Jewish high school juniors and seniors from around the Cleveland area allocated $44,000 to 14 local organizations as part of a program that aims to educate youth about the philanthropic process and responding to community needs.
The Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Maurice Saltzman Youth Panel, established in 1998, allows selected students to make decisions to allocate up to $50,000 to nonprofit organizations –85 percent is awarded to programs serving the Jewish community and 15 percent to those serving the general community, according to a news release.
“This process has taught me that while working with others can be challenging in the moment, in the end we all were acting in the best interest of our community,” said David Mack, a Shaker Heights High School senior, during a reflection at the panel’s final reception before a Federation board of trustees meeting.
“I have built decision-making skills and friendships that I will keep for many years. I look forward to seeing the impact our work has on our community and continuing my work as a philanthropist.”
This year, the 40 panelists awarded $6,000 to the Hebrew Shelter Home for supportive technology for clients, $6,000 to the Mandel Jewish Community Center for companion counselors for summer campers with special needs, $5,000 to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for the Holocaust Survivor Memory Project, $2,500 to mentors for at-risk youth in Cleveland’s sister city of Beit Shean, Israel, and $1,200 to Circle Health Services for the teen clinic and outreach education program.
Panelists Carly Stewart, Jonah Ross and Zoey Zelman made the recommendations to the Federation’s board of trustees May 9, who unanimously approved them.
The panel, which meets seven times throughout the school year, was established through a gift from the late Shirley Saltzman and her family in memory of her husband, Maurice.
Rising juniors and seniors interested in next year’s Saltzman panel can contact program coordinator Leora Lanzola at email@example.com or 216-593-2798. Application deadline is Sept. 5.