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Youth Philanthropy

Involving the next generation in giving


Your very own fund

The Build-a-Tzedakah program allows young adults to engage in charitable giving by contributing $600 from their Bar or Bat Mitzvah gifts, with a match of $400 from a community donor.  With this, the young adult now has a $1000 named charitable fund at the Jewish Foundation—they, or others, can add to the fund at anytime and in honor of special occasions- and, every December (Hannukah time), they will be given the opportunity to choose to which charity(ies) they want to make a distribution (distributions are based on the Jewish Foundation’s spending policy and must follow IRS regulations which include that they must be charitable and can only be made to US based public charities).

Over the past tEN years, Build a Tzedakah funds have distributed over $40,000 to more than 60 organizations! 

See our Donor Stories to find out more about our Build a Tzedakah Fund donors!

 As part of its Build a Tzedakah program, the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven held a Pop-up Jewish teen giving circle. The teens, part of JTE (Jewish Teen Education) program, invited local organizations to present concerning funding needs. The program included discussion of philanthropic values, why people give, and how to give. The Jewish Foundation provided monies to the teens for their allocation process. The teens awarded the following grants: IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) for a teen civil rights travel program this summer; Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven for their Stars of David program providing post-adoption social support to adopted Jewish teens; JCC of Greater New Haven for their Makerspace.