Do you know a motivated and inspired Jewish teen who wants to make a difference in the community?
If he or she is a high school junior or senior who resides in or belongs to a synagogue in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware or Philadelphia counties, the Satell Teen Fellowship program for Leadership and Social Activism may be a perfect fit. This innovative program, now entering its ninth year, is a partnership between the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Satell Family Foundation.
The Fellowship helps prepare Jewish adolescents to become engaged citizens, developing the knowledge and skills they need to assume leadership roles and be of service to the community now and in the future.
Maddy Schonberger, a senior at Lower Merion High School, and Gracie Gottlieb, a senior at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, were 2013 Satell Fellows. Both young women found the experience to be life-transforming and inspiring. Schonberger states: “My experience with Satell has given me the confidence to step up my involvement in the Jewish community and continue to build my leadership skills.” She believes that “most teens want to help their communities but don’t know how.”
She is grateful to Satell for giving her access to Jewish communal leaders and a unique opportunity to participate in social-action projects here and in Israel. “I now feel prepared to help my peers get connected to projects that will engage them.”
Gottlieb credits the Satell program with giving her “the chance to experience Israel in a totally different way.” The Fellows spent time learning about technology and inventions developed in Israel. Gottlieb says she was deeply impressed by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the “opportunity to see Israel innovation firsthand.”
“When advocating for Israel, it’s important to make Jewish students feel proud of our homeland and the fact that not just the cellphone but alternative energy and cutting-edge cancer research are Israeli exports makes you see Israelis in a different light,” she says.“I believe it is so important for every Jew to go to Israel, and the Satell program makes it possible to do just that.”
Those who are accepted to the program will:
• Engage in bimonthly leadership programs to learn more about yourself and your community;
• Meet and discuss vital issues with political and civic leaders and prominent business professionals to better understand key issues and develop your voice; and
• Participate in two powerful developmental trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with government leaders and learn how American culture, government and policies connect with Jewish values and to Israel, where Satell Teen Fellows explore the country, learn about current issues and meet Israeli teens who share their commitment to creating a more compassionate and caring world.
The cost of participating in the Satell Teen Fellowship is $995. Partial scholarships will be available for those families that require assistance.
Apply by Friday, Oct. 25 for the 2014 class. For more info, call the Satell office at 215-832-0617 or visit: www.satellteenfellowship.org . Successful applicants will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 14.
Satell Fuels Lifelong Israel Engagement
Both Schonberger and Gottlieb were among the select group of 50 high school students from across the United States to be selected for the StandWithUs MZ Teen Internship program. This yearlong initiative aspires to enhance the commitment and energy many teens already have for Israel and turn it into action that can make a difference.
The interns are divided into three regional groups and receive hands-on guidance throughout the year from mentors who help with program planning, problem solving and brainstorming about how to reach more students with Israel activism and voluntarism.
The program kicks off with an all-expense-paid conference in the fall in Los Angeles, where the teens bond with one another and with the StandWithUs high school staff, receive an education about the challenges Israel’s supporters can face on campuses and learn the difference between anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of Israel. Above all, they are taught basic advocacy skills for defending the Jewish state and learn how to inspire their peers about Israel.
Schonberger hopes that this internship will enhance her ability to run successful programs at her synagogue, BBYO and at Lower Merion High School’s Israeli Culture Club, while also preparing her to form coalitions with other groups at her school.
Gottlieb’s expectations are equally lofty. “I am excited to gain many new contacts and to work with the StandWithUs staff to teach high school students about Israel. Educating high school students today can make them supporters of Israel for the future.”