In 2009, Rose Community Foundation’s Jewish Life Program Area began studying the disengagement between teens and Jewish Life. In order to address this growing issue, the Foundation brought stakeholders together from the Greater Denver community and developed a plan for change. By 2014, funders and practitioners came together to launch an ambitious effort, The Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative. This collaborative initiative is designed both to increase the number and diversity of high school age Jewish teens participating in Jewish education and engagement experiences, and to deepen the quality and diversity of those experiences in the Greater Denver community.

The Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative, one of the largest ever undertaken by the Foundation, is supported by more than $5.6 million and more than 30 funders, and involves significant collaboration both locally and nationally. Jim Joseph Foundation, one of the largest Jewish foundations, and Rose Community Foundation are partnering to lead the effort. Five local nonprofit organizations in the Greater Denver community have received grants to engage local teens in new and innovative ways including:

In Fall 2019, the Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative will launch the first-ever Jewish Teen Mental Health First Aid Community of Practice. We are pleased to invite two Denver/Boulder area youth professionals to participate in the cohort. Participants will become certified Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) instructors through the National Council of Behavioral Health. View the eligibility requirements and application instructions. The application deadline is Friday, June 14.

For more information about the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative, please contact Vanessa Bernier, Jewish Life program officer.