A Los Angeles Program Is Turning Jewish Teens into Philanthropists

From eJewish Philanthropy (October 4, 2022)

The nine teens were participating in their first session of LAunchpad, a new teen philanthropy program in which Los Angeles-area Jewish teens collectively decide where to allocate thousands of dollars.

After this exercise, Sadie expects that future meetings will try to create consensus around philanthropic giving.

“We probably won’t all agree on what we want to do, necessarily, so using consensus, we won’t do majority votes, but we’ll use it to pick something in a way that includes everyone and is a free-flowing conversation,” she said.

The program’s full name is LAunchpad: The Los Angeles Synagogue Incubator for Youth Philanthropy. It is an initiative of Honeycomb, the teen philanthropy arm of the Jewish Funders Network, and hopes to engage cohorts of adolescents to explore their community’s hyperlocal needs, strengthen leadership skills and learn to become changemakers.

Three L.A.-area Conservative synagogues — Adat Ari El in Valley Village, Congregation Ner Tamid in the South Bay and Sinai Temple in Beverly Hills — and one Reconstructionist congregation, University Synagogue of Irvine — are beginning the new Jewish year by launching this effort, hoping it will yield positive results for Jewish philanthropy in the future, as well as more immediate local impact.