Chaya Sarah and Rabbi Elimelech
the best role model you can find on
how to raise really amazing children:'
says Andrea Stawis, formerly of West
"Rabbi Silberberg is such a genuine
person and good, sincere friend:' says
Eileen Borsand of Bloomfield Hills.
She and her two sisters, Leah Ruby
and Fran Rogers, learn with the rabbi
in a weekly class that began in the
1970s. Over the years, the women
chose to become more observant.
Silberberg was also instrumental
in helping the Borsands found the
Birmingham-Bloomfield Chai Center,
the only shul in that locale.
Five years ago, son and daughter-in-
law, Shneur and Zeesy Silberberg,
arrived in West Bloomfield as junior
partners, ready to begin yet another
chapter in the BCTC story. The couple,
with four young children, works to cul-
tivate youth programs and events that
reflect contemporary, changing times.
A monthly Jewish Women's Circle
convenes for fun, educational activities,
and Jewish Learning Institute courses
explore topics that connect the per-
sonal and professional worlds with par-
ticipants' religious lives. Zeesy teaches
Jewish-themed music and cooking
classes for children, while Shneur travels
to college campuses across the state
for Pizza and Learning sessions. They
host community Pesach seders, Rosh
Hashanah dinners and monthly Shabbos
meals for young adults in their home.
"It is because of the Silberbergs,
all of them, that we moved to West
Bloomfield," says Chaya Bolotin
Goodman. "You have to be excited
about people who believe so completely
and do not judge. You see their dedica-
tion, their complete love of Torah and
it's inspiring, infectious:'
Ken Kohn, BCTC president who has
been studying with Elimelech Silberberg
since the 1980s, says, "It is because of
the Silberbergs that our congregation,
which is made up people from all walks
of life, has developed into such a warm
and wonderful community
"Our hope is that anyone who has
been touched by the rabbi and Chaya
Sarah, who may no longer even live
in West Bloomfield or Michigan, will
participate in celebrating this respected
and beloved couple:'
For more dinner/speaker informa-
tion, contact: (248) 980-7012 or www.
Developing a new
generation of givers
for the Jewish Fund.
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National participants in the Jewish Teen Funders Network
Special to the Jewish News
hilanthropy. It's not a word readily
associated with teens. But, as non-
profits are learning, the next genera-
tion is the now generation.
Long past the days of dropping coins into
tzedakah boxes at religious school and well
beyond the typical b'nai mitzvah projects in
the seventh grade, teens are seeking mean-
ingful ways to give back to the community.
In its broadest sense, teen philanthropy is
the social activism of young people giving
of their "time, talent and treasure It is bet-
ter understood today as a growing trend to
help youth answer deeper questions such as
"What do I care about? How can I make a
Teen philanthropy is an approach to
empower teens as leaders, advocates, deci-
sion-makers and change agents by engaging
them in real-life issues and purposeful work
in community organizations.
"In spite of declining participation in both
formal and informal Jewish educational
programming, Jewish teen philanthropy has
emerged as a major national trend:' says
Margo Pernick, executive director of the
Jewish Fund, established in 1997 with pro-
ceeds from the sale of Sinai Hospital.
"Across the nation today, there are more
than 100 active programs sponsored by
Jewish federations, foundations, schools,
social service agencies and endowment
Recognizing the enormous potential and
benefit of teens working with profession-
als in the grant-making process, the Jewish
Fund has launched its own Teen Board.
"We're looking for a diverse group of
Jewish teens entering the 10th and 11th
grades in 2014:' says Martha Goldberg,
Teen Board coordinator. "With 25 available
positions, we envision creating a forum
where teens can meet and share their indi-
vidual experience and skills. We welcome
applicants with proven leadership ability as
well as those who have yet to be engaged in
community programming but demonstrate
"Students will be selected based on their
level of interest and enthusiasm for the
project, as well as how they will fit with cre-
ating a broad-based group of young people
reflecting the diversity of the local Jewish
What if someone gave you $50,000 and said,
"Take this money and use it to make our
community a better place." What would you
That is the essential question Jewish teens
will work together to answer as hands-on
grant-makers for the Jewish Fund Teen
Each year, the board will have $50,000 to
grant to both Jewish and secular nonprofit
organizations in Metro Detroit.
Board membership represents a signifi-
cant commitment of time and responsibil-
ity. Board members are required to meet
monthly throughout the academic year.
"This is a pilot program with the power
to model youth philanthropy — even
beyond the Detroit community:" Goldberg
says. "We are honored to be one of two
communities selected by the Jewish Teen
Funders Network (JFTN) to take part in the
first cohort of the Teen Foundation Board
"This initiative seeks to create as many as
10 new high-quality Jewish teen foundations
by 2016. The local board will receive sup-
port, resources and consultations from JTFN
for the initial five years of programming:"
How It Works
"The Teen Board is a very real, very sub-
stantial demonstration not only of tzedakah
and tikkum olam, but also of the immedi-
ate social and financial impact that young
grantmakers can have upon the world we
live in today:" says Dr. Richard Krugel,
Jewish Fund board chair.
"For young people looking for ways to
create change, to be a part of something
bigger happening in the city and to network
and make lifelong friends, the Teen Board is
an ideal platform."
The board is conceived as a youth-led
program, where teens work side-by-side
with Jewish Fund staff as respected col-
leagues fully empowered and aligned with
the organization's mission to support com-
munity programs and services that help
at-risk individuals improve their health and
Each year, a new cohort of 25 will collabo-
rate to decide how they want to engage their
Jewish values to benefit the community.
They will research and identify the needs
and issues, determine funding priorities and
meet with organizational leaders to deter-
mine how to create positive change through
Laying The Foundation
Over the course of the academic year, the
teens will work together as a real philan-
thropic foundation. Kicking off the year
with a full-day retreat and continuing with
regular monthly meetings, they will:
• Learn the process of grant-making
while applying Jewish values to philan-
• Acquire critical research skills and
enhance leadership abilities
• Debate social justice issues
• Participate in intensive training on how
to acquire and evaluate grant proposals
from nonprofit organizations
• Conduct site visits, utilizing profes-
sional interviewing techniques
• Challenge one another to make
thoughtful, insightful grants that address
causes that matter most to them, within the
scope and mission of the Jewish Fund.
In launching the Teen Board, the Jewish
Fund has created an opportunity for young
people to develop life skills, a sense of pur-
pose, and a strong commitment to the well-
being and future of the community.
Who Should Apply?
The Jewish Fund accepts applications
from teens on an annual basis for the Teen
Board. To apply as a first-year board mem-
ber, teens must be entering grade 10 or 11
in the fall and identify as Jewish.
Following the successful completion of
a year on the board, students can apply for
an optional leadership experience, provided
they meet the participation requirements.
Applications are available at http://
thejewishfund.org/teenboard and will
remain open through Monday, Sept. 8.
Interviews will take place Sept. 14-18.
For more information, email Martha
Goldberg at email@example.com or call
The Teen Board International Rollout is
funded by the Jewish Teen Funders Network
and Laura Lauder, in cooperation with
the Jewish Community Federation of San
Francisco, the Peninsula Marin and Sonoma
Vivian Henoch writes for myjewishdetroit.org.
May 8 • 2014