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Record Breaking Giving Circle Awards a Live Grant at Teen Philanthropy Program Celebration

Pictured from left to right Ariella Russin of Princeton, Olivia Russin of Princeton, Gefen Bar-Cohen of Princeton, Mia Kushner of Pennington, Aleksander Milch, Senior Staff Attorney at HIAS, Carly Feldstein of Princeton, Sophia  Zelizer of Princeton, Max Frank of Lawrenceville and Caleb Dubow of Princeton. Sarah Merians Photography

More than 650 people joined the Jewish Community Youth Foundation’s (JCYF) annual Philanthropy Fair and Check Presentation Ceremony, held at Robbinsville High School. Over $63,000 was distributed to 29 organizations by 175 local teens representing 14 Synagogues, 15 Middle Schools and 23 High Schools including Princeton residents:  Gabriel Bar-Cohen, Gefen Bar-Cohen, Sydney Caldwell, Galil Cohen, Hayley Cohen, Caleb Dubow, Lisette Dubow, Dena Feldman, Talia Feldman, Carly Feldstein, Jacob Feldstein, Danielle  Gershen, Emma Glasser, Abigail Goldberg , Emily Herman, Daniel Hubert, Isabella Jaffe, Olivia Jaffe, Emily Kleinbart, Jared  Leveson, Kendall Lieberman, Lila Pechter, Rebecca Poller, Andy Ratner, Isabel Roemer, Ariella Russin, Olivia Russin, Stella Sarett, Jacob Schwartz, Zachary Seiger, Brooke Smukler, Logan Solomon, Andrew Tesser and Sophia Zelizer.

JCYF is a teen philanthropy program and a project of Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County and funded by the Ricky and Andrew J. Shechtel Philanthropic Fund and the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks.  The program has disbursed more than $730,000 since its inception 14 years ago.

Highlights from the evening included a surprise live grant where the audience made up one of the largest giving circles in history.  They selected DOROT’s Homelessness Prevention Program, one of three programs nominated by the senior class, as the winner.  The No Small Change live grant is an initiative where spare change is collected at each JCYF meeting and gets tallied and donated to an organization at the end of each year.  

The Jewish Community Youth Foundation awarded the seventh annual Distinguished Alumni Award to Stephanie Woloshin of Yardley, PA for her outstanding accomplishments at Lynn University.  A member of the 2015 JCYF class, Stephanie received a $360 award which she will donate to the Jewish Teen Funders Network, a central resource for the quickly growing field of Jewish teen philanthropy.  Stephanie told the current program participants: “JCYF enables students to impart real tangible change and repair the world.  Value the opportunity to positively change the world through your contributions.  It is imperative that each one of us contributes to enriching our world.”

Connor Dedrick, a senior from Skillman delivered a special message explaining no one is too important to do good in our world.  He also reflected on his participation in the program by saying, “JCYF enabled me to explore the world of giving, broadened my horizons and piqued my interest learning about philanthropic organizations.   Through JCYF, I developed invaluable leadership and conflict management skills.   I learned to exercise empathy, and consider others’ opinions, doing so led to a better understanding from all sides.”

For more information, contact Celeste Albert, Coordinator of Teen Programs at JFCS of Greater Mercer County, at 609-987-8100 or celestea@jfcsonline.org, or visit www.jfcsonline.org/jcyf.

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