Application deadline: Sunday, May 7, 2023.
The Peer Leadership Fellowship is a signature program of the Jewish Teen Initiative (JTI) at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) that trains and empowers teens in grades 10 through 12 to become communal connectors. Fellows reimagine how they can develop meaningful relationships with their peers, helping to create a more connected and inclusive community for teens throughout Greater Boston.
Fellows meet monthly (in real life and virtually), building a team of leaders who are strengthening each other and their community while helping peers connect to the vast menu of opportunities available to Jewish teens in their community and beyond and reducing the stigmas that surround mental health and wellness.
In 2016, Jewish Teen Initiative (then known as North Shore Teen Initiative) partnered with Hillel International to adapt its successful engagement model for college students on campus for our teen community on the North Shore. JTI Peer Leadership Fellows receive training based on the Hillel model to practice within their own community. Following the successful pilot of the program, CJP helped to expand the Fellowship to the Metrowest community in 2017.
In 2020, JTI joined CJP as part of a broader vision to help connect, empower and inspire teens throughout Greater Boston. The Peer Wellness Track was added, where Fellows focus on helping to reduce the stigmas that surround mental health and wellness. Partnering with BaMidbar, synagogues and organizations throughout the Greater Boston community and beyond, JTI Peer Wellness Fellows are helping to redefine how Jewish teens learn, discuss and advocate about mental health.
Since its inception, more than 200 JTI Peer Leadership Fellows have helped to create a more connected and inclusive community for Jewish teens throughout Greater Boston. This successful peer-to-peer relational engagement model has been replicated in communities throughout the country, with gratitude to our partners at the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative at Jewish Federations of North America and Jim Joseph Foundation. Today, community and connection are both critically important for our teens, and the Fellows are leading the way in strengthening relationships and designing new opportunities for Jewish teens to explore, discuss, grow and thrive.