect with and support peers with special needs at local, regional, and national events. JTI Boston has partnered with The Ruderman Family Foundation and other national organizations to provide high-level training in inclusion, relational engagement and leadership development. Fellows will remove many of the stumbling blocks that prevent teens from feeling comfortable and connected at teen programming by acting as a buddy for their peers.
Peer Leadership Fellows begin the year with an immersive leadership training experience, connecting with dozens of other Fellows from the Greater Boston area and beyond. Following-up on that experience, Fellows receive training on social network mapping, growing into their roles as communal connectors and in the Hillel-based peer engagement model. Monthly group training seminars and individual virtual check-ins provide opportunities for skills-based training, supervision, reflection, mentorship, and community building.
Similar to taking an AP class, this is an opportunity to be trained in a campus system as a sophomore or junior in high school, and to carry that training and experience forward into college.
Each Fellow is charged with building relationships with uninvolved Jewish teens in their own communities.
Serving as a resource to meaningful opportunities, the Peer Leadership Fellows strive to advance Jewish values in the context of their relationships.
Connect to Jewish Life:
Peer Leadership Fellows are trained to be catalysts for enhanced teen connection to Jewish life.
As they develop and connect with their social networks, Fellows will build relationships with uninvolved and underserved teens, introducing them to the diverse menu of opportunities available to them.
Program Stipend & Eligibility:
Fellows receive a $500 annual stipend, which allows high school students to choose this not simply as a volunteer opportunity, but rather as a “job” with accountability, resume prestige, training, and goals. This compensation represents a commitment of approximately 10 hours each month.
High school students who are in grades 10-12 are eligible for this program.