Investing in Peer Leadership
JTI’s signature Peer Leadership Fellows program trains and empowers teens to be communal connectors and reimagine how they can develop meaningful connections with their peers, and in turn to the vast menu of opportunities available to Jewish teens in their community and beyond. Peer Leadership Fellows meet monthly (IRL – in real life and virtually), building a community of leaders helping to strengthen their community and each other. Each Fellow is charged with building relationships with Jewish teens in their community that are uninvolved or marginally engaged, serving as a communal connector and resource.
Jewish Teen Initiative is proud to be working with Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, to adapt their successful 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 of peer engagement – to be catalysts for enhanced teen connection to Jewish life, helping their peers discover meaningful connections to the community. They attend regional leadership programming with other Jewish teen leaders and receive ongoing coaching and mentoring.
We have partnered with Hillel to coordinate training and help find the right professionals to prepare our Fellows. Teens in our communities are among the first to tap into the incredible success of the Hillel peer engagement model. 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.
Peer Leadership Fellows in both regions attend the Northeast Teen Collective Leadership Summit in the Berkshires in September as a kick-off to the year, joining more than 200 Jewish teens from around the Northeast in an immersive leadership training experience. 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.
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.
High school students currently in grades 10 and 11 are eligible to apply.