Young Philanthropists Distribute First Installment of NextGen Grant Awards
By Kellie Smith

Over the last 20 years, the B’nai Tzedek Young Philanthropy Program has made grants from their collective funds via a voting process with local agencies and synagogues. Earlier this year, our local Jewish agencies, schools and synagogues were asked to submit a program needing funding. A blind ballot was created with the program missions and goals that was then distributed to all fund holders by mail. In addition, a web page was set up so fundholders or interested parties could review the grant proposals in full. 

More than 300 young fund holders voted for the top three programs they felt our community needed most. The ballots were tabulated and the winners announced in late spring 2019. The winners for this voting cycle were the Jewish Community Alliance for Just Like Me, a theatre program serving hundreds of children that teaches justice and celebrates diversity, Jewish Family & Community Services for E.P.I.C. (formerly known as Inclusion), a program done in partnership with our Jewish day schools that offers individualized support services for students and families, and the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville for the Bridges Leadership Initiative, a program developed by rGEN which will help educate and grow tomorrow’s Jewish leaders. These agencies are receiving $5,000 a year for three consecutive years for their proposed programs. Our fund holders are looking forward to the success of these incredible programs in our community. 

B’nai Tzedek Young Philanthropy funds are set up as a gift by the parents or grandparents at the time of a child’s bar or bat mitzvah, and the gift is tripled through a partnership between Mel and Debbie Gottlieb and the Jewish Federation. Young fund holders are given the opportunity to grow their fund over 20 years and convert it to a permanent legacy fund in their name. If your child is interested in participating in this program, or if you’d like to update the information of your child that already has a fund, please contact Emma Pulley at 904-224-1405 or