The Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s 2018-19 Maurice Saltzman Youth Panel granted $47,000 for community needs. 

Jewish high school juniors and seniors from the Cleveland area allocated $47,000 to 13 organizations for programs in the Jewish and general community through the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s 2018-19 Maurice Saltzman Youth Panel.

Each year, a new panel learns about the philanthropic process and responding to community needs by allocating up to $50,000 to worthy organizations, 85% of which are awarded to programs serving the Jewish community. The other 15% is awarded to non-profit programs serving the general community.

“Not only did I get to understand what philanthropy truly means, I was able to experience it,” said Lena Leland, a junior at Beachwood High School in Beachwood, during a personal reflection at the panel’s final reception before the board meeting. “Participating in Saltzman Youth Panel changed this idea of helplessness for me. Surrounded by 38 young people so passionate about helping others, so passionate about making a difference, it helped me remember that the feeling of helplessness is just that – a feeling. None of us are helpless – we can all make a change.”

This year, the 39 panelists awarded $6,000 to the Cleveland Hillel Foundation for an Interfaith Shabbat of Remembrance to offer Case Western Reserve University students of all faiths an opportunity to engage with local Holocaust survivors in an intimate and informal environment; $4,000 to the Jewish Agency for Israel for Aliyah of Rescue for Children to bring children from around the world who are living in grave danger to safety in Israel; $3,000 to Jewish Family Service Association to upgrade an outdated kitchen in one of JFSA’s residential homes to provide a safe space for residents with disabilities to engage in food preparation and increase independence; and $2,500 to Family Promise of Greater Cleveland for Pack N’ Plays and bedding for homeless children.

Panelists – junior Carly Petti of Beachwood and junior Danny Ecker of Hawken School in Chester Township presented the panel’s recommendations to the Federation’s board of trustees May 30, which were unanimously approved by the board.

To nominate a rising high school junior or senior for the 2019-20 Saltzman Youth Panel, contact Rebecca Sattin at or 216-593-2873. Application deadline is Sept. 5 

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