Peer Leadership Fellows

Creating a more connected and inclusive community

icon Become a JTI Fellow

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023-2024 cohorts of the Jewish Teen Initiative Peer Leadership Fellowship. Rising 10th-12th graders throughout Greater Boston are encouraged to apply.
Application deadline: Sunday, May 7, 2023.
Apply now

icon About the Fellowship

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.

Peer Leadership Fellows, an opportunity for Jewish teens in Boston

Program Eligibility, Schedule and Stipend

  • Teens who will be in grades 10-12 during the 2023-2024 school year are eligible for this program. Currently, this opportunity is open to teens in CJP’s catchment area.
  • Monthly training seminars (2-3 hours each) are held on Sunday afternoons throughout the Greater Boston community. A draft calendar for the coming year will be available at the conclusion of the application process.
  • Fellows devote approximately 8-10 hours per month to the program, with the majority of that time flexible to each Fellow’s schedule.
  • Fellows receive a $500 annual stipend, which is an investment in their work as leaders in our community, and recognizes this effort as a job with accountability, resume prestige, training and deliverables.

Participate in Leadership and Training Opportunities

  • Kick-Off Training Seminar Retreat: Fellows start the year with an immersive relational engagement and skill-building experience, establishing community and creating the foundation for their work throughout the year.
  • Monthly Training Seminars: Fellows receive training in relational engagement, empathetic listening, mental health and wellness, inclusion awareness and advocacy, and leadership skills development.
  • Community Service: Fellows make an impact on the Greater Boston community by helping to lead a project or team at regional community service days held in partnership with youth-serving organizations and synagogues throughout the year.
  • Senior Fellows: Participants who have successfully completed one year of the Fellowship are invited to apply for an increased leadership role. Opportunities are personalized and include (but are not limited to): data analysis, social media ambassadors, peer mentoring, workshop facilitation and other passion projects.
  • National Learning and Training Opportunities: At various points throughout the year, Fellows may take advantage of learning and connecting with other Fellows and communities from throughout the country.

icon Cohorts

Choose between two focus areas: Peer Engagement and Peer Wellness.

Peer Engagement
Fellows are trained to be catalysts who help connect their peers to Jewish life. With training and support, Fellows develop and connect with their social networks each month, building relationships and helping other teens find opportunities that match their interests and how they want to be involved.
Peer Wellness
Fellows work to remove the stigmas surrounding mental health and wellness, educating themselves and their peers through group learning and programmatic opportunities. JTI partners with BaMidbar and other local and national partners to provide high-level training in awareness, advocacy, relational engagement and leadership development.

Together we made a huge impact

In 2021-2022, JTI Peer Engagement Fellows created a more connected community for their peers:
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JTI Peer Wellness Fellows found new and innovative ways to educate their peers and help reduce the stigmas that surround mental health and wellness in our community.
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icon Our History

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.

icon Contact us

Brett Lubarsky
Director, Jewish Teen Initiative at CJP
Contact Brett
Haley Lakind
Peer Leadership Fellows Coordinator
Contact Haley

Jewish Teen Initiative at CJP

Website www.cjp.org/teens
Address Kraft Family Building
126 High Street
Boston, MA 02110-2700
Phone 617-457-8591

    icon Our Partners
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    Peer Engagement Cohort in partnership with
    Peer Wellness Cohort in partnership with