Friedman Commission for Jewish Education Teaches Teens Philanthropy


What do 50 letters from local, national and international charities all have in common? They are all thank you's to Palm Beach area Jewish teens who donated monies from their own philanthropic funds as part of the Commission’s Teen Tzedakah Project (TTP).

Over $18,000 was donated by 38 teens to local, national and international causes, including the United Hebrew Congregation of Joplin, MO. TTP mixes philanthropy education, social action volunteerism, and teen leadership for a winning combination of Jewish learning for area teens in grades 7-12.

When the devastating tornado hit Joplin, MO on May 22nd, a Teen Tzedakah Project member asked about doing “something to help the Jewish people in Joplin.” Since the teens were not able to travel to Joplin, twenty of them gathered together to prepare Rosh Hashanah greetings and bags filled with high holiday “goodies” to send to the tiny Jewish community at the United Hebrew congregation. The teens' reasoning? They didn’t want the Joplin community members to feel alone.

And while the teens were working on their project, a Commission for Jewish Education volunteer, June Black, helped the teens deliver to each Palm Beach synagogue and agency a page of the giant Rosh Hashanah card. Over 18 institutions signed the card which was then assembled and sent with the Rosh Hashana bags.

Most inspiring of all, however, was the response to the teens’ example from one of our local synagogues here in Palm Beach County. Members of Temple Beth Torah in Wellington raised over $400 to also send to Joplin, Mo.


Damage from the tornado that hit Joplin, MO in May 2011.

Sometimes Jews are asked to think about our purpose in life. One powerful answer is: our purpose is to do Tikkun Olam…to make the world a better place. At the Friedman Commission for Jewish Education, we think this is what it means to make the world a better place! See the response in the Joplin Globe News of September 27th here.

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